MONTHLY TASKS MADE EASY FOR 2022

The Struggle – Making Time

For most, smart home care is a collection of completing the right tasks, actions and time against what matters most to protect your investment. Some of your neighbors seem to do it effortlessly while others seem to put it off and struggle to get it done. Many have the skill to do it, but not the will or time to get it done. So, here’s how you can effortlessly manage it, taking the stress and worry out of it to prevent big problems later. We want to give you a new way to think about it to make it easier that inspires you.

Routine Maintenance is Easy IF You Do it Regularly

These easily forgotten tasks are often looming in your mind, so you put them off. Why? Because you might think they’re difficult or time consuming – you might not realize how simple they can be. 

Routine home maintenance is not like housework or chores. It’s a deliberate set of tasks that you perform, at a cadence that is frequent enough to keep the work light, and to keep home systems running smoothly. Think of it like mowing your lawn. If done weekly, it requires little effort, and the lawn stays healthy. But if you wait for several weeks between mowing, it’s hard work, time consuming and the health of the lawn suffers.

Organize Tasks by Frequency 

Some household tasks need to be performed monthly, some are seasonal, and some need attention just once a year. This blog focuses on the monthly tasks and getting them on a calendar so throughout the year you can complete them with certainty and ease. Our next blog will focus on seasonal and annual tasks. Like a workout, it’s often more difficult in your mind, and once you are in it, the satisfaction of getting it done makes it all worth it.

MONTHLY FOUR

To take the guesswork out of these tasks, our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen have put a common list together to get you started. You know most of these tasks. Let’s take the gray area out and tell you the why, the how, and the how fast. These are the “big four” that take less than 20 minutes each month. Once you do it the first month, enjoy knowing you’ll be in better shape than most homeowners when you quickly approach them next month. That is how you become the neighbor who gets these done effortlessly. 😎

Let’s Get Started

1. Inspect (and possibly change out) your HVAC filters: 4 minutes

It is recommended to change your filters as much as monthly, however that frequency is based on several factors. Some of these factors to consider for your situation; Number of people in the home, active lifestyles of those occupants, number and type of pets, allergies, your neighborhood and its environment (construction nearby, metropolitan activities…), weather and time of year all play critical roles in the frequency. Having said all of that, you should change your filters at least quarterly – every three months/four times a year.
(NOTE: If you have high sensitivity to allergies, dust, dander or sinus challenges, change them out monthly, regardless of visible discoloration.)

🔨Multi-Craftsmen Pro Tip: Write the date you installed the filter with a marker on the cardboard edge of the filter.  It takes the guesswork out of the “last time” it was changed.

If the filter has any visible dirt, change it out. If you can see contaminants at all, it is probably dirtier than you think, so it is time to change it. If not, slip it back in place and inspect it again next month. Filters are inexpensive and simple to change and can extend the life of your furnace when changed promptly, so if in question, why not just preplace it. You can find them here at Ace Hardware.

Ignored, dirty HVAC filters result in:

  • The need for more expensive annual HVAC maintenance from professionals.
    • Higher utility bills from increased heating or AC cycles.
    • Wear and tear on fan motor working harder than designed (which of course leads to a costly repair).

    🔨 Multi-Craftsmen Pro Tip: It is cheaper and makes life easier to buy a multi-pack of the correct size.  Use one today and set the rest aside for future months.  It is also helpful to keep the filter size recorded so you can quickly find the correct size when it is time to buy them.  Filters are sized with 3 numbers (LxWxH – Length, Width and Thickness) example 20x12x1. Once you have the right size, then it’s easy to work with an Ace Hardware Red Vested Hero to make the right choice for your home.

    😎 Inspire yourself to do this knowing that the task is easy.

    2. Clean kitchen sink disposal and wash the rubber baffle splash guard: 3 minutes 

    There are many suggested ways to clean the kitchen disposal, here’s a DIY hack: 

    • Pour ice into your disposal
    • Then, turn on the disposal and pour some white vinegar (available at your local grocery store)
      • It freshens and cleans it your disposal quickly and one gallon of vinegar can clean your disposal over four or five months.
    • With a wand type small scrub brush, run it up and down each baffle on the splash guard.  Using the bristles of the brush to pull the flaps up (turning the baffle inside out inside of the drain) so that you can scrub the underside of the baffle as well as the visible side. That helps keep it clean and eliminate smells. It’s simple!

    😎 Inspire yourself to do this every month to keep your kitchen fresh and your primary surfaces food safe.

    3. Clean range hood filters: 7 minutes

    Cleaning the range hood filter is a task that commonly gets put on the back burner (no pun intended). Simply use a degreaser mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and it should be clean as a whistle. 

    • Pull out the filter from the range hood
    • Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from scalding water and run your water until it’s steaming hot and begin to fill the sink. Or boil a pot of water
    • Pour in the recommended amount of degreaser per the volume of water in your sink. Click here to get our recommended degreaser from Ace Hardware.
    • Let it stay submerged for five minutes – if it’s been a while since you have cleaned the filters, grab them with your gloved hands and agitate them like clothes in a washer to remove caked-on grease. (Using a soft bristle brush with gentle strokes is helpful too.)
    • Drain the sink and rinse the filters and shake the water out
    • Replace them over your stove

    😎 Inspire yourself to do this often while it’s easy – if you wait, a simple job will become a major labor as the grease layers on. And layered on grease is a major fire hazard (172,900 fires a year originate in the kitchen in the US).

    4. Inspect your fire extinguisher(s): 3 minutes

      Make sure you have your extinguishers easily accessible in all the proper locations. 

      This is your most simple task, but it might be the most important – make sure:

    • The gauge shows adequate pressure.
    • They are not expired (All have an expiration date on the side.)
    • They have no visible signs of wear and tear. 
    • 🔨 Multi-Craftsmen Pro Tip: Make sure they are mounted securely to the wall or cabinet, yet easily removed in case of emergency needs.  Also, make sure that everyone in your home knows where they are AND how to properly use them.

      If you need more information on fire extinguishers, how to use or best places to have them in your home, click here to revisit our Fire Safety Blog for where to place them, and greater detail on the right extinguisher for the right area of your home. Reliable and effective extinguishers can be easily sourced at Ace Hardware by clicking here. 

      😎 Inspire yourself to check this monthly knowing that you are doing something vital prevent a catastrophic event in your home – you might be surprised, on your monthly check, to find an extinguisher missing (between family members “borrowing them for camping trips” to kids “playing with them,” they might not be present when needed!)

      Schedule Your Craftsman Today

      At Ace Handyman Services, we hope this Monthly Four list will kick of your 2022 with some confidence in your biggest investment and some organization for the year to come. And as always, if any of these tasks seem overwhelming, or you just would rather have someone else do them for your, give your local Ace Handyman Services a call–our Mutli-Skilled Craftsmen can tackle your maintenance list and so much more. They’re qualified to complete 1,162 tasks around your house.

