Earlier this month, we published the 2019 Diamond Certified Directory. Issued in 10 regional editions, it features full-page profiles of Diamond Certified companies throughout the Greater Bay Area. In addition, each directory includes a section that features helpful consumer tips provided by owners and managers of local Diamond Certified companies. To give you a sample, we’ve assembled the following compilation of expert tips gathered from the 10 different directory editions in print.
Dr. Alfred dela Cruz
Owner, Alfred B. dela Cruz, DDS
A Solution for Sore Gums
If you suffer from sore or bleeding gums, the most important step you can take is to adopt a daily flossing routine. Keep in mind that when you first start flossing, it will cause your gums to bleed even more. However, with time, regular flossing will correct this issue, resulting in healthier gums.
Frank Canova Jr.
President, Diablo Valley Cabinetry
Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage
Most minor dings, dents and scratches on cabinetry can be repaired using a cabinet touch-up kit. These kits usually come with a putty stick and a marker, which can be used to fill in dents and scratches and blend in the color. This allows you to “erase” minor blemishes and keep your cabinets looking pristine.
Owner, Kiss Painting
Touching Up Exterior Door Paint
Repainting an exterior door can be an expensive job, especially if the paint has failed. A more cost-effective option is to service your door before the paint fails. Since the paint is still good, all that’s required is to add a new coat of varnish, a service that’s roughly one-third the cost of a full repainting job.
Preventing Insect Infestations
Factors like firewood piled up against the house, trees and shrubs touching the home exterior, and wall planters with high soil levels can increase the chances of an insect infestation. Remedy these conditions by storing firewood away from the home, keeping vegetation well-trimmed and monitoring the soil levels of wall planters.
Owner, Baeza Plumbing Service
Action Plan for a Major Water Leak
In the event of a major water leak, your first course of action should be to turn off the water at your home’s main shut-off valve. Next, open an exterior hose bib to relieve the pressure to the water going into the house. When you’ve successfully shut off the water, call a plumber to come out and repair the leak.
President, Green Environment Landscape, Inc.
Water-Wise Irrigation Tip
When irrigating lawns or plants situated in sloped areas, you can inadvertently waste a lot of water due to runoff. To prevent this, rather than watering for 10 minutes straight, water for five minutes, wait a couple of hours and then water for another five minutes. This will minimize runoff because you won’t oversaturate the soil.
Senior Project Design Specialist, Viking Pavers
Paver Design Tip
Your paver installation may look great, but if it isn’t practical, you may wind up with unexpected frustrations. For example, if you have elderly family members who live with you or visit often, a cobblestone walkway isn’t a good choice—not only will it make using a walker or wheelchair difficult, it will increase the chances for falls.
Owner, B & L Glass Company
New Windows: Retrofit or Replace?
Replacing windows is no problem for wood-sided houses, thanks to trim that hides the damage caused by cutting out the old windows. However, it isn’t so simple for a brick or stucco house, since there’s no trim to conceal the damage. In these cases, it’s often more practical to retrofit the windows than replace them entirely.
Owner, Fremont Foreign Auto
Synthetic Oil Change Intervals
Many high-end car manufacturers are now recommending oil change intervals of 10,000 miles. However, even with synthetic oil, driving for this long without an oil change can lead to engine lubrication problems, especially if your car has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer. A safer oil change interval is 7,500 miles.
President, Ross Roofing & Construction, Inc.
Roof Repair Tip
Don’t overpay for temporary roof repairs. Sometimes it makes more financial sense to replace a damaged roof than to try and salvage it. A good guideline: When a repair begins to approach 20 percent of the cost of a complete reroof, consider reroofing.
Owner, Elite Pro Home Cleaning
Stainless Steel Cleaning Tip
Most commercial stainless steel cleaning products either contain harsh chemicals or are made with mineral oil. A Greener, more affordable option for cleaning your stainless steel appliances is baby oil. Not only is baby oil environmentally friendly, you probably already have some at home, so you’ll save a little money.
Owner, Serge Electric
Adding Electrical Outlets
If you use a lot of power strips and extension cords in your home, it might be time for an electrical upgrade. Besides the risk of overloading your circuits, it’s unsafe to have a lot of extension cords running through your home, so consider having some additional outlets installed—an affordable measure as far as upgrades go.
Installing Garage Storage Cabinets
In most cases, it’s best to install garage storage cabinets above floor level. First, since they’re above the floor, it’s less easy for insects and rodents to get into them. Second, if your water heater and/or washing machine is located in the garage, raised cabinets will avert water damage if a major leak occurs.
Owner, Reliant Auto Repair
Replacing Your Car’s Water Pump
No vehicle component lasts forever, and water pumps are no exception. That’s why it’s good to replace your water pump preventatively rather than wait for it to fail. To minimize the cost, plan to replace your water pump at the same time you replace your timing belt—typically at the 90,000-mile mark.
Sales Manager, J & M Windows & Glass, Inc.
Adjusting Sliding Door Alignment
Besides regularly cleaning and lubricating your sliding door’s track, it’s a good idea to periodically check its alignment. Most sliding glass doors have a couple of knobs at the bottom that allow you to adjust the alignment. Open your door slightly and check its alignment with the track; if it seems off, use the knobs to adjust it.
Project Manager, Paradigm Concrete & Construction
Hosing Down New Concrete
If you feel inclined to hose down newly installed concrete, be sure to do it at night. When concrete is hosed off during the day, the water will evaporate and leave a blotchiness or efflorescence. While this can often be cleaned off with a vinegar/water solution, it’s best to avoid it in the first place.
Real Estate Agent, Prime Real Estate Services
Getting Pre-Approved for a Loan
The first step in your home search should be getting pre-approved for a loan, as this will allow you to act fast when you find a property you want to buy. Your best route to getting pre-approved is through a mortgage broker, who can approach multiple lenders and find one that’s able to work with your particular circumstances.
One Reason to Inspect Your Attic
One reason to inspect your attic is to rule out rodent infestation. Rodents can cause a lot of problems in the attic, from chewing on insulation and electrical wires to leaving droppings, the latter of which can impact indoor air quality. To prevent this, inspect your attic annually and have any issues addressed by a professional.
Packing Tips for a Move
When packing for a move, try to pack boxes as tightly as you can. Besides being an efficient use of space, this will reduce the chances of breakage caused by items shifting around during transit. On the other hand, when packing large boxes, avoid overfilling them with heavy items, as this can cause their bottoms to fall out.
President, LW Construction & Handyman Services
Fixing Low Water Pressure in a Faucet
If you’re getting unusually low water pressure from a faucet in your home, it may be due to a clogged aerator. To fix the problem, simply unscrew the aerator from the faucet, clean out any sediment inside and tighten it back into place. You should immediately notice an improvement in water pressure.
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