ABC Blog

How Often Should I Mow My Lawn?

Someone mowing their lawn

When caring for your outdoor spaces, one of the first considerations is how often you should mow your lawn. A number of factors will dictate the frequency of your mowing schedule, including the type of grass you have in your yard and the climate in your geographical region. As a general rule of thumb, during the colder portions of the year, when most varieties of grass go into their dormant phase, you shouldn’t have to mow your lawn often, if at all.

During the warmer seasons, however, you’ll need to mow regularly. For most yards, that means mowing once a week, or at least two to three times a month. The most important consideration when it comes to cutting your grass is how tall a healthy sprout is. Three of the most common grasses throughout the warmer regions of the United States are zoysia, St. Augustine and Bermuda grass and each … Read Full Post »

Who Fixes Garbage Disposals?

Kitchen sink with a garbage disposal

Doing the dishes is already a tedious chore for many homeowners. When you’re standing at the sink with the water running and scrub brush in hand, you expect everything to work. That’s why it can be such a disappointment when you rinse food off your dishes into the sink and hit the switch to activate your garbage disposal, only to hear an odd noise, detect a terrible smell or worse—to hear nothing at all. In any of those scenarios, the question will instantly pop into your mind: Who fixes garbage disposals? Should you call an appliance repair person, a plumber or someone else entirely?

The short answer to that question is that both appliance repair technicians and plumbers can address issues with garbage disposals. Do keep in mind, though, that choosing the right person to call when your garbage disposal breaks can depend on the type and extent of the particular … Read Full Post »

Cómo Destapar El Inodoro

Como Destapar El Inodoro

Ir al baño, hacer funcionar la descarga del inodoro, y encontrarnos con que el agua no corre y el inodoro está tapado es una de las situaciones que la gran mayoría de nosotros hemos tenido que enfrentar en algún momento. Las causas de esta obstrucción pueden ser diversas (como un desagüe viejo o ineficaz, niños pequeños que han tirado juguetes, exceso de papel higiénico, por ejemplo) pero el resultado es siempre el mismo, y nunca es agradable.

Se puede intentar destapar un inodoro aumentando el volúmen de agua que circula, o utilizar una sopapa, una serpiente de drenaje, o productos apropiados. Pero la mayoría de los propietarios que se enfrentan a este problema eligen evitarse las molestias y contactar rápidamente a un plomero que solucione el inconveniente sin arruinar el inodoro ni ninguna de sus partes y sin causar problemas mayores.

A continuación le explicamos en detalle varias soluciones caseras para intentar … Read Full Post »

Pruning Salvias: How To Care For These Ornamentals

When it comes to pruning, salvias known as scarlet sage don't require too much work

Salvias are popular ornamental plants that provide a pop of color in your yard and can withstand extreme temperatures. There are over nine hundred different species of salvias, each with different flowers and smells. Salvias thrive in warm climates and don’t need much water, making them a relatively low maintenance plant in Texas and other southern states. Pruning salvias can enhance their appearance and help these plants stay healthy throughout the year. There are three main categories of salvias, and each should be pruned slightly differently.

Deciduous Herbaceous Salvias

Deciduous herbaceous salvias are shrub-like and have soft stems. These salvias include:

  • Pineapple sage, also known as tangerine sage
  • Mexican Bush sage
  • Waverly sage
  • Bog sage
  • Gentian sage

These types of sage are relatively easy to prune. In the winter, older, soft stems will die off or freeze, so you’ll want to wait until the spring to do your pruning. Any old growth that is left on the plant … Read Full Post »

How To Unclog A Dishwasher With Standing Water

How to unclog a dishwasher with standing water

While cleaning up after dinner, you notice that a significant amount of water has accumulated in the bottom of your dishwasher. You know that a little water is normal, but this seems excessive. Before you tackle another load of dishes sitting in the sink, you may realize you don’t know how to unclog a dishwasher with standing water. You’re probably also wondering why this happened in the first place and how can you prevent it from happening again.

