Tips for controlling pests in and around your home

As the warm weather disappears and the leaves change colors, we aren’t the only ones preparing for cooler weather. Cold weather forces pests to search for warm areas to wait out the winter months. Your warm basements and attics foster an ideal environment for pests. Protect your home this fall and winter with these pest prevention tips:

Seal Gaps

Bugs, mice, and pests alike love unsealed gaps, especially those where electrical lines and pipes enter your home. Seal these gaps with calk to prevent critters from entering. Some pests can enter through the smallest of gaps.

Weatherstrip

Weatherstripping not only saves energy costs by preventing the elements from entering your home, but it also prevents pests from entering. Weatherstripping is essential around doors and windows.

Trim plants and store firewood away from your home

Bonfires are the perfect fall activity, but if stored too closely to your home, firewood can cause many critters to enter your home. Firewood fosters the ideal environment for pests to live. It is essential to keep firewood at least 20 feet from your home to decrease the chance of them entering.

Similarly, it is important to keep up with the landscaping surrounding your home. Branches close to your home’s exterior allow for easy access for pests.

Keep basements and attics dry

Pests are attracted to moisture; installing a proper ventilation system or using a dehumidifier are great ways of lowering the chances of a pest infestation. Not only does water attract pests, but it can also compromise the structural integrity of your home. Make sure to keep moisture away from your home.

Install a chimney cap

The top of a chimney cap is made of metal to stop animals from getting in; the sides are made of mesh to allow smoke and gasses to vent through. Installing a chimney cap is a simple preventative measure to avoid animals from entering your home and keep the moisture out.

We are celebrating our 16th Anniversary here at Ace Handyman Services!

Ace Handyman Services of Columbia can drive! This October marks our 16th year in business, and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone. We have been proudly serving the Howard, Carroll, and Baltimore counties since 2004. We would not be where we are today without the support of our amazing customers. Our team takes customer service very seriously and treasures the close-knit relationships we have built with our clients. We take great pride in going "above and beyond" and pledge to you our continued best service. Why? Because you deserve it! Thank you for helping us grow and allowing us to be part of this wonderful community.

 

Prepare your Home for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season is here, and it is not going anywhere. These summer storms often leave disastrous affects to homes. It is important to prepare your home for these storms in order to minimize the damages incurred.

Clean your gutters- Clogged or blocked gutters prevent the gutters from working properly. The water will not be able to drain as designed and will accumulate, weighing down the gutters. This can potentially lead to roof and foundational damage.

Extend downspouts at least six to ten feet away from your foundation- With hurricanes, comes a lot of rain. It is important that the high levels of water are not directed towards your home. This could cause major foundation damage and can cause flooding.

Seal your windows and doors- Reinforce and seal your windows and doors to prevent water from seeping in. Windows and doors are especially vulnerable during high winds. Sealing windows and doors also helps with energy costs.

Secure Potential Debris- Flying debris is the leading cause of structural damage during storms. It is important to secure lawn furniture and trim low hanging branches as they can be carried by the wind and cause damage to your home.

Storms are unpredictable so sometimes, even with these precautions, damages happen. Don't panic because we are here to help! Call us today at 410.549.9696, and we are happy to help repair any storm damages to your home.

Repair The Little Things So They Don’t Become Big Things

Small signs can potentially become big trouble at home and ignoring them could end up costing thousands of dollars in repair. Taking care of small repairs before they become big ones will save you a lot of money in the long run.

A common problem that is easy to ignore is a damp basement. Leading to mildew and mold, water leaks should never be left unaddressed. If the problem is caught early enough, the solution may be as simple as installing gutters and downspout extension to run water away from your home. If left untreated, you may have to replace the flooring and drywall completely, potentially costing an arm and a leg.

Another small issue that is often left unnoticed is clogged gutters. Clogged gutters may lead to foundation and wood damage. This is due to the water being directed towards the home. Because your roof sustains damage every time it rains, clogged gutters can shorten the lifespan of your roof. Additionally, the landscape surrounding your home will become compromised, ruining your beautiful flowerbeds. Cleaning your gutters twice a year is a simple solution to this problem.

Loose or rotted deck boards is another problem that is often ignored; when left undealt with, the rot will spread, leaving the deck unsalvageable. A new deck can cost upwards of ten thousand dollars. It is important to replace the rotted sections as soon as possible and apply a water-resistant coating over the entire deck to prevent future damage. The coating will refresh the deck and make it look new.

If any of these issues are spotted in your home, give us a call and we will take care of them right away before they cause disaster to your home and bank account.

 

We are here to Help!!

Do you have a home emergency, a small project that needs to get done, or maybe quarantine has caused a couple of home issues to come to light? We at Ace Handyman Services are here to help!

            As your trusted home ally, your safety and that of our team is of most importance.  We are following all guidelines and mandates from the CDC and local health authorities for your protection and ours. We have taken the Maryland Strong Back to Business Pledge and are adhering to the most recent guidelines. Our safety measures include wearing face masks, shoe covers, and disposable gloves. We are following CDC social distancing standards while in your home, and always disinfect the area before and after our work is complete.

            We would love to get some work done for you! In addition to in-home projects, we are more than happy to help with outdoor projects such as deck and fence repair, gutter cleaning, siding repair, and much more. 

            Visit acehandymanservices.com or call us at 410-549-9696 to learn more about our services. Thank you for your business and we hope you and your loved ones stay safe during this time!

New name - same office!

Well after 16 years of serving clients as Handyman Matters, here in the Baltimore Metro, our name has changed. We are proud to be part of the Ace family and are now called Ace Handyman Services. Please know that we still have the same amazing Craftsmen and office staff. Ace Handyman Services will bring the helpful to your home!

 

Handymen You Can Trust

When hiring a handyman to perform work for you, take caution to avoid any possible horror stories that could occur. It is important to ensure that you are hiring a trusted professional to take care of your jobs. Some people have spent up to $900 upfront for a $1300 job and the only thing they received for that payment was a half painted wall and a disappeared handyman. You do not want to be a victim of such a story, it happens much more often than you would probably believe. 

What do you do? 

Ask what the Handyman’s skills are, don’t ask a carpenter to do a plumbing job and vice versa. More times than not you will have to call an actual plumber to fix the job the handyman never knew how to do in the first place, which is just going to cost you more money than you originally planned to spend. Also, don’t allow the person you hired to send a replacement without your permission.

How do I find a good handyman?

Checking with friends and neighbors is a good start; see what people they may have used in the past. Ask your local hardware store, often times they will have connections to handyman that shop there frequently. Look for someone who is experienced and has been in business for a few years, seek references and actually contact the people. 

What work needs to be done?

Before you contact any handyman make a detailed list of what jobs you want to have done and then provide the worker with a copy of said list. Ask about pricing, some charge by the hour; others by the job. Minimum fee? If so, how much. Make sure the handyman does a walkthrough of all the tasks you want done. 

Know your handyman!

Get the handyman’s full name, phone number, and street address. Any necessary contact information so that if the job goes bad you can contact the person and go from there. Handymen are required to have a “Business Tax Receipt” from the county or city they operate in, ask to see that and a current insurance liability certificate. Don’t pay anything upfront, unless it’s for materials. Don’t hire a handyman to do major home repairs, for that you will want to hire a certified contractor. 

Get it done!

Now that you know the various steps to ensure you hire a trusted competent handyman, go out there and get the list of jobs done so you can love your home! 

 

Preparing Your Home for Homebuyers: 10 helpful tips

There are plenty of homes on the market as of right now which gives homebuyers many of options to choose from. When buying a home, buyers are looking for nothing but the absolute best so if a home is not in great condition it can easily go unnoticed by buyers. Here are 10 tips you can use to get your home in the right shape and really amaze potential buyers:

1.Make any necessary repairs: Buyers will be looking for every aspect of the house to be in tip top shape. Make sure you take care of major problems within the house to ensure you don’t discourage potential buyers.

2.Redo your landscaping: The first thing that buyers are going to notice before stepping into that house is the property it’s on. Curb appeal is very important when making a first impression.

3.Clean the exterior: To homebuyers a dirty exterior equals a dirty interior. Make sure to clean the gutters and power wash the siding to make your house look as good as new.

4.Make the front door appealing: Apply a fresh coat of coat that contrasts with the rest of the house to really make the front door pop!

5.Add a welcome mat: This will make them seem welcome and invited.

6.Remove any clutter and depersonalize:  Buyers want to be able to picture anyone living in your home, so having all of your belongings there will get in that way of that vision.

7.Organize your belongings:  A messy home gives the impression that the home doesn’t have much storage space.

8.Brighten up every surface: Clean every aspect of your home till you can’t clean anymore!

9.Neutral Colors: Neutral colors appeal to a wide range of buyers.

10.Eliminate any bad odors: When showing off the house be sure to hide any liter boxes or dog cages to eliminate those bad smells, put out a fresh batch of cookies to make your home more inviting

 

Weather-Stripping: Save a Fortune Today By Sealing Your Windows and Leaks

What’s To Gain?

Did you know that you could be completely unaware of your homes leaks? Often times homes leak the temperature controlled air, sometimes just closing your windows and doors isn’t enough to protect your house from the outside weather. There are little hidden gaps around door frames and windows, between baseboards, floorboards and by outlets that can all let out your heating or cooling which is costing you a lot of money in the long run.

As much as 5-10% can be saved on your energy bill. On average you can save about 7.5% on your monthly payments just from sealing air leaks with weather stripping and caulking. This’ll give you at least $48-$138 extra in your pocket for anything you can think of.

How to fix the leaks!

There are varying methods to dealing with leaks in your house: Weather stripping and caulking works very well for smaller holes. For bigger holes spray foam or other insulation will most likely have to be done.

Sadly, repairing a leak won’t last forever. Over time the insulation can start to bring in the weather, so you’ll want to take note of where gaps and leaks are likely to occur such as:

  • Around electrical outlets, boxes, or other items cut into the wall.
  • Between the wall and the floor.
  • Around plumbing as it enters a room.
  • Gaps in the attic or basement.
  • Around the attic door.
  • Around the chimney
  • Around built-in light fixtures, particularly on the ceiling.
  • Around windows and doors

It’s Simple!

You can save money and the environment with just a couple DIY projects! It won’t even leave a dent in your wallet as most of the materials can be bought at a hardware store for less than $20-$30. So clear up that calendar and make some time for a weekend project and save yourself some cash!

If you believe the work is out of your skill range or you simply want to make sure the job is done right try to contact professional help so they can assist you in finding where the air is escaping your house through an inspection.

 

 

Don’t be a prisoner in your own home

For someone who is restricted due to a wheelchair, getting in and out of their home without a ramp and be a problem. Deciding between a wooden ramp and a metal ramp can be a big problem as well, but we’re here to inform you on the differences in the ramps. Wooden ramps are usually meant to be a permanent ramp and do require a permit to put in your home. They are more durable then metal but do require more maintenance compared to the metal. Wooden ramps will also require some sort of anti-slip grip to be attached to the ramp to make sure there are no problems when it becomes slippery due to snow or rain. Metal ramps are more modular and can be fit to any space. They also can be moved easily and are not a permanent attachment to your home. They have grooves built in that allow for traction for the wheels. While both ramps can be used to get someone in and out of their home with ease. Wooden ramps are more expensive to build and maintain compared to metal. But with that being said wooden ramps are permanent. No matter whether the ramp is wooden or metal, someone who is wheelchair bound deserves to be able to freely leave their home.

 

 

Severe Storm Essentials Guide

If you see that a severe storm in heading to your area, you need to make sure your home is ready for anything it may throw your way 

Generators: Generators can help keep power in your home even when the main power is out. For the most power we suggest a Home Standby Generator which can hold 7,000-60,000 watts

Water: You are going to want to make sure you have plenty of water bottles in case the water goes out. On average you’re going to want about one gallon per person per day of water.

Flashlights: When the power goes out you are going to want plenty of flashlights to help you see. Make sure you also get extra batteries in case the batteries in the flashlight die.

Gas: Having a backup supply of gasoline is very important. You are going to need gas for your generators, cooking appliances like a grill, and any tools that you may need like a chain saw.

First Aid Kit: A first aid kit is a necessity in your home no matter what the circumstances are. Make sure to have one on the in case anyone gets injured during the storm.

Hand Radio: Hand radios will allow you to get any radio waves telling you about the storm and the location of it. These are important to make sure you know what is happening in your area.

  

 

Summertime Exterior Maintenance

Protect you Deck!

  • Check for any rotted wood on your deck and have them replaced to keep your deck healthy.
  • Look for cracks and loose nails that may be dangerous when walking without footwear, hammer any loose nails.
  • Pour a little water on your deck, if it forms into tiny puddles you are good, but if it sinks into the wood you may want to think about getting your deck water sealed.

Stop tiny home invaders

  • Cover any hole more than ¼ inch wide to stop any bug from crawling through.
  • Get tree limbs trimmed back so no fury friends can make their way into your home. We want a squirrel free home!
  • Tightly cover any outdoor trash or recycling cans to prevent any animals from getting into them looking for food.
  • Remove any debris from your yard that may become a new home for future home invaders.
  • Mow. Your. Lawn. Not only will it help prevent bugs and rodents but it helps keep your yard clean and healthy. 

 

Get Your Home Summer Ready!

Replace your A/C filter: Your air conditioning filter should be changed on average, every one to three months; to make sure it works efficiently.

Clean your dryer vent pipe: Over time lint can start to build up in the pipe causing the dyer to work less efficiently and potentially cause a fire.

Clean ceiling fan blades: Make sure to clean the blades to remove any dust or dirt, make sure you especially get the top of the blades. The top blades tend to hold the most dust and are rarely cleaned.

Clean your grill grates: It is very important to clean your grill grates before your first use and throughout the summer. You can use vinegar, ammonia, or grill cleaning solution to properly clean your grill.

Remove Mold and Mildew: Removing mold and mildew can be done by using a solution using bleach and water (the solution should be a 1-10 ratio between the bleach and water, but more bleach can be added for the desired strength).