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Are Your Carpets Making You Sick?

Did you know that one out of five of us is allergic to something (besides our jobs)? Of course allergies can make your eyes itch and your nose run, but they’re also the leading cause of asthma, a miserable disease that can even be fatal?

Well I just got some good news from a customer of ours who treats allergy sufferers in his medical practice. He tells me that modern medicine is winning the allergy war, thanks to better drugs and something he calls environmental control. His allergy patients are much more comfortable than they were just a few years ago.

The Culprit
As you probably know, allergic reactions are caused by exposure to allergens. The most common allergens are (1) the byproducts of microscopic dust mites, (2) mold spores, (3) a substance in cat dander & saliva, and (4) pollen. Experts say we have an allergic threshold—once allergen levels indoors or out exceed our ability to tolerate them, we get itchy eyes and begin sneezing and coughing. The good news is that at least indoors, we’ve got a fighting chance to control our environment, conquering those very unpleasant symptoms.

Unfortunately, carpeting has a bad name in the allergy wars. Turns out it’s a great place for allergens to live and even grow! In some cases, allergy specialists recommend carpeting be removed completely and replaced with hard-surface flooring. But customers tell me they love the beauty, comfort, insulation and safety their carpeting provides. Customers often ask for my help so here’s what I tell them.

Here’s How to Control the Allergens in Your Carpet
Allergy experts refer to carpeting as an allergen sink because gravity causes those tiny allergen particles to settle down into carpet fibers, building up to allergic levels overtime. When they’re stirred up into the air, we inhale them and begin sneezing—some call it indoor pollution.

The Mighty Mite
The most prevalent household allergen producers are microscopic dust mites. A dust mite’s favorite hangout is bedding and bedroom carpeting where they feed on the skin flakes we humans shed. We’re allergic to the dust mite’s feces. Yech! Dust mites produce these allergens year round, especially in warm, humid environments. Bedrooms attract dust mites because there’s plenty to eat and they love the weather (warm and humid).

You’d think vacuuming would help but it often makes the problem worse! Those pesky particles are so small that many vacuums with inadequate filtration simply blow the allergens up into the air where we can inhale them. Not a very pleasant thought, is it? I’ve got two solutions if you want both allergy relief and carpeting in your home. (1) Deep-clean your carpets once or twice a year (more frequently in bedrooms if necessary). In addition, sanitizing treatments can be applied after deep-cleaning to insure better allergen control. (2) Vacuum frequently using a state-of-the-art (HEPA) machine. They’ve got strong motors, multi-layered dust bags and exhaust filtration that prevent even the tiniest particles from being blown back into the air.

The Boring Spore
Some folks are allergic to mold spores, the microscopic matter hundreds of common molds release into the air to reproduce. Again, warmth and humidity are a mold’s favorite environment. Controlling dampness in kitchens and bathrooms and using mold-killing cleaners on all hard surfaces that become damp really helps. And as great as it feels under your bare feet, bathroom carpeting is a no-no. Many of our customers who live near dampness (creeks or the ocean) use dehumidifiers to keep relative humidity under 50% so molds have trouble growing. If humidity is a problem in your home, call me for some extra suggestions that have helped several customers.

The Cat In Your Life
You may be surprised to know that many cat lovers are allergic to their pets but go on living with their feline friends anyway? Their secret is to banish cats from the bedroom (where we spend 1/3 of our lives) and use the same deep cleaning and HEPA vacuuming that works for dust mite control. Meow!
So if you’re an allergy sufferer or love someone who is, get control of your indoor environment and get some relief. When it comes to carpeting, be sure to control moisture, use a good quality, high-tech vacuum, and let us deep-clean and sanitize your carpets on a regular basis. And don’t forget to see your family doctors—after all, they’re the real allergy experts.

I sure hope we can help stop your wheezing and sneezing. Please, give Coleman Care a call. It just mite help!