Most people know that a clean environment is better for your health. While you can’t always control the cleanliness of public spaces you interact with, you can make sure that your home is fostering the healthiest environment possible.
Especially before cold and flu season is back in full swing, take the time to protect your family by making sure your carpet isn’t making you sick. Although your carpets appear clean, they can be a host for bacteria, microbes, and other irritants. Below you will find the common list of health issues that could be coming from or made worse by dirty carpet.
Mold, pet hair, old skin, dust, and dirt can all get trapped in your carpets. Daily activity such as walking or vacuuming can free these particles from the carpet and spread them into the air. Can dirty carpets make you sick? This movement of pollutants can lead to respiratory issues such as coughing or difficulty breathing. Individuals who suffer from asthma can feel these symptoms even more intensely, as they’re more vulnerable to such airborne toxins. The American Lung Association advises that pets, as well as children who spend more time on the floor and touch their hands to their mouths, are more at risk of being affected by toxic particles in your carpet. Only proper maintenance and professional cleaning methods can successfully remove these toxic particulates which lay dormant in your carpeting.
The same mold and dust mites that can inflame your lungs can also give you red eyes or a runny nose if you suffer from allergies. The buildup in your carpet can easily trigger an allergy attack or make your day-to-day life just a little more unpleasant. If you frequently wake up with drainage or allergy-like symptoms, your carpets should be one of the first places you look to eliminate bacteria and dust mites. (Pro-Tip: The second place is to check your air duct system and if it needs to be cleaned.) Now that fall is here, you might be experiencing sneezing and skin irritation thanks to ragweed and mold. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology warns that these irritants can build up in your carpet and that your symptoms can flare up in the immediate hours after vacuuming. This buildup can occur due to the fact that we keep our homes more closed up during the colder months which allows irritants to settle in the carpeting and consistently recirculate in the air when the heating systems kick in.
Itchy skin, rashes, athlete’