The most likely reason water is pooling in your dishwasher is that you have filters that have been become blocked because of food debris that has built up over time. Most newer models have manual-clean filters, unlike the self-cleaning filters that were more common in these units a decade ago. Clogged filters can prevent water from rising or draining, and can even make your dishes smell. Thankfully, cleaning your manual filters is relatively … Read Full Post »

My Hot Tub Is Not Heating Up: What Is Going On?

A hot tub that is not heating up correctly

Hot tub owners often look forward to the end of the day when they can unwind and relax as they step into the warm water. If you turned your hot tub on hours ago and it still feels lukewarm, you are likely left wondering why your hot tub is not heating up. What might be going on with your hot tub and how can you fix it?

There are a few reasons why your hot tub may not be working properly: clogged parts, broken switches, a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken pump or a faulty heating element.

Clogged Pipes Or Filters

Dirt, debris and leaves can make their way into your hot tub either because of the wind or sometimes on the bottoms of your feet. The filters throughout the hot tub help to keep the water clean and the experience enjoyable. But, if too much dirt enters the filters, there won’t be any … Read Full Post »

When Should I Aerate My Lawn? Your Questions Answered

A backyard with St. Augustine grass

Homeowners that are researching how to keep their lawns lush and thriving may have the question: How and when should I aerate my lawn? Many people aren’t sure exactly what lawn aeration is, when to do it or whether it’s really necessary. If you consider the time and energy many of us spend on our grass and landscaping, aerating your yard is something that should be on your annual lawn care schedule. The best time to aerate your lawn is during your particular grass variety’s growing season, which means late spring for warm-season grasses like Bermuda and St. Augustine, or early spring or fall for cool-season grasses like ryegrass and fescue.

By aerating your lawn during its ideal growing time, you’re giving your turf a better chance to quickly grow into the holes that have been created as you provide your plants with a better pathway to sunlight, nutrients and moisture. … Read Full Post »

My Furnace Won’t Ignite: What Should I Do?

Furnace Won't Ignite

You are ready to curl up to enjoy a movie on the couch when you realize that it is still freezing in your home despite turning on your furnace. After some quick investigating, you come to the conclusion that your furnace won’t ignite. Sadly, there is not an easy answer to why this might be happening.

Any of the following problems could be responsible for your furnace not working properly:

  • Clogged filters
  • Loose wiring
  • Low gas supply
  • Malfunctioning thermostat
  • Your pilot light is out
  • The furnace is old or broken

Some of these problems will be easier fixes, while others will require professional help. When your pilot light goes out, your furnace won’t ignite and heat your home. Sometimes, this is the only problem that you need to fix, and things will go back to normal. Other times, the pilot light is still on, but other parts of the furnace could be malfunctioning. Or, it could be that … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Electric Bill So High?

Why Is My Electric Bill So High

No homeowner wants to be hit with a surprisingly large utility bill. With so many other things on your plate, it can be hard to determine exactly why your energy costs might have skyrocketed suddenly, or why your monthly costs have gotten so expensive over time. If you find yourself in the position of asking yourself: Why is my electric bill so high?, you should know that while there are actually a number of factors that could be responsible, the most likely is a problem with your heating and cooling system.

Air Conditioning Or Heating Issues

You may not realize that keeping your home at a comfortable temperature typically accounts for nearly half of your energy use for any given month. Reviewing your billing history is always a good place to start your research if you feel something is amiss. Check your current statement against the same month one year ago. In … Read Full Post »

Pros And Cons Of Water Softeners

A bathroom

For those who live in an area with hard water, installing a water softening system is a popular solution. As with any decision about your home, there are pros and cons of water softeners. On the positive side, these systems can help protect your hair and skin from chemicals, make cleaning easier and help you save money, among other benefits. The only true downside to installation is the up-front cost. If you can overcome that barrier, most homeowners say they wish they had made the switch earlier.

A few of the other advantages to installing a water softening system include:

  • A longer life for your pipes, drains and appliances.
  • Much easier cleaning and maintenance of your clothing, linens and home.
  • A reduction in your overall energy consumption by almost 30%.
  • A cure for dry, itchy scalp and skin.

Of course, there is an added cost associated with installing and maintaining a water softening system. However, many … Read Full Post »