Blog

By Steve Schroeder 13 Oct, 2017

The leaves are falling and gutters are collecting them. Like spiced cider and winter’s coming chill, full gutters are just part of the season.

Right now your gutters are gathering the bountiful reds, oranges, golds, and browns that beautify the season, then they will turn the lovely leaves into a cauldron of gloppy goo as the rain and snow starts to fall. (I don’t usually write poetic-like, but it did paint a good picture, didn’t it?)

However, just in time for the season, I am sharing Steve’s Top Ten Gutter Tips . I think you will like 9 and 10 the best.

1.    Set aside several hours from your busy schedule, the larger the house, the longer it will take.

2.    Wear a long sleeved shirt, jeans, and a pair of sturdy shoes. You will be getting wet and climbing up and down a ladder.

3.    Make sure you have an extension ladder that reaches your gutters. You will also need rubber gloves; a plastic scoop; a bucket and a large garbage can with a liner OR a disposable tarp; and a hose.

4.    Set the ladder carefully up against your gutters. Use the plastic scoop to remove the dead leafy goo from your gutters. You can scoop it into the bucket and carry full buckets down the ladder and dump them in the lined trashcan OR you can put a disposable tarp under your gutters and scoop it directly into the tarp.

5.    Don’t just drop the goop on your yard. While it does make nice compost, let it age in a compost pile first. All it does dumped onto your yard is mess it up.

6.     After you have gone completely around the house, moving the ladder from one section to move to the next section, you will need to use the garden hose to wash out the downspouts to keep them free and clear.

7.    As you are flushing the downspouts, look for holes.

8.    Collect the stuff that washes out of your downspouts.

9.    Or have Steve Schroeder Services clean out your gutters for you.

10.And Steve Schroeder Services will also install gutter guards, and put in pop-ups.

 

I told you that you’d like the last two items on the list! If you are not familiar with Steve Schroeder Services, LLC, know that I am dedicated to insuring my work is quality work. I want to make sure that your gutter guards are clean and worry free. Clean gutters insure that your house remains rot-free from excess moisture.

 

By Steve Schroeder 20 Sep, 2017

Fall is the time to prepare your yard for the next year. The more you nurture your lawn in the fall, the more lush and green it will be in the spring.

There are a number of books and websites that offer suggestions on what to do to. I have combined tips from HGTV , This Old House , Better Homes and Gardens , Lawn Doctor , Garden Counselor, and my own experience to give a comprehensive list steps to prep your lawn for the winter.

1. Keep mowing until late fall, this allows more light to shine on the delicate roots, and you will have less dead grass during the winter. 

2. One of the first things you need to do to prepare your lawn for winter is to use an herbicide to get rid of unwanted vegetation and lawn moss.

3. As the leaves fall, rake them up. While it is fine to mulch grass and other matter during the summer to feed your yard, during the winter months your yard needs to be able to “breath.” Raking improves the health of your lawn by removing the thatch that will smother your yard during the winter. Thatch is the dead material that has accumulated over the summer and fall. If you have a large lawn, it would be worth it to rent a scarifier.

4. Aerate the soil. This opens up air channels in the compacted lawn. There are a number of ways to aerate: push a border fork into the soil, use a tine which pulls out plugs, walk your yard in spiked golf shoes, or rent an electric aerator (about $70 per day). It is suggested that you do this every other year, but if you wear golf shoes every time you work in the yard during the fall, then this is a step that takes care of itself. Just make sure you cover the whole yard with the golf shoe spikes.

5. Feed your lawn. The most important thing to give your soil is nitrogen. You can find it in pellet form at any garden center. They also offer other winter lawn feeding compounds. Distribute it evenly using a walk-behind spreader. There are also hand crank spreaders, but the walk-behind version does the best job. Let the nitrogen soak in after a good rain, then add a top dressing made of topsoil and peet moss or compost. Work the dressing into the aerated channels but do not smother the grass. Add extra dressing wherever there is a bald spot.

6. Once the lawn is prepared, use the spreader again to apply a thin coating of seed, making sure to add extra seed in bald areas. Make sure you pick a seed that works with your location and lawn type. Then hope for rain, or water well.