    Holiday Indoor Fixes

    As the temperature starts to drop and the smell of pumpkin spice permeates every store you enter, it’s a clear sign the holidays are right around the corner. With it comes wonderful times with family and friends gathered in your home for delicious food and warm memories.

    Before company arrives, you may want to spruce up your living space; perhaps to impress your Great-Aunt Helen? Below are a few ways to create some new, bold statements for your home that will make it look more inviting for the season.

    1. Paint Accent Wall or Room

    An easy way to add dramatic flair and a touch of elegance to your home is by painting a wall an accent color. Adding a pop of color to a select wall in your room creates a simple, yet exciting upgrade that will make a big impact.

    Uncertain about selecting the color that will show your room to its best effect? Head to the Ace Hardware website and take advantage of The Paint Studio, a terrific tool that takes the guess work out of picking the perfect color. This is a paint visualizer that enables you to test a selection of tones by simply uploading a photo of the room you’d like to paint, and then exploring how a variety of different colors would look in your home.
    https://www.acehardware.com/thepaintstudio/tipstools/visualizer

    Want more ideas? Benjamin Moore just recently released their Color Trends of 2022. This is a result of exhaustive consumer research that identifies “what’s next” in color. This year’s October Mist 1495 truly stands out. On its website, Benjamin Moore says October Mist 1495 “makes room for creativity, evoking the silver-green stem of a flower. It creates a canvas for other colors–and your imagination—to blossom…”

    Additionally, Benjamin Moore has selected a palette to complement its color of the year selection. “The Color Trends 2022 palette of 14 hues, which includes October Mist, is harmonious yet diverse, reliable yet whimsical, and meditative, yet eclectic. With its endless number of invigorating combinations, this palette provides effortless harmony for any paint project, and every design style.”

    Multi-Skilled Craftsmen Tip: There are a variety of bold color options, but if that seems a little overwhelming to you, consider a slight hue adjustment on one wall. By staying in the same color wheel and changing the shade a tone or two, you’ll give the room a subtle depth that the brain will appreciate, but the eye won’t particularly notice.

    Once you have selected the ideal color for your new accent wall, head to your local Ace Hardware where they can help you “test drive” some colors by giving you some samples. And if you already know the shade you want, they can help you select the perfect paint for the type and size of room.

    Too busy with other holiday preparations to tackle the job yourself? Then give your local Ace Handyman Services a call, and our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen will complete your accent wall project before your guests arrive.

    Whether it’s a simple paint project or you have some nail holes, drywall, trim or caulking in need of repair, we can help. If you are a DIY’er, refer to our previous blogs about repairing drywall before you begin to paint your new accent wall. And remember: We are always here to make your holiday prep easy.

    2. Upgrade/Fix Doorknobs and Handles

    Loose or outdated doorknobs and handles are something all homeowners must deal with at some point in time.

    There are two ways to think about upgrades. The first is function – making the current hardware work. The second is taking function to a new level of upgraded design and delight – replacing the old, outdated hardware with doorknobs and handles that are more contemporary and will enhance the look of your home.

    Function

    To fix and tighten your doorknobs:

    Basic and most mid-level handles typically have two exposed screws on either side of the interior handle – all you need is a narrow-shaft Phillips head screwdriver to tighten the handle. TIP – Move back and forth between each screw as you tighten, for best results.

    Higher end handles:

    • Remove the current knob or handle.
    • To do so, find the set screw (or small push button), which is normally found on the side of the inside door handle and, using an Allen wrench (or small flat screwdriver), loosen the screw (or push the pin) and remove the handle by pulling it toward you.
    • Once the handle is removed, you will need to remove the escutcheon plate.
    Multi-Skilled Craftsmen Tip: Remove the plate carefully with a flathead screwdriver, taking care to avoid damaging the back plate.
    • After you remove the base, you should see a set of screws. Carefully hold on to the outside backing plate to keep it from moving, tighten each screw separately.
    • Last, put the base and handle back on together, making sure each piece is flush and every screw is secure.

    After following these steps, if you’re still having trouble, or if you have many any pieces of new hardware you’d like installed, give your local Ace Handyman Services Multi-Skilled Craftsmen a call–we can absolutely help you with that.

    Upgrading your doorknobs and handles

    Although doors don’t seem like they’d make a huge difference to the aesthetic of your home, they are one of the most predominant features. When you update the look of your doors and their knobs, you are upgrading major surfaces that are on display to you and your guests all the time. Take a look at some great options your local Ace Hardware offers to replace outdated doorknobs and handles.

    Multi-Skilled Craftsmen Tip: If you are changing the color of the handle (for example, from a brass to a bronze), you might consider changing out the hinges so that all the hardware matches and will pop with your new look!

    3. Bathroom Refresh vs a Bathroom Remodel

    During the holiday season, one of the most visited rooms is going to be the guest bathroom. A full bathroom remodel takes a lot of time, work and money, not to mention how frustrating it is to have a long project disrupt your life. So, rather than adding stress to the end of the year, here are a few simple ways to give this room a refresh that make a big impact:

    a. Update the Sink

    An outdated sink will tarnish the look of your bathroom. Luckily, a few cosmetic changes can give it a new life. For example, if you have a ceramic sink in an aged pastel color, call a Craftsman to drop in a new bowl with a fresh white finish. For an additional touch, have him paint your vanity a bold new shade to add a beautiful contrast to your bathroom.

    b. New Fixtures

    A new set of lighting fixtures will add a level of detail that you will appreciate every day. Lights aren’t the only fixtures you can upgrade—swap out your faucets, towel bars and other fixtures for something chic. https://www.acehardware.com/search?pageSize=30&query=light+fixtures&categoryId=219
    If you really want to make your bathroom feel like a spa, upgrade your showerhead to a modern spa head: https://www.acehardware.com/departments/plumbing/tub-and-shower/shower-heads
    These are the changes that will transform an entire room.

    c. Accent Tile

    Replacing the tile in your bathroom can be costly and time-consuming. Instead, opt to add accent tiles. Place them in the shower or over the sink. Our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen can complete this job in a short amount of time, giving you an impressive, new-looking bathroom just in time for the holidays.

    Don’t let the prospect of a full remodel discourage you. Creating a bathroom you’re proud of is just a few upgrades away. So, what are you waiting for? Click here and do the fun part, pick out your new look and let us handle the rest.

    Book Online Button

    Refresh Your Home For The Holidays

    As the temperature starts to drop and the smell of pumpkin spice permeates every store you enter, it’s a clear sign the holidays are right around the corner. With it comes wonderful times with family and friends gathered in your home for delicious food and warm memories. 

    Before company arrives, you may want to spruce up your living space; (perhaps to impress your Great-Aunt Helen)? Below are a few ways to create some new bold statements for your home that will make it look more inviting for the season.  

    1. Paint Accent Wall or Room

    An easy way to add dramatic flair and a touch of elegance to your home is by painting a wall an accent color. Adding a pop of color to a select wall in your room creates a simple, yet exciting upgrade that will make a big impact.

