5 Tips for DIY Squirrel Removal

A family of squirrels nests in the roof gable.

Squirrels are very active all year and they usually build their nests in trees using leaves and other materials. In the winter they would rather live inside holes or crevices of old trees that are hard to find. Making their way into your attic is easy if you have small holes providing them with a way in and they will wreak havoc inside your home.

If you take yourself to be a savvy DIY homeowner, use these 5 tips for removing squirrels from your home:

1) Wait For The Mating Season To End

Squirrels give birth two times a year, once between January and April and again in the fall between August and September. There are usually 2-4 babies per litter and they do not become self-sustaining until about 12-14 weeks.

If you find out you have squirrels inside your home during their maternal season it is best to wait to remove them. If you remove the mother the young can die in your attic which is inhumane and will cause a stench in your home if you cannot find them. The mother squirrel will also do whatever she can to get back inside to her young which could mean more damages to your home.

2) Check for hiding squirrels

Squirrels are usually outside finding food in the mid-morning on a sunny day, check to make sure they are not hiding inside before you start. Use a ½ inch hardware cloth, you can find this at any hardware store. Cut the hardware cloth about 2 to 3 inches bigger than the hole is on all sides, use a staple gun to secure it and then re-enforce it with sheet metal screws.

Repeat this process for all holes you find in your home, so that squirrels cannot re-enter your home.

3) Make Use Of Live Cage Traps

If you have blocked all the holes and notice that a squirrel may have gotten trapped inside, then use a live trap inside your attic. When you have trapped the squirrel inside the live trap, cover the trap with a large towel to reduce stress. Take the trap outside and release the squirrel, if you relocate the squirrel it could result in its death.


4) Try Repellant

You can make a squirrel repellant that can help stop squirrels and other animals from chewing things around your house. You can purchase it in a garden center or create your own using this simple recipe.

  • 1-chopped yellow onion
  • 1-chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1-tbsp cayenne pepper

Boil ingredients for about 20 minutes in about 2-quarts of water, cool and strain the mixture. Use a pesticide sprayer or spray bottle to apply to areas around your home, use it around holes that you have repaired. The mixture only last for about a week so you will have to re-apply it often.

5) Disturb Their Nesting Area

Squirrels like a peaceful nesting area; you might be able to get them to leave by placing a radio in the attic on an all-talk station or a lamp in the area that they are nesting. Always use a cool LED bulb, not a hot incandescent bulb, to eliminate fire risk.

Preventing squirrels from getting inside your home can save you a lot of time and money on repairs. Always repairs holes in your siding, roof, etc. before they become a squirrels entry door and make sure trees and shrubs are about 5 feet away from your house because squirrels can leap this far.

The bottom line is: The best method for removing rodents from your home is always to seal up entry holes, after using some type of removal/exclusion technique. Many homeowners will turn to killing and baiting methods, however using poison to get rid of squirrels is a bad idea and will usually make matters worse.

10 Steps to a Perfect Exterior Paint Job

Old wood siding, quick ending up being a dinosaur in new building, routinely requires the defense of a new coat of paint.

An expert will certainly charge you in between $4,000 and $6,000 to paint a 2,000-square foot, two-story home. But you can do it yourself in a couple of weekends for the expense of paint and supplies.

An excellent paint task can last One Decade. The key is proper preparation. Right here are 10 steps to take to ensure your exterior paint task looks excellent, adds value to your home, and lasts a long period of time.

Step 1: Get the lead out

Do-it-yourselfers are not requireded to follow EPA policies for lead-safe practices, as professional paint specialists must. But if your home was developed prior to 1978, when lead paint was prohibited for residential use, you ought to secure yourself and your next-door neighbors from airborne lead bits.

The initial step is to check for lead paint: Kits are readily available for $10 to $35 online, and at paint and hardware stores. If tests prove positive for lead, keep paint dust to a minimum by taking the following preventative measures:

  • Lay plastic drop cloths and collect scrapings.
  • Clean location with a HEPA vacuum.
  • Use masks and Tyvek fits.
  • Dispose of all products at an authorized harmful products website.

Step 2: Wash the exterior


Mildew prospers under fresh paint, which will not adhere well to dirty, filthy, spore-sporting outside walls. So clean your home’s outside prior to painting.

Make use of a mix of water and a phosphate-free cleanser such as Jomax House Cleaner ($15 per gallon) and Mildew Killer Concentrate ($8.50 for 32 ounces).

You can hand-apply the solution with a sponge, which will certainly take forever and numerous trips up and down the ladder. Or, hire a pro to press wash siding– not a task for an amateur, who can harm siding by pressing water under boards. (Expense varies by place: $150 to $750 for a professional to press wash the exterior of a 2,100-square-foot home.)

Step 3: Remove loose paint


When clapboards are dry, get rid of loose, flaking paint.

