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
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.
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
We originally posted this in 2015, when we had high hopes that El Niño would put an end to the drought. As it turned out, the winter of 2016-17 was the real drought-buster! We don’t know what’s in store for this winter, but needless to say, preparing for a wet winter is always a good idea.
California residents have spent the last four years enduring one of the worst droughts in state history. However, if recent forecasts are correct, we won’t be suffering for much longer. Citing a strong El Niño climate pattern developing in the Pacific Ocean, climatologists are predicting what could be the wettest winter California has seen in nearly two decades. Read more
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. Not only can weatherproofing prevent costly water intrusion issues, it can also improve home energy efficiency by keeping the heat in and lowering utility costs. Read more
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:
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
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,