7. Enjoy the beautiful green and weed-free lawn you will have in the spring.

Or hire Steve Schroeder Services to prepare your lawn for fall. My mission is, “ To Keep Putting Service Back Into Customer Service With The Utmost Quality And Care.” These are not just words to Steve Schroeder Services , but how business is done!

If you are not familiar with Steve Schroeder Services, LLC, know that I am dedicated to insuring my work is quality work. I want to make sure that your yard is ready to grow lush and green when spring comes.

When you are ready for fall lawn services, contact us at: www.servicessold.net or call me at 507-398-3346. We look forward doing business with you soon.


 

If you are not familiar with Steve Schroeder Services, LLC, know that I am dedicated to insuring my work is quality work. I want to make sure that your yard is ready to grow lush and green when spring comes.

 

When you are ready for fall lawn services, contact us at: www.servicessold.net or call me at 507-398-3346. We look forward doing business with you soon.

By Steve Schroeder 06 Sep, 2017

Homeowners often question when to call in a handyman. After all, these days anyone can figure out how to do anything using a YouTube video. Just pull up the video and do what it says, right? 

Let’s face it, not everyone is good with a screwdriver or sheets of drywall. Nor do they want to be.

A handyman can save you a lot of time and money. And headache. Especially with your busy schedule. After all, repairs take time. Building takes time. At Steve Schroeder Services we can cover a lot of that ground for you.

Here are a few tips on when to call in a generalist, like me:  

If you need to have a faucet repaired or a new one installed, you can call a handyman.

If you need a ceiling fan installed or a light stitch replaced, a handyman can do the job.

When remodeling, I can move walls and installing flooring, as well as paint or install doors.

A handyman can build a deck, repair a deck, clean gutters, repair gutters, weather strip doors and windows, and make other “minor” repairs. I call them minor in quote marks because I recently totally rebuilt a deck, stairs to a dock, and tore out an above ground pool that had seen better days. It was hardly a minor repair.

Other things a handy man can do are cut lawns, mulch, lay sod, shrub and tree maintenance, power washing, fertilizing, snow removal, and junk removal.

A handyman can build water features, move furniture, put up shelving, hang paintings, put in patios, lay cement walkways, etc.

And I am great at cleaning rugs!

Each handyman has what he (or she) is best at doing. Make sure to ask a lot of questions once you have your project defined. Call me when you know what you want done, and I will tell you if it is something I can do or not.

My mission is, “ To Keep Putting Service Back Into Customer Service With The Utmost Quality And Care.” These are not just words to Steve Schroeder Services , but how business is done!

If you are not familiar with Steve Schroeder Services, LLC, know that you can give me a call and I will do all of the work you need done so you don’t have to. But I will only say yes to work that I know my customers will be proud to share. I am dedicated to insuring my work is quality work.

 

When you are ready for handyman services, contact us at: www.servicessold.net or call me at 507-398-3346. We look forward doing business with you soon.

By Steve Schroeder 10 Aug, 2017

If you take the time to make sure that your shrubs are managed appropriately, then you also need to make sure that your beds get equal care. Beds need to either be trimmed or edged to make sure that there is a significant distinction between the bed and the lawn. This also helps keep mulch in the proper place.

 

First, let’s go through some of the dos and don’t of shrub maintenance .