A handheld scraper is normally the very best tool for the task, though you can likewise utilize a hot-air gun or infrared paint stripper. Never use an open-flame torch, which can easily start a fire and is prohibited in a lot of states unless you have an authorization.

To work lead-safe, wear a mask and Tyvek match, spray water on the paint as you scrape, and gather the particles.

Step 4: Sand rough spots


A pad sander or random-orbit fitted with 80-grit sandpaper will certainly smooth out any staying rough spots. Make sure not to press so tough that you leave sander marks in the wood.

To be lead safe, utilize sanders fitted with HEPA filters.

Step 5: Fill and fix

After cleaning, scraping, and sanding your wood siding, go back and check what you have actually uncovered– holes, dings, and chips.

Fill minor holes or dings in the siding with a patching putty or substance such as Zinsser’s Ready Patch ($20 per gallon).

If you’ve got a significant rot problem, mobilize a carpenter to change the bad wood. Likewise, repair drain issues that cause water to swimming pool and promote rot.

Step 6: Use primer

Apply guide immediately after preparing wood siding.

White, gray, or tinted guide provides an even base for overcoats to follow, and a consistent canvas from which to check your work. Little spaces in joints and around doors, windows, and other areas where horizontals satisfy verticals will certainly all stand out in high relief, showing where you have to fill in with caulk.

If you’re repainting over bare wood or existing latex paint, then latex guide is great. But if you’re painting over multiple coats of oil-based paint, it’s finest to stick with a new coat of oil-based guide.

Step 7: Caulk all joints

Siliconized or top-of-the line polyurethane acrylic caulks provide paint tasks a smooth, pleasing appearance. However the advantages aren’t purely visual. Tight joints also avoid air leaks and obstruct water penetration.

Spring for the $7-a-tube polyurethane caulks with 55-year guarantees, which will withstand weather better than 35-year caulks that cost less than $3. The typical home needs about seven tubes of caulk.

Step 8: Select the best paint

Painting with water-based acrylic latex is so much simpler than handling oil-based paints. Latex paint:

  • Applies quickly.
  • Dries rapidly.
  • Tidies up with soap and water.

If your house currently sports an oil-based paint, which is more resilient than latex, you’ll have to stay with it.

Choose surfaces thoroughly. As a rule, the greater the sheen, the much better the paint is at blocking the sun’s damaging rays. Satin is fine for shingles or clapboards, but you’ll desire gloss paint to safeguard high-traffic parts of a house, such as window casings, porches, and doorframes. A gallon of premium exterior latex costs $35 to $45.

Step 9: Use top coats

Less is more when it concerns using top coats. More layers can result in paint flaking off through the years; less paint bonds much better to layers beneath.

If you’re going from a white house to yellow or cream, you might be able of getting by with one coat. Going from a light to a dark house, and vice versa, usually requires 2 coats.

Step 10: Exercise excellent upkeep

You can extend the life of a great paint task by:

  1. Inspecting the caulk every year and changing any that’s cracked or missing.
  2. Removing mold or mildew.
  3. Washing discolorations from nesting birds and pollen.
  4. Retouching blisters and peels prior to they spread out.

Guide to Proper Chimney Maintenance

Fire places and woodstoves make smoke and various contaminants through the fireplace. Soot out of this smoke accumulates on the walls of your fireplace over time. This will at some point bring about blocking and may possibly start chimney fires. This will result in severe hazard on your residence as well as your protection. That is why specialists suggest yearly inspections of your fireplace. This guide will teach you proper chimney maintenance.

First of all, if you’re planning to stay away from major problems, you should start with inspections to your chimney at least once a year. Although, chimneys are located above the roof, take some time and check if everything is fine. This is really important if you are staying in an old house as the materials would most likely corrode easier. If you have problems related to height or you don’t actually know on what to look at, you could always give a call to a professional chimney service company in Chicago. While on the roof, look for missing flashing surrounding the chimney which is actually metal sheets that keeps the fireplace and brickwork waterproof.

It may be worth it to do a chimney repair on a new house after you first move into it. Even if the pipe that is currently in the house doesn’t look like it is in bad condition, if it is older, it is not going to be nearly as safe as the new pipes are. There are more regulations today about the quality and type of pipe that is made that will help keep you safer. By buying new pipes to put on your furnace, you will be able to make it safer and to reduce the chance of having a fire spread out into your home.

When it comes to this field one must understand that since there are no State requirements for licensed chimney sweeps, there are going to be a lot of fly-by-night companies providing this service. With this in mind, search reviews and look for a legitimate, established chimney servicing company in your area.


