The Difference Between Engine Rebuilding And Overhauling An Automobile Engine

How to Tell If It’s Time for an Engine Rebuild

Most people have heard of an engine rebuild but not as many really know what a rebuilt engine really is or what is done when an engine is rebuilt. Engines are rebuilt for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will take a look at why engines are rebuilt, what is done to rebuild an engine, and some signs that your car might benefit from a rebuild.

Reasons for a Rebuild

There are two main reasons people choose to rebuild an engine: wear to engine bearings, and poorly seating piston rings. The moving parts of the engine (such and the crankshaft, rods and pistons) are mounted on bearings that allow them to move freely. These bearings are lubricated by engine oil. Bearings are built to last many thousands of miles, but they do experience wear after time. This wear is accelerated exponentially when a vehicle is poorly maintained and is run on low oil levels or the oil change schedule isn’t properly followed.

What’s Done during an Engine Rebuild

When an engine is rebuilt, a few basic things are done to restore it to good working condition. First, the “short block” or lower half of the engine is removed and sent to an automotive machine shop. At the shop it is disassembled and cleaned so that the condition of the block can be properly assessed. Depending on the condition of the internal parts of the engine, the piston rings, bearings and sometimes the pistons themselves are replaced. The internal surfaces of the cylinders are also reconditioned to ensure that the new piston rings can form a proper seal with the cylinder walls. Finally, the engine is reassembled and installed back in the vehicle. Often the cylinder head is also reconditioned at the same time.

Signs You May Need a Rebuild

There are some frequently seen signs that a rebuild may be necessary for your engine. The most common sign is oil consumption and excessive white smoke in the exhaust, especially when the engine is cold. This is normally a sign of worn piston rings. More extreme signs could be metal shavings in the engine oil (a common sign of dangerously worn bearings) and “knocking” or “chattering” from the engine bearings.

How to Evaluate Engine Rebuild Kits

Engine rebuild kits are a subject of some controversy in the automotive repair field. They are packaged and sold both by manufacturers, such as Sealed Power, and by individual parts wholesalers. The purpose of the kits is twofold. First, is to enable the buyer to obtain all needed parts at a reduced price. Second, is to force the buyer to obtain all needed parts from the same source. This means that all of the profit will go to the seller of the kit.

A Beginner’s Guide to Engine Rebuilding

At a certain time in your life, especially if you are a car guy or gal, you may find the need to rebuild an engine, and there are many reasons why you might discover this. You may want your engine to perform like, or better than, the day it rolled out from the factory or maybe you are just curious about what actually happens inside of an engine. Whatever your reasons are for tearing apart your engine you still might wonder how you should go about disassembling your engine. If you have never torn apart an engine before, or taken apart hundreds of engines, this is the guide for you. In this instructable, I will be covering my first ever engine rebuild and the steps I took to make my engine good as new. I hope that you find this instructable helpful and I hope that your engine rebuild goes well. Now let’s get started tearing apart that engine.

Research and Planning

Before you go tearing apart an engine it is very important to research and plan out the engine rebuild. There are many questions you should ask yourself before rebuilding an engine. What kind of engine do I want to rebuild? What kind of performance do I need out of the engine? How much do I have to spend on this project? How much time do I have to rebuild the engine? For my rebuild, I chose a classic American V8 engine and I just need it to perform as a stock engine. I would like to have the rebuild completed in less than six months.

Engine & Accessory Removal/Labeling System

Alright, time to get to the disassembly of the engine. If your engine is already in a car you will need to use an engine hoist to remove it from the engine bay. Then it can be placed on an engine stand. I will not cover that here because it is different for every car. I purchased my engine outside of a car locally on Craig’s List. I used a come-along puller and the trusses of my garage to hoist my engine onto an engine stand.

After securing my engine onto my engine stand I took off all of the accessories (alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, and power steering pump), pulleys, and the accessory brackets. I will include pictures of my accessories being removed but refer to your Haynes manual or other resources for information on how to remove your accessories.

Top End Removal (Valve Covers, Carburetor, Intake, Distributor, & Valley Pan)

It’s time to really start the disassembly of your engine. For this section of disassembly we will remove the valve covers, carburetor, intake distributor, and valley pan, so let’s get to it. Start off by removing the two or more bolts holding on your carburetor to your intake manifold. The engine I purchased did not include a carburetor, so I skipped this step. Next, I will remove the valve covers by removing the four bolts on each valve cover. I will label and bag those bolts and remove the valve covers.

HOW TO CHOOSE AN ENGINE REBUILD KIT

An engine rebuild is a large and expensive job, and choosing the right kit can seem a daunting task. There are a lot of kits for sale, and they may all seem similar but vary greatly in price. Knowing the difference between the various engine rebuild kits will help you shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting the right parts for the job at hand

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN IN-FRAME, OUT-OF-FRAME, AND RE-RING ENGINE REBUILD KITS

A lot of customers that call in and want to rebuild their engine simply say they need a rebuild kit. Usually, we guess that they want a standard inframe rebuild kit, as that is the most common kit sold. However, there are several levels of rebuild kits to use, based on the state of the parts in the engine and the engine’s OEM. Another important thing to note that can confuse a lot of people, is that ”overhaul kit” is often used synonymously with “rebuild kit,” but it can also specifically mean “out-of-frame kit.” To avoid confusion with the term “overhaul,” we use “rebuild” instead. Also, please keep in mind that this article contains only the general components for these engine kits. For content lists specific to the kit you need, be sure to check the product’s page on our website, or call in to ask one of our parts techs.

RE-RING ENGINE REBUILD KITS

The re-ring kit is the smallest rebuild kit. It is one of the least time consuming ways to rebuild your engine, but it assumes that your pistons are reusable. Evaluate the condition of your other engine components before choosing to order a re-ring kit.

RE-RING KIT CONTENTS

Re-ring kits generally contain cylinder liners (if used in the application), piston rings, connecting rod bearings, main bearings, thrust washers (if used in the application), a cylinder head gasket set, and an oil pan gasket set. The big thing to pay attention to is that re-ring rebuild kits do not include pistons. Sometimes, you may see kits labeled as “pistonless” or “without pistons”—those are re-ring kits. The term re-ring comes from the fact that, even though the pistons in an engine are being reused, the rings should be replaced while you’re pulling them from the cylinder. Therefore, you need to re-ring the old piston. You can see a couple examples of re-ring kits here and here to compare how exact contents differ between engines.

CHOOSING A RE-RING KIT

A re-ring kit is for people that need to refresh their engine with a rebuild, but still have pistons that are in good condition. All of the more wearable components get replaced, such as rings, bearings, and gaskets. If the pistons are still good, they do not necessarily need to be replaced. This can save a lot of money, in both parts and labor. Labor expense is saved because this type of rebuild can be done while keeping the engine in the chassis.

