Diamond Certified Blog

Posts by Suzanne Carroll

5 Ways to Prevent Data Loss on Your Home Computer

data recovery computers

If you have a seriously damaged computer, it’s best to find a data recovery firm to attempt repair work rather than relying on DIY solutions. Photo: DriveSavers, Inc. (2017)

We all know the paralyzing feeling of having a computer frozen on the “blue screen of death,” or worse, a computer that won’t turn on at all. Family photos, financial documents, novels in progress—our home computers often contain our most personal and valued information, which is why regular backups are important. If you realize something is seriously wrong with your machine, the next steps you take will make the difference between recovering data and losing it forever. To prevent potential data loss, Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Mike Cobb of DriveSavers, Inc. recommends the following:

  1. Pay attention to noises. It’s normal for computers to make some noise, like the hum of the ventilation fan. Other noises are certainly cause for concern. If you hear any grinding, clicking or whirring sounds from your machine, call a professional data recovery firm.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Prevent Data Loss on Your Home Computer” »

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Concentration Station: How to Create a Home Office

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, close to 25 percent of all employed Americans work from home at least some of the time. This is hardly surprising given increasingly longer commutes and the growth of the gig economy. If you’re part of this trend of telecommuters, you probably already know that working from home has its upsides and downsides. The key to staying on task while surrounded by the distractions of home is to create a home office where you can be your most productive. Let’s go through the steps.

home office interior design

As telecommuting gets simpler, dedicated home office spaces have become more important for homeowners. Photo: Closet Factory (2017)

Step 1: Establish Your Work Station

If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated room for a home office, you’re already set. Continue reading “Concentration Station: How to Create a Home Office” »

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Industry Overview: Pest Control 101

pest control bay area

Pest control is a year-round problem for Bay Area homeowners. Photo: All N One Pest Eliminators (2017)

The Bay Area’s moderate climate and abundant green space make pest control a year-round problem. At any given time, residents may find their homes overrun with insects such as termites and fleas or confronting trespassing animals like mice and rats. While many are eager to eliminate potentially harmful pests, there are also concerns about the effects of pesticides on people and pets. In this article, we’ll demystify the pest control industry by defining key terms used by professionals, providing tips for a pest-free home and answering frequently asked questions about eliminating pests.

Key Terms for Pest Control

Broad spectrum: Something that affects a wide range or large number of organisms. In pest control, the term “broad spectrum” usually refers to broad spectrum insecticides or pesticides that kill a wide variety of insects. Continue reading “Industry Overview: Pest Control 101” »

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Industry Spotlight: National Roofing Contractors Association

NRCA logoThe National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is a nonprofit trade organization that has been advocating for roofing professionals since 1886. This big-tent organization represents not only roofing contractors but all professionals that play a part in the roofing industry, including engineers, consultants, material distributors and architects. Its members come from 53 countries and all 50 states. The NRCA’s primary goal is to advocate for those working in the roofing industry and help its members better serve their customers.

Technical Expertise and Education

The NRCA has created and organized a wealth of technical information on best roofing practices, all of which are available to roofing professionals and consumers. Continue reading “Industry Spotlight: National Roofing Contractors Association” »

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Camp Grandma and Grandpa: Tips for Hosting Your Grandkids This Summer

This year, countless children will be spending at least part of their summer at one of their favorite destinations: their grandparents’ house. If you’re planning on welcoming your grandkids this summer, you’re likely thinking about how to fill those special days. Maybe you’re planning beach outings or trips to the museum; maybe you’re also dreading the mess or worried someone might get hurt. Find out how you can get your home and yard ready for those rambunctious kids (and how to get your home back to normal once they’re gone).

grandchildren enjoying the summer outdoors

If your grandchildren are visiting this summer, create an outdoor space that’s fun and safe for play. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Start with safety

The safety precautions you take will depend on your grandchildren’s ages. For the youngest visitors, put any hazardous products (cleaning products, bug repellants) out of reach. Continue reading “Camp Grandma and Grandpa: Tips for Hosting Your Grandkids This Summer” »

