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The Diamond Certified® Consumer Report Twitter link Facebook link
 VOL. 6, ISSUE 2 - FEBRUARY 2013

In This Issue

Help, I Need an Expert!

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Testing the Safety of Your Garage Door

Consumer Feedback:
Best Chimney Sweep

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Avoid the Bait-and-Switch

Wet Roads and Cruise Control

You Need to Know About Grab Bars

Diamond Certified Quick Links






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Help, I Need an Expert!

An employee at Donovan’s Pest Control, a Diamond Certified company, uses a microscope to identify a pest.

About a year ago, creepy little pinkish bugs started showing up dead in the lower level of our house. At first, I thought the bugs had come in with a package I received from Central America. I would find four or five dead bugs a day, mostly near the laundry area. Vacuuming them up didn’t help, as more would just appear the next day. No one had any idea what they were. I tried using the Internet to help me identify the pests, but I was unsuccessful.

My husband and I disagreed on what to do next. He thought we should call a pest control company; I was betting the problem would just go away. Why waste money on a service call? I was relieved when the bugs disappeared, yet frustrated when they reappeared eight months later.

Once again, we debated what to do. What if the pests were termites, bed bugs or silverfish? What if the problem was bigger than we suspected—some kind of serious infestation? After several weeks of creepy pinkish dead bugs residing in my office and den (even more than the previous year), I knew I had to call an expert.

The Diamond Certified pest control company I contacted listened to my problem over the phone and told me they had a bug identification service for this very situation. The technician who came to our home was stumped at first. Like a private eye, he “cased the joint,” looking inside crawl spaces and all around the outside of the house. He took the dead bugs I’d saved and said he would have to use office reference guides and a microscope to provide an accurate identification. He also said he might have to send samples to the government if his findings were inconclusive.

Within 48 hours, the mystery was solved. The Diamond Certified expert told me that my “pests” were actually “lawn shrimp”: bugs that like moisture and live under rocks and mulch. They’re brown when they live outside, but when it gets too wet there, they crawl under doors and seek a drier habitat. They die quickly and turn pink because it’s too dry for them indoors. The expert recommended adding more weather stripping to keep the lawn shrimp outside, and we were relieved when he told us they’re harmless.

Very few people have training in entomology. Likewise, few of us have training in auto repair, electricity, plumbing, or heating and ventilation. So when a problem arises that’s outside of your experience, get some help. Will Rogers once said, “Everyone is ignorant, just on different subjects.” Recognize your strengths and call experts to handle the areas in which they excel.

Chris Bjorklund signature
Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Chris Bjorklund

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Diamond Certified® Preferred Customer Card

Have you signed up to become a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer? Membership is always free and comes with numerous benefits, including a special member hotline, members-only access to additional tools on, a double Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee and more. Join now to make sure you receive a free copy of the 2013 Diamond Certified Directory when it’s released this April! Visit to get started.


Testing the Safety of Your Garage Door

A recent garage door project by S.Q. Garage Door, a Diamond Certified company

Many California homes have old, flip-up garage doors made of wood, which can create a safety hazard in some situations. “Those types of doors have a scissor-like operation that can be very dangerous,” explains Scott O’Neill, Sales Manager at Madden Door & Sons, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. “They’re also improperly balanced, which means a door that hasn’t been adjusted in some time can be unsafe.”

To test for balance, Mr. Madden recommends disconnecting the automatic system to determine if the door stays in its resting position no matter where you put it. Also, try simply looking at the condition of the door—if its wood shows signs of warping or cracking, that’s not good. If you only use your garage door automatically and never test it by hand, you may not even be aware of the problems that can cause it to malfunction.


Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Subject: Best Chimney Sweep

Dear Diamond Certified,

Andy from Best Chimney Sweep just cleaned my chimney. Andy was on-time even with the bad weather today. He had a helper, and both were professional and organized. The work was done quickly and with great concern about not dirtying my home.

Besides the cleaning, I had Andy repair the chain that operates my chimney’s damper. I had two other companies try to repair the chain, but both failed within three weeks. As Andy explained, “The repair is more than just putting in new bolts.” He put in a molly-like bolt that wouldn’t pull out, presented me with details of my chimney’s health, and even cleaned and scoured my log lighter. I would highly recommend Andy and will call him next year. —E.S., Marin County


Diamond Certified ® Only companies rated Highest in Quality earn Diamond Certified

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

ALAMEDA county
Puronics Service, Inc.
Livermore - (925) 257-4704

Bongiorno Termite Control

Oakley - (925) 364-5488

Acme Electric

Napa - (707) 469-3930

Adams Electric Inc.
Napa - (707) 737-3850

Best View Services
Napa - (707) 925-0775

Compass of California Insurance Services
Napa - (707) 652-9789

Fulton Body Shop
St. Helena - (707) 639-8801

Heritage Painting
Napa - (707) 639-8795

Napa Valley Wine Country Tours
American Canyon - (707) 655-4871

Professional Rental Organization, Inc.
Napa - (707) 733-6704

san francisco
Spinnaker Real Estate Group
San Francisco - (415) 689-6018

Consolidated Plumbing, Inc.

San Jose - (408) 763-3051

JMK Shutters
San Jose - (408) 663-2786

Mountain View Optometry & Contact Lens Clinic
Mountain View - (650) 741-0231

Superior Mechanical
Fairfield - (707) 654-4209

American Ratings Corporation - Diamond Certified • 504 Redwood Blvd. • Suite 210 Novato, California 94947 • (877) 312-1307
©2013 American Ratings Corporation  

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