Keep Carpets Clean for Everyone’s Health
3/11/13 11:48 AM
Carpets come in endless styles and are found in just about every building. They keep rooms feeling warm against bare feet by insulating the floor. Carpeted floors don’t get slippery like hardwood, vinyl or tile floors, and the fibers and padding beneath provide a cushion against falls. Carpets covering a floor are even sound absorbent, reducing the echoing of footsteps and other noises. However, not everything about carpeting is positive.
Effects on Health
Did you know that unclean carpets can cause health problems? Everything from headaches and itchy eyes to coughing and difficulty breathing has been attributed to dirty carpets. The fibrous material catches and holds everything that falls on the ground or gets scraped off shoes, becoming a vast collection of dust, dirt and bacteria. There’s even the chance of severe asthmatic episodes and respiratory infections if moisture has caused mold to form in and under your carpets.
The good news is that there are products available to combat all of these issues.Vacuums with HEPA filters will filter more than 99% of debris, including the microscopic particles and allergens. Stain Removing Chemicals, such as those specific for Pet Urine and Feces, are great at eliminating offensive odors and keeping carpeting and pet bedding smelling fresh. And to prevent mold from growing under moist carpeting, there are fans called Carpet Blower Dryersspecifically designed to blow air along the surface of the floor, for more efficient drying of the carpeting especially after shampooing or flooding. There are also steps that can be taken to reduce health effects associated with carpeting.
Regular cleaning is the first step in combating the accumulation of debris in carpets. I know it seems simple enough, but truly understanding how much foot traffic the different areas of a home or business gets is often underestimated. You’d be surprised how much dirt can accumulate in entryways after a month, week, or even just one day! It’s even worse when that foot traffic is extra dirty, like from a warehouse or dirty outdoor chores. It’s important to clean and vacuum these areas long before piles of dirt start to form.
There are a variety of vacuums on the market to fit every need. The traditionalUpright Vacuums, Dual Motor Upright Vacuums and Bagless Vacuum Cleaners are ideal for standard home or office cleaning. Backpack Vacuums and Hip Style Vacuums work better for vacuuming around a lot of furniture, stairs, or tight spaces. A Wide Area Vacuum will save you a lot of time for long hallways and large, open carpeted rooms. Vacuuming is one of the easiest tools for day-to-day carpet cleaning.
Regular vacuuming will only keep carpets clean for so long before a deep cleaning is required to get all those particles embedded in the carpet fibers. Depending on how heavily trafficked the area is, this could be as little as twice a year, or as often as once a month. For places with pets or people smoking, you’ll want to deep clean your carpets more often.
Deep cleaning usually involves a special machine like a Carpet Scrubber or Box Extractor. These machines work with a cleaning solution, such as an Extractor Shampoo to really agitate the carpet fibers to work out the dirt and suck up the dirty solution. There are even Carpet Chemical Packages that include things like pre-spotters and deodorizers for a discounted package price.
Exterior Scraper Rugs
Preventing the dirt from making its way into the interior carpets in the first place will also help. Scraper rugs are mats with a very rough or textured surface for catching dirt from the bottom of shoes and feet. Placing scraper rugs outside entryways will remove a lot of dirt from shoes as well as hold any excess moisture, such as snow or rain, before it’s tracked inside.
Replacing Old Carpeting
All carpeting has an expiration date, no matter how well it is cared for and cleaned. Eventually the fibers start to loosen and the padding starts to break down, and it is just not possible to keep it looking clean. Recognizing when it is appropriate to replace old carpeting is just as important as vacuuming and shampooing. The installation of new carpeting can also bring some health issues, but taking a few simple steps can help lessen these affects.
The collection of dirt, allergens and bacteria isn’t the only aspect of carpeting that can affect a person’s health. New carpeting, including the padding and adhesives, often emits chemical fumes that can cause eye and lung irritation, headaches and shortness of breath. Some brands of carpeting and padding emit more chemicals and fumes than others, so always research before buying. Look for carpets labeled “low-emission” or “green”, and request that the adhesives used for installation are low-emission.
No matter what kind you choose, see if the new roll of carpeting can be unrolled and aired out before being brought into the building. This will allow the carpeting to release a lot of the trapped chemical fumes. After carpet installation, remember to keep that area well ventilated with fans and open windows for a few days to get the fumes out of the house. It’s even a good idea to leave the building when the carpeting is being installed, giving as much time as possible for it to air out before returning.
Carpeting can make a great addition to any home or business. Keeping it clean and maintained can ensure the carpeting will be safe for those who use it while increasing the life of the carpet. For more information about carpet cleaning, please check out our selection of Carpet Equipment, Carpet Chemicals, and Vacuums, or bundle and save with our Carpet Cleaning and Vacuum Package Deals.