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All Systems Cold: A Checklist for Your Air Conditioning System

air conditioning system

Check your air conditioning system early, before the first heatwave hits. Photo: Kelly Plumbing & Heating, Inc. (2017)

“I thought you don’t need air conditioning in San Francisco,” we’ve all heard someone say (usually an out-of-towner). But anyone who lives beyond the city limits knows the truth: that cool and foggy peninsula is surrounded by areas that stay hot and dry well into October. The key to staying comfortable and sane during the summer is a properly functioning air conditioning system. Before you flip the thermostat from “heat” to “cool,” take some simple steps to make sure your system is ready to go. With the Bay Area’s changeable spring weather, be sure to check your system early—you don’t want to be one of dozens of desperate customers contacting HVAC technicians when the first heatwave of the season hits. Continue reading “All Systems Cold: A Checklist for Your Air Conditioning System” »

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Happy Customer Highlights

Consumers who choose Diamond Certified companies are thrilled with the quality of service they receive, and they’re letting us know about it. Here are some recent highlights from our inbox.

ace plumbing and rooter van

Consumers are saying great things about Ace Plumbing and Rooter. Photo: Ace Plumbing and Rooter (2017)

Jan had a great experience with Sigura Construction, Inc.: After a plumbing disaster in our home caused a large amount of damage, we contacted Sigura Construction. Their skilled crew and management personnel worked with us, our HOA, the insurance adjuster, the fire department and the city construction permit bureaucracy to smooth out the entire process. Continue reading “Happy Customer Highlights” »

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Your Kid’s First Car: What Every New Driver Needs to Know


The first lessons of car ownership happen at the dealership. Photo: Toyota Marin (2017)

What’s the perfect accessory to go with a cap and gown? A set of car keys. With graduation season upon us, many young people will be getting their first cars before heading off to college or starting their first jobs. A car allows a young person to experience freedom and independence, but it’s also a serious responsibility. School may be over for your child, but the life lessons are just about to begin. To learn how you can help teach your child to be a responsible car owner, read these tips provided by five Diamond Certified Experts.

How to buy a car
For many young people, an auto dealership may be where the car of their dreams crashes into the reality of their bank accounts. Even if the car is a gift, it’s a good idea to include your child in the purchasing process. Continue reading “Your Kid’s First Car: What Every New Driver Needs to Know” »

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Elder Care: What to Do When a Loved One Needs a Helping Hand

There’s usually a sign. Maybe your mother had a bad fall, forgot to pay her bills or is unable to keep up with her medications. Whatever the reason, nearly all families will come to a point when they realize a loved one can’t fully or safely take care of daily tasks. With the first wave of baby boomers entering their 70s, elder care is a growing need for Bay Area families. Understanding the care options that are available can help families make choices that will bring everyone comfort and peace of mind.

caregiver and patient

The best caregivers will focus on building strong, trusting relationships. Photo: Interim HealthCare of Santa Rosa (2017)

In-Home Care
If your loved one needs some assistance with chores, errands or self-care, in-home care may be the best fit. Crystal Smith, manager of Interim HealthCare of Santa Rosa, says the key to a positive in-home care experience is building a strong relationship between the caregiver and the family. Continue reading “Elder Care: What to Do When a Loved One Needs a Helping Hand” »

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Industry Spotlight: Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association

PHCC logoThe Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) promotes the advancement and education of plumbing and HVAC professionals and advocates for improvements in public health and environmental safety. Since its founding in 1883, the PHCC has assisted in establishing an apprenticeship system, worked with lawmakers to enact sanitation regulations, helped develop improvements in plumbing fixtures and created educational programs to keep its members up-to-date on industry advancements. The association’s goal is to “become so relevant that PHCC contractors are the best choice for professionalism, reliable products and knowledgeable service.” Continue reading “Industry Spotlight: Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association” »

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