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5 Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality

Posted on April 04, 2017 by James Florence

Spring has arrived once again to the Bay Area—the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and, as a result, many local inhabitants are sniffling and sneezing. If you’re one of them, going outdoors during this time of year can be an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, even though you can’t control the outside air, there’s plenty you can do to improve air quality inside of your home. Here are five tips for creating an allergy-free haven:

1. Get a good air filter (and replace it regularly). This is the cornerstone of indoor air quality. For most homes, a mid-grade MERV 9 filter will do nicely, but if you have extreme sensitivities, consider upgrading to a MERV 13 filter: a four-inch pleated model that removes airborne particles down to the level of viruses and bacterium. Read more

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Posted in: Health Tips, Home Tips
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Savvy Consumer Tip: Dealing with Mold in a Closet

Posted on March 09, 2017 by Chris Bjorklund

Do you suspect you have mold in your closets? Watch this video to learn what to do. Read more

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The Sump Pump Solution: How I Dealt With Water Damage in My House

Posted on March 07, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

My family and I moved into our home at the height of the California drought, and before this winter, we’d never experienced any significant rainfall while living there. After a major storm system passed through in February, we checked the crawlspace and, to our dismay, found several inches of stagnant water beneath the house. The forecast called for more rain. As the water in the crawlspace continued to rise and fall with ongoing storms, we knew we had to do something. But what would be the best solution?

There are several options for preventing water saturation in your home. In this article, I’ll review some of them and share how we came to the decision to install a sump pump. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Personal Stories
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Savvy Consumer Tip: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Posted on February 24, 2017 by Chris Bjorklund

Watch this video to learn a simple way to keep your stainless steel appliances clean. Read more

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Point of Entry: Getting Rid of an Uninvited Rodent

Posted on February 02, 2017 by Jennifer Chan

I named it Lucifer because it couldn’t help being evil. I’m talking about the rat I could hear scrabbling around beneath the heater vent in my kitchen every morning. It didn’t mean any harm, but the rustles and occasional squeaks were too much for me—it had to go.

As it turned out, my first move didn’t involve a pest control company. Before I could set traps, I had to deal with the brand-new front door dug directly beneath my front door.

Before the rains came, these holes were caked with tufts of fur, eliminating any doubt that they were at least one major point of entry. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Personal Stories
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Diamond Certified Experts: Bathroom Remodeling 101

Posted on January 24, 2017 by James Florence

It’s a new year, which for many Bay Area homeowners means it’s time to start thinking about their next remodeling project. While there are several areas of the home to consider remodeling, an ideal place to start is the bathroom. Since the bathroom tends to be one of a home’s smallest spaces, it’s typically more affordable to renovate than larger areas like the kitchen. However, along with the kitchen, the bathroom is considered one the most lucrative areas of the home to remodel in terms of increasing resale value. Furthermore, since the bathroom is statistically considered the most dangerous room in the house (due to the increased chances for falls and other accidents), remodeling provides an opportunity to improve safety. Read more

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Dealing with Foundation Problems

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Joy Lanzaro

Recently, I spoke to a homeowner who hired a contractor to demolish and re-build a chimney, as well as repair cracks to stucco and drywall. That contractor abandoned the job. The homeowner then hired a Diamond Certified company to patch cracks in the stucco and reinstall the mantel, which the homeowner had removed from around the fireplace.

What went wrong?
When the incoming contractor remounted the fireplace mantel, it looked crooked. The contractor explained that the problem wasn’t the mantel—the house was uneven. This explanation was not received well. Read more

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