Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Carpet Advice for Asthma/Allergy Sufferers

UBS Clean Care

Great Advice on Carpet and Asthma from an Indiana Carpet Cleaner

I love it when I find great information online about carpet. In the maelstrom of myth and misinformation surrounding carpet on the internet, every now and then I find a nugget of solid advice. In this case, it’s a blog post written by David Gruttadaurio who owns UBS Clean Care in Indiana.

David’s blog post is entitled, Carpeting and Asthma/Allergy Sufferers - a Bad Mix?, and it is a straightforward, comprehensive look at the topic that is fun to read. I urge you to read his original post, but here are some excerpts:

Is ripping out the carpet the answer?

This is what I do know for sure - only 12 people out of 100 clean their carpeting… ever. Of that number, about a third chooses to do it themselves. Vacuuming? Most people say they vacuum every week. The honest ones tell me they’re lucky to vacuum the carpets once a month...

How many people would tolerate their hard surface flooring (tile, wood, etc.) having spills and food and mud and grease all over it… and then keep it that way for years!...

Is it any wonder that health issues are aggravated by an unhealthy and bacteria infested carpet? It’s not the poor carpet’s fault. All it needs is routine maintenance.

How routine? Vacuum it twice a week with a quality vacuum that has high-efficiency micro-filtration bags. Micro-filtration bags will trap even the tiniest of particles, such as dust mites and their feces, to keep it from becoming airborne.

Then have it professionally cleaned at least once a year (preferably twice a year). Every major carpet manufacturer recommends this same routine.

The construction issue

Many people feel that since hard flooring is… well, hard… that it’s a more sanitary surface since there is no place for the dust to settle. And this is true. But if you are an allergy or asthma sufferer, this is really bad news.

The very ‘complaint’ that people have about carpeting is actually its best characteristic: The fact that it has soft and fuzzy fibers make it act like a filter or a sink. It traps and holds all of the junk and contaminants we haul in to our homes on our clothing and shoes.

Hard floors cannot do that. The dust (a lot of which is dust mite do-do) has nowhere to land so it’s constantly airborne and being breathed in.

In fact, one way to prove that to you is to watch the air in a home when the sun is shining through a window. With clean, carpeted surfaces, you see some dust in the air, but not much. In a home with hard floors, you see much more dust because there is less surface in the home that holds onto dust.

Even if your vacuum doesn't have a good filter bag, these dust-mite allergens disappear from the air about 20 minutes after vacuuming. This is because they are heavy enough that they’ve settled back down into the carpet. And if the vacuum uses micro-filtration bags or if it has a HEPA filter, the allergens are efficiently removed before even becoming airborne during vacuuming.

David outlines the following two options:

#1: Have carpet in the home hold onto contaminants, keeping them away from your breathing space, and remove these contaminants with regular vacuuming and cleaning...

#2: Have hard floors in the home, which do not hold contaminants but instead allows them to "hang out" in the air, likely triggering allergen reactions from the occupants...

Here’s the bottom line of living with carpeting: Your carpet is a terrific filter. But you gotta clean it! If you don’t, the pollens, dander, dust, etc. will build up until your carpet is completely overrun with this stuff, aggravating allergies, asthma and many other breathing conditions.

Thank you, David. I couldn’t say it better myself.



Carpet Cleaning Chemicals Supplies said...

Excellent Article Bethany!!!
I posted it a link to in on our facebook account.

Bethany said...

Thank you - I am glad you found it useful. I can't wait to check out your Facebook page to see what other info I might find. What other topics would you like to see me cover here? Bethany

Cia said...

A person who sells carpet would love this article. But as a fastidious housekeeper with allergies and asthma, I can tell you that my symptoms decreased dramatically when I ripped out the (nearly new) carpet and replaced it with hardwood and ceramic throughout the house. The proof is in the results the sick person gets - not in some ideas a carpet sales person comes up with. When I had carpet, I vacuumed every single day and had it shampooed every three months. With hardwood and ceramic I use a microfiber mop daily and damp mop every other week. I would never go back to carpet - never ever ever. It is impossible to vacuum beneath beds every day, but it is as easy as pie to mop beneath them. Who is going to move heavy armoires and other chest-type furniture on carpet in order to vacuum beneath them weekly? No one, that's who. Don't try to tell me that isn't necessary - I've seen that ugly layer of fuzz that accumulates on top of carpet beneath large furnishings. So far I've said nothing about the horrific outgassing of many carpets, but I'll leave that subject till another day. Bottom line: wood and ceramic are far superior to carpet in the experience of this allergy and asthma sufferer. There is really no comparison.

Kenne said...

asthma is an illness that has killed many in the world, still people pay little attention to it. guys its real. read more

Bethany said...

Thanks for these comments. The Carpet and Rug Institute agrees wholeheartedly that asthma is real - that's one of the reasons it has invested so many resources into providing consumers with meaningful information about which vacuum cleaners remove and contain the most dirt. For those who feel removing carpet is the best choice for living with asthma, that is fine, but many asthma and allergy patients like living with carpet for a number of reasons - comfort, safety, acoustic benefits and warmth, and for them, our information is a valuable resource. I have asthma and I have carpet - as well as wood and tile floors in my house. I have to work just as hard to keep my hard surface floors clean - if not harder. Ultimately the point is soil removal and effective cleaning more than choice of flooring surface.

Rosemarie said...

All this info is great but I need some brand names for carpeting that is proposed to be better for asthma/allergy sufferers.

combivent inhaler said...

Home remedies are indeed helpful, but being an asthma patient I would also recommend doing some exercises. Staying in good health provides better resistance from asthma episodes. However, don't overdo or force your body beyond its limit. Begin with light exercises.

The Carpet And Rug Institute said...

Thanks for your comment. We appreciate it.

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