    Uncertain about selecting the color that will show your room to its best effect? Head to the Ace Hardware website and take advantage of The Paint Studio, a terrific tool that takes the guess work out of picking the perfect color. This is a paint visualizer that enables you to test a selection of tones by simply uploading a photo of the room you’d like to paint, and then exploring how a variety of different colors would look in your home.

    https://www.acehardware.com/thepaintstudio/tipstools/visualizer

    Want more ideas? Benjamin Moore just recently released their Color Trends of 2022. This is a result of exhaustive consumer research that identifies “what’s next” in color. This year’s October Mist 1495 truly stands out. On its website, Benjamin Moore says October Mist 1495 “makes room for creativity, evoking the silver-green stem of a flower. It creates a canvas for other colors–and your imagination—to blossom…” 

    Additionally, Benjamin Moore has selected a palette to complement its color of the year selection. “The Color Trends 2022 palette of 14 hues, which includes October Mist, is harmonious yet diverse, reliable yet whimsical, and meditative, yet eclectic. With its endless number of invigorating combinations, this palette provides effortless harmony for any paint project, and every design style.”

    https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/color-overview/color-palettes/color-of-the-year-2022?gclid=CjwKCAjwq9mLBhB2EiwAuYdMtR_ZWU9X42_eRvmEuPPyYt3NddSrTaAt5blOfMJbSgXw8PGBIn5BcBoCxCMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Multi-Skilled Craftsmen Tip: There are a variety of bold color options, but if that seems a little overwhelming to you, consider a slight hue adjustment on one wall.  By staying in the same color wheel and changing the shade a tone or two, you’ll give the room a subtle depth that the brain will appreciate, but the eye won’t particularly notice. 

    Once you have selected the ideal color for your new accent wall, head to your local Ace Hardware where they can help you “test drive” some colors by giving you some samples.  And if you already know the shade you want, they can help you select the perfect paint for the type and size of room. 

    Too busy with other holiday preparations to tackle the job yourself?  Then give your local Ace Handyman Services a call, and our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen will complete your accent wall project before your guests arrive. 

    Whether it’s just a simple paint project or you have some nail holes, drywall, trim or caulking in need of repair, we can help. If you are a DIY’er, refer to our previous blogs about repairing drywall before you begin to paint your new accent wall.  And remember: We are always here to make your holiday prep easy.

    https://www.acehandymanservices.com/blog/2021/06/30/we-all-have-walls-that-need-some-love/

    2. Upgrade/Fix Doorknobs and Handles

    Loose or outdated doorknobs and handles are something all homeowners must deal with at some point in time. 

    There are two ways to think about upgrades. The first is function – making the current hardware work. The second is taking function to a new level of upgraded design and delight – replacing the old, outdated hardware with doorknobs and handles that are more contemporary and will enhance the look of your home.

    Function

    To fix and tighten your doorknobs:

    Basic and most mid-level handles typically have two exposed screws on either side of the interior handle – all you need is a narrow-shaft Phillips head screwdriver to tighten the handle. TIP – Move back and forth between each screw as you tighten, for best results.

    Higher end handles:

    • Remove the current knob or handle.
      • To do so, find the set screw (or small push button), which is normally found on the side of the inside door handle and, using an Allen wrench (or small flat screwdriver), loosen the screw (or push the pin) and remove the handle by pulling it toward you. 
    • Once the handle is removed, you will need to remove the escutcheon plate.

    Multi-Skilled Craftsmen Tip: Remove the plate carefully with a flathead screwdriver, taking care to avoid damaging the back plate. 

    • After you remove the base, you should see a set of screws. Carefully hold on to the outside backing plate to keep it from moving, tighten each screw separately.
    • Last, put the base and handle back on together, making sure each piece is flush and every screw is secure. 

    After following these steps, if you’re still having trouble, or if you have any pieces of new hardware you’d like installed, give your local Ace Handyman Services Multi-Skilled Craftsmen a call–we can absolutely help you with that. 

    Upgrading your doorknobs and handles

    Although doors don’t seem like they’d make a huge difference to the aesthetic of your home, they are one of the most predominant features.  When you update the look of your doors and their knobs, you are upgrading major surfaces that are on display to you and your guests all the time. Take a look at some great options your local Ace Hardware offers to replace outdated doorknobs and handles: 

    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/door-knobs-and-locks?query=doorknobs

    Multi-Skilled Craftsmen Tip: If you are changing the color of the handle (for example, from a brass to a bronze), you might consider changing out the hinges so that all the hardware matches and will pop with your new look!

    3. Bathroom Refresh vs a Bathroom Remodel

    During the holiday season, one of the most visited rooms is going to be the guest bathroom. A full bathroom remodel takes a lot of time, work and money, not to mention how frustrating it is to have a long project disrupt your life. So, rather than adding stress to the end of the year, here are a few simple ways to give this room a refresh that make a big impact:

    a. Update the Sink

    An outdated sink will tarnish the look of your bathroom. Luckily, a few cosmetic changes can give it a new life. For example, if you have a ceramic sink in an aged pastel color, call a Craftsman to drop in a new bowl with a fresh white finish. For an additional touch, have him paint your vanity a bold new shade to add a beautiful contrast to your bathroom.

    b. New Fixtures

    A new set of lighting fixtures will add a level of detail that you will appreciate every day. Lights aren’t the only fixtures you can upgrade—swap out your faucets, towel bars and other fixtures for something chic. https://www.acehardware.com/search?pageSize=30&query=light+fixtures&categoryId=219

    If you really want to make your bathroom feel like a spa, upgrade your showerhead to a modern spa head: https://www.acehardware.com/departments/plumbing/tub-and-shower/shower-heads

    These are seemingly small changes that can transform an entire room.

    c. Accent Tile

    Replacing the tile in your bathroom can be costly and time-consuming. Instead, opt to add accent tiles. Place them in the shower or over the sink. Our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen can complete this job in a short amount of time, giving you an impressive, new-looking bathroom just in time for the holidays. https://www.acehardware.com/departments/building-supplies/walls-floors-and-ceiling/wall-tiles

    Don’t let the prospect of a full remodel discourage you. Creating a bathroom you’re proud of is just a few upgrades away. So, what are you waiting for? Click here and do the fun part, pick out your new look and let us handle the rest.

    Seasonal Maintenance Tips and Tricks

    You can feel it every morning. Fall is in the air.  



    Fall and winter maintenance is one of those things that everyone knows they should do, but it is often difficult to find time or energy to get done right.  



    There are nice-to-do maintenance items and the must-do items – This month, we’ll address the must-dos that help prevent damage to your home and cover a few of the nice-to-dos, as well. Remember: if just reading these steps seems overwhelming, know you can always call Ace Handyman Services and we’ll tackle them for you. Click on this link, enter your zip code and get in touch with us to get the help you need: 

    https://www.acehandymanservices.com  

    Yards

    Not many homeowners enjoy sacrificing a beautiful fall weekend to rake, clean gutters and do a full fall yard cleanup, but it is truly necessary. The importance of clearing debris away from your yard before a deep freeze or snowfall hits is pivotal for your backyard oasis to come back early and healthy next spring.   



