Photo: American Ratings Corporation ©2019

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

alfred b dela cruzOwner, 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.

 

Eva Kissova

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.

 

Andy Bongiorno

Owner, Bongiorno Termite Control, Inc.

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.

 

Eloy Baeza

Baeza Plumbing ServiceOwner, 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.

 

Francisco Cortez

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.

 

Karen Skinner

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.

 

Gregg Campbell

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.

 

Eduardo Porta

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.

 

Mike Ross

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.

 

Jennifer Young

elite pro home cleaning ownerOwner, 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.

 

Sergey Ivanov

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.

 

Nick Granato

Owner, PremierGarage

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.

 

Gurjit Singh

Gurjit Singh Reliant Auto RepairOwner, 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.

 

Chris Young

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.

 

Russell Calhoon

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.

 

Debby Benson-Miller

Debby-Benson-Miller-prime-real-estate-servicesReal 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.

 

Sean Madar

sean madarOwner, Atticare

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.

 

David Robb

Owner, Robb & Messer Moving and Storage

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.

 

Lamine Elabed

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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