Carpeting and rugs make a home feel cozy and comfortable. They can make a home feel like home, but, they can also make a homeowner and the other occupants feel sick. Why is that? Because carpeting can potentially cause some serious health issues.
Carpets are the biggest air filter you have in your home. They can trap all kinds of allergens, both those from inside the home and out. Everything that can be brought into the home via your feet can get stuck in the carpet. Dust mites and animal dander love to hang out there, too.
Additionally, the carpet manufacturing process introduces many chemicals. The actual carpeting can offgas for quite some time. Different carpeting cleaners add to the chemical mix and can make allergies and breathing difficulties worse.
Change Your Filters
You probably change the filters on your heating and cooling systems, and you may even have air purifiers that you regularly clean. You must do the same for your carpeting. Start by cleaning it thoroughly. Vacuum frequently and in the right way. You should try to vacuum once a week and try to use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter on it. Also, vacuum area rugs on the back and the front.
Have your wall-to-wall and area carpets cleaned by a professional at least yearly. Make sure the cleaning agents used by the professional are nontoxic and that they remove every bit of water that they possibly can from your carpeting.
Recently, Stanley Steemer was certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. They showed that they were able to remove 94% of common household allergens from the carpeting they clean. Those allergens included dust, pollen and pet dander.
When choosing a professional to clean your carpets, ask about what they specifically do to help with allergen removal. Make sure you check out your choice of provider with the Better Business Bureau. Also, you could check with local allergy doctors and clinics to see if they know of anyone in your area.
Get Rid of the Carpet
If, after all the cleaning and airing, you are still experiencing breathing or allergy issues, get rid of the carpet. Laminate flooring, tile and hardwood last much longer than carpeting can and are easier to clean. The variety of flooring choices is mind boggling, as is the variety of price points.
When getting rid of your carpeting, you may wish to have the person with the breathing or allergy issues to be outside the home. The amount of grit and dust that can be found beneath the carpeting and pad will be bothersome to some. In some happy cases, hardwood flooring has been found beneath the carpeting. In others, the homeowner simply gets to breathe a little better after having the carpet removed.