    Here are some Craftsmen-Approved lists that can make your end-of-season maintenance chores go faster and smoother. And always remember, if these tasks seem too daunting, or you’re too busy to get them done, give your local Ace Handyman Services a call and we can take care of your seasonal cleanup for you.  

    MUST DO: Leaf Removal  

    Grass won’t tolerate the thick layers of leaves or pine needles that start piling up when the fall breezes come through. If you want a healthy and lush lawn next year, you need to break out the rake. Leaving a thick layer of fallen leaves on top of your lawn prevents sunshine from reaching the turf and it provides a cozy area for mold, bacteria, pests, and weed seeds. If you don’t deal with the leaves at all, come spring your lawn will be patchy, and you’ll be looking at more work to get it healthy. 



    FIRST: Care for yourself

    To begin, ensuring you have the right tools to execute this task can make the process more efficient. As simple as it sounds, a short rake equals an aching back. Make sure your rake handle is long enough to prevent unnecessary and constant bending over. Make sure the handle is either cushioned or well-painted to avoid splinters and blisters. Ace Hardware has what you need. 



    NEXT: Save time

    Most homeowners find that a leaf blower is a big help. Ace Hardware has lots of choices, from cordless to electric; either will make the task go faster and more efficiently. If possible, team up, with one person on the rake and the other on the blower. You might be surprised at how much more quickly you’ll be finished – for most, it’s three times as fast. 

    To find the right tools, head to your local Ace Hardware and check out their selection of rakes and leaf blowers: 

    Rakes: https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lawn-and-garden/gardening-tools/rakes  

    Leaf Blowers: https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lawn-and-garden/outdoor-power-equipment/leaf-blowers 



    • As you begin to rake, be efficient – use quick, small reaching movements to drag the leaves. 
    • Create small piles (around a larger yard) so you avoid having one large pile that will be difficult to move later. 
    • Once you have your leaves in piles, rake them onto a tarp to easily move the piled leaves to where you want them.  
    • For the lucky folks who don’t have a lot of leaves in their yard, these can be mowed and mulched, adding nutrients to the soil. 


    PRO TIP: To speed up the raking, using a leaf mulching vacuum makes the job go even more quickly and is easier on your back. It also saves on trash bags and helps the environment.  The mulch can be used in your landscaping or garden. 

    MUST DO: Gutter Cleaning

    It’s time to look up now – and get out the ladder 



    FIRST: Care for yourself

    Fall leaves don’t all end up on the ground. So, it’s time to get on the ladder. Make sure you have the right one for the job; an extension ladder is probably the safest, most appropriate for the job.  



    In the US last year, more than 164,000 people ended up in emergency rooms from ladder falls. Ask yourself: should you invest in an extension ladder, or call Ace Handyman Services and have a professional Craftsman tackle the job for you? 



    Another safety measure you must take is wearing a protective set of work gloves. These will protect your hands from any sharp edges on the gutters or any hazardous debris that may have ended up in your gutters. There are many options you can choose from at your local Ace Hardware:  https://www.acehardware.com/departments/tools/workwear-and-safety-gear/work-gloves . 



    Leaves, water, and debris sitting in your gutters can freeze when the colder weather moves in, causing backups and additional weight that can cause wear and tear, as well as pulling your gutters down. Gutter cleaning is not difficult, it’s just risky – if your gutters are hard to reach or you don’t feel comfortable on a ladder, book one of our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen to handle the job.  



    • Safety is the most important aspect of cleaning your gutters. Make sure someone knows you’re up on the ladder. Better yet, have them with you, holding it secure from the lower steps. 
    • Most falls are a result of “overreaching.” Take the time to continually move your extension ladder to keep your center of gravity over the ladder, and not out to the side, where you put yourself at greater risk. 


    NEXT: Get the leaves out and make certain water flows freely

    • Once safely up on the ladder, start removing debris from the gutters (use your gloved hands to scoop out the debris)  
    • Finally, take a garden hose and flush the water through the gutters to remove lingering debris and to ensure water flows freely out the downspout, away from your foundation. 


    By cleaning your gutters and executing proper maintenance, they can last up to 30 years. Clogged gutters cause significant damage to homes that results in major, costly home repair. 



    PRO TIP: Do not forget about the downspouts! If these are clogged, you still have a big problem. It may be necessary to disconnect them to access the jam that is typically at an elbow and to remove any additional lodged materials.



    PRO TIP: The purpose of gutters is to get drainage far from your house and foundation. So in addition to water flow, make sure no gutter sections are damaged and no pieces are missing, including the extensions at the bottom that divert water away from your home’s foundation.

    MUST DO: Clearing Out Sprinkler System Lines

    As colder temperatures set in, you’ll need to blow out your sprinkler system, to prevent frozen water from causing serious damage.  



    Here are the steps to ensure your sprinkler system is properly winterized: 

    • Shut down/turn off the timer/so that it stops cycling 
    • Find the main water supply valve and shut it off 
    • Find the spigot closest to the manifold 
    • Hook up air hose adapter 
    • Hook up the air hose from your compressor 
    • Adjust compressor to 80 psi (minimum) and build up pressure 
    • Manually open the zone valve for the zone you are on 
    • Let the air run to force the water out – you will see when the the water stops running 
    • Close that zone valve 
    • Move on to the next zone and repeat, until all zones are clear of water 
    • Drain the back flow preventer
    • Shut down/turn off the timer/so that it stops cycling 
    • Find the main water supply valve and shut it off 
    • Find the spigot closest to the manifold 
    • Hook up air hose adapter 
    • Hook up the air hose from your compressor 
    • Adjust compressor to 80 psi (minimum) and build up pressure 
    • Manually open the zone valve for the zone you are on 
    • Let the air run to force the water out – you will see when the the water stops running 
    • Close that zone valve 
    • Move on to the next zone and repeat, until all zones are clear of water 
    • Drain the back flow preventer  
    • (if this list is overwhelming, call Ace Handman Services and we’ll help you with that!) 


    PRO TIP: The backflow preventer is a vital part of the system and is very expensive to replace so it is worth the extra steps to remove the vent cap dome and diaphragm below to make sure you break the vacuum seal and all water has drained from the device. 

    NICE TO DO: Fertilize Your Lawn

    Once your lawn is leaf free, this is a great time to care for your grass—so by next spring it’s the greenest in the neighborhood. Fall’s cooler temperatures and morning dew provide the perfect weather to fertilize your lawn to regain its strength from that summer heat.  



    Jessica, Brand Ambassador at Scotts® says, “Fall is the best time to fertilize as it helps your lawn develop a stronger root system over the winter months for a thicker, more vigorous lawn the following spring. Watering is optional [after fertilizing], but it will activate the fertilizer and begin the feeding process. You can simply wait until the next rainfall unless your daytime temperatures will exceed 85 degrees. If temperatures are extremely high, we do recommend watering immediately after application.”  



    You can find Scotts fertilizer, and more options, at your local Ace Hardware:  https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lawn-and-garden/scotts/scotts-lawn-fertilizer  



    PRO TIP:  If you can time spreading the fertilizer just before a rain or snow fall, that can yield best results, ensuring little blows away or concerns of pets or kids in the yard. Also using a quality spreader is key to providing an accurate and even coat.  

    NICE TO DO: Garden Maintenance

    Caring for your garden now will make a huge difference next spring. Before the ground gets too hard from the colder temperatures, remove weeds and debris. This will deter insects from creating a home in your garden throughout the winter. If you have perennials throughout your garden, make sure you cut back all the dead growth to give the plant a fresh start for the following spring.  



    Just reading these must-dos and nice-to-do list can make any homeowner feel overwhelmed. Fall and winter maintenance is an important seasonal task for any home, whether it be in the coldest zones in the northern US or even down in Texas, where hard freezes occurred in 2020, resulting $130 billion in damage.   



    We want to do all we can to help you avoid putting these maintenance steps off, either by assisting you in doing some of these things yourself or by picking up the phone and calling Ace Handyman Services – we are here for our neighbors so you can have a worry-free changing of the season. We can help you with that! 

    Home Fire Prevention and What You Need to Know to Protect Your Family

    Fire. It’s a horrible thought. But what would be worse is not being prepared for it. Most people think having extinguishers and smoke detectors is enough, but it’s equally important where they are located and how they are mounted when building a fire prevention plan. At Ace Handyman Services, we can help you keep your family safe by making certain your current preventive tools are fully operational and helping you think through what you might be missing. 

    We can collaborate with you to make sure you feel prepared. There are two main areas to focus on – Prevention and Protection.

    It’s interesting to know the history of Fire Prevention Week – which always occurs the week of October 9th – is rooted in a significant event that changed how Americans started thinking about prevention. To learn more about the history of Fire Prevention Week, keep reading below!

    So, you might be wondering, what are the “must haves” to take greater comfort in being prepared and keeping your family safe?

    PREVENTION: Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    Taking preventative cautions with the right tools is the foundation of protecting your home. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors need to be installed throughout your home. Place these on every level, in every bedroom and right outside sleeping areas, including your basement. You must make sure these devices have fresh batteries. Testing your alarms monthly is highly recommended. These detectors also have a limited lifespan of 5 to 7 years, so make sure they are replaced when needed. Our Multi-Skilled Craftsman will get these properly installed for you to give your family peace of mind, not just with placement, but also with battery replacement and testing.

    To shop online for the detectors for your home, click on the links below: 
    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/fire-safety/smoke-detectors?query=smoke%20detector

    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/fire-safety/carbon-monoxide-detectors

    PREVENTION: Areas to Clean to Prevent Fires

    Thousands of homes are destroyed due to a failure to clean out dryer vents and furnace filters. Lint filters need to be cleaned before and after every load of laundry and brushed every 6 months with a nylon brush. The vent pipe should be cleared out every 3 months as well. Furnace filters should also be replaced because after filtering out dust and other particles, if it isn’t replaced, the furnace can overheat and start a fire. This should be done every 90 days, but if you have pets, then it drops to every 60 days. In the midst of a busy schedule, it is easy to overlook these vital areas. Call a Multi-Skilled Craftsman today, and we can get it done for you.

    PROTECTION: Fire Extinguishers

    After your detectors are installed, a fire extinguisher is the next step in protecting your home. Extinguishers use a rating system to understand their appropriate use. The higher the number, the more powerful it is. The letters reflect the type of fire. For example, 5:B-C:

    • A means fires that can be put out by water, 
    • B are fires from flammable liquids like grease, and 
    • C fires stem from electrical equipment. 

    Getting a multi-purpose extinguisher that can range up to 40:B-C is highly recommended by experts. Once purchased, have one of our Multi-Skilled Craftsman install one in an easy-to-reach area for when emergencies arise. Best practices say to have them in kitchens, near any source of heat, on each floor of your home and in garages.

    To shop online for the right fire extinguisher for your home, click this link: 
    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/fire-safety/fire-extinguishers.

    Once you have the correct extinguisher for your home, it’s imperative to learn how to use it in case of an emergency—you will not have time to read the directions if something happens. 

    A simple way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is the PASS TechniquePull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep

    • Pull the pin from the handle
    • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire (not at the top of the flames)
    • Squeeze the handle
    • Sweep the stream from side to side until the fire is out

    Remember, fire extinguishers are only intended for immediate use for small fires or to create a short escape route. First call 911 for any fire in your home, because fires spread quickly. Then reach for your extinguisher and get the family out of the house.

    We are here to keep you safe, Neighbor

    Taking these fire safety precautions can be the difference in saving your valuables, home and even lives. We know your family’s safety is a serious matter. Reach out to your local Ace Handyman Services, and we will take the time to give you peace of mind.

    For more Fire Prevention Tips: https://tips.acehardware.com/blogs/fire-prevention-tips/

    History of Fire Prevention Week

    Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

    Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

    How AHS Started: The Andy Bell Story

    Last month, we told the story of what makes an Ace Handyman Services Craftsman. This month, we’ll tell you the story of its founder and how it all got started. We caught him in his pottery studio in his backyard over the weekend, doing what he loves. 

    “Finding and retaining kind, servant-hearted people has allowed us to grow at a rate that connects us to so many communities,” said Andy Bell, Founder and CEO of Ace Handyman Services.  

    “I set out 24 years ago to build a beautiful company with beautiful people, and always knew the rest would sort itself out,” said a smiling Bell, from his shed, with a block of new clay and a potter’s wheel in Lakewood, Colorado. 

    And the company is setting records, both in year-over-year growth and territory expansion.  

    The Idea Started in the Basement of His Home 

    Twenty-four years ago, Andy Bell thought the home improvement industry needed to change, for the better. There was a lack of dependable, trustworthy professional organizations in the handyman lane, whom the homeowner could count on.  It was simply hard to get a commitment on getting work done, on time and on budget, reliably and ethically for all involved.  He believed it could be changed for the better.   

    Bell started with a service business that could be more than fixing things for customers who were neighbors – he thought it could earn its way to becoming the homeowner’s ally. A company that could be counted on, not just in the completion of the work, but also in its timeliness and quality. That could earn trust by making promises and keeping them. That employed men and women who would be treated with dignity and respect, sometimes for the very first time in their careers. 

    Turns out, he was right – and Ace Hardware knew it too – and today, the franchise is growing faster than any other in the home improvement category. 

    It All Starts with Beautiful People Treating Each Other with Dignity and Respect  

    We are all seeking the right people, and they will grow into the job with gusto if they know you have their backs, in good times and in tough times. For Ace Handyman Services, it all revolves around supporting the Craftsmen and our highly functional office staff.  There is a true art to being a Craftsman, and these old-world skills are as valuable today as they were 100 years ago. We do 1,162 different home repairs around residential and commercial properties—no day is the same—and each project requires organization, communication and an artist-like approach to conducting the completion of this wide variety of canvases and mediums.  The trades are important, the people in the trades are important and the handyman has emerged as one of the most important allies to the preservation of our greatest assets: our homes.   