Engine Rebuilding or Replacement – Which Is Right for Your Car?

When engine troubles get serious, your car is down for the count. You have only two options – you can choose to have your engine rebuilt, or you can replace it completely. Which is right for your needs? Both options offer you the ability to get back on the road, but they’re not the same. Let’s take a closer look.

Rebuilding – Rebuilding an engine is exactly what it sounds like. In this instance, your old engine is pulled out of the car, and the damaged parts are replaced. Any components that are still in operating condition are not usually replaced, but are reused once more.

Replacement – Engine replacement can involve replacing your engine with one of two different options. You can choose a used engine, or a crate engine.

Used engines are exactly what you think they are. They’re taken from donor vehicles (often wrecked, but with little to no front-end damage). They’re in operational condition, but that’s usually all you know for sure.

A crate engine is basically a remanufactured engine. This is different from a rebuilt engine in that the engine is torn down completely. All components are replaced, and the housing is machined back into OEM tolerance. It’s as close to a “new” engine as you can get on the market. Even engines marked as new are really remanufactured/crate engines.

Your warranty will play a role in what type of engine you choose. Some extended warranty companies will only cover used engines or engine rebuilding, while others will cover engine replacement with a crate engine.

The most important thing is to ensure that you’re working with a reputable Weston, Florida mechanic shop that offers engine rebuilding and replacement. Not all mechanic shops offer this service, so choose your provider with care.

Tips To Successfully Buying A Used Engine

If you’re in the market for a used or rebuilt engine, it’s fair to assume that it’s because you’ve either pushed your engine to its limits and damaged it beyond repair, or want to perform an engine swap for performance gains or another reason. Regardless of your situation, buying a used engine can be a great solution, but it is also important to not get caught with a lemon, because nobody has time (or the spare money) for that. We’ve consulted with an expert in the field and come up with 12 killer tips to ensure your engine-buying process is a success.

There isn’t a universal set of rules that govern how to inspect a used engine prior to purchase, as every mechanic or shop has their own theories and methods. Our friends at Ichiban JDM—importers of Japanese engines and transmissions— have shared some pointers that will come in handy to protect yourself from purchasing a problematic used engine. Private Sellers vs. Certified Engine SuppliersWe wondered whether there is a difference between buying an engine from a private seller on the internet or Craigslist versus purchasing one from an established supplier.“Professional engine suppliers like Ichiban JDM purchase engines first-hand so we know exactly where they come from. Our parent company, based in Nagoya, Japan, logs a vehicle’s mileage, then conducts full diagnostics on the engine prior to pulling it out. Once the engine touches down at our LA headquarters, we test the engine once more to make sure it’s ready to sell,” says Chris Ankor, general manager of Ichiban JDM

“Most professional engine shops stand behind the engines they sell with a 30-day startup warranty, as opposed to buying from a private party who insists you meet at some gas station because he or she doesn’t want you to know where they live,” says Ankor.“Nine out of ten times, these guys are selling engines pulled from some wrecking yard, or cobbled together using random pieces, with full intentions of trying to flip them for an easy profit without actually knowing their true running condition.”

At one time or another we’ve all witnessed or heard about some buyer who visually inspects an engine, then pulls an impulse buy because it looks clean, but doesn’t bother to test it because they lack the proper tools. Those are the same guys that end up getting hosed with an engine that’s only good enough to be used as a coffee table.

Ankor says, “We all like to think that people are honest but that’s not always the case. When you’re buying an engine from a stranger you’ve never met before, you’re taking a risk. You don’t know if the engine is good, if it’s going to be smoking, or even healthy enough to fire up. That’s a chance that many are willing to take, but honestly, why take the gamble? The most important thing is to protect yourself and go through the process of testing an engine before making a purchase.”

Income Tax Preparation

Tips to Find the Best Tax Preparer Near You

Ask for a Preparer Tax Identification Number

The IRS requires anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a PTIN. Note the phrase “for compensation” — volunteer preparers don’t need PTINs. Make sure your income tax preparer puts his or her PTIN number on your return — the IRS requires that, too.

Require a CPA, law license or Enrolled Agent designation

A PTIN is relatively easy to get, so go a step further and get a credentialed preparer — someone who’s also a certified public accountant, licensed attorney, enrolled agent or who has completed the IRS’ Annual Filing Season program. The Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor and Accredited Tax Preparer are examples of programs that help preparers fulfill the Annual Filing Season Program requirement. These credentials all require varying amounts of study, exams and ongoing education.

Look for friends in high places

Membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the American Academy of Attorney CPAs is always a good thing to have, as most have codes of ethics, professional conduct requirements and various certification programs.

Reconsider those who don’t e-file

The IRS requires any paid preparer who does more than 10 returns for clients to file electronically via the IRS’ e-file system. If your tax preparer doesn’t offer e-file, it may be a sign the person isn’t doing as much tax prep as you thought.

Tips to Find a Good Tax Preparer

Check the Tax Preparer’s Credentials

Anyone with a preparer tax identification number can handle and file your taxes, but it’s best to find someone who also can handle audits, a CPA and tax manager at Only a certified public accountant or an enrolled agent—another type of tax professional—can represent you before in those situations, she notes.

Look for a Well-Established Pro

Ideally, it’s a good idea to find a preparer who has had at least seven to 10 years of experience, The reason: The more time a preparer has been working on tax returns, the more likely he is to have dealt with a tax situation similar to yours.

Find a Preparer With Clients Like You

Ideally, you want a preparer with clients who are similar to you. That way, you’re more likely to get the best service for your particular needs.

Ask for a Price Quote

Often, a tax preparer will say that he can’t tell you what he’ll charge until he determines which forms you’ll need. But you can try to pin down an answer by presenting the forms you completed last year or by asking for a list of fees for various types of tax help.

How to Find the Best Tax Preparer for You

Types of Tax Return Pros

You can have anyone—your uncle, your neighbor, or your best friend—prepare your tax return. But if you’re paying for this service, the person must be registered with the IRS and have a current preparer tax identification number (PTIN), which is an IRS number issued annually to eligible preparers.

  • Attorneys: These professionals are licensed by states or state bar associations to practice law and are subject to continuing education requirements and a code of ethics.
  • CPAs: Certified public accountants are professionals who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and been licensed by state boards of accountancy; they also have continuing education requirements.
  • Enrolled agents: These are individuals who have passed a three-part Special Enrollment Examination demonstrating competency in federal taxation and been licensed by the IRS. They, too, have continuing education requirements.
  • Annual filing season program participants: These individuals are not attorneys, CPAs, or enrolled agents but have completed an IRS program and obtained continuing education.
  • Any other preparer with a PTIN: These are individuals who believe they have sufficient knowledge to prepare returns and have paid the fee to obtain a PTIN. They are not subject to any oversight by a state, a professional board, or the IRS.

How to Choose a Tax Preparer

  • Payment. Try to get a clear understanding of the cost early in the process. You can minimize your costs by making sure your tax prep documents are well-organized and your accounting system is up-to-date.
  • Communication. Ask what is the best way to get in touch with the person in case you have a question or concern. Whether it’s text, email or phone, how soon can you expect to hear back?
  • Personal touch. Sometimes, you may be dealing with multiple people from the tax preparer’s office. It’s important to meet and talk with the person or people who will actually be handling your account.
  • Follow-up. Find out if your tax preparer will suggest ways for you to save on taxes next year or if he or she will contact you later if there are any new tax changes that could affect your business.
  • E-file. Make sure your preparer offers the IRS e-file option. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically.

Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

Verify the Preparer’s Credentials

There are a lot of people out there claiming to be a “tax professional.” However, just because someone hangs out a shingle and advertises tax prep services, it doesn’t mean they actually have the skill, education, and expertise to handle your return.

Check the Preparer’s Professional Record

You have to be able to trust your tax preparer. Afterall, he or she will know all about your finances and even have your Social Security number. And even if a preparer is credentialed, that doesn’t guarantee that he or she has a good professional reputation.

Ask About Fees

As with any other service or product you buy, make sure you have a good idea of the costs ahead of time. Prices for tax return preparation can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your return, where you live, and the preparer’s experience. That’s why it’s important to get a quote before settling on a preparer.

Watch for Problems After Selecting a Preparer

Your due diligence doesn’t end after you pick a preparer. Watch out for warnings signs that something isn’t quite right. If one of these red flags pop up, you should seriously consider switching to another preparer right away.

Advantages And Applications Of Epoxy Flooring In An Industrial Set Up

How to Choose the Best Epoxy Floor Coating

A true epoxy is always a two-part product that is used by mixing a resin and hardener/activator. Epoxies do not “dry” in the same way that paints dry—through simple evaporation of water or oil-based solvent. Instead, they cure and harden through a chemical reaction between the two components.

Two-Part Epoxy Floor Coating With 100 Percent Solids

Two-part epoxy floor coatings are described as “100 percent solids” because they do not contain any traditional solvents. Two-part epoxy coatings offer the very best surface for concrete, a thick, hard, and attractive finish. These epoxy kits are often used with decorative chips that are sprinkled over the surface while it is hardening to provide a texture and attractive finish. The surface will be fully hard fairly quickly, within about 24 hours of application.

True 100-percent-solids epoxy is also the most expensive option, and it is a bit more demanding to install when compared to other types of coatings. These products emit intense fumes when applied, requiring thorough ventilation. But installing 100 percent epoxy floor coating can be done by DIYers. You can buy a kit for a one-car garage for $250 to $300, which includes application tools. EpoxyMaster, which is available from Costco or online retailers, maybe the easiest product to find.

Two-Part Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating

Quikrete, and Rust-Oleum (EpoxyShield) offer popular DIY two-part epoxy floor coatings that are readily available at many home improvement, paint, and hardware stores. These are hybrid products that have the components of genuine epoxy (resin plus hardener/activator), but they also include water as a solvent. You can identify these products because they consist of two parts that are mixed together, but are cleaned up (when wet) with soap and water. They may also be advertised as “low VOC” or “low odor,” a striking difference to true epoxies, where thorough ventilation is critical.

One-Part Floor Coating

A true epoxy floor coating is always a two-part product containing resins plus hardener/activator. Just before application, the resin is mixed with the hardener. A floor coating product that is called “epoxy” but which is sold premixed in a single container is not true epoxy, but rather should be viewed as a form of paint. While the formulation may offer better performance on a floor than standard paint, these are not true epoxy products.

How Do I Know Which Type of Epoxy Flooring Is Best For My Floor?

This is a question many customers ask us along with why is your epoxy better and what does it cost. The following information will answer those questions and help you make the right purchase for your particular floor application. There are different types of flooring you can use in addition to an epoxy coating such as Interlocking Tiles or Rubber Garage Floor Mats. There’s a good discussion here Epoxy vs Tile vs Mats about the pros and cons of each of these different products you can use.

But if you’ve set your heart on a super high gloss epoxy floor coating then stay on this page and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. From being one of the largest epoxy installers in the Tri State area we’ve learned over the years exactly what works and what doesn’t. There’s so many choices today it can be down right confusing and frustrating not to mention easy to make a mistake. The problem is that a lot of the products you’ll see don’t live up to their marketing in real life. They’ll state they are heavy duty, commercial or industrial grade floor coatings and will last a lifetime when they’re no such thing nor capable of any such thing. Know the facts before you buy! If you think you can get a floor that looks like the beautiful red floor above by just going down to your local store or ordering some epoxy online without knowing what you’re buying, you couldn’t be more wrong!

Picking the right epoxy floor coating is a four step process with certain questions you have to answer:

The cost of applying a high quality multi layer epoxy floor coating system as compared to off the shelf water based or hybrid one coat type epoxies can be relatively much more expensive.

So do you need a quality epoxy coating or is a cheap epoxy paint good enough for your floor?

What type of look and finish do you want. Solid color, clear finish or colored flake finish?

What level of durability do you want and or need. Is your floor an industrial application or residential application or somewhere in between? And how do you know an epoxy is really industrial or commercial grade? Many epoxies call themselves industrial or commercial grade until they’re on your floor and you wear right through them. At that point the damage is done, this page will hopefully help you avoid being in that situation.

What condition is your concrete floor in? Is it new, is it old, is it pitted, is it oil stained, does it have a moisture issue? Your floor may need special attention to avoid a failure down the road.

These are some of the questions we will answer in the discussion below. Not addressing these questions prior to your purchase is a more likely than not going to lead to disappointing results.

The first thing you need to determine is what kind of finish you want/need and what your budget is. Whether your coating an industrial floor or just your garage floor or something in between. If your budget won’t allow you to use an epoxy coating system that is equal to or greater than the traffic loads you will run on the floor, then our best advice is don’t epoxy paint your floor. You’re better off going to your local home improvement store and purchasing a sealer and simply sealing the slab to protect against corrosion and to make it easier to clean.

The cost of a multi layered high strength epoxy floor coating you do yourself will average about

$1.00 – $1.75 per square foot depending on size and type of floor and the type of epoxy system used. Compared to an average price of $4.00 – $8.00 per sf to have a company come in and do it for you. By the way all costs for epoxy flooring should be based on a per square foot basis. Anybody quoting you prices based on any other parameter is just selling you marketing hype.

HOW TO CHOOSE AN EPOXY FLOORING CONTRACTOR GUIDE

Finding the Best Epoxy Flooring Contractor

Our Epoxy Flooring Contractor Guide is essential when you’re looking to hire the best contractor for your epoxy floor coating project. An important investment as such requires up-front research. The growing trend of decorative floor coatings has given rise to the number of flooring contractors that perform this intricate service. However, many new companies do not have the education and experience that comes from longevity in the business. After 30 years in the concrete flooring industry, Creative Maintenance Solutions has a consistent, proven record of success. We want to pass our knowledge on to you to help you make an informed selection. Let us walk you through our “How to Choose Right Epoxy Flooring Contractor Guide.”

What Makes a Reputable Contractor?

Before we delve into our checklist, we want you to understand the characteristics of a reputable epoxy flooring contractor. Trustworthy concrete flooring professionals walk you through the entire process. They explain the difference in materials, including the chemical makeup and reaction, quality, and cost of each option. They describe the detailed application process from surface preparation to curing time. Efficient epoxy experts educate you about after-care and long-term concrete flooring maintenance.

Are you licensed and insured?

Whether you are considering a sole-proprietor or an entire firm, your contractor must have insurance. A general liability policy protects you and them, covering property damage, accidents, disasters, and bodily injury. Inquire about additional coverage such as installation and equipment policies. Request proof of insurance. Once you have this, if you still have questions or concerns, reach out to the insurance company or agent. Solicit information regarding claim limits, policy expiration, and how to file a claim.

How much professional experience do you have?

The internet and reality do-it-yourself shows make flooring projects look less complicated than they are. When you’re investing in new flooring, it is best to hire a qualified professional. Epoxy floor coatings involve a complex combination of chemicals, environmental factors, and problems that occur. It is an exact science. The more knowledge acquired by flooring installers, the smoother your project will go. Time spent on a project, troubleshooting, and quality of service by a competent contractor surpasses that of inexperienced workers.

What do your references and reviews say?

Online reviews and ratings give consumers a unique view of businesses. We have access to complaints, concerns, and compliments that were once only heard by the establishment. Keep in mind that not all reviews are positive. Also, not all reviews are complimentary. Weigh the positive and negative and watch to see how the company reacted

Tips for Choosing the Right Epoxy Floor for Your Project

Deciding to install an epoxy floor in your home or business is a big investment. You want to be sure you choose the right finish and color, helping to give you a great-looking space that’s also easy to maintain.

Think of Your Needs

If you’re putting a new epoxy flooring finish in your sleek office building, for example, choosing a big, bold color with a shiny metallic finish might not give off the impression you’re going for.

Choose Your Finish

At Armor Tough Coatings, we offer two types of epoxy floor finishes: Metallic and standard, or matte.

Choosing a Color

Color can make or break the look of your finished epoxy floor. If you choose the wrong color for your room, like choosing the wrong carpeting, it could impact the look and feel of the space. However, the right epoxy floor in the right color can elevate a space to give it a sleek, modern feel.

Epoxy floors are available in a variety of colors and many installers can custom-mix colors to give you exactly the look you want. When choosing the color of your floor, first decide whether you want something bright and bold or a more neutral color.

How do you choose the best epoxy floor coating?

The cost of applying a high quality multi layer epoxy floor coating system as compared to off the shelf water based or hybrid one coat type epoxies can be relatively much more do you need a quality epoxy coating or is a cheap epoxy paint good enough for your floor?

What type of look and finish do you want. Solid color, clear finish or colored flake finish?

What level of durability do you want and or need. Is your floor an industrial application or residential application or somewhere in between? And how do you know an epoxy is really industrial or commercial grade? Many epoxies call themselves industrial or commercial grade until they’re on your floor and you wear right through them. At that point the damage is done, this page will hopefully help you avoid being in that situation.

What condition is your concrete floor in? Is it new, is it old, is it pitted, is it oil stained, does it have a moisture issue? Your floor may need special attention to avoid a failure down the road.

Proper Maintenance Of Your Garbage Disposal

Tips for Choosing a Garbage Disposal

There’s no doubt that it’s very useful to have a garbage disposal in your kitchen. However, you need to be sure that you choose the right garbage disposal for your own specific requirements. When you look for a garbage disposal, you will find that there are many models available. Finding the right garbage disposal is quite easy once you know a little bit about them.

Regulations

The first thing to determine is whether local regulations allow you to actually have a garbage disposal. If you’re simply replacing an old model, this is unimportant. However, if you’re putting in a brand new unit where you haven’t had a garbage disposal before, remember to check beforehand. Not all areas allow for the installation of garbage disposals because of the increased strain they place on sewer lines.

Plumbing

Will your plumbing handle a garbage disposal? Not all existing plumbing will so take the time to check first. It’s also important to check your fixtures to discover what types of garbage disposal will be compatible with your current plumbing and sewer system.

Motor Size

Many small garbage disposals come with a motor that’s just 1/3 horsepower. While that may be fine if you’re a single person in an apartment, you need something more powerful for a family home where the garbage disposal will be used more. You should ideally look for a unit that has a 1/2 horsepower motor. With a big house and plenty of people, you might even want a 1 horsepower motor on your garbage disposal.

Stainless Steel

Look for a garbage disposal with stainless steel blades. These are harder and sharper and will not only last longer, but will grind up the food more finely so you won’t have to deal with clogs in the pipes. Cheaper units will use far less stainless steel in their construction and are likely to wear out sooner. Bear this in mind as you check out units.

Best Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are a convenient way to get rid of food waste in the kitchen. But whether you’re seeking your first-ever disposal unit or looking to replace an old one, you’re going to want the best of the best. That’s where we can help.

Why Should You Buy a Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposals are just plain handy when it comes to handling, well, garbage. This includes food scraps, smelly leftovers you forgot in the back of the fridge, or even flowers kept a little past their prime. Sure, a good kitchen trash can serves a similar function just effective, but people are crazy about their disposals for other reasons.

Are Garbage Disposals Good for the Environment?

The environmental impact of garbage disposals has long been the subject of debate. Over the years, researchers have struggled to provide a definitive answer as to whether a grinder or a landfill is the more eco-friendly option. However, recent research has brought forth evidence in favor of garbage disposals.

How to Choose the Best Garbage Disposal

What makes an in-sink garbage disposal system good or bad? There are a few basic aspects that consumers should consider prior to purchase.

How Noisy Are Garbage Disposals?

If you’re sensitive to noise, you should know that all garbage disposals produce it but some are louder offenders than others. When choosing a garbage disposal, you’ll want to carefully consider the noise levels that work best for you.

