Create a safety plan for natural disasters
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), it is important to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for a disaster. This year's theme is "Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love." It is important to prepare for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.
Make a Plan
Talk to your loved ones about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Keep in mind guidelines from the CDC when making your plan.
Build a Kit
Gather supplies that will last for days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Keep in mind factors such as dietary needs, responsibilities of assisting others, and more.
Prepare for Disasters
Limit the impact disasters can have on you and your family. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazard. It is important to act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
Teach Youth About Preparedness
Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies
Back to School Home Improvement
It’s almost that time again, back to school season. While you are stocking up on school supplies like pencils, books, and glue sticks, don’t forget about another important aspect of back-to-school preparation. Get your house in gear for a successful year of studies by making a few basic home improvements.
Your child needs a quiet spot to concentrate on homework and school projects. It is important to have a distinct place for your child to work, as to not get distracted. If you are tight on space, consider a foldout desk which can simply be folded away when not in use. Follow these tips from Ace’s own Annie, of Main Course With Annie, on how to create a home office when you don't have space for one.
The next most important aspect of back-to-school season is storage! Not only will you need room to store pens and pencils, or make that iPads and laptops, but also backpacks, jackets, and sports equipment. Adding a mudroom to your home is a great way to organize all the stuff that comes with back to school. However, that can be a costly project. Constructing a DIY mud room in your entryway comprised of cubbies and storage hooks
We all know, when we send our kids to school, they are likely to bring back a mound of art. Designate an area in your home as a gallery to show off the collection of childhood art for guests to gaze upon. Check out a few ideas about incorporating your children’s art into a focal point in your home.
Declutter your Kitchen
Now that the kids are officially going back to school, it is time for you to begin packing lunches again. We all know mornings can be chaotic, so optimize time by creating an organized kitchen area. Create designated spaces for each step in the lunch packing routine. Consider purchasing drawer organizers to make the most of your kitchen space.
Warm weather has arrived, and if you're lucky enough to have a porch or deck, you’ll want to hang out on it as much as possible this season. Get your outdoor space ready for summer with these steps:
Start by taking a close look at your deck. Are there any loose nails or boards? Surface stains? Excess debris? If so, secure the loose nails, scrub off the external stains, remove all loose debris.
Once the deck is secure, it is time to clean! It is important to choose the correct deck cleaners designed for your surface. To save time, power wash your deck. It’s an effective way to clean, rinse and replace the scrubbing needed with a traditional cleanser.
Staining your deck is a sure-fire way to make it look brand new – and add years to its life. A quality stain will not only sit on the surface, but also will penetrate through the wood’s pores providing enhanced protection from the elements. There are plenty of choices when it comes to the types of finishes you can apply. To ensure you are getting the right stain, head to your neighborhood Ace Hardware and ask for the right product for your deck.Once it is sanded and protected, it should be ready for a summer filled with memories. If your patio furniture needs an upgrade, check out the large selection from your local Ace Hardware. Add pillows, blankets, and outdoor rugs to your space for a cozy feeling. Not only adding color, but these items also bring comfort and a homey feeling outside! Once you have fully accessorized the space, add flowers and potted plants to help connect the deck to the surrounding landscape.
Summer Is Here!
Warm weather is here! Make the most of the summer months, take some time at the start of the season to clear out space in your storage area. Summertime means spending more time in your outdoor areas. Without proper organization, sheds can easily turn into a shelter you’re your heap of tools, unable to find anything.
Start with a clean slate. Empty the shed, sweep it out and clear the cobwebs. Sheds are prone to wood rot, so take care of any problems that may have arisen while the area is clear.
Take inventory of what you have and decide what is necessary to keep. Sell or give away items you no longer want and organize what’s left into categories. Install shelves or invest in a storage system, like this tool tower, to better organize your belongings.
Turn your shed into an oasis. "She-Sheds" are becoming increasingly popular, providing an escape from it all without leaving your backyard. A She-Shed is a backyard shed that is used as a retreat of any style; from home offices to a gym, or even just a place to relax, She-Sheds allow for increased space without adding onto your home.