  1. In our climate, the best time to plant most shrubs is early spring, as the trees are budding but before they begin to really sprout their leaves. Evergreens need to be planted in the early fall.
  2. Bushes whose roots have been protected by burlap can be planted as late as early summer.
  3. The worst times to plant are during the hottest part of the summer, and late fall when the air is getting very chilly. Both times do not allow the roots to establish themselves before the extremes of weather set in.
  4. Make the hole twice as large as the container, and about an inch deeper that the height of the container. Before putting the loose dirt back into the hole, mix it with gypsum. Then top with about two inches of mulch.
  5. Watering is the most important thing during the first year of a new planting. Make sure to set the hose at the base of the shrub and let it drip on it for a good 10 minutes. New plantings need deep drinks instead of small sips every day. You will need to be diligent about this for at least the first three to four days.
  6. Water well during the growing season. While one would think that is always summer, for an evergreen fall is the major growing season.
  7. While most shrubs do not need lots of fertilizer, a number of years ago I bought a book called Trees and Shrubs by a yard expert named Jerry Baker. He suggests that you leave them alone for a couple of weeks, then “… give them a light snack of fish emulsion fertilizer. At the end of the month give them a dose of low-nitrogen, dry garden food...” Make sure the dry fertilizer does not come in contact with the roots. After the first year, fertilizer needs to be applied in March and June. Remember here in Minnesota that we must use a zero phosphorus fertilizer, so look on the bag for a number that looks like this 4-0-4. The first number represents nitrogen, the second phosphorus, and the last one potassium.
  8. Prune only in the spring.
  9. Make sure to control weeds, and watch for insect infestation and disease.
By Steve Schroeder 06 Jul, 2017

It is that time of year, folks; time to put down the mulch. Every spring and summer we see sacks of the stuff piled up at the local home store, grocery store, and garden store. And we dutifully buy it and put it around trees, bushes, and in the garden. But does anyone think about what it is, and what it does for your plantings? Here are 11 things I bet you didn’t know about mulch. 

1.    According to The Spruce , mulch is, “any type of material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering.” It need not be wood chips. For example, there is mulch made from cocoa bean hulls. Plastic sheeting can also be used as a kind of mulch. Rubber mulch is often used in industrial areas.

2.    Mulch’s purpose is three-fold: it suppresses weed growth, it slows evaporation, and organic mulch will break down and improve the quality and texture of the soil. Of course, it also enhances the visual appeal of property.

3.    Compost and/or manure can be found in some mulch, which will enhance soil productivity.

4.    The best time to apply mulch is in late spring or early summer. It will break down during the year and feed the yard or beds until the next spring or summer when more should be applied.

5.    Dyed mulch uses the same kind of dyes as those used in the cosmetic industry, so they do not harm people or pets. Faded mulch can be re-colored with liquid dye that can be sprayed over the old mulch.

6.    Heavy layers of mulch will attract slugs, earwigs, cutworms, and other critters who like to chew on your lovely plants. Use a thin coating.

7.    Not only does mulch keep the moisture in on hot days, it keeps cold out during the winter and protects plant roots.

8.    According to Angie’s List , while dyed mulches break down slower, they are, “susceptible to a white string-like fungus that grows beneath the top layer.” The fungus can attach itself to roots and tree trunks. And they can slow the growth of plants because they steal nitrogen from them. Additional fertilizer must be used with dyed mulch, even if it is organic dye.

9.    If you mulch around a tree, the mulch should not touch the bark.

10.Before re-mulching, remove some of the old mulch.

11.Mulch can help fight erosion and sediment runoff issues.

By Steve Schroeder 08 Jun, 2017
Sometimes we have a project at Steve Schroeder Services that we just have to share because it makes such a difference to the homeowner’s property. Recently we were hired to rebuild a deck, stairs to a boat dock, and to tear out an old swimming pool that had seen better days.

Let's begin with the staircase and dock. They were a bit rickety. They didn’t even look safe. Knowing how to swim before heading down them was definitely important. Here is a photo of what everything looked like before we got started.
Time and water just take their toll.


By Steve Schroeder 25 May, 2017

Summer is a great time to do work on your home. After several harsh winters homes, decks, fences, driveways, and walkways can start to look grimy. A combination of the elements, moss, dirt, pollens, tree sap, and pollution build up. Pressure washing can make faded paint brighten, and stained driveways look new again.

 

Here are a few tips for those of you who plan to either buy or rent a pressure washer and do it yourself.

 

1.    Before you ever get started, make sure to read the “how to” booklet, especially the safety section. Pressure washers can hurt you. Massive force comes out of the nozzle. It can harm plants, animals, humans, and anything softer than concrete. Like a gun, never point the tip of a pressure washer at any of these things. As a matter of fact, keep pets inside when pressure washing.

