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Carpet Allergies: Do They Mix?

Individuals spend approximately 90 percent of time indoors where exposure to indoor and outdoor allergens is common and unavoidable. Allergy sufferers are exposed to a wide range of allergens including dust mite waste, pet allergens, mold, pollen, outside pollutants tracked inside from their shoes and other debris; all of which can pile up and trigger an allergic reaction. Many of these allergens settle on top of our tables, book cases, fabrics, floors, and carpets.

Carpet is unfortunately seen as a causal factor of carpet allergies.

Experts often advise allergy sufferers to remove carpets from their homes to reduce specific allergens but are seldom educated on the different options allergy  sufferers may choose to reduce those allergens. They rarely receive information on how carpets actually act as a filter and have the ability to trap and retain airborne allergens which keeps them from circulating in the air. In fact, there have been several research studies that suggest carpet can be a flooring option for those suffering from allergies.

In 2008, toxicologist Dr. Mitchell W. Sauerhoff, Ph.D., DABT published a research paper titled “Carpet, Asthma and Allergies – Myth or Reality”. In this paper, Dr. Sauerhoff reviewed over 20 scientific studies conducted in the U.S, Europe and other countries. Based on research he concluded that carpet neither causes asthma or allergies nor exacerbates their symptoms.

Research Studies

Several of these research studies also indicate that carpet is a safe flooring option for individuals affected by allergies. For example, Dr. Michael A. Berry, Ph.D., performed a study on whether carpet contributed to mold growth. He stated that , “…the main conclusion of his research is that clean carpet does not support mold growth even at prolonged and elevated temperature and humidity levels…The obvious management solution for mold indoors is to keep all carpet materials dry or at least clean (Sauerhoff, 2008, p. 7, 8).” The Research Triangle Institute and University of North Carolina compared two schools.  One school had primarily vinyl flooring and the other primarily carpet. The study found that the levels of airborne allergens were “higher over vinyl tile floors than over carpet (Sauerhoff, 2008, p. 8).” Dr. Allen Hedge, Ph.D., an indoor environmental expert, presented data regarding allergies and asthma in several schools. He found that “carpet can improve indoor air quality because carpet captures and holds dirt, contaminants and allergens that would otherwise become airborne (Sauerhoff, 2008, p. 11).” Another paper was reported at the 1996 International Indoor Air Quality Conference which examined over a dozen Florida schools. This study, along with others, determined that allergens can be removed from carpet by frequent cleaning. These are just a few of the many studies that show a decrease in airborne allergen activity over carpeted areas – especially carpet that is kept clean.

Daily carpet maintenance and cleaning removes allergen build up and restores its natural filtering process. Failure to maintain carpets cleanliness may result in an accumulation of allergens and an inability to effectively filter them. These allergens will remain embedded between carpet fibers until they are vacuumed and thoroughly cleaned by a professional cleaning company.

Carpet Maintenance

Follow proper cleaning techniques to ensure allergen removal and retain carpets comfort and softness.  Not only will this keep carpets clean but it will also improve the air quality in the room.

1.  Vacuum

Individuals should vacuum carpets often with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter vacuum with a beater bar to agitate and remove soil, allergens and other debris held in the carpet. Any high traffic areas where pets frequent should be vacuumed daily, medium-traffic areas should be vacuumed twice per week and low-traffic areas need only to be vacuumed weekly. Additional vacuuming may be necessary throughout the week depending on the areas that need to be cleaned, the season and carpet type and pile.

2.  Prevention

Prevent dirt and allergens from entering the home. Use durable walk-off mats for house guests to wipe their feet before entering the home. Ask them to remove shoes as often as possible when entering from outside.  Provide socks or slippers as an alternative to wearing outdoor footwear in order to avoid tracking dirt throughout the house.

3.  Deep Clean

Routine professional cleaning with hot water extraction is recommended several times per year and after each season. This necessary extraction process removes deeply embedded dirt, allergens and other contaminants that cannot be removed by vacuuming alone. Call the professionals at Bluegreen to obtain the best cleaning results and be certain of allergen removal and improved carpet appearance.

Allergy sufferers may also want to consider having their upholstered furniture, draperies and window blinds cleaned as well. Allergens can quickly settle onto these surfaces and quickly build up when windows and doors are left open. Be certain to clean and vacuum these surfaces frequently.  There are many benefits to those living with carpet. Carpets are easily maintained, warm, comfortable, and complement any décor. Allergy sufferers who choose carpet as a flooring option can live comfortably and be able to effectively remove allergens with proper cleaning techniques.

Professional Cleaning Technicians

Hire the professional cleaning technicians at Bluegreen to remove the allergens in your home before they trigger an allergic response. Bluegreen’s Anti-Allergen Treatment reduces the level of serious allergens in your home by 90% or more. A specialized cleaning solution is used that changes the structure of the allergen. This reduces the body’s ability to recognize the allergens which prevents them from causing an allergic reaction!

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1. Indoor Air (2011). EPA

2. Richmond, Bethany (2013, March 28). Surprise: You can have Allergies and Keep your
Carpets. Retrieved from Carpet & Rug Institute Articles

3. Sauerhoff, Mitchell W. (2008). Carpet, Asthma and Allergies – Myth or Reality


Article provided by Bluegreen Carpet & Tile Cleaning in  Waukesha

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