Diamond Certified Blog

by Chris Bjorklund
May 05, 2009

The savings with solar can be substantial for homeowners with electric bills topping $100 a month.  Randy Zechman, the CEO of Clean Solar, a Diamond Certified company, suggests the first step is to review your PG&E bills for the past 12 months to determine how many kilowatts you’re using and what you’re paying. This helps solar contractors, who have to be licensed, know which size system to install in your home.

Rather than depend only on a solar contractor’s representations as to the amount of energy a system will produce, ask for what’s called a solar production guarantee. Get this in writing along with the warranty. Mr. Zechman says you can still get federal tax credits and rebates from the state for installing a solar system. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
May 01, 2009

Many people make the mistake of storing their firewood outside directly up against their house. John Kunkel, owner of Termite Police, a Diamond Certified company, says that’s the worst place to put it. Termites are attracted to any kind of wood, and can easily move from the firewood right into your siding or foundation from that woodpile. It’s much better to store your wood away from the house, perhaps in a shed.

Here’s another tip from Mr. Kunkel.  If you live in an old house, and you set firewood down on the hardwood floors, beetles might move right in with the wood. Once these beetles start feasting on your floors, you’ll need professional help to eliminate them. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
March 04, 2009

Driving on wet roads with your cruise control on can be very dangerous. Why? If your car begins to hydro-plane and tires lose contact with the surface, the cruise control will take some time to react. When your car begins to get traction again, it will accelerate, making you take off too quickly. You may lose complete control of your vehicle.

The early part of the rainy season is especially hazardous. It hasn’t rained in a long time and oils have accumulated, making it difficult for your tires to stick to pavement. Some newer cars won’t let you set cruise control while the windshield wipers are on. The safest thing is to avoid using the cruise control setting when rain and inclement weather are in the forecast. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
February 01, 2009

My neighbor in Sonoma has some beautiful trees, but a few of the limbs and branches are blocking the view. I started wondering whether I was within my rights to trim some of those branches, given that they’re dangling over the fence and onto my property. Who better to ask than Darren Edwards, owner of Advance Tree Service, a Diamond Certified company?  According to Mr. Edwards,  “You may have someone trim your tree without your neighbor’s permission. You’re allowed to go back to the property line. You can’t go over the property line. But so long as it doesn’t damage the tree’s health or integrity.” It’s also a good idea to discuss any limb trimming with your neighbor first, Read more