2.    Speaking of safety, you need to wear safety goggles and a pair of safety gloves. The washer can loosen dirt, sand, paint, and other nasty bits that can blow back into your face. And if it is gas powered, wear earplugs.

3.     Before you get started, pull all of your supplies together. You will need: a broom, stiff bristled brush, degreaser, detergent, heavy gauge plastic sheeting, painter’s tape, and a 50 foot garden hose. After you are done, you will want to reseal your cement, so you will also need a paint tray, waterproof sealer, a paint roller, and a roller extender.

4.    Move anything you don’t want damaged out of the way. Cover anything you can’t move with heavy-gauge plastic sheeting.

5.    Clear debris, dirt, and dust with a broom, then scrub everything down with a brush and degreaser.

6.    Follow all of the instructions in the manual on how to set up the power washer. Make sure you understand about all of the different wands and what they are used for. The smaller the number, the more powerful the flow of water. It is best to start with the lowest number of wand.

7.    Always make sure that there is water flowing through the power washer from the garden hose. Never turn it on without the hose connected or you will burn up the engine.

8.    Test it out in a small area where you can learn how to use the machine without causing any damage, or test it on something you don’t care if it is destroyed.

9.    Once you get going, make your strokes back and forth across the concrete, over lapping as you go.

10.Take your time. Pay attention to what you are doing. Put down the cell phone. Don’t let yourself get distracted.

 


By Steve Schroeder 20 Apr, 2017

Spring-cleaning is one thing, but getting your home de-cluttered and tidy, that is something else entirely.

 

If you find that your house smells fresh after a good airing out on the first beautiful Spring day, but that you are drowning in a sea of stuff -- bulging out of your closets and filling your bookshelves with more clutter than you had last year -- it is time to get serious about purging.

 

Minimalism and downsizing are on the rise. Many of this year’s home and garden shows are even featuring tiny houses (less that 500 square feet in size). When space is at a premium, you have to decide what is really important to keep.

 

Deciding What to Let Go Of

 

How do you decide what is most important? I found two books that will help you finally get rid of that stuff that has been in the back of your closet since college. The stuff you repeatedly notice and say, “oh, I forgot I had that,” promptly putting in back where you found it and forgetting it for another year.

 

The first book is an international best seller for the reason that it works. It is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The author, Marie Kondo, has developed a method for de-cluttering your home once and for all. She calls it the KonMari Method. This is not a method for the feint of heart. This is for those of you who are serious about lightening the load.

 

If you follow the KonMari Method implicitly, you will more than likely cut from two-thirds to three-fourths of your possessions, while creating a more relaxing and easy-care living environment. And it is life changing. Those who have applied her method of cleaning say that they have become more relaxed, more focused, and better able to cope with life’s 24-7 craziness.

 

One couple that were clients of Kondo’s had over 500 garbage bags full of unwanted stuff when they were done! Once you have purged, she explains how to reorganize everything for easy use, especially how to fold. When you are finished, she guarantees you will never again accumulate anything you don’t love, and you will want to keep purging, ensuring you keep only what brings you joy at all times.

 

So, what do you do with these 500 bags of stuff? You pick up the book Sell, Keep Or Toss? by Harry L. Rinker, to decide how to get rid of it. The book was written to help those having to settle an estate, but he gives lots of wonderful tips on how to decide what to sell, donate or trash. How you break down your stuff will be based on value. Value, Rinker says, is based on condition, scarcity, and desirability.

 

Rinker tells you how to create a disposal plan to maximize your financial return on the items of which you are divesting yourself. He talks about auction houses, second hand stores, garage sales, and selling on the Internet. He even talks about how to go through the real junk, like non-working small appliances, to see if there is a way to make some cash off of them as salvage.

 

We hope these books help you turn your house into a happy and healthy, clutter-free, neat and orderly home, even in the deepest closet. And maybe make some profit off the clutter you no longer want.

 

For those items that are real junk, call me at Steve Schroeder Services, LLC. We do junk hauling and appliance removal.

 

My mission is. “ To Keep Putting Service Back Into Customer Service With The Utmost Quality And Care.” These are not just words to Steve Schroeder but how business is done!