Tips for Picking the Right Garbage Disposal

Disposers can last as long as 10 to 15 years, and it can be overwhelming to shop for a replacement with so many changes over time. Most homeowners are familiar with the two basic disposer types – continuous feed vs. batch feed. (Continuous feed grinds while food is continuously fed into the disposer, and batch feed grinds food in batches.) But there are several technological differences that affect functionality, performance and durability.

Motor Type 

There are two types of motors: induction motors and permanent magnet motors. Most disposers use an induction motor, which is similar to motors used in large household appliances – such as washers, dryers and furnaces. These motors produce less noise and offer a long, reliable motor life. A permanent magnet motor is a lightweight, variable-speed motor that is similar to motors found in smaller appliances, such as power tools, blenders and hair dryers. While permanent magnet motors generally run at a higher RPM, they will run fastest with smaller grind loads.

Horsepower

Disposer motors can range from 1/3 horsepower to more than one horsepower. Higher-horsepower disposers are typically capable of grinding heavier loads easier, which prolongs motor life. Consider higher-horsepower models for larger families or frequent cooking.

Component Materials

Three types of material are most commonly used with grind chambers and grind components: plastic, stainless steel and galvanized steel. Most disposers are constructed with thermoplastic polymer grind chambers, which help to resist rust and corrosion. However, stainless steel adds superior corrosion resistance that helps prolong disposer life. Galvanized steel is a durable material, but it can rust or corrode over time.

Noise Levels

Many homeowners are accustomed to loud disposers, but products with advanced sound technology can reduce noise levels by 30 to 60 percent. Look for disposers that have sound insulation and include noise-reduction features like noise-reducing sink baffles; anti-vibration sink mounts; and anti-vibration tail pipes.

Garbage Disposal Buying Guide

A garbage disposal (also called a disposer) is a great asset to any commercial kitchen – these machines help you cut labor costs by removing even tough waste fast, and they also help you save on waste collection bills. Choosing the best garbage disposal for your business can seem like a daunting task at first

Pros and Cons of Owning a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals offer a number of benefits for commercial applications, but it’s very important to educate yourself before you buy and understand what these machines do and what they don’t do.

Benefits of a Garbage Disposal

Decreased costs for solid waste removal and garbage bags.

Your drain is less likely to clog, which means fewer costly plumbing bills.

Less waste sitting around means fewer bad odors, which also makes your facility less attractive to pests like rodents and insects.

Convenience – it’s much easier to get rid of food scraps in a disposal than to scrape them into the trash can.

Less waste in the trash can means fewer trips to the dumpster for your staff.

Disadvantages of a Garbage Disposal

Increased costs for maintenance and water / electric use.

Pro installation is recommended for optimal safety and warranty compliance.

If sound travels easily from your sink to the dining area a disposal could disrupt the ambiance.

Some areas may restrict use – check with your municipality for applicable regulations.

Some items cannot be put in a disposal, so correct training for staff is important

How Will a Garbage Disposal Affect My Utility Bills?

Water – In general you can expect smaller units (2 hp and less) to utilize around 5 gpm, and larger units (3 hp and over) to utilize around 8 gpm. Exact usage figures will vary, so check the literature for your specific model number.

Best Garbage Disposals

If you are looking for the best overall, I recommend the Waste King L-8000 because it features a powerful 1 HP motor and an easy plug-in installation.

Disposals help to conveniently reduce the quantity of food scraps and leftovers sent to landfills and are an essential piece of equipment in any kitchen.

Operation

There are variations between how different models operate but the way in which they process scraps is essentially the same. Items to be discarded are fed through the rubber drain cover called the splashguard, which prevents food from jumping back out.

Jams

Jams can happen for a variety of reasons such as putting in too much food at once or accidentally dropping a knife in the opening. To reduce the risk of damage, most units feature an overload protector switch that is tripped in the event of a serious jam. The obstruction then needs to be removed or cleared then switch on the unit can be turned back on. 

Waste King L-8000 1 HP Garbage Disposal

The Waste King L-8000 1 HP Garbage Disposal offers easy plug-in installation so there is no need for electrical wiring or a separate power cord.

A Commercial Electrical Remodel Serves All Types Of Businesses

How to Choose a Good Commercial Electrician

Choosing a good electrician can be a time-consuming task, especially if you don’t know you’re looking for in the first place! Electricians who work in the commercial field develop a different set of skills over the years and, although they still retain all their basic knowledge and training, general household electrical work can sometimes take time for them to adapt to.

Remember that commercial electricians work on building sites, house and land development sites and in high-rise construction. The tasks which confront them are often alien to those that arise in a general household situation and you have to understand their skill set in order to choose a good one.

Many electricians who work in the commercial field are continually challenged to come up with inventive solutions to specific situations as they arise on-site. Whereas general household wiring is a relatively straightforward process in most circumstances, situations arise in commercial applications that are sometimes out of the ordinary and which require an inventive approach that a good commercial electrician can provide.

A good commercial electrician will be unflappable and able to adapt to issues as they arise. Commercial electricians work in an environment that involves constant change, especially when architects or designers change their minds at the last moment requiring electrical fittings to be situated in new areas that were not originally planned for.

Customers have expectations that must be met, and even when those demands appear to be unreasonable, a good commercial electrician will maintain composure and be able to provide a solution in a timely manner and instil a sense of confidence in the customer.

How to Choose the Right Commercial Electrician

Commercial electricians deal with specialized circuits designed to sustain warehouses or heavy duty air conditioning systems. Naturally, the commercial setting will have more complex electrical wiring that handles greater current. This calls for specific skills that go beyond the abilities of someone who does only residential electrical work.

The first step to choosing the right electrician is knowing what kind of service you require. Commercial electricians offer various services including generator installations, renovations and upgrades, inspections and testing, and high voltage wiring.

License and Insurance

The best commercial electricians always come licensed and insured. Electrical work is risky and should be performed by an insured individual authorized to perform the task professionally. In case of an accident, an insured electrical contractor will not put the burden of taking care of the extra expenses on you because his or her insurance will take care of the damages

Look for someone you can count on

When an electrical fault or failure occurs in a commercial building, millions of dollars could be lost. It is, therefore, important to select a commercial electrical worker you can depend on. Your electrician should be able to provide 24/7 assistance. The services offered should be excellent, and the electrician should provide references from previous clients.

Get the cost estimates

Ask the contractor to give you quote. Some commercial electricians charge hourly especially for complicated tasks that are difficult to predict the exact time that the job will need to be completed. With clear project details and scope, the expert can give you a price quotation that you can go through and see if it is within your budget.

Commercial Electrical Remodeling

Building Rewiring: If you frequently experience electrical problems in your commercial building, you could have faulty electrical wiring. In order to put an end to these problems for good, you might want to talk to the team at Delta Electric about rewiring your building. We can take a look at your system and find out if rewiring is necessary to put your problems to rest and allow you to focus on your business

Electrical Updates: We can help you decide where new outlets will go and install them correctly to adapt to your electrical wiring. Electrical updates can ensure your electrical components are fully functional and won’t slow down your day-to-day operations.

