The Bay Area has already seen numerous destructive wildfires in 2020, and there are still several weeks of hot, dry weather ahead of us. As wildfires become an increasingly common threat to the region, many homeowners are turning to “firescaping,” which is the coordinated use of fire-resistant plants and building materials around the home. With the right plants and hardscaping features, you can make it harder for wildfire to take hold and spread. Firescaping is a type of landscaping, which means you still have many options to create a garden that reflects your personal style. Aside from improving safety and adding beauty, firescaping can increase the value of your home. Read more
Known for their excessive water consumption, grass lawns tend to get a bad rap these days. However, this judgment isn’t entirely fair. The truth is most turf grasses only need about one inch of water per week to maintain their color and active growth. So, why the bad reputation? Perhaps it’s time to shift the blame from the lawns themselves to those responsible for watering them. After all, a lot of home and property owners waste water by not following efficient irrigation practices. To ensure you’re doing all you can to conserve water with your lawn, read these helpful guidelines: Read more
While most dental practices were closed or operating on a limited basis during the height of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates, as of mid-summer, most are open for regular business again. However, it will likely be some time before things return to business as usual. We spoke to San Leandro-based dentist Dr. William Hummer to learn how the pandemic has impacted dental practices’ daily operations and what patients should expect regarding scheduling and care. Read more
I’m happy to be writing for the Diamond Certified Consumer Report again after a short hiatus. Since March, so much has happened to all of us (I was in a scary car accident, my husband had foot surgery and I broke my leg to boot!) that I don’t really know what getting back to “normal” means right now. But let me share a few observations.
Most of us are beginning to resume some activities, albeit with many adaptations. I’ve continued having groceries delivered, but now I make brief forays into stores that have best practices. Read more
It’s well-known that wildfires cause substantial air pollution. However, even after the air has cleared, the smell of smoke can linger in homes within the fire’s immediate and surrounding vicinities. The odor is not only unpleasant, it’s unhealthy for your respiratory system and notoriously difficult to remove.
In this piece, we’ll explain methods for removing smoke odors from your home and belongings. You can get started with some DIY tasks, but for certain jobs, you may need to bring in a professional. Read more
With wildfires threatening residential areas in multiple parts of California, Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a State of Emergency. Once again, Northern California residents must grapple with fire, heat, and smoke affecting their homes and communities.
As previous wildfire events have taught us, recovery is a slow and often confusing process. Below, you’ll find resources to help you get started and make sense of your options.
Filing a homeowners insurance claim can be a daunting task. To get you through the process with minimal stress, we’ve provided the following step-by-step guide. Read more
Following a disaster such as an earthquake or a wildfire, people are anxious to get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible. For many, this includes cleaning up, repairing and rebuilding their homes. Unfortunately, there are many bad actors out there ready and willing to take advantage of overwhelmed disaster victims. Read more