What’s In A Dirty Carpet?
When it comes to carpets, appearances can be deceiving. The surface only tells part of what is lurking within the fibres. it can get really nasty, with the warm fibres providing an ecosystem for different kinds of nefarious little organisms crawling around the lush carpet and calling it their home. The carpet itself has the capacity of holding 4 times its weight in dirt, which accumulates over time. This includes the dust particles that gradually build up on it from the air- due to gravity, to the soil that is tracked into the building from the outdoors. Over time, the gunk will outweigh the carpet itself. When people walk on the carpet with dirty shoes- from family members and guests at home, to the customers and employees in the business premises, the carpet scraps off the gunk that is at the bottom of their shoes, locking it within the fibres. This soiling needs to be removed, and the regular vacuuming won’t be enough. A deep cleaning is required to flush out the soiling, otherwise the structural integrity and lifespan of your unit will be negatively impacted, as well as the health standards within the premises.
Allergens and pollutants
Indoor air quality gets 8-10 times worse compared to the outdoor air quality- and it’s where we spend most of our time. From homes to workplaces, we are constantly exposed to the agents that are floating around the airspace. One of the reasons why carpets are a popular furnishing choice is because they help in filtering out these particles from the air. Gravity causes the particles to fall onto the carpet, where the fibres of the material lock it in. Dust particles, pollen grains, to aerosol products that are being used around the building- they wind up in the carpet. It even absorbs smoke- for those cases where there are persons smoking cigarettes on the premises. Aspects like fur and dander add to the growing amount of grime. However, the capacity of the carpets adding more particles into its material does not go on forever.
As the concentration of dirt builds up, the allergens are easily dislodged from the carpet. All it takes is the kids playing around on it, or someone walking on the carpet, for the particles to get kicked back up into the airspace. This compounds the health risks, given that there will be a higher concentration of allergens and pollutants floating about. They can easily get inhaled, triggering reactions and affecting body systems of the persons on the premises. You don’t want to reach a point where each step you make raises a nasty cloud of particles into the air. Dirty carpets mean that the air will be dirty as well, and a poor indoor air quality affects one’s living and working conditions.
Horde of germs
With the carpet holding up to 200,000 bacteria on every square inch of material- which is about 4000 times more than the average toilet seat, there is cause for concern. The microbes feed on the decaying organic matter, be it food crumbs, dead skin cells, or even the faecal residue that has been left behind by the insects and pests that came scavenging on the food crumbs. In extreme cases, there may be rodents scurrying around under the cover of the dark, using their sharp claws and teeth to try and pry out the food waste from the fibres of the carpet. Then there is the dirt that is carried in by their kids from the games they were playing out in the yard, plus the pathogens and pests picked up by your furry friends as it was out in the dog park, or rummaging through litter in the neighbourhood. For those cases where there are persons who were ill on the premises, then there is a high likelihood of pathogens that got coughed or sneezed into the environment, some which ended up on the carpet, mixing up with the dust particles. Conditions like athletes foot have been known to be spread through carpeting, especially when affected individuals walk around barefoot.
There can be a wide range of bacteria breeding on the carpet. These include Salmonella that has been tracked in by pets that stepped onto faecal material in the outdoors, as well as contaminated foods and the substances that winded up on the carpet; campylobacter that is a common feature in damp carpets, as the bacteria thrives in moisture-rich environments; E. coli, where there infection results in symptoms ranging from abdominal pain and fever to diarrhoea and dehydration. Pathogens like the Norovirus can live for weeks on the carpet, while still remaining potent all through. In fact, Norovirus outbreaks tend to be difficult to control, and its worsened by their ability to thrive in the warm carpeting. You don’t want to live or work in an environment surrounded by these kinds of health risks. An in-depth carpet cleaning will destroy the colonies of germs that are residing in your unit, making the environment safer for those using it. The cleaning products that are used, coupled with measures such as the high temperatures involved in the hot water extraction process, destroy the pathogens and enable you to relax as you go about your various duties.
Maintaining Your Carpet
In between the routine carpet cleaning sessions, there are measures that you can take to protect your installation. These include:
– Weekly vacuuming- or even more frequently for those establishments that handle high levels of traffic. For the commercial establishments, it’s recommended that you carry out daily vacuuming.
– For homes, you can have a “No shoes in the house” rule. Here, ask your family members to take off their shoes when getting into the house. Having extra flip-flops or slippers near the shoe rack close to the door will encourage them to make the switch the moment they get in.
– Place a mat outside the door, that way guests and family members can wipe their feet before getting into the house.
– Interior doormats too can come in handy. Note that they need to be properly maintained as well, with regular cleaning to remove the dirt that they have trapped in the material.