If members of your family have constant allergies and/or asthma triggered by allergies, one of the main culprits could very well be the carpet in your home, which can harbor a number of different kinds of allergens. Carpeting not only holds dust, pet dander, and other nasty allergens, but it also contains chemicals that trigger allergic reactions.
The dust that gets trapped in carpets is enough to cause potential health problems. Most of the time, even the best of vacuum cleaners cannot get all of the dust out of carpets, and unless you have a vacuum with a HEPA filter, most of the dust that does get sucked up just gets blown back out into your carpeting. Shampooing carpet does not reduce the dust amounts by much either, and wet carpeting can lead to other allergens like molds and fungi. The build up of all that dust in carpet leads to a home for hundreds of thousands of dust mites, which are a major cause of allergies as well as asthma.
If you have pets in the home, then that’s another allergen that’s getting built up in the carpeting – pet dander. Just like dust and dust mites, pet dander gets trapped deep in the fibers of carpeting, and builds up over time. So if someone in your house is sensitive to dander, the build-up could be another main allergen source.
On top of dust and dander, carpets hold a number of other potential allergens and toxins, including all of the chemicals and other pollutants you bring in under your shoes. These can trigger allergies for all ages, and if babies and toddlers are exposed to these, it can make them sensitized to the agents, which could cause them to develop asthma and allergies later in life.
Carpets not only store all of the nasty allergens that come in contact with them, but they already come treated with chemicals that can cause asthma and allergies. Carpets are treated with these chemicals to prevent things like moth damage and stains, but these chemicals are bad for the environment, cause health problems in many people who work with carpeting, and trigger allergies for many homeowners. They actually release a toxic gas into the air, both new and old carpets. So if you think getting brand new carpeting might solve your problems, you may want to reconsider.
There is a solution, you can install a type of flooring that cannot trap these health hazards, and you have a wide variety of choices. You could install one of the many different kinds of natural wood flooring, cork flooring, bamboo flooring, or Pergo or other laminates. Linoleum flooring or tile flooring are some other options you might consider, too – especially for the bathroom and kitchen areas since wood doesn’t do well in damp areas. Note: vinyl may seem like a good choice, but it actually contains harmful chemicals.
The options are vast and the price range is wide, too, so there’s something to fit most any budget. Also, many of these flooring types, particularly hardwood flooring are highly desired and can increase the value of your home.
So if you or your family is suffering from allergies or asthma and you have carpeting, then you might want to seriously consider ridding yourself of those allergen traps.