Home Maintenance

Steve Spratt is president of HPS Palo Alto, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2011. He can be reached at (888) 844-0007.

How to Prevent Efflorescence on Masonry Surfaces

Posted on March 11, 2019 by James Florence

PALO ALTO — Have you noticed white, powdery blotches on a stone, concrete, or tile surface in or around your home? This phenomenon is known as efflorescence, a common blight that can affect any masonry surface.

Efflorescence is seen most often in areas like joints and grout lines, and it can occur on both flat and vertical surfaces. It’s caused when moisture is drawn into a masonry material via a process known as capillary action—the same process that allows tree roots to transfer water from the soil up to the leaves. As moisture is drawn through the masonry material, it becomes saturated with minerals and salt. When the moisture finally reaches the outer surface of the material, Read more

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Video: Second-Guessing Low Water Pressure

Posted on November 28, 2018 by James Florence

AMERICAN CANYON — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you think your home has low water pressure, you may be confusing this for a simpler issue. Today we’re in American Canyon with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Lamine Elabed of LW Construction & Handyman Services to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Lamine Elabed: This tip is about low pressure coming out of a particular faucet in your home, most likely the bathroom or a kitchen faucet. Over time — there is an aerator, which is a thing that hooks into the end of the faucet — and it’s an aerator, which means it has a filter supposed to reduce the water output to 45%. Read more

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Solving Garbage Disposal Issues

Posted on November 28, 2018 by James Florence

AMERICAN CANYON — When your garbage disposal gets jammed, you may think you need to call a plumber. However, with a little troubleshooting, you may be able to solve the problem yourself. The first thing you should try is resetting it. On the bottom of the unit, there should be an ON/OFF power switch and a red reset button. Set the disposal’s power switch to OFF and press the reset button. Set the power switch back to ON and see if the unit will work.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, the next step is to try unjamming it manually. Your garbage disposal should come with a mechanical hex key specifically for this purpose; Read more

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Fixing Low Water Pressure in Your Faucets

Posted on November 28, 2018 by James Florence

AMERICAN CANYON — If you’re getting unusually low water pressure from a faucet in your home, it’s likely due to a simple cause. Faucets have aerators, which act as filters that reduce water flow while maintaining a reasonable amount of pressure. Over time, aerators can collect tiny bits of sediment that come out of the water pipe. Eventually, this accumulated sediment can clog an aerator and cause a reduction in water pressure.

Fortunately, the solution for this issue is as simple as the cause. All you need to do is unscrew the aerator from the faucet, clean out any sediment inside and tighten it back into place. Once the aerator is clear of sediment, Read more

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Video: Inspecting Your Home Exterior

Posted on April 30, 2018 by James Florence

SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: To ensure the integrity of your home exterior, it’s a good idea to perform regular inspections. Today we’re in Santa Rosa with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Leo Diaz of Diaz and Sons Construction to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Leo Diaz: Walking around your property twice a year is a great idea so that you can catch situations that happen with the property before they become a big problem. Like, some good ideas would be when you’re walking around look at the nail heads, if they’re popping out. Look at the caulking on the property. Look at any gaps around the eaves, Read more

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Inspecting Your Home Exterior

Posted on April 13, 2018 by James Florence

SANTA ROSA — As a homeowner, it’s important to periodically inspect your home exterior. A good way to do this is to walk around your home and look closely for any potential issues. By doing this a couple of times each year, you can catch and remedy problems before they become full-blown. Here are a few things to look for during your inspection:

Missing/protruding nails. Exposed nail holes can allow water to penetrate your roof and siding, which can potentially lead to dry rot issues.

Missing/worn-out caulking. Caulking is used to seal gaps around windows, doors and other areas from moisture intrusion. However, it isn’t permanent, so you’ll need to reapply it periodically. Read more

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Annual Roof Maintenance

Posted on October 31, 2017 by James Florence

MOUNTAIN VIEW — As autumn advances toward winter, it’s a good time to do some preventative roof maintenance in anticipation of the rainy season. Start by clearing leaves, tree branches and other debris off of your roof, paying special attention to valleys and other areas where debris can collect and cause leaks. Next, thoroughly clean out your gutters and downspouts. If neglected, your gutter system can become clogged with debris, which can result in damage to your roof, siding and windows.

After cleaning your roof and gutters, inspect your roof’s various waterproofing components. This includes seals and flashings around roof penetrations like pipes and vents. Since the summer heat can cause these to wear out prematurely, Read more

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