Did you know that your carpeted home could be causing your allergies and irritating your asthma? While carpeting is a very comfortable flooring option, it can also be allergy-provoking. This is because carpeting can hold onto allergens such as dust and pollen. However, you can prevent indoor allergies in your carpeted home with these simple carpeting care tips.
If you have hard surface floors like hardwood you might have area rugs to help provide comfort underfoot or as a design feature. It is easy to overlook cleaning area rugs as they can be difficult to vacuum especially around the edges. However, you should be caring for your area rugs frequently if your family tends to suffer from allergies. Follow these helpful tips:
- Flatweave rugs: Smaller flatweave rugs can often fit in the washer and can be washed following the manufacturers’ instructions every three months or so.
- Other area rugs: You can take any type of area rug outside to give it a good “beating” to remove the dust and allergens the rug has collected. While not ideal for everyone, it is an excellent option if you have the strength and time! Hang your area rug up or drape it over something that allows you to get at it with a broom. Just be sure to stand away from the carpet so you don’t get a face full of dust! Choose a nice sunny day without wind, every three or four months.
- Vacuum: Vacuuming your area rug is the best way to remove allergens, but it can be difficult to get in and around furniture. However, the more of the surface you can cover with your vacuum, and the more often you vacuum, the fewer allergens you’ll have in your home.
- Send your area rugs out: Find a dependable rug cleaning company to provide a good cleaning every six months or so. Many will pick your rugs up and deliver them within a few days. It’s an excellent way to remove all kinds of allergens while also keeping your area rugs looking their best.
These steps can make a world of difference by reducing the number of allergens trapped in your area rugs.
Wall to Wall Carpeting
For your wall-to-wall carpeting, regular vacuuming at least once a week is the best way to keep allergens at bay. The more traffic a room sees, the more often you should vacuum. Areas such as main hallways and stairs are notorious for collecting the types of debris that can really irritate your allergies. You can help keep your carpets allergen-free with these tips:
- HEPA filters: Choose a vacuum with HEPA filters to help contain tiny allergens like dust mites and pollen safely as you work.
- Invest in a wet vacuum: If your family is really sneezing, coughing, and suffering from issues like itchy watery eyes, life can be pretty miserable. Consider investing in a wet vacuum you can use to reduce allergens from carpeting.
- Regular steam cleaning: If you can’t afford a wet vacuum, or can’t be bothered with the extra work, be sure to schedule at least an annual, preferably bi-annual professional steam cleaning. The steam kills dust mites but also reduces things such as bacteria and viruses that can make your family sick.
- Bathe and brush pets regularly: If you have pets, be sure to brush and bathe them based on your vet’s recommendations. Long-haired dogs and cats shed quite a bit, and often enjoy a good daily brushing. This can help reduce the amount of hair and dander they leave behind on the carpets, not to mention your furniture.
These basic tips will help reduce allergens that can increase allergy symptoms.
Longer Pile Carpets
If you have longer pile carpets or area rugs, such as a trendy shag, they can be a lot harder to maintain. To keep them looking their best while reducing allergens follow these tips:
- Handheld vacuum: Use a handheld vacuum or “dustbuster” on your long pile area rugs as they can get down deeper, while also helping you “groom” the carpet more carefully.
- Use the “rake” attachment: Most vacuums come with something called a “rake” attachment designed for longer pile carpets. Use this attachment to get between the shag and remove more debris.
These tips will help you clean that comfy shag carpeting to reduce its sneeze-inducing effects.
Consider New Flooring
If allergies and asthma symptoms seem to be worsening, it might be time to consider new flooring options. This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t have carpeting; it just means your older carpets might be contributing to your allergies. Some of the best flooring options to reduce allergens in your home include:
- Shorter pile carpeting
Speak to your local carpet flooring calgary expert to discuss your flooring options.