    Hey, you might know this person. They come from all walks of life. They’re in the trades, sure as carpenters and remodelers. But they’re also the guys in their garage when they get home, or helping their neighbors fix things in their homes. They might be retired. They might be in a job that they don’t truly love.  

    Andy started as a Craftsman, deployed from his basement, and has high reverence for the very special “kind” of Craftsman it takes to work with Ace Handyman Services. 

    “As the world moves deeply into artificial intelligence, automation, algorithms and high tech, there will always be a need for those artists who have the skills to work with their hands. I’ve not seen a robot that can artfully repair holes in drywall, repair a hardwood floor or repair torn linoleum.”   

    But an Ace Handyman Multi-Skilled Craftsman is set way apart from the industry because they all must have a passion to serve customers and improve the customer’s life.   

    “We hire for heart – a servant heart – someone who is driven to make lives better, every day. It just happens to be with a hammer.” 

    Ace Handyman Services hires those with humility and an ability to both communicate and adapt to the tremendous diversity and creativity required to complete 1,162 different home improvement projects.   

    “Most notably, we treat the Craftsman with a level of service unlike anyone in the industry – an office staff that removes the scheduling and paperwork and a support system that surprises those who have never been treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve,” says Bell. 

    The industry looks past the person and just wants the work done. Ace Handyman Services reveres the person and supports them to get the work done. For most, it’s a stark contrast to what they have experienced in the past. 

    How It All Started – A Desire to be a Better Father, Family Man and Community Member

    Andy made a name for himself in high end restaurants – much of the customer service that his customers have come to expect comes from that heritage.

    “I always loved making a special dinner even a bit more special; with a kind word, a story or just a simple thank you for joining us tonight,” said Bell reflecting on his restaurant days. 

    But for him, the restaurant industry did not fit his desire to be a good father and family man, and with his first child on the way, he decided to break out and start a handyman company.   

    His wife, Colette, who leads Franchise Development, tells the story, that out of the basement of their suburban home, he used to tell her that “We’re going to build the largest handyman company in the world. He’s never stopped believing that, and it’s on its way to happening.” 

    But Andy isn’t just a dreamer, he’s a doer.  He maintains that same vigor and vitality, with that same belief that is taking Ace Handyman Services by storm. He starts his day early, very early, and then balances his life with work stopping at dinner to spend the evenings with his family.  The franchise is adding more than 100 new territories this year, and 61 last year in the pandemic, and the numbers will more than double every year for the next five. 

    Relentless Desire to Serve His Franchise Owners Who Do the Same for Customers 

    Indestructible optimism is the best way to describe his personal brand.   

    “The Handyman is so valuable and important, however not accepted as a Trade category.  We stand beside all trades and are some of the most talented Craftsmen in the industry–well-rounded, capable of listening, being pragmatic and completing projects in a professional and timely manner.  Our franchise owners are hand-picked for their leadership skills, community care, business acumen and the love of our lane, the Handyman lane.”   

    Ace Handyman Services schedules an exact time to show up, quickly assesses the job(s) with its customers and completes the projects in alignment with the customer’s wishes.  This coordination is duplicated time and time again by the great leaders in its franchise body.   

    “We have some of the most talented people in any industry leading a charge to gain credibility in an industry that is still learning who and what it is,” said Bell.  

    The Future

    When you probe him on what’s next, in developing the territories around all Ace Hardware Retailers, serving customers, and bringing helpful to their homes, you see a twinkle in his eye and you know this handyman industry and Ace Handyman Services will indeed be the treasure of home preservation, an advocate for the trades and will very soon become the world’s largest handyman company, period. 

    Ace Handyman Services Nashville/Guthrie’s Ace Hardware Owner Cole Guthrie states, “When I first started, I knew there was a need for a premium handyman white glove service, one that I personally trust being in the home with my wife without me present. One with a trusted brand, trusted name. So, we jumped in looking to get that done with Ace Handyman Services. Once involved, I figured out that Andy Bell has figured this model out and he had spent the 20+ years really building an infrastructure for a great business. The model is after Bringing Helpful To Your Home, and it really does stand for that.“

    What is an Ace Handyman Multi-Skilled Craftsman?

    Defined 

    The Oxford dictionary defines Multi-Skilled as “having a range of skills or abilities.” 

    A Multi-Skilled Craftsman is like a rocket scientist – we all know they do something special, but we aren’t sure where they come from, let alone what they do. Today, you’ll know both. Unlike a degree that makes you a rocket scientist, it takes a Craftsman decades to become multi-skilled.  

    Our Craftsman come from a wide range of varying backgrounds and skills. The amazing men and women that make up our team are truly the homeowner’s secret weapon, designed to tackle a wide range of household challenges. 

    But more than that, these tasks require true creativity that can only be learned from years of being in the trades. It’s the Multi-Skilled Craftsmen at Ace Handyman Services who make everything in our company work.  

    Quite simply put, a Multi-Skilled Craftsman is someone who can do so much for so many, in so many ways. 

    How it all began 

    The founder of our company started with a simple notion – to bring ethics and integrity to home improvement. He identified two critical problems:   

    Tradesmen and women frequently weren’t treated with the respect and dignity they deserved by the very companies they were working for. 

    Secondly, our founder had experienced the same frustrations that many of our customers have dealt with: no-shows, late shows, or no call-backs from either the tradespeople or the company they’d hired to show up and do the work. 

    No one was being treated properly. Yet he was audacious enough to believe he could change the industry. And he still believes that today. 

    How it all works 

    Our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen show up on time, do the work as directed by the homeowner, and gather more 5-Star ratings than any other home repair business, because we’ve been at it for more than 20 years. We have developed extensive scheduling, estimating, and training programs, all geared to ensure the Craftsman will be at your home exactly as promised. We call the night before to confirm the project list and we text when we are on the way – all experiences that are new to most homeowners. It’s this reliability, as well as the 1-year guarantee, and precision of the work from these artists, that make Ace Handyman Services stand out in the industry. 

    How we find them – What does it take to work for Ace? 

    The best of the best are more than artists with their hands and skills from years of learning. They have servant hearts with a desire to make our customers’ lives better.  Our customers aren’t just our clients; we consider them our neighbors.  

    These men and women come mostly from the trades; many are former carpenters, and many are retired from other lives and careers. You know them: They are in their garages, always working on something – whether it be fixing their own homes or helping with a neighbor’s repairs.  They are building things with their hands, anything from furniture and cabinets to skateboards and pottery. They have hidden talents from a lifetime of doing it themselves.  

    CraftsmanCraft

    A Multi-Skilled Craftsman 

    Our men and women are more than artists. They take pride in their work and treat everything like it’s their own blank canvas. They approach each challenge with a lifetime of skills. They delight in fixing the unfixable and solving the unsolvable. Their minds uniquely see ways to make something work and have the skills with their hands to make it happen. They are friends and neighbors, family men and women with a giving heart. 

    Does this Sound Like Someone You Know? 

