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Three Ways to Reduce Soil Erosion and Landslide Risk

Posted on February 15, 2018 by Suzanne Carroll

Soil erosion occurs when loose portions of topsoil are displaced, usually by wind or rain. For the most part, erosion is a natural process, but it can become a problem when weather conditions accelerate the rate of topsoil loss, such as on a cliff or hillside following heavy rains. With so many neighborhoods in the Bay Area built on steep terrain, many homeowners worry about soil erosion and the accompanying landslide risk during the rainy season. Making major investments in retaining walls or foundation reinforcement is one option, but there are less costly measures homeowners can take to help protect their properties as well. Read more

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Posted in: Home Improvement
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Video: Technical Aspects of a Paver Project

Posted on October 19, 2017 by James Florence

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on designing and building a paving stone feature. One of the aspects covered was technical considerations for installation, such as soil engineering and proper drainage. To gain further insight into what’s entailed, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Hayley Johnson, owner of The Legacy Paver Group.

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Posted in: Hardscaping, Diamond Certified Experts
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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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Preparing Your Home for a (Potentially) Wet Winter

Posted on October 20, 2015 by James Florence

Updated October 24, 2018

Citing a phenomenon known as Pineapple Express, climatologists are predicting heavy rainfall for Northern California this winter. Wikipedia defines Pineapple Express as “a meteorological phenomenon characterized by a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and associated with heavy precipitation from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands and extending to any location along the Pacific coast of North America.” While it’s uncertain just how much rain this weather pattern will bring, it’s a good idea to prepare your home for a potentially wet winter. Here are some important steps: Read more

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Posted in: Roofing, Home Maintenance, Seasonal, Home Tips
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Preparing Your Home for Winter with Fall Maintenance: Part 1

Posted on October 06, 2014 by James Florence

We recently updated this post and added more content. You can read it here.

Summer has given way to autumn, and people throughout the Greater Bay Area are starting to get ready for the upcoming holiday season. However, amidst your fall decorating and holiday shopping, it’s important to remember another key seasonal measure: preparing your home for imminent winter weather. With its chilly temperatures and heavy rainfall, winter can take a toll on any home, but with proper preparation, you can fortify yours against the elements and avoid common problems.

Weatherproof your exterior
Whether to keep out water or cold air, weatherproofing your home is a vital preparatory measure during winter. Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips
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Recognizing the Signs of Foundation Issues

Posted on May 28, 2014 by James Florence

A concrete foundation is the proverbial rock upon which a house is built, so when it begins to settle due to erosion or another issue, it’s no small matter. Since the signs of foundation settlement issues can be surprisingly subtle, it’s a good idea to be proactive about identifying them in your home. Here are a few things to look for:

Wall cracks
While cracks in walls aren’t always a concern, in some instances they can be a direct result of foundation settlement, such as diagonal cracks at the corners of doors and windows. If you see these types of cracks, there’s a simple way to determine if they’re related to foundation movements: fill them in with latex paint. Read more

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Control Moisture to Control Household Mold

Posted on June 21, 2011 by Matt Solis

By Matt Solis, Senior Editor

The best way to prevent mold growth is to keep all materials in your home as clean and dry as possible. Make sure your house is well ventilated with a relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent. To reduce indoor humidity, vent bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; use air conditioners and dehumidifiers; increase ventilation; and use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing or cleaning. To further protect your home from mold growth, consider the following tips:

  • Standing water sources promote mold and bacterial growth, so it’s important to cover sump pumps, enclose fish tanks and ensure basement drains (for air conditioning hoses,
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Posted in: Home Tips
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