People with allergies to pets can suffer from symptoms that range from mildly annoying to unbearable. If you or someone in your family has allergic reactions to pets, you already know the cause is dander. Dander, made up of particles shed from animals and humans every day, is mainly comprised of dead skin cells. People can be allergic to dander from any kind of animal, but the most common allergies are to cats, followed by dogs and lastly, birds.
Regardless of the animal, dander is microscopic and ends up on just about every surface in the home. This is a problem if you are planning on moving into a home that previously housed pets. Bluegreen offers the following suggestions as a way to minimize exposure to these allergens.
Step 1. Meticulous Dusting
A very thorough dusting of all surfaces in the house is the first step. If you plan to do this yourself, wear a disposable filter mask designed to remove allergens. The goal of this cleaning is to remove as much dust from surfaces as possible. Prior to dusting install pleated furnace filters designed to remove allergens. Set the central furnace blower to run continuously to capture airborne dust created during the cleaning.
Working from top to bottom in each room, be sure to get all of the dust from above door and window frames, ceiling fans, duct grills and baseboards. It is preferable to do this meticulous dusting with a HEPA vacuum and brush attachment. After you are done, turn off the furnace blower and allow the dust to settle for one to two hours, then vacuum the carpets thoroughly. A HEPA vacuum is preferred as they can capture 99.97% of all allergens.
Step 2. Meticulous Cleaning
Once you are confident that you have removed as much dust as possible, all surfaces should be cleaned. Allergies are caused by various proteins, and some of these are contained in residues adhering to all sorts of surface. There is no need to use special anti-allergen cleaners to do this. Any cleaner designed for the surface will do. However, if you are sensitive to fragrances or certain chemicals, there are low VOC products available. VOCs are volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory irritation in some individuals.
What about the carpet? The best option is to replace the carpet prior to cleaning the home. If the carpet is to be cleaned, the goal is to reduce the allergens to negligible levels. Of course, Bluegreen should handle this for you. Our cleaning system is designed to remove deeply embedded soils, pollutants, allergens and contamination that could otherwise aggravate allergies.
Step 3. Replace Filters
During the cleaning, a significant amount of allergens were most likely dispersed into the air. Wait about 24 hours and then replace furnace filters again with high quality allergen reducing filters.
Ideally, the ventilation system should be professionally cleaned to remove contaminants and potential allergens found in the ductwork, air conditioner coils and air-handler.
For most people, a home with a previous pet can be cleaned well enough to make it a great place to live. If you have severe allergies, you should always seek the advice of your doctor. Ask if it is okay to move into a home that was previously occupied by pets.
Our goal at Bluegreen is to clean not only for appearance, but also for health. Please call us if you have any questions. It’s our pleasure to help.