    You probably didn’t’ realize how much there is to being a Craftsman. In fact, an Ace Handyman Services Craftsman is so unusual, they are hard to find. Do you know someone like this? Do you have a friend or neighbor like this?  

    What do our Craftsmen say? 

    Most Ace Craftsmen will tell you that we are different than any place they have ever worked, because we have a whole team behind them. We find the work for them, and schedule it in such a way that allows them to go home every night to be with their families and friends. They understand that we treat everyone, from the boss to the newest person, with dignity and respect. They love the independence of a job being their job, with no boss peering over their shoulder, as they build creative solutions to unique challenges. They like being known by name by their customers and called for the next time the homeowner has a list. It’s the best of both worlds – being scheduled and cared for, but being independent and trusted. 

    Delivering on Our Craftsman Promise – A Balanced Life 

    The day truly ends at the end of their day. They are not up late doing paperwork – collecting from previously finished jobs, or paying their teams, or doing estimates for work that is yet to come. They go home at night with the confidence that the next day’s schedule is already in place. For many, it’s the first time they’ve had balance in their lives since they bought their first tool. 

    Our whole company is set up to serve those who serve our customers. Office managers take pride in making their Craftsmen’s lives work and having their next day in place. Owners are the same. They care for their Craftsmen like family. They flex schedules so these men and women can enjoy a proper work/life balance. They offer paid vacations and benefits. They carefully hire teams around them, more equally servant-hearted staff that will ensure the process remains consistent and true to our founder’s original vision: respect for one and all. 

    So, if you were wondering how we do what we do – know that it all starts and finishes by serving the Craftsman – so that she or he can do what they love, in a way that they believe works best for you, our customer and our neighbor.   

    (Now you know) 

    We all have walls that need some love.

    Walls. 

    The walls of your home are created by a material that goes by a number of descriptions, including drywall, plasterboard, wallboard, sheet rock or gypsum board. You almost certainly have more drywall than any other material in your home. When it is prepped, textured, and painted, no one particularly notices it. But when it is worn, broken or damaged, it’s hard to see anything else. In fact, drywall repair is the number one category on our neighbors’ to-do lists. After you read this, you’ll know why. 

    What’s in the core of drywall? 

    It is made of a simple material – a powdery white or gray sulfate material – odorless and non-toxic, that has many uses ranging from soil conditioner to cement. When this fragile material is compressed between two sheets of a paper substance, that gives it its strength to be transported, applied and finished. 

    We all have walls that need some love. 

    Now that summer is here, most activities have moved outside, which makes this the perfect time to address the damage your drywall may have sustained during wintertime indoor activities. Ace Handyman Services is happy to help in getting your walls looking their best once more. Give us a call or book online now to schedule one of our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen to repair your drywall. 

    The task. 

    With drywall sheets and a few simple tools, walls can easily be repaired. The hitch, though, is that building with it and patching it takes great skills that borders on artistry. That’s why most of us seek help in its final finish to make beautiful spaces in our homes. 

    The Choice—DIY or a Multi-Skilled Craftsman? 

    There are two avenues in working with drywall – DIY or hiring professionals. Let’s cover the basics for doing it yourself. If, after understanding the “how,” you think “uh, not for me,” know that we’ve got you covered. 

    The “How To” for you to do it yourself. 

    If you are that DIY enthusiast, these Ace Handyman Services Multi-Skilled Craftsman- Approved Steps below will help you through your drywall repair. 

    First, identify what type of hole you are patching. If it’s a hole the size of a nail or even the size of a dime, you can use a product called spackle. If you are connecting two pieces of drywall together or patching a larger hole—say little Timmy’s soccer ball was kicked through your wall—you’ll need more materials such as drywall tape, joint compound and probably even a new piece of drywall to fill most of the hole.  

    Repairing Smaller Holes: 

    With your spackle and a putty knife:  

    • Scrape a dime-sized amount of spackle onto the knife and apply a thin coat of spackle into the holes. Make sure the holes are filled, and then even out the surface. 

    • Once it is dry, look for shrinkage. Larger holes may require a second or even light third application. 

    • Lightly wet-sand the areas where you used the spackle, so you have an even surface to the wall. 

    • If you have texture and the hole is larger – you may want to add some texture to help hide the repair. 

    • Then you are ready to touch up the wall with the existing paint color. 

    Tip: Head to your local Ace Hardware and select a new paint color to create that accent wall you’ve always wanted. 

    Repairing Larger Holes: 

    If the hole you are patching is bigger than 2 inches (about the size of a doorknob), you will need to follow the large-hole process. This is true for holes from 2 inches to a full wall. 

    The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare the opening.  

    • Trim the edges of the hole to create straight sides and a square or rectangular shape. Use a square and a level to draw a box around the entire hole – use a drywall knife to cut along those lines. 

    • Once you have a square or rectangle cut out, take your tape measure and measure the size of the hole. 

    • Cut a new piece of drywall that will fit into the opening. 

    Tip: Make sure there is no wiring or plumbing behind the drywall before you start cutting. 

    The next step is to install Drywall Repair Clips—you can find these at your local Ace Hardware (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/patch-and-repair/drywall-tape/1223494)  

    • Take 4 clips (one clip per side) and slide them into the existing opening. These will support the new piece of drywall you are going to install. 

    • Use a screwdriver to install drywall screws about an inch and a half below the opening, in line with the drywall repair clip. The screw will drive into the clip and secure it in the hole. 

    Now it’s time to place the new drywall that you measured into the hole. Keep in mind, because of the clips, you may have to fine-tune the drywall cut-out. You can do this with some sandpaper or a file so that the new piece fits snugly into the hole. 

    • Now install the screws into the clip to hold the new piece of drywall in place. 

    • Next, use a pair of plyers to break off the pieces of the clip that you see above the surface. 

    Tip: Use the edge of a putty knife to scrape along the entire patch to make sure everything lies flat, and you have an even surface before continuing to the next step. 

    Speed Tip:  If you are creative, a speed pro tip is to use a backer board instead of repair clips. This will make the finishing time faster. Cut a small piece of lumber (such as a 1×2) about 4-6 inches longer than the widest measurement of your hole. Fish that board in behind the wall and pull it tight against the back of the existing drywall. Tap in a screw from the existing drywall into the end of the board to hold it in place. Then you can screw your new piece of drywall directly to that board that is now spanning across the center of your opening. 

    Next, pick up some fiber mesh tape (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/patch-and-repair/drywall-tape/13510). This tape is the best for drywall repair because it is self-adhesive and simple to use. Tape along each crack so all four sides are covered.  

    Now it’s time to apply the joint compound. There are quite a few options when picking out the right type and amount. Head to your local Ace Hardware or give your Ace Handyman Services a call, and our Craftsmen can assist you in making that decision.  

    • Take your putty knife and scoop some joint compound onto the surface. 

    • Spread the compound over the drywall area until thoroughly covered. 

    • Smooth it out as best you can without over-working the compound. 

    • Let dry completely. 

    • When dry, sand down any ridges or high spots. 

    • Repeat these steps three times so you have three thin layers of joint compound.  

    Each layer will spread out away from the previous areas by a few inches to help ‘float’ out the patch and will help blend the repair into the existing wall. 

    Tip: The key is to apply thin, even coats. Avoid building up the compound so heavily that it creates “humps” along the wall. 

    • Use a fine grit sanding sponge or paper to sand all the ridges of what you patched and create a smooth surface that is even with the existing wall. 

    • Then paint! 

    Again, as we mentioned at the top of this page, drywall repair can be tricky. So, if after reading these Craftsman-Approved, step-by-step processes you decide you need some additional help, do not hesitate to call your local Ace Handyman Services. Our Craftsmen repair drywall all the time and will make sure that your wall is repaired how you want it, in a timely fashion, with their work guaranteed.  

    Hey there, Neighbor

    Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘neighbor’ as “one living or located near another.” The word ‘neighbor’ has been defined in most religious and sociological texts as someone special. Someone who is valuable and important to making society prosper. These definitions exemplify exactly what YOU are: Our Neighbor, and more.

    We see each one of our customers as a neighbor. We believe that beyond fixing things and making life better for our customers, we have a commitment to the communities in which we serve. That means on and off the job. You are welcoming us into your most special place – your home. As your neighbor, we don’t take that responsibility lightly. It’s not just about doing the work; it’s about delighting you as our neighbor. It’s far more than just a business transaction to us.

    Most don’t know that Andy Bell founded our company more than 20 years ago, with a much-needed change to the industry: To bring ethics and integrity to home improvement. It all started from his basement in 1998 because he wanted to change the world, one community at a time. It’s that same vision that drives us today, that same desire to do more than the work—to treat others with the dignity and respect that serve as a foundation for healthy relationships and a better society.

     “Your home is a private and personal space that we have the privilege of being invited into to help solve your problems and bring joy to owning a home. Thank you for the gift of allowing us to be your neighborly home ally; it truly makes us happy! 
    – Andy Bell, CEO

    It’s personal. It’s your home. You have unique challenges. We get that. That’s why, when you call, you reach a live full-time professional on our team, not a recording, to help you get what you want—completing projects to make your life better.

    So please know, you are not a customer to us. You are a Neighbor. Someone we delight in serving. It’s personal for you, and it’s personal for us.

    How To Maintain Your Deck This Summer

    Hey there, neighbor—do you have wobbly deck railings, loose nails popping up, or little Johnny just came in crying with a splinter? If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to do a little repair or replacement work to your deck.

    Maintaining your deck is more than just making it look nice and safe for your family and guests—it’s completing Ace Hardware’s Three C’s of Deck Maintenance. Now, if these Three C’s sound a little overwhelming, give your local Ace Handyman Services a call; we can come to your backyard and complete them all for you and have your deck looking new again! Now let’s “hammer” down just what Ace’s Three C’s are.

    1. CHECK Your Deck’s Condition

    The first step to maintaining your deck is identifying the damage. There are a few key ways to check its condition and to determine whether you need to re-stain, or if you might have mold or mildew that will require treating.

    To test your deck to see if it’s ready to stain or needs to be re-stained, you can conduct the Water Test. Pour a little bit of water on the wood; if it beads up, then it isn’t quite ready. Wait and retest in a few weeks. If by then it doesn’t bead, you are ready to apply stain.

    The Bleach Test tells if your deck has any mold or mildew. If you see fuzzy grey or black areas, take a bleach-soaked rag and hold it on that spot for a few seconds. If the grey or black area is gone when you remove it, you’ve got mold or mildew.  We recommend using Mold Armor E-Z Deck, Fence and Patio Wash 64 oz. Liquid, available at your local Ace Hardware store.
    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/home-and-decor/cleaning-and-disinfectants/specialty-cleaners/1645977

    If you think your deck has some damage from the sun and weather, do the Fingernail Test. Press your fingernail into the wood; if it leaves an indentation, you have weathering or UV damage that will require treating before staining.

    AHS Craftsman Tip: The enduring quality of a deck is maintained by looking at its underside, as well as the top.  It’s equally important to check for other signs of structural damage, such as loose, rotten or twisted support posts and beams, as well as inspecting the points at which your deck is attached to the house.  Consult an Ace Handyman Services if you are unsure about any of these issues.

    2. COMPLETE Simple Repairs 

    During the Check phase above, you’ll want to note the condition of all the boards, railings, spindles and steps to determine they are all solid, sound and safe.

    Give Nails and Screws Some Love 

    • If you see nails popping out of the deck’s surface or they do not look level, hammer them back down, or replace the nails with screws. 

    • While nails are more convenient, screws do a much better job at keeping the wood in place long-term.

    • Apply the same process and thinking to a deck installed with screws. Get out your variable speed drill and tighten them down.

    • Since many natural woods shrink over time, take the time to complete this step – your guests and family will thank you for preventing trips and challenges that arise from an uneven, dangerous, surface.

    If you have any loose posts, securely tighten and/or replace the bolts or hinges securing them. If the wood is in poor shape, or will not resecure with these tightening steps, replace those sections with new material to finish the job.

    3. CLEAN Your Deck

    Once you have a good idea of its overall condition and you’ve fixed the problems you uncovered, take the time to clean your deck. Ignoring this important step will negate everything else that comes after this. Click on the link below to find the appropriate cleaning product, based on the condition of your deck: 

    (https://www.acehardware.com/search?query=deck+cleaner

    Once you find the product best suited for your deck:

    • Wet the surface with the cleaner 

    • Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes 

    • Scrub with a stiff bristle deck brush (if needed), then rinse the cleaner off with a garden hose

    • Repeat if needed

    AHS Craftsman Tip: To really save time and do a thorough job, rent a power washer. It’s an effective way to clean, rinse and replace the scrubbing that you would otherwise do on your hands and knees with a deck brush.

    Experts recommend that you lightly sand the deck surface. This will remove any splinters or rough areas, and it will “open” the grains of the wood so when the stain is applied it, will not only penetrate better, but will also bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

    Let your deck dry for 24-48 hours.

    Stain Your Deck

    Now that you have completed the Three C’s of Deck Maintinance, it’s time to stain the surface to prolong its life and keep it looking great. There are plenty of choices when it comes to the types of finishes you can apply. To ensure you are getting the right stain, either call your local Ace Handyman Services or head to your neighborhood Ace Hardware and ask your Red-Vested Hero to choose the right product for your deck. (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/stains-and-finishes/deck-and-siding-stains

    Once you have the correct stain for your deck’s condition:

    • Stain the deck boards using a roller or a paint pad applicator

    • Apply one coat of stain, using long, even strokes

    • Use a paintbrush to stain between cracks and in problem areas

    • Allow stain to dry for at least 24 hours

    You can reapply stain every few years so your deck stays beautiful and durable

    Again, if any of these tasks seem daunting and you’d rather have someone else tackle the job, give your local Ace Handyman Services a call. Our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen can complete your deck maintenance for you, and then all you will have to do is enjoy your deck all summer long!

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