In addition to being top rated for quality and customer satisfaction, Diamond Certified companies are known for providing Helpful Expertise®. This is especially true for companies whose owners and managers have become Diamond Certified Expert Contributors by sharing their industry expertise via articles and videos on the Diamond Certified website. In 2019, the number of Diamond Certified Expert Contributors continued to grow, bringing another abundant harvest of Helpful Expertise®. In this post, we’ve published a handful of highlights from this year’s Expert tips.
Francisco Cortes — 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.
Rory Moore — Owner, RM Construction
Green Choices for Remodeling
When remodeling your home, consider choosing certified Green products and materials. Materials like FSC Certified lumber provide greater assurance that they were sourced and processed using sustainable practices. Likewise, certified products such as ENERGY STAR® HVAC equipment are rated for optimum energy efficiency.
Corey Haney — Field Supervisor, Statcomm Inc.
Fire Safety Tip
Believe it or not, closing your bedroom door before going to sleep at night could potentially save your life. If a house fire starts in the middle of the night, a closed bedroom door can reduce the amount of carbon monoxide that enters the room by up to 90 percent, as well as protect against extreme temperature increases.
William Young — Owner, Edge Roofing
Avoiding Roof Damage From Trees
If not properly maintained, trees growing near your home can potentially reduce the lifespan of your roof. For example, fallen limbs can cause roof damage like broken shingles and holes that allow for water intrusion. To avoid such issues, have any trees near your roof professionally maintained at least twice a year.
Ona Hennessey — Owner, Hennessey’s Construction and Fence
Is it Time to Replace Your Fence?
While in some cases it may be possible to repair a failing fence, in others it’s better to replace it entirely. For example, when a fence starts to lean, it typically means one of the posts is broken. Unfortunately, once one post goes out, it starts a chain reaction that causes all of them to start failing.
Jamie Duran — President, Solar Harmonics Inc.
Solar Financing Options
When financing a solar power system, take care to choose an option that serves your interests, not just those of the loan company. A secured loan is best, but if you have to go with an unsecured loan, check the fees before signing. Unsecured loans often have high finance fees that aren’t always presented clearly to borrowers.
Michael Fahey — CEO, Vulcan Garage Services Inc.
Wi-Fi for Your Garage Door
Adding Wi-Fi capability to your garage door will allow you to open and close it via a smartphone app from any location. That way, if you’re out and you get a sinking feeling that you left the door open, you don’t have to worry—just one tap on your phone’s screen will give you assurance that all is safe and secure.
Nick Neira — President, NIC Plumbing Co.
Flushing a Tankless Water Heater
Despite being technologically advanced, tankless water heaters still need to be flushed periodically to prevent sediment from building up in the heat exchanger. Fortunately, this is something you can do yourself—all you need is a bucket, some hoses, a submersible pump and two gallons of vinegar.
Brandy Straub — Owner, Redwood Empire Termite & Pest Control
Identifying Moisture Issues
When moisture collects beneath a home, it creates an attractive target for hungry subterranean termites and powderpost beetles, as well as ideal conditions for fungus, mold and mildew to develop. To catch these conditions preventatively, have your home inspected regularly by a licensed termite professional.
Dr. Lovely Manlapaz — Owner, Lovely Manlapaz Teodoro DDS
Benefits of CBCT in Dentistry
If you’re planning to get dental implants, consider seeing a dentist who uses cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). This cutting-edge medical imaging technique helps ensure accuracy with determining the placement of dental implants, so you’ll have more confidence about the outcome of the procedure.
Vladimir Galant — President, 911 PC Help
Computer Security Tip
While a good antivirus program can make your computer more secure, the best cyber security measure you can take is to be cautious. Merely clicking the wrong link can open the door for hackers and viruses to access your computer or network, so always use common sense and think twice before clicking on a link.
Nate Missildine — President, Legacy Construction, Inc.
Avoiding Budget Oversights in Remodeling
Most budget oversights in remodeling stem from inaccurate proposals, especially when it comes to allowances for materials, fixtures and products. To avoid oversights with your project, work with your contractor to create an accurate list of allowances by researching and making decisions early in the process.
Glayston Soares — Owner, Mr. Pavers Contractor Services, Inc.