Experienced Commercial Electricians

It’s important to have an emergency electrical contractor you can call 24/7, especially if you own or run a business. A power outage or complication with your electrical system can delay or halt your operations if it’s not resolved right away.

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Business

If your business is eyeing new construction, renovating existing space or updating infrastructure to improve energy efficiency, security or networking, you’re faced with the task of sifting through a lengthy list of commercial electrical contractors to find the one that’s right for your project. You’ll need to do your homework to find the provider who can deliver the best in safety, service and results.

Define Your Project

Start by identifying the scope of your project. Is it new construction or renovation? Will you need a contractor with experience in all aspects of the general contracting process, from initial design and scheduling to final inspection and ongoing maintenance? Do you need an assessment of existing systems to identify specific areas for improved energy efficiency and performance? Will your project involve specialized services such as fire alarm, voice and data or security systems? Does it include outdoor space, such as landscape lighting, parking lot lighting or perimeter security?

Establishing a clearly stated set of required services will allow you to more accurately determine which commercial electrical contractors can successfully complete your project on time and within budget.

Consider Experience and Expertise

Once you know what services you’ll need, look for commercial electrical contractors who can demonstrate experience and capability in delivering them. Find out how long they have been in business. An established company is likely to have a record and reputation based on projects that it has completed over the years. Look for a contractor with a professional portfolio that includes the types of work that you need done.

Verify Licenses, Insurance and Certifications

One of the most important ways to protect your business from potential liability during construction or renovation is to confirm that a contractor is licensed and insured in the project location. Secure a copy of the contractor’s license and insurance indemnification. Ensure that any subcontractors are also licensed and insured. If a contractor claims specialized certification, research the requirements for attaining it and the meaning of the certification within the industry. Make sure that the proposal specifies that all work will comply with the National Electrical Code and National Electrical Installation Standards as well as any additional specific requirements of state or local jurisdictions.

ELECTRICAL REMODELING FOR COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

Have you been planning on carrying out electrical remodeling in your home or office but you can’t find a suitable contractor? It is very important that you choose a licensed and professional specialist who will consider all your needs and complete the job exactly as you planned. Prolectric Electrical Services is ready to relieve you from stress and overwhelming challenges. We do both new electrical installation and remodeling.

Our highly-trained technicians will ensure you have a safe electrical system which is up to code and adequate for modern needs. When we carry out your electrical remodeling, we’ll upgrade the wiring and breaker boxes. We can also add new lighting fixtures, power outlets or ceiling fans.

Bathrooms – As you know, water and electricity make for a potentially deadly combination. We take great care in placing Ground Control Fault Interrupters so you and your family are protected from shock.

Basements – Basement conversions or additions present unique challenges where wiring, circuitry, and panels are concerned but we have years of experience in this area.

Room additions – We can wire a circuit breaker for your second-story addition or simply add some new switches and outlets to your new bedroom.

Upholstery Cleaning Facts For Consumers

How Do I Choose the Best Upholstery Cleaner?

There is a wide array of upholstery cleaners on the market today. It can be daunting to choose one upholstery cleaner out of this assortment. To help, there are a couple of key points to consider when choosing, including price, the type of upholstery, what type of stain is present and how old the stain is, as well as personal preferences concerning scent, environmental impact and availability.

Commercial furniture cleaner is available for a wide variety of fabrics. Leather upholstery cleaner is different, for example, than wool upholstery cleaner. It is advisable to choose a fabric cleaner based upon the type of upholstery. If an individual is unsure what fabric the item he is cleaning is made of, most manufacturers, and even professional cleaners, advise testing the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot. Testing the chosen cleaning solution in a small spot also allows the consumer to see whether or not the fabric is “colorfast,” meaning the dyes in the fabric will not run or fade

Leather upholstery cleaning can be particularly tricky, as can cotton, and for these it is recommended to use a product specifically designed for them or, if possible, see a professional upholstery cleaner. Increasingly, people are turning to homemade solutions to clean other types of upholstery, which is often seen as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get things done. For upholstery that is particularly soiled and safe to wet clean, a steam-cleaning machine may come in handy. On the other hand, for products that are labeled as “no water” only, dry cleaning products are available commercially to help as well.

If one is unsure of the fiber content, worried about undesirable results or unsure of the best way to proceed, it’s best to consult a professional upholstery cleaner. When working with cleaning chemicals in the home, it’s always recommended to work in a well-ventilated area and to consult a doctor if side effects like dizziness, headache or nausea occur. Some chemicals may be caustic, so it’s advisable to wash the cleaning solution from any exposed skin or clothing as soon as is possible.

Tips To Choose Best Upholstery Fabric

Needless to say, no matter what furniture you buy, be it an armchair or a sofa, upholstery is always an invincible part of the big investment. Upholstery, to a large extent, determines the look of your furniture and should be chosen with great care.

Have patience and invest some time while choosing the right fabric

People make a big mistake by being in a hurry while shopping for the upholstery fabric. Won’t work! Look for each available option, check the label and ask all kinds of questions related to the durability, material and the cleaning process of each fabric. The main thing to look for is, how long the concerned upholstery will last.

Take note of the scale and the shape

One must be clear about the shape of the furniture they need upholstery for. For example- for a curvaceous piece of furniture, it is better to go with solid-color fabrics. Thus, it is important to take into account the size and the shape of the furniture

Testing and taking trials is good

The best way to decide whether you should buy an upholstery fabric or not is to actually test that, how it feels like to sit on it. The feeling of comfort is the prime concern that should be on your mind while shopping for upholstery. So, won’t it be best to try how comfortable is the fabric then and there? It helps you to make the best decision, among the various options available.

Pre-decide your budget

Well, this mantra of “Pre-deciding your budget” is applicable in every situation where you want to buy something which is costly. So, before actually shopping upholstery, you must be sure of the approximate amount that you are ready to spend on it. When you go for shopping of the upholstery fabric, it is a sure fact that you will like a lot of stuff but if you are specific on your budget, then it will be easier to choose.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Upholstery Cleaning Machine

Our furniture very rarely gets cleaned through more traditional approaches, building up all kinds of dust, dirt, and debris while getting the most use and utility in our spaces. It doesn’t take long for even almost brand-new furniture to start to look more than a little bit worn out, simply because it hasn’t been cleaned in a while

The best upholstery cleaning machines are going to help make your furniture (the spaces your furniture has been placed in) look better than brand-new almost immediately while cleaning and extending the lifetime of those pieces of furniture, too.

What kind of budget are you working with?

