Maintenance

For most of us, our home is the most valuable thing we’ve ever purchased or owned. Our homes are where we where we raise our kids, where we make memories with our family, and where we’ve invested countless dollars and hours. When something breaks in your home, or when you want to make some upgrades, it can be daunting to find someone you can trust to do the job right. After all, a handyman is a stranger that you’re letting into your home and trusting around your family and with perhaps your most valuable asset.  Referring agencies can seem helpful, but when you’re working with multiple...
Each spring, DogGone Handy hears one Atlanta homeowner request over and over again: rot repair. Wood rot forms when certain species of fungi digest parts of your home’s wood, causing it to decay. Your home’s window sills, shutters, and roof run-offs are popular spots for fungi to gather – as are outdoor wooden furniture items like picnic tables and Adirondack chairs. If left untreated, the affected wood will become so brittle, that it may disintegrate over time. In order to prevent the spread of the fungus and the total destruction of your wood, you (or your DogGone Handy repairman!) must...
Repair kitchen counters that show a history of wine spills, dropped pans, and unidentified sharp objects, and you’ll maintain the value of your kitchen and home. You can easily hide some counter mishaps, while only professional contractors can solve other surface problems.Here’s a look at counter cures and lost causes.Granite Even granite counters suffer kitchen wear and tear. But you can make them shine with a little time and know-how. After you fix them, don’t forget to reseal them.Cracks, chips, scratches: Fill nicks in granite by building up layers of epoxy...
Fall is in the air. Even though the drop in temperature is slight here in Atlanta, it's enough to get folks thinking about colder months ahead and toasty fires. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are thinking about getting your fireplace ready for the season. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireplaces and chimneys cause more than 25,000 house fires every year, resulting in at least 10 deaths annually. Some of the dangers of fireplace operation include the following:Sparks popping into the room and setting fire to rugs or furnitureCombustible materials...
The warm glow of a fireplace is one of nature's simple gifts. To keep things simple and safe, clean the fireplace regularly and know that it is well built. It's also a good idea to have a professional initially inspect the fireplace and chimney. When the chimney is cleaned by a technician he will lay down a drop cloth, place lights, plug in a vacuum system, and have an array of tools and brushes at hand. But before the chimney is cleaned, key areas of the chimney are first checked. The lintel, which is the steel bar that supports the top of the opening up to the first combustible, should be...
Hot water heaters work hard for you, providing warm baths, clean clothes, and sparkling pots and pans. So show your water heater some love by following a routine maintenance schedule that will keep it running for its 15-year expected lifetime, and perhaps beyond. Here’s what you need to do: Adjust the thermostat to 120 degrees. You’ll save up to 5% in energy costs for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature, plus you’ll reduce the risk of scalding. Always maintain 2 feet of clearance around the appliance unless the manual specifically states otherwise. Drain about a quarter...
Get your home in peak condition for the winter by following a few of these home maintenance tips.  Look for signs of peeling or blistering paint. Besides being unattractive, it’s a sign that the exterior paint film is failing and can no longer protect the siding of the building, leading to wood rot.  Cleaning your gutters is one of the easiest things to do to protect your home from more costly repairs later. Gutters cleaning can be messy but worth it. After the leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect the joints and tighten brackets if...
If spring lawn care is about getting your lawn healthy and green, summer lawn care is about keeping it healthy while temperatures soar and rainfall becomes a fleeting memory. It’s also about maintaining a lawn that can withstand all the barbecues, games, parties, and running feet that summer has to offer. Here are some tips for keeping your lawn in shape over those long, hot days of summer. After the spring growing season, summer brings quite a bit of stress to lawn grasses. Not only are the heat and drought damaging, but we aren’t as forgiving in the summer as we are in the winter. We want...
As you go about your cleaning routine, take a few minutes to inspect the condition of your wood furniture and trim. Are any of the finishes looking dull, murky, and tired? Though you may choose to refinish worse-for-wear woodwork at some point in the future, in the meantime you can try an easier way of revitalizing it. In many cases, simply applying mineral spirits—otherwise known as paint thinner—goes a long way toward restoring warmth and shine to surfaces. If you don’t have mineral spirits on hand, check your local hardware store or home center. Widely available, this stuff also boasts the...
Decks can be a wonderful spaces to enjoy your yard and nature while having a comfortable spot for a seat and a drink. Here is a list of ideas for deck maintenance to ensure your deck is in peak condition for relaxation and entertaining.   Wash the Deck An unwashed deck is an invitation to mold and mildew, which can cause rot. Here’s how to wash your deck: 1. Remove debris from between deck boards using a putty knife. Pay special attention to the areas where deck boards cross the joists — the structural members underneath the decking. TIP: For a makeshift extension...

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