If you and your family have been having allergy problems lately, it may surprise you to learn that your carpet might be to blame. We’re not talking about the actual composition of the carpet, but what your carpet may be harboring. Although you may not be able to see allergens, they are there and can take a number of forms:
- Dust mites
- Animal dander
Any of these, or a combination of the above can result in respiratory problems such as sneezing, coughing, and runny nose. More serious conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis, can also arise from a dirty carpet.
The Danger of Dust Mites and Pet Dander
Every second of the day and night, our bodies are shedding dead skin cells, and these cells are what dust mites feed upon. Dust mite feces are the major problem here – they are a powerful allergen and as our carpets are often infested with millions of these microscopic mites, it’s easy to see how the presence of mites can trigger an allergic reaction. Pet dander likewise will wind up in your carpets to add to the allergy load.
You can help to keep the problems that allergens in your carpeting might cause in several ways:
• Vacuum at least once every day, particularly in the morning before the day’s activities really begin.
• Daily brushing of your dog and/or cat, particularly if they have long hair, can help remove dead hairs and dander before it gets into the carpeting.
• A dehumidifier can reduce the incidence of mold and mildew in the carpet.
• Your carpet should receive a professional cleaning every year; deep steam cleaning is the best way to clean a carpet right down to the backing.
Children are the most vulnerable to allergens that are trapped in carpeting, and can develop serious conditions such as asthma. You can minimize the chances that anyone in the family will suffer from respiratory allergies if you pay attention to your carpet’s cleanliness.