Excavation Depth for a Paver Feature
The recommended excavation depth for a paver feature varies depending on the type of feature. For a backyard patio, 7 to 8 inches will suffice, whereas the recommended depth for a driveway is 9 to 10 inches. Since a driveway has more weight to support than a patio, it requires a deeper base to ensure stability.
Mike Hernandez — Operations Manager, Lewis Tree Service, Inc.
When pruning trees, people often cut as far back as possible to maximize the amount of time until the next pruning. However, when over-pruned, trees have a tendency to grow back quickly in order to restore their lost foliage. Because of this, by over-pruning, you could wind up having to prune again sooner rather than later.
Richard Hiteshew — President, A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc.
Investing in Electric Appliances
In light of California’s energy goals, the price of natural gas is likely to skyrocket in the coming years. For this reason, instead of investing in gas-powered appliances, consider going all-electric. Today, there are high-efficiency electric heat pump systems that use a fraction of the energy that older systems used.
Kay Tagle — Owner, Kathleen (Kay) Tagle
Preparing a Sale Property
Getting ready to sell your home? Then you’ll need to get it ready to show to buyers. First, get rid of all clutter and make sure things look nice and tidy. You should also remove personal items like family photos—this will create a neutral environment that makes it easy for buyers to envision themselves living there.
Fred Wozniak — Co-Owner, Just Remnants
How to Vacuum Wool Carpet
When vacuuming wool carpet, make sure your vacuum cleaner’s beater bar is set at the proper level. To avoid damage, the beater bar should barely touch the carpet; however, it needs to touch the carpet at least a little in order to remove the pills (small, fuzzy balls formed by entangled fibers) that form on wool carpeting.
Young Moon — Owner, Green Brush Painting Company
Tip for Hiring a Painter
When hiring a contractor to paint your home interior, consider the extent of the work you need done. If your home has a lot of drywall damage, you may want to hire a painter who also has experience in drywall repair—that way, you won’t have to hire two different professionals for the same job.
Leo Molchanov — Owner, Attic Pros, Inc.
Rodent-Proofing Your Home
The best way to keep rodents out of your attic or crawl space is to seal any breaches in your home exterior. Repair (or replace) any damaged vent screens, and seal gaps and holes by filling them with steel wool or covering them with wire mesh. Don’t use caulk or expansive foam to seal gaps—rodents will just chew through it.
Justin Donahue — Lead Designer, Oak Mountain Cabinets
Cabinet Refacing Benefit
Did you know cabinet refacing costs less than half the price of a cabinet replacement? Not only are fewer materials and labor hours required, there are no permits needed. Plus, you don’t have to replace other kitchen components like countertops or backsplashes, which you’d normally have to do as part of a full replacement.
Roger Boucher — Owner, De Anza Appliance
If your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser is broken, there’s an easy solution that can spare you both frustration and the expense of a repair: Switch from dishwasher detergent to dishwasher tablets. Before beginning a wash cycle, simply place a tablet at the bottom of the dishwasher.
Chitra Bheeman — Vice President, Advantage Moving & Storage
Avoiding Unlicensed Movers
Prior to hiring a moving company, it’s important to verify that its license is current. You can do this by asking for its Carrier ID number with the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS). All moving companies are required to be registered with the BHGS, so this serves as a reliable form of verification.
Dave Erickson — Owner, Automotive Excellence
A Beneficial Prius Feature
If you’re in commute traffic or driving downhill, shift your Prius into “B” mode. This will cause your car to automatically slow down when you let off the gas pedal. Even better, thanks to a process known as regenerative braking, each time you let off the gas, you’re actually charging your car’s battery.
Will Phinney — Operations Manager, Reyff Electric, Inc.
Electrical System Add-On
Nowadays there are several electrical products and system add-ons that can improve functionality in the home. One example is USB and HDMI wall outlets. As more electrical devices require USB and HDMI ports for charging and use, having outlets installed in your home will provide a convenient place to plug in.
Ted Liu — President, InVision Home Theater
Solution for Spotty Wi-Fi
Spotty Wi-Fi coverage is a common problem in large homes. If you experience this issue, you probably need to install a few extension nodes to expand the signal’s range. While wireless extension nodes are an option, hardwired extension nodes will provide a cleaner signal and more reliable performance.