You almost always get what you pay for a when it comes to this kind of equipment, but that doesn’t mean that you have to blow your budget into tiny little pieces getting your hands on a quality upholstery cleaner.

What kind of upholstery will you be cleaning most frequently?

Different types of fabric and upholstery will require different types of upholstery cleaning approaches, and not all cleaning machines on the market today are as versatile as others.

Just how much “power” do you need your upholstery cleaner to provide?

Another consideration you’ll want to think about is whether or not you’re going to be doing a more delicate “daily cleaning” to your furniture or if you’re going to be looking to do a bit of a deeper dive with penetrating stain cleaners – or somewhere in between.

How to Choose the Best Professional Upholstery Cleaning

The need for professional upholstery cleaning is something that many people never stop to think about. The way we live our lives creates a need to have our furniture cleaned every now and then. We never stop to think about what gets on the couch or the chair on a day-to-day basis. We come from work or school and just go directly to the couch, never even considering what kind of filth and germs get on it as a result.

With this in mind, you may consider professional upholstery cleaning to be a valuable service. When you decide you want your furnishings professionally cleaned, you might be able to choose from many companies. You want to find a company that is both affordable and reliable. If you pay someone to clean your furniture, you want to make sure the job is done right. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you try to choose the best company for professional upholstery cleaning.

Determine the Cost Range of Professional Upholstery Cleaning

When you are considering professional upholstery cleaning, you would like to know how much you can expect the bill to be. The truth is that costs can vary wildly within the industry. Your price may depend on what type of furniture you are having cleaned. If you are cleaning a tiny footstool, the bill is obviously going to be much less than cleaning a sectional sofa. Though prices can vary widely, the average upholstery project costs about $200. However, if you have them complete a very large project, you could pay more than $1000. Of course, you’ll want to check with local companies to get accurate estimates for your area.

Compare Estimates from Local Companies

If you live in a large area, you will usually not face a shortage of options regarding professional upholstery cleaning. If you want to find out how much they charge, just ask. Pick up the phone book, open it to the Yellow Pages and find the section for upholstery cleaners. Explain what you want them to clean and ask for price estimates. After you’ve called several or all of the local companies, compare the prices.

Consider Other Factors

When you are trying to decide which professional upholstery cleaning company you should go with, price is a big factor. But you may not necessarily want to go with the outright cheapest service. Make sure to ask if anyone is offering special deals. Also ask how packed their schedule is and any other questions that come to mind. You’ll also want to know if the company offers good service. You’ll try to answer this question in the next step.

How To Choose Best Upholstery Cleaning Machine?

Furniture creates the style within each room of your home. This means that the upholstery of your furniture needs to be cared for in order to maintain longevity and cleanliness. You clean your carpets, so there your upholstery should be maintained the same way. When it comes to cleaning your upholstery, the cleaner you use makes a big difference. Stains can really make your furniture look dingy and dirty, therefore finding a cleaner that does the job without ruining your furniture is important.

Cleaning your Upholstery with Steam

The first thing that you should know when looking for an upholstery cleaner is that steam is the best option. This means that you need to buy a steam cleaner. Steam is most effective in getting out set-in stains. This means that even stains you do not catch right away can be removed by using this a steam cleaner. A steam cleaner works by releasing a pressurized steam on the area of the stain. There is a heating element within the cleaner that works to produce the steam. There are different models and sizes of cleaners to choose from, so you need to know which type of steam cleaner is best.

High Temperatures to Clean Deep and Disinfect

It is best to look for a make and model that offers a high-temperature option. This is the only way you can be sure that the steam will have the ability to soften the dirt in order for it to be removed. The steam cleaner is designed to do all the work and you simply will be able to wipe the stain away once the steam has been applied. This is most effective when you are using an upholstery cleaner that has the capacity to reach high temperatures. The higher temp will allow you to clean away more set-in stains.

A Compact Design Still Packs Power

You might assume that an upholstery cleaner is bulky and hard to lug around, but this is not always the case. There are plenty of new portable upholstery cleaning machines that are specifically designed to be compact and easy to store. These cleaners may be small in size, but they are still big in power and have the ability to clean all types of stains. These are also designed to be portable and easy to handle, which is something that you need to look in an upholstery cleaner. You need a cleaner that you can carry from room to room with ease.

Steam Cleaner Wand Accessory

Another feature that will really come in handy when you own an upholstery cleaner is a wand. A wand is a great accessory that comes with most steam cleaners. The use of the wand allows you to get more access to stains that might not be as easy to clean or reach. For couches and sofas this is really ideal and allows you to give them a very thorough and deep cleaning. The wand will let you reach areas that you otherwise couldn’t with a generic steam cleaner

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your Home

How To Choose The Right Cockroach Control Products

If you have cockroaches in your house, the last thing you want is for them to set up home in your kitchen. You want to make sure that you get rid of them as quickly as possible through pest control products so they can’t continue to reproduce—otherwise you’ll have a full-blown infestation on your hands in no time.

But what exactly can you do? Well, the truth is, there are a number of different products that you can choose from to take care of cockroaches and the most important thing is making sure that you look at your options to choose the right one for your needs and ensure workable pest management.

Checking Out The Options

There are different types of insecticide that you can choose from and they tend to come in a variety of different forms. A whole host of pest control products for effective pest management, such as boric acid, gel baits, glue traps, powders, liquid sprays, bait stations, and active ingredients that work like food poisoning to put in things they will be attracted to which can destroy the adults, nymphs, and their egg cases.

The key is making sure you know which ones work for the type of insects you’re trying to exterminate, where you want to put them and the animals or children that you have in your home. After all, you want to make sure that your family is protected in every way possible and insecticides can definitely be dangerous if not treated in the right way.

Liquid Insecticides

One thing they have in common is that they need to be sprayed close to the foundation but not right at the foundation because this helps to create an actual barrier rather than just the wall of your house. They should also be sprayed along windows or other edges to improve the strength of the barrier itself.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are not only undesirable pests but a threat to human health by consuming our food and contaminating the indoor environment.

Cockroaches are known to transfer disease pathogens, such as the various bacteria that produce “food poisoning” in humans, by contaminating food, food preparation surfaces, dishes and eating utensils. How many human gastrointestinal disorders are attributed to the mechanical transmission of pathogens by cockroaches has not been fully assessed, but remains a valid health concern. However, the roach’s greatest impact on human health may be its ability to trigger asthma. Cockroach nymphs grow by periodically shedding their “skin” (the exoskeleton). Fragments of their exoskeletons, along with bits of cockroach feces, serve as antigens (foreign protein) that, when inhaled, cause allergic and asthmatic reactions.

