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 »

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 »

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 »

Do Squirrels Eat Mice? How To Stop An Infestation

Do Squirrels Eat Mice

There are holes in the food boxes in your pantry. You hear scratching in the walls throughout the night. You’re in denial until one night you see it—a mouse. Horrified, you start to wonder about how you can keep these creatures away. Are there any creatures around your property that eat mice? For example, do squirrels eat mice?

While a squirrel will eat a mouse, it would prefer not to. Like all other animals, squirrels require protein, carbs and fat in their diet. While they would prefer to get these nutrients from nuts, leaves, mushrooms, roots, seeds and insects, they’ll eat from a larger menu when the going gets tough. So, if the squirrel on your property is faced with starving to death or eating the mice in your attic, they’ll decide on the latter.

What this means for you is that squirrels are not going to be an effective method of … Read Full Post »

Where To See Christmas Lights In Austin & Holiday Events

Christmas lights in Austin

Wondering about the best places to see Christmas lights in Austin this holiday season? You’re in luck, since our town has a multitude of fabulous spots for enjoying spectacular lights displays. We’ve also got holiday events of all varieties, whether you enjoy neighborhood light displays; larger, more ceremonial holiday light events; gingerbread house building; live performances or something else entirely. Read on to learn where to see the best Christmas lights in Austin and find out about other fun, popular holiday events around town, so you and your loved ones can make holiday memories that will warm your hearts for years to come.

The Best Christmas Events In Austin For Families

We are lucky to have so many great Christmas events in Austin, and many of them are perfect for families, as well as individuals of all ages. Here are some of our favorite Christmas events so that you and your family … Read Full Post »

My Dryer Smells: How To Eliminate Bad Odors

My dryer smells

If you’ve ever been hit with a whiff of something nasty while doing laundry and thought “Wow, my dryer smells!”, you’re not alone. Having a dryer that smells musty, sour, mildewy or worse is certainly unfortunate, but it’s not uncommon. Still, opening your dryer after doing a load of clean laundry and finding that it stinks can be a shocking and dismaying experience. What could have caused the smell? Are your clothes ruined—or your dryer? Is there anything you can do to get rid of that dank, unpleasant smell?

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to eliminate bad odors from your dryer. The very first step is to figure out what’s causing the stench. These are the likely culprits:

  • Something stinky was in your clothes in the washer and transferred with them to the dryer.
  • Something in the dryer or exhaust vent shouldn’t be there, such as a rat, squirrel or another … Read Full Post »

How To Attach Christmas Lights To Shingles And Other Tips

how to attach christmas lights to shingles

Installing Christmas lights isn’t always easy. This is especially true if you want to put lights on your roof and attach them to your shingles. If you don’t hang your lights strands properly, you might damage your home or put your family at risk of an electrical fire. So, how should you attach Christmas lights to your shingles safely?

The first thing to know is that there are two main ways that Christmas decorations cause shingle damage. First of all, using nails, staples or screws to install lights can create problems. Also, shingles can take abuse when a well-intentioned homeowner walks across their roof. While both seem like inevitable parts of the Christmas decoration process, there are alternatives.

While using nails, staples or screws for your Christmas lights sounds like a great idea to keep your display in place, even making a small hole in your roof can lead to disaster when … Read Full Post »

If You See One Mouse, How Many Do You Have?

If You See One Mouse, How Many Do You Have

You’ve had some strange happenings around your home lately, including noticing weird grease marks on your walls and your pets acting strangely. Your normally-calm dog starts barking and growling at your walls out of the blue, and you’re not sure what the issue could be. Then, you spot it: a mouse. But you just saw one, so it can’t be that bad of a situation, you tell yourself. But in reality you’re thinking: If you see one mouse, how many do you have?

Unfortunately, locating a single mouse on your property is not that different than finding a needle in a haystack. These small rodents keep to themselves, and they’re relatively quiet. With their main predators being adept hunters—including cats, snakes, owls, hawks and foxes—they have learned how to be excellent hiders and know how to get around without being detected.

So, if you’ve seen a mouse, especially during daylight hours, it … Read Full Post »