Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2016

by Guest Author

Followers of our Facebook page know that we post daily tips for Bay Area consumers. Whether these tips concern home improvement, auto care, health or something else completely, we strive to make them relevant, practical and helpful. Here’s a sample of 10 noteworthy tips from 2016. For more, be sure to “like” our page at www.facebook.com/diamondcertified.

Tip of the Day: While materials and workmanship are crucial factors in a fence’s longevity, another important aspect is preventative maintenance. To protect your fence from rot and premature wear, make sure fence posts are kept out of contact with the soil, and adjust sprinklers so their streams don’t hit the fence. To further promote fence longevity, apply a stain every two to three years. Photo: Arbor Fence, Inc., 2016


Tip of the Day: Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits, clean and shine brass and copper, freshen kitchen drains and more. When mixed with vinegar or baking soda, it makes an excellent paste for cleaning surfaces and removing stains. You can also mix 1/2 cup of lemon juice with 1 cup of olive oil and create a polish to use on hardwood furniture. Photo: Elite Pro Home Cleaning, 2016


Tip of the Day: One of the primary reasons people get hearing aids is to help differentiate speech from background noise. Modern innovations such as directional microphone technology can help accentuate certain sounds while downplaying others. A hearing aid equipped with a directional microphone can heighten sounds coming from the front of the wearer, which improves one’s ability to converse in a noisy environment. Photo: Better Hearing Center, 2016


Tip of the Day: When planning for a concrete installation on your property, make sure you consider its effect on the existing landscape. For instance, if you have a large tree in your yard, you need to give it adequate room to grow, breathe and intake water–otherwise, you risk strangling it with concrete. By being mindful of the health of your landscape, you can make the most of your concrete installation. Photo: Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc., 2016


Tip of the Day: When planning a kitchen remodel, it’s important to make all budget decisions before any work begins. You can trim costs by buying mid-range appliances, faucets and garbage disposals. Instead of granite countertops, consider Formica. Vinyl flooring is less expensive than hardwood and tile, and it’s also easy to replace. Two things you shouldn’t skimp on are cabinets and sinks with under mounts (if you’re installing stone countertops). Photo: Building Solutions, 2016


Tip of the Day: When looking to purchase a refrigerator, remember that most models now come with door options (single or French) that give you a variety of options when it comes to appliance placement. French doors require less space to open, which means they’re convenient if you have a small kitchen. Single door refrigerators need a lot of space in front of them, but French door refrigerators don’t have that issue. Photo: Kitchens by Ken Ryan, Inc., 2016.


Tip of the Day
: A squealing belt inside your car can be a nuisance, but it should also serve as a warning sign of possible trouble ahead. Since a belt that squeals is typically loose, misaligned or excessively worn, it needs to be addressed in a timely manner–if the belt breaks while the car is in operation, it can result in serious engine damage. Photo: Empire Auto Repair & Smog, 2015


Tip of the Day: Interior design is a layered process–it starts with basic space planning, moves to lighting and color, and ends with decorations and accessories. Throughout each layer, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with what appeals to you, expresses your personality and makes you happy. Photo: J. Hettinger Interiors, 2016


Tip of the Day: One way to improve your fuel economy is to lighten your vehicle’s load by removing unnecessary items from the trunk. Aggressive driving is another gas waster, so stop racing from stoplight to stoplight. Given the aerodynamics of today’s cars, using the air conditioning is actually more fuel-efficient than driving with the windows down. Photo: Phil’s Auto Body, 2016


Tip of the Day: When a spill occurs on your carpet, you may feel inclined to apply a spot remover or similar product. However, if you plan on having a professional treat the spot anyway, you’re better off just leaving it alone. Once you start adding chemicals to the carpet, it can cause the stain to set, which will make the job more difficult for your technician. Photo: Maximum Carpet Cleaning, 2016