Under the Fibres – What is Your Carpet Hiding?
Carpets come with many pleasures. They are the softest type of flooring material, cushioning your steps and muffling sounds. They insulate the room from wild temperature swings, keeping the indoor ambience warm and cosy. The wide range of material and dye options means you get to have the ideal patterns that suit your particular style and decor preferences. But underneath it all, the carpet harbours grime that puts the health of the household members at risk.
The structure that is responsible for the functionality of the carpet – that thick yarn, is what locks in loads of soiling and provides numerous microorganisms and pests a suitable habitat to go about their daily lives in. The longer that the deep carpet cleaning is put off, the more diverse the ecosystem that will be developing in the carpet. Let’s look at some of the things that the soiled carpet holds:
Did you know that homes that have carpets have greater insect populations than homes without? While many of the insects don’t necessarily live in the carpet, a majority of those navigating through the fibres get trapped in the carpet pile and die. Over time, that plush carpet becomes one large insect cemetery. There are those bugs that actually use the carpet for their survival, such as the carpet moth that literally feeds on the material. The routine vacuuming helps in removing the bugs that are in the unit, and the occasional deep carpet cleaning will flush out the remainder that are caught deep in the pile.
By their nature, carpets soak up moisture quickly. Those occasional drink spills will be readily absorbed, wicking down the fibres and getting to the padding. As more moisture collects, mould and mildew get a chance to develop. This results in unsightly colouration developing on the carpet, and that’s just one of the problems. As more fungi grow in the carpet there will be more spores and mycotoxins being released into the indoor air space. Once these are inhaled, they trigger reactions and affect the body organs of the individual. Spills that wind up on the unit should be blotted up as fast as possible, followed by using a carpet cleaning product that will break down the stain and remove the residue.
Mould growths also occur when the carpet takes long to dry – as is often a case seen with DIY carpet cleaning. Here, due to the low capacity suction machinery that is used, excessive moisture is left behind in the carpet. The longer that it takes to dry, the higher the chances of an all-out fungal infestation in your carpet. Note that this can get to levels where you’re required to replace the whole carpet.
With the average adult shedding over 1 million skin flakes in a day, there’s bound to be a large amount of this that winds up in the carpet. The more the people in the building, the greater the pileup. Moreover, as people walk up and about on the carpet, this grime is pushed deeper into the fibres. The dead skin that is wedged in the carpet yarn is, in turn, fodder for armies of dust mites. These microscopic bugs are at home in the carpet, which has all the warmth and nutrition they need to thrive. For moisture, they simply absorb it straight out of the air. The conducive setting enables them to multiply rapidly.
The hordes of dust mites that are walking all over the carpet are not only just gross to think about, but they also contribute to most of the allergens in the indoor space. Their faecal pellets contain protein elements that trigger allergic reactions once inhaled. A deep carpet cleaning will flush these dust mites from the unit. This, coupled with vacuuming regularly and keeping the carpet dry since the dust mites flourish more when there is high humidity, will enable you to have a healthier space.
Those open doors and windows allow pollen to be blown into the house, and it will end up on the carpet. This adds to the allergens that are accumulating in that lush pile. Issues that can result range from hay fever to individuals getting asthma attacks. The vacuuming should be frequent, especially for households with persons who are susceptible to allergic reactions, and those where the windows are kept open for long periods.
For homes with cats and dogs, then this will be a core concern. Residue here ranges from fur and dander, to tiny bits of dog poop and kitty litter that gets tracked all over the indoor space. The gunk within the carpet continues accumulating, as well as the bacteria acting on it and causing it to decompose. This adds to the health risks that the household members will be exposed to, especially the kids who enjoy playing on the carpet, touching it and putting their hands on their faces and in their mouths.
Just how many microbes are crawling around in your carpet? Well, it can be 4,000 times dirtier than the toilet seat, and have over 200,000 bacteria on every square inch of material. Sure, many of the germs are typically harmless, but there are strains like Salmonella, E. Coli, Staphylococcus and Micrococcus that can lead to severe illnesses. So don’t go picking up that burger or cookie that fell onto the carpet. The 5-second rule is false, since the food items will have already been contaminated, and you’ll be ingesting pathogens that could lead to discomfort and digestive upset.
People walking into the building from the outdoors bring in dirt at the soles of their shoes. These particles get spread all over the floor, and there are also those that are blown in through the windows, and even ash particles from the fireplace that wind up on the carpet. Door mats set up at the entrance of the home will reduce the amount of gunk that gets into the building. Weekly vacuuming plus occasional deep carpet cleaning will enable you to protect your unit.