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Does carpeting cause allergies?

The benefits of carpeting in the home or place of business have been discussed for ages and they are many. The ambiance in a home can very much be improved by the perfect placement of carpeting. Carpets are comfortable to walk on and as opposed to hard tiled floors that send chills to the body when barefoot, carpets are warm and supple. The benefits of carpeting don’t stop there; they include so many other factors:

  • Comfortable
  • Brings beauty to the home
  • Temperature insulating
  • Noise reducing
  • Traps pollutants
  • Prevent injuries
  • Cost effective
  • Easily moved or replaced

There is much misunderstanding though on the use of carpeting. Health misconceptions of carpeting abound that have resulted in limiting the installation of carpets and even leading people to ripping their carpets from their homes. Many case in point occurrences exist today. In Australia there used to be a law that existed for many years forbidding the installation of carpets for fear of people getting sick with allergies and developing asthma.

Myths and wrongly stated opinions on the negative aspects of carpeting need to be addressed and dismissed. The detractors on the use of carpeting often times mix and match descriptive words all characterizing the evil of using carpeting; some of the faulty assumptions include:

  • Cause allergies
  • Bad to asthma sufferers
  • Impossible to get cleaned
  • Develop airborne particles
  • Affecting the breathing zone
  • Support mold growth

There are plenty of stories of people going to their doctors complaining of allergy symptoms or worsening asthma conditions and having their doctors recommend removing all carpets from their homes. The truth is that a well maintained carpet helps to improve air quality in the home.

Dust, dirt, dander and other pollutants are attracted to all kinds of floors, whether on hard floors or carpeted floors. Carpets trap these pollutants and keep them in placed. Pollutants on hard floors are disturbed and become easily airborne when walked on. Carpets are better in keeping irritants from invading your breathing zone; walking on carpets result in less dust particles in the air than walking on tiled floors.

Carpets can cause certain health conditions, just like hard floors can, if they are not cleaned. Carpets need to be kept clean and dry. Carpets if not cleaned on a regular basis will become home to many types of pollutants, and just as regular floors can become visibly dirtier and dirtier, carpets are no different; pollutants include:

  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Pollen
  • Mites, fleas
  • Insect parts
  • Organic residues, urine, feces, food
  • Fumigant, insecticide residues
  • Grease
  • Odors, cigarette smell
  • Mold and mildew

The ability of carpets to trap pollutants preventing the irritants from becoming airborne is a particular good benefit for allergy sufferers. The carpet’s binding properties make it a good choice for reducing harmful air contaminants in the home. A clean carpet poses a much lesser threat to one’s health.

Carpets and floors that are not clean can cause problems. The closer you are to the dirty floor, the greater the danger. Children who suffer from asthma or have allergies can be affected when they play or crawl on the floor. Allergens are taken into their lungs causing sneezing and watery eyes. Allergens range from dust particles to other foreign substances like household cleaners and powders.

Carpets and floors if not regularly cleaned can get real nasty. Regular vacuuming of carpeting, as often as you sweep and mop your hard floors, is a must. When using a vacuum cleaner, it is best to use a high-efficiency machine that has a HEPA filter preventing thereby allergens from escaping through the vacuum cleaner exhaust and contaminating the air even worse.

Carpeting still needs to be professionally cleaned once in a while. Vacuuming alone cannot extract deeply embedded allergens. Stronger methods to clean need to be used. Each carpet type requires its own special way for cleaning. Although a steam cleaner can be rented to do your own cleaning, it is important to note that leaving a carpet wet underneath or using the wrong cleaning detergent can result in damaging the carpet. A moist environment below the carpet is a perfect medium for the aggressive growth of mold and dust mites.

A well maintained carpet is safe to people and specifically best for allergy sufferers. With regular floors, dirt is evident, you can see it. With carpets dirt is not so obvious. Don’t let the “look” from deceiving you. Carpet cleaning needs to be done on a regular basis. Otherwise dirt will collect, get trapped in the fibers, and go below into the backing.

Professional carpet cleaners can clean any carpet and extract just about every allergen no matter how deeply or stubborn the problem is. They know how to identify carpet types and prescribe the cleaning method. Using green certified eco-friendly cleaning agents will help them keep your home looking clean and smelling fresh. Home carpets should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. Commercial carpets should be cleaned more often depending on the amount of traffic.

Carpet cleaners use a combination of cleaning methods for dealing with each carpet type or challenging issue. A careful assessment is made prior to the beginning of a job to determine the carpet construction. Carpets are made from fabrics ranging from synthetic to natural. Some carpets tolerate water based cleaning agents others water is not recommended. Some agents used to do the cleaning may contain some ingredients designed to protect and prevent problems from developing, such as water damage and dust mites. Natural substances used to clean should be good to the environment and safe to people and pets.

Carpeting is good to people; with a regular cleaning program, carpets create an environment that is free from allergy causing pollutants.

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