Different Ways How Your Carpet May Be Making You Sick
While it is a core part of the décor, if it is poorly maintained the carpet becomes a threat to the household members. Its nature – where there are loads of fibres with plenty of spaces between them, and the material being absorbent, cause them to accumulate substances that risk the health of the family members and pets. These range from minor nuisances, to cases where your loved ones can land in hospital. Here are some of the agents that are a concern in a soiled carpet:
Do you have pets? For those with cats and dogs, certainly the furry little guys enjoy playing outside. However, while out on their adventures, they can pick up pests, ranging from fleas to mites. It can be transmission from other cats and dogs in the neighbourhood, pests that hop onto the animal as it rests on the park or yard, or even picked right out of the bin, for those pets that occasionally go rummaging through trash cans. When these pests are brought back into the household, they become a menace to the family. After all, no one likes fleas hopping onto them to suckle blood. Note that the experts themselves can become pathogen-carriers, which increases the health risks involved. Those tiny pests will find the carpet to be an ideal hiding spot, enabling them to continue with their feeding craze on the household members, and afterwards hide out in the carpet. A deep carpet cleaning to flush them out is needed. In fact, approaches like hot water extraction will actually kill the pests and the eggs that they have laid in the carpet, going a step further in protecting your home from being infested.
Is there a household member who smokes? Or has there been a fire incidence in the house? The carpet will absorb the smoke into its material. Lead particles, pesticides that wound up on footwear as one trekked through the parks outside and transferred to the contents onto the carpet – they will all be held by the material. Here, it is the kids and pets who are at a greater risk, since they enjoy playing around and sleeping on the carpet. As they touch the material and put their hand/paws on their faces, the contents can be transferred into their bodies.
- Wall-to-Wall Germ Farm
Bacteria are some of the most adaptable organisms on the planet. You will find them everywhere- from the depths of the ocean floor, way up in the arctic, on people and animals alike, and definitely within the carpet. Many are harmless and are actually needed for normal functioning on bodily systems, but there are those harmful strains that will put your health in jeopardy. Since we’re focusing on carpet cleaning, let’s stick to the bacteria that can be hidden within your unit, and the danger they pose to the occupants of the building.
Harmful strains of bacteria that are usually found in carpets range from Escherichia coli and Salmonella to Clostridium tetanus and Neisseria meningitides. These can cause serious illnesses, from diarrhoea and bronchitis, all through to meningitis, and you definitely don’t want your loved ones being exposed to them.
How long can the pathogens thrive in the carpet? Some can take days. Take Mycobacterium tuberculosis for instance. Sputum coughed up by one suffering from TB the carpet can remain infectious for 19 days. Germs like the Norovirus can live in the carpet for 4 weeks, and still cause infection once they get into the body.
- Fungal Growths
Mould is also a concern. There are already spores floating around the indoor air space which get trapped by the carpet. Over time, as the concentration builds up, the spores are easily disposed whenever he carpet’s fibres get disturbed, releasing them back into the airspace. When inhaled, they trigger allergic reactions. A mould infestation kicks things into high gear.
When the carpet is damp for prolonged periods – whether it is due to a flooding incident or there were spills that were simply allowed to remain on the unit unattended for long, it encourages the fungi to grow. These will release more spores into the indoor air, worsening the situation for the occupants of the house. Some of the species of mould also produce mycotoxins, that pose a threat to the body organs and systems like the central nervous system.
The carpet itself is also at risk. For the fungi to grow, it will source for nourishment from the carpet. It will breakdown the material as it “feeds” on the fibres, weakening the structural integrity of the unit. The stains also come in all sorts of colours, which clash with the patterns of the rest of the carpet. This is not the fate you want for your carpet, especially after you have spent so much money installing it in the first place.
The solution against the health hazards of the carpets is to simply keep them clean and dry. The carpet cleaning method used also matters. Take high temperature methods for instance. Temperature of over 65 degrees will be enough to destroy most of the bacteria that is in the carpets, and this can easily be attained by approaches like hot water extraction. Getting professional help for the carpet cleaning will ensure that it is done to the required standards, with powerful systems that will get rid of the grime and threats to your household members. What’s more, additional problems like those stubborn stains that have adhered to the material, cases of odours emanating from the carpets – these are also resolved during the cleaning. That way, your carpet gets to look and feel fresh and vibrant, enhancing the décor of the space.
=A thorough drying also needs to follow the carpet cleaning process. This is to prevent it from remaining wet for extended periods, as this would encourage mould and mildew to grow in the unit. This has the welcome benefit of reducing the disruption to your day-to-day activities, since you will be able to restore normalcy to your home in the same day that the carpet has been cleaned.