One of the reasons why tuckpointing is used is because it gives a building the look that the masonry has been put together with fine joints. This architectural element improves the overall look of brick masonry. It is a technique that traces its origins back to the days when uneven bricks were the most common brick available. The technique is very simple. Before the brick masonry sets, the mason will place either clay, mortar, or putty inside the joint. It is then smoothed over to make an even line. It would be a mistake to think that tuckpointing is only done on a new wall. Older walls that are beginning to show their age benefit greatly by tuckpointing. The added advantage of this is that this increases the safety of the wall as well as highlighting the brick masonry.

Learn more about tuckpointing from Capital Chimney Corp in Chicago.

Capital Chimney Corp

How to Enhance the Roofing Installation Process


Are you in need of a new roof installation? If so, have you already contacted a contractor, but you still feel nervous about the process? If so, there are things you can do to alleviate your stress over the situation. Specifically, by becoming more engaged with the process, but not to the point of aggravating the contractor, you can and will be able to ease your nerves with respect to the installation. This article will discuss how to enhance the roofing installation process in an effort to diminish any potential nerves you may have regarding your roof installation.


One tip to enhance the roofing installation process is to research and compare the different types of roofing materials. You would be surprised how many people don’t do the necessary research needed to make an informed decision regarding a roof replacement or repair. Don’t be one of those people! Take the time to research and compare so as to be sure that you are purchasing the right materials that meet your needs and your budget. The second tip to enhance the roofing installation process is to clean the workspace before the contractor arrives to the work site. The goal here is to keep the workspace as clutter free as possible so as to deter any unnecessary, and certainly unwanted, injury. Furthermore, the contractor will be able to adequately address your service needs by being able to fully investigate the nature of your problem as well as exposing additional hazards you may not be aware of.

The third tip to enhance the roofing installation process is to be flexible and open to the contractor’s suggestions for improvement and cost savings. While contractors are obviously more trained than you are in the area of roofing, you shouldn’t automatically assume that they are out to take advantage of your ignorance. When offered advice on a particular product or service, listen and take into the account the true benefits of such products or service instead of immediately discounting the information; it could be helpful to you.

Regardless of whether or not this is your first roof replacement or repair, you may find that you are nervous about the installation process. However, you don’t have to be consumed with fear about being taken advantage of or worrying if you have made the right selection of materials. Don’t distance yourself from the process; engage yourself more in it and in doing so you will be able to greatly diminish your fears and nerves about the installation process. Specifically, there are three tips you can utilize in an effort to enhance the roofing installation process, they include; researching and comparing the different types of roofing materials, cleaning the workspace before the contractor arrives to the work site and being flexible and open to the contractor’s suggestions for improvement and cost savings.

Work Mode for Your Humble Abode


Having house problems or just want some upgrades in your house? Here are some tips for you for some do-it-yourself home improvements which will help you save cost and, while you’re at it, learn some tricks of the trade.

First, you must choose which improvement in your house to add to your house. Remember, improving your house also means increasing your house’s value. Even though you should not treat your house as an investment, but with some degree of funds invested in the improvements, you should also make sure that what you spend is worth all the trouble.

If you are thinking of multiple improvements, you should consider first which one is the most important in the list. For example, regarding the weather, if rainy season is on its way, it is much more appropriate if you take on improvements regarding it, don’t you think?

Consider the urgency of the improvement first and foremost. Take also in consideration if the task at hand is doable by yourself or not. If you really need assistance from a professional, do not hesitate to do so. You do not want risking saving a few bucks and just ending screwing it all up.

originalAlso, you must exercise your home improvement skills. Do as much as you can, as best as you can. These things are learnable in the long run. Truth be told, there are things around the house that we can do not need to hire others to fix. Do resourcing in the magazines and even through the Internet. There are lots of tips there to start home improvement.

You can also get new ideas through those. You will never know you might find your next home improvement projects in those sources. You should also have the right tools to use when doing these tasks. Go to your local hardware stores. From nails to power saw, chainsaw to woods. All these materials are just a drive away.

In any case that you need help with these tasks, there are always handymen and other professionals who are more than glad to assist you with these and even teach you a tip or two while they are at it. Take note, seeking assistance from there professionals is like seeking help from a good doctor to help you with your problems.

Remember, it is your house so you have to have someone whom you can trust to handle it with care. Better if you ask from neighbors or friends some feedbacks regarding these. After all, firsthand experience from your friends is much better than just reading them from reviews from some random people.

Before you forget, you have to have a plan. Put into mind those details. How much does the project cost? How long does it take? What materials to use? What design to follow? All of these you should consider before starting anything. So put those extra time into good use, put that money into good use, and most especially, put those creativity into good use. Turn on your work mode for your humble abode!

Now that you have knowledge about home improvements and how to deal with it. You are can now prepare everything and set it right. It would be best, if you plan things out ahead of time and consider something that may affect your plans. This would help you solve possible problems in the future before you implement it, this is the perfect solution to reduce the risk of possible mistakes that any other people usually experience, when it comes to home improvement matters.