Cicada Blog PostThey’re coming… It has been 17 years, and it is time for the dreaded return of the cicadas. Don’t let these pests ruin your relaxing summer days on your patio! Solve this problem by adding a screen to your patio or rescreening your existing patio to prevent the swarm from entering. If you have any minor holes or tears in your screen, a screen repair patch will do the job. What are you waiting for? If you want a way to escape from the buzzing hordes of cicadas and enjoy your summer, protect your home with a new screen.
Spring is on its way!
Spring is on its way! As the weather becomes warmer, families begin spending more time enjoying their days outside. Before you fire up the BBQ, consider these deck maintenance tips.
The harsh colder months can take their toll on patios and decks, potentially causing structural issues, compromising the structure’s integrity. Begin with a visual inspection of how well everything came through winter.
If your deck is showing wear and damage, it might not be necessary to replace the whole deck to get the brand-new feeling again. Although touch-ups may be required, choosing to repair your deck instead of replacing it can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Check all wooden surfaces for discoloration, which can be a sign of rot, mildew, or mold. If these issues are found, they need to be addressed immediately. Take a look for loose or splintered boards, as well as warped or misshapen boards that will only get worse with the changing of the season. While doing that, also look for any protruding screws or nails that could be a safety danger.
Maintaining a consistent stain on wood decks can have a drastic effect on the value of your home. If you’re noticing discoloration, this will help bring it back to its natural color. First, sand your deck to help break down the variance in tone. After sanding your deck, seal the surface. The sealant absorbs into the wood to seal in color as opposed to covering it up. This process will also help to protect your deck from the elements during next year’s winter.
Routine deck inspections and maintenance ensure safety for years to come. If you need a hand with deck maintenance, give Ace Handyman Services a call and we are happy to help.
Fall back in love with your home
Have a clear, organized space.
A cluttered area leads to a cluttered mind. The first step to loving your home is organization. It is easy for clutter to pile in your home but taking control of your space is the first step to loving your home. Expand your storage capability by adding shelving units and storage organizers to give every item a place
Use colors that make you happy
Our environment has a greater effect on our mood than we often realize. A fresh coat of paint can brighten a room, add accents, and transform your home into your dream home. Visit The Paint Studio at Ace to see the thousands of color options available.
Small changes, big impact
Loving your home again does not have to break the bank. Simple modifications can make a large difference when it comes to loving your home. Replacing your kitchen faucet, replacing the hardware on your furniture, updating your window treatments are inexpensive ways to create a difference in your home.
Your home is your sanctuary. Now, we are spending more time than ever in our homes, and you deserve to love your space.
Bring on a fresh start! Leave the clutter in 2020 and start 2021
Bring on a fresh start! Leave the clutter in 2020 and start 2021 with an organized home. Consider these home organization tips to begin the new year on a good note! An organized home leads to less stress, a more functional home, and a more productive year.
It is easy to get overwhelmed while organizing and decluttering, so make a list and focus on one step at a time. Completing a task on your to-do list will give you the motivation to keep working.
Throughout the year, your closet can accumulate a lot of clutter. Empty the contents of your closet and go through each item. Donate unwanted clothes and find hidden treasures lost in the darkest corners of your closet! Closet organization products, including adjustable rods, shoe compartments, and closet organization systems ensure that every item has a place, helping eliminate unwanted closet clutter. Check out this closet organizer that will help you take back control over your closet.
Garage storage systems offer structure and organization that will clear the clutter and increase garage storage space, making your life easier. These storage systems can easily be mounted to the wall or ceiling, allowing for increased storage. Store your items in labeled storage bins for easy accessibility and protection.
There are many missed storage opportunities throughout a home that many don’t take advantage of; drawers become filled with clutter and things begin to get lost. This under the sink shelf allows for a customizable storage space for your cleaning supplies without sink pipes getting in the way.
Organizing your home has never been more convenient, and we are happy to help with any mounting or assembly needs. Give us a call today at 410-549-9696 and we can help you achieve your new year organizational goals.
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:
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.
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:
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
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).