Do you find yourself sneezing, coughing, and feeling generally unwell more often when indoors than out? If the answer is yes, then you may want to take a closer look at the carpets in your home! Carpets have long been known for trapping dust, dander, and other allergens. While regular cleaning can do wonders for reducing these irritants, it’s not always enough—especially if you have an older carpet that is well past its prime. In this blog post, we will examine why dirty carpets might be causing your symptoms and explore ways to keep them clean and allergen-free so that everyone in your family can breathe easy.
Watch out for these symptoms
The most common signs of a believed allergic reaction to carpet are headache, skin rash and upper respiratory discomfort. Individuals also have reported problems such as cough, fatigue and breathing problems. There has been no evidence that specifically supports an allergy to carpet, but some people believe that it is possible. With new carpet, this is thought to be the result of breathing 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC), a chemical that is often used in the production of floor coverings. A reaction to an older carpet usually develops because of things such as mold, mites or dust trapped in its fibers, not because of the carpet itself.
An allergic reaction to carpet that has recently been installed typically does not last long. The low emission 4-PC chemical fumes usually dissipate within a few days. Some people are sensitive to the smell of the fumes, but others might not notice it at all. The severity of the reaction can vary depending on the materials used as well. Often, the padding and other accessories for installation will also emit fumes. Source: TheHealthBoard
Reduce chemical fumes
- Time your installation: If you’re building a home or renovating a room, consider waiting to install your carpet until other room finishes are complete. VOCs from paint and other building products can accumulate in your carpet and later become airborne.
- Air it out: Once you’ve installed your carpet, allow the room to air out for at least 72 hours. Open the windows or run an air filter in the room. Source: VeryWellHealth
Follow these tips
- Vacuum at least once a week, with a vacuum that has a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters remove and trap allergens, so they don’t get recirculated back into the air. Make sure to get a vacuum that is HEPA-certified and not HEPA-like.
- If you have a pet, make sure your vacuum is also designed to pick up pet hair.
- Reduce the humidity in your home so dust mites and mold cannot proliferate.
- Steam clean your carpets several times a year, preferably monthly. Make sure there is enough circulating air to let them dry completely. Source: Healthline
Deep cleaning is recommended for best results. If you don’t have the time or the tools to do it yourself, give us a call! You can count on us to handle it.