 

Contact us at: WWW. Servicessold.net or call him at 507-398-3346. We look forward doing business with you soon.

By Steve Schroeder 05 Apr, 2017

When you want to add the popular look of wood flooring to your home, investment property, or office building, one of the best options for its durability and many color/style options is vinyl. Vinyl is perfect for high-moisture locations, heavy traffic areas, or if you have a limited budget. Today’s technology has allowed manufacturers to create plank vinyl floors that look like real wood, but at a fraction of the cost, with quick installation, and with much easier care.

 

Modern vinyl floors are nothing like those of the past. They are made in planks, just like milled wood or wood laminate flooring. The planks lock together and do not stick to the floor beneath. Best of all, they look and feel like real wood.

 

Lock and fold floors “float” over the sub-floor, allowing for this flooring to be used over less than ideal situations where the subfloor may be rough, uneven, or very hard to remove due to age. If a client prefers that some glue be used to adhere the flooring, it can be done as a perimeter installation.

 

Floating vinyl plank floors are perfect for high traffic areas or high use facilities, like apartments or office buildings because of their ability to hold up to women’s high heels, which can destroy real wood flooring, and quick clean up with soap and water. This makes them the ideal choice for bathrooms, mudrooms, and laundry rooms. And they are pet-friendly, as they do not scratch and do not absorb any “accidents,” as carpets and wood flooring do.

 

Best of all there is nothing boring about vinyl plank flooring. It can be found in basic colors/styles like oak and pine, but if you choose luxury vinyl flooring, it is available in the latest designs like wide planked bleached pine or scraped mahogany.

 

When you are ready to hire a professional to update the look of your home, office, apartment building, or investment property with plank vinyl flooring, call me at Steve Schroeder Services, LLC.

 

My mission is. “ To Keep Putting Service Back Into Customer Service With The Utmost Quality And Care.” These are not just words to Steve Schroeder but how business is done!

 

Contact us at: WWW. Servicessold.net or call him at 507-398-3346. We look forward doing business with you soon.

By Steve Schroeder 22 Mar, 2017

Hiring a professional to clean your carpet is going to save you money in the end. Not using the proper equipment, using the wrong cleaners, and not following the manufacture’s process can shorten the life of your carpet.

 

If you get it professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months, your carpet should last 3-5 years, however, many homes have carpets that are much older because they have been well cared for.

 

At Steve Schroeder Services, LLC we have taken the time to learn all about what it takes to clean carpets correctly. If you get them too wet, don’t get them fully rinsed, or use the wrong cleaners, your carpet will actually end up attracting dirt. Also, vigorously scrubbing a stain on your carpet can weaken fibers.

 

With the new carpet deodorizing powers, some people think that it is okay to not have them cleaned. These deodorizing powders are not cleaners. They can often make a mess out of your carpets by attracting the very dirt you are trying to avoid.

 

Also, no carpet is 100% stain-proof . Those carpets labeled stain-resistant are coated with a chemical finish that prevents dirt and liquids from soaking into the fibers. Some carpets are more resistant than others. Different companies used different proprietary chemical treatments. Eventually they all wear off. But some protection is better than none at all.

 

The best thing you can do to keep stains out of your carpet is to make sure your carpets are well cleaned. This will allow them to look like new and stay stain- resistant longer.

 

Below are two cleanup ideas for the most common stains. Use these tips between cleanings to insure a long life for your carpet.

 

Dirt

•  Vacuum as much as possible removing majority of dirt.

 •   Apply your favorite product stain remover.

 •   Always follow manufactures instructions.

 

Pet Urine or Wine

•  Soak up and blot as much as possible.

•   Apply your favorite stain remover product.

 •   Always follow manufactures instructions.

 

When you are ready to hire a professional, call me at Steve Schroeder Services, LLC. We do whole house carpet cleaning for $109.00 plus tax (stairs and closets excluded)

 

My mission is. “ To Keep Putting Service Back Into Customer Service With The Utmost Quality And Care.” These are not just words to Steve Schroeder but how business is done!

 

Contact us at: WWW. Servicessold.net or call him at 507-398-3346. We look forward doing business with you soon.

More Posts
Share by: