Suffering From Indoor Allergies?

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Suffering From Indoor Allergies?

Suffering From Indoor Allergies?

Your carpet could be the culprit. In fact, due to its nature, where numerous dust and allergen particles accumulate between the fibres, it can easily become the leading threat to the indoor air quality of the household. When did you last have a thorough carpet cleaning carried out?

The Grime Held In Your Carpet

It’s a cocktail of pollutants, contaminants and pathogens that pose different risks to the household members, as well as the structural integrity of the carpet itself. Here are some of the agents that are buried within that cosy carpet:

Atmospheric dust

The dust floating around the indoor air space gradually settles on the different surfaces around the home, from the countertops to the shelves and electronics. It’s no surprise that frequent wiping of the surfaces is required over time. The carpet is not spared from this. The dust particles accumulate in the material, and the longer that the carpet cleaning is pushed forward the greater the amount that will have accumulated in the lush pile.

Soil

Then there’s the mud and gunk that is brought in from the outdoors under people’s shoes. As household members went about their activities outdoors, from the public spaces to the parks, the shoes pick up grime, and this material gets rubbed onto the carpet when they walk into the house. A similar case applies to pets, where the gunk can have been carried on their paws or on their fur as they went through bushes, and when they get home and roll about on the carpet, it increases the amount of soiling that is carried by the unit. The organic and inorganic debris contribute to the content that puts the carpet’s structural integrity at risk. As people walk on the carpet over time, the substances are pushed deeper into the pile.

Mould

When spills are left unattended, the moisture in the carpet allows mould to grow. This can quickly become a major health hazard, especially if an infestation breaks out on the carpet. The trouble with mould grows is that they tend to start at the lower layers of the carpet, and by the time they are getting visible on the surface, there will already be a substantial amount of fungi that has spread in the material. The fungal growths also result when the carpet remains wet for too long, such as during DIY carpet cleaning where the extraction machinery used for the task lacks sufficient power to remove the bulk of the moisture – causing the unit to take days to dry. Mould poses different problems. For starters, it releases spores into the indoor air space – and these are allergens, triggering reactions when the household members inhale them. There are also mould species that produce mycotoxins, which can affect body organs like the liver once they get into the system. Add this to the unsightly stains that are formed, since mould growths come in all sorts of colours that clash with the rest of the patterns and styles of the carpet. The mould also feeds on the carpet material itself, weakening its structure.

Chemicals

These range from cigarette smoke particles, paint that chips off the walls over time and gets blown onto the carpet, detergents left behind after carpet cleaning tasks, spills from cosmetics like nail polish – the carpet carries them all. The effects of the substances will be determined by the specific chemical involved. New carpets may also come with VOC levels that are above average – which is why it is insisted  that you ensure there is proper ventilation in the room where the carpet is being set up.

Pollen

With the windows and doors being left open to allow ventilation into the room, unfortunately, pollen grains get blown into the building by gusts of air. These land on the carpet, contributing to the allergen concentration in the interior space. There are also cases of pollen that rubs onto pet’s fur as cats and dogs go rummaging through bushes during their outdoor escapades. These are then transferred onto the carpet when your furry friend comes rolling and playing on it later on.

Microorganisms

These range from bacteria that get transferred onto the carpet from the contaminants that are on the soles of people’s feet and the grime on pet’s paws, to the viruses that are coughed and sneezed into the indoor space. Whether it is during flu season or you have pets that have had a Parvo case, such microbes residing in the carpet can put the health of the persons in the household at risk. There are different kinds of pathogens that may be crawling all over the carpet, from E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter, to the Norwalk virus that can survive in the warm carpet for a month.

Kids and pets are at a higher risk here. This is because they often play around and roll on the carpet, placing their hands on the lush fibres and putting them in their mouths, and pets go licking up their fur which can have picked the pathogens from the carpet. For instance, this is why you will see the vet insisting on a deep carpet cleaning after pets have just had infections with diseases such as Parvo. A thorough carpet cleaning, through methods such as hot water extraction that kills the microbes and flushes them out of the material, is key.

Pests

The last thing you want is to have a flea or mite infestation on your carpet. Such pests hide out in the fibres of the material, occasionally hopping onto the household occupants – both people and pets, feeding and hiding back within the carpet. There are different kinds of carpet bugs that can attack your unit, from carpet beetles whose females can lay 100 eggs at a go, tapestry moths where one can lay 200 eggs within 2-3 months of adulthood, ants that thrive on the food crumbs strewn all over the carpet, as well as bed bugs that choose to hide in the carpet.

These pests are comfortable in the carpet because their source of nourishment is near, it’s comfortable, and warm. This is from the carpet beetles that literally eat the carpet itself, to the fleas that hop onto people to suckle their blood. Skipping out on the routine carpet cleaning increases the chances of an infestation cropping up.

Suffering From Indoor Allergies?

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