Several species of cockroaches live inside structures. Most domestic cockroaches are of tropical origin and the German cockroach, for one, cannot survive temperate winters outdoors. All are primarily nocturnal. All prefer warm, moist places where they can feed on human and pet foods, decaying and fermenting matter, and a variety of other items

GERMAN COCKROACH

The German cockroach (Blatella germanica) is by far the most common roach found in kitchens. It is a half-inch long, bronze-colored insect that avoids light and hides in cracks and crevices. Adults and older nymphs have two black stripes on the back just behind the head.

ORIENTAL COCKROACH

The Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) is the so-called “waterbug” of basements, crawlspaces and garages. It lives in cooler habitats with plenty of moisture – even outdoors around foundations in leaves and mulch where it can survive temperate winters. As a result, the Oriental cockroach’s development is slower. They require an average of 18 months to progress from egg to adult, while the German cockroach averages only two months to adulthood. In addition, the Oriental’s egg case contains 16 eggs, compared to the German’s 30 to 48 eggs per case. After being detached from the female, eggs inside the Oriental roach’s egg case require an average of two months to hatch

HOW TO DETERMINE WHAT TYPES OF COCKROACHES ARE IN YOUR HOME

There are more than 4,500 different types of cockroaches, but only 69 species are found in the U.S. Learn how to spot signs of cockroaches in your home

There are more than 4,500 types of roaches in the world, of which only around 69 species are found in the United States. And while that number is still pretty high, the good news is you really only have to worry about five or six different roach species, depending on which state you call home. Most species of roaches rarely invade homes, including the western wood cockroach and the brown-hooded cockroach (which prefers to live outside in the Pacific Northwest)

But the news isn’t all good. These handful of troublesome roach species that want to move in with you can easily become a nightmare for any homeowner. Consider that for every roach you can see, there’s a good chance there are dozens, even hundreds, in your home that you can’t see. And while all roaches might look the same as they scatter when you turn on the lights, knowing how to tell the difference between the most common types of roaches in your home will help you choose the most effective pest control methods to stop the infestation dead in its tracks

General appearance of all types of roaches

First, be certain you are actually dealing with cockroaches. Roaches can be mistaken for other insects such as grasshoppers, beetles or crickets. Cockroaches have flattened, broad bodies with long antennae and long hind legs. Each of their six legs has tiny sensory hairs. Adult roaches have wings that fold flat on their backs, but not every cockroach can fly. Most roaches are brown or black and can range anywhere from 0.07 inches to 3 inches in length, depending on the species.

German cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common of all cockroach types found in America. Their high-speed capacity for breeding makes them a direct threat to your family and home. All it takes is one single female to get into your home. Between her and her offspring, more than 30,000 cockroaches can be produced in one year, though many of them won’t live very long. The ones that do survive are more than enough to cause disease and disgust. Each German cockroach egg case (ootheca) can hatch between 20 and 40 baby roaches, and unlike other types of cockroaches, the adult female carries the eggs with her until they are ready to hatch. This makes them extremely persistent and difficult to get rid of.

A How-To Guide on Controlling Cockroaches at Home

Have you ever wandered into the kitchen for a late-night snack, only to scream in horror as you glimpse a cockroach stealing away into another room? If so, you’ll probably want to know what you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We interviewed Steve Durham, founder and co-owner of EnviroCon Termite & Pest, Inc., in Houston, Texas, to learn more about these ancient nuisances and how to keep them out of your home.

What Do I Need to Know About Cockroaches?

Why are cockroaches so ubiquitous? What is unique about them?

Cockroaches are omnivorous. Their ability to eat any food source makes almost any locale a potential feeding site. Although members of the order Blattodea (the scientific name for cockroaches) are found worldwide, individual families within this order are segregated into different regions that they’re best suited for. Other insect orders are similar in nature. Take Diptera for instance—flies and mosquitoes are just as widespread.

How prevalent are different types of cockroaches in the North versus the South?

German cockroaches are found in both regions because they prefer indoor habitats. American cockroaches are found in both regions because they prefer the warm, moist conditions found in storm drains and utility tunnels. Exterior-dwelling roaches, like the Surinam or Australian cockroaches, are more prevalent in southern regions due to the warmer habitats.

How can a homeowner tell the difference between a rogue cockroach here or there and a legitimate problem that requires further action?

Population density and the specific species will determine the best and most economical form of treatment. It’s normal for one or two American or Smokybrown cockroaches to enter a structure now and then and not be a problem. They prefer to live outside the home environment, so if you see one or two of them, it’s normally an accidental invasion into the home.

How Do You Get Rid of Cockroaches?

What preventative measures/practices can a homeowner employ to help a cockroach-free home stay that way?

Sanitation is the key! A breadcrumb dropped behind a stove can feed roaches for weeks. Add to this grease splatter from frying, other tiny bits of food that children drop, and the availability of water in a kitchen, and you have a perfect habitat for roach rearing.

Cockroaches: The insect we’re programmed to fear

Why are we so revolted by roaches? Rachel Nuwer visits her own personal insect hell to find out, and discovers a disturbing truth about our future with these creatures

what’s your earliest memory? For me, the answer is not pleasant.

I’m about four years old, and I’m sitting in the green-carpeted hallway of our family’s first home in Biloxi, Mississippi. The bathroom door stands open in front of me, and my mother is emerging from the shower. As she pulls a towel from the rack, I notice a dark stain marring that clean, fluffy pink material. It’s a cockroach. I see it before she does. As she wraps the towel around her body, however, it quickly makes itself known. She shrieks, flailing and stomping, suddenly naked and vulnerable and afraid. I begin to cry

I recently asked my mother about this event, and she had no idea what I was talking about. Perhaps I dreamed it, or my early memory is flawed. Or perhaps it was just business-as-usual in our Southern US home, where – no matter what chemical barriers were erected – cockroaches inevitably found their way inside

Real or imaginary, this incident triggered an intense dislike of cockroaches that would only intensify as years passed and encounters with those creatures multiplied. For me, a roach is not just an insect. It is a psychological gateway into a lengthy laundry list of traumatic experiences: digging through a box of supplies in my outdoor playhouse when a roach zips out and scuttles up my leg, its spiky appendages pricking at my skin. Watching my first cat, Salty, as he traps a roach, dismembers it with his claws and mouth, and then eats the succulent, writhing remains. Finding a small dead cockroach tangled in my wet hair after a trip to the beach, and thereafter suffering recurring nightmares of picking roaches out of my hair.

Roaches invade our homes and make those intimate spaces their own. As physical embodiments of filth and germs, they show that for all of our fortifications against dirt and disease, those efforts are ultimately futile. “They’ve really figured out how to exploit the opportunities we create, and in doing so, developed behaviours and life histories that prevent us from controlling them,” says Jeff Lockwood, a professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming. “In a sense, we loathe that which we foster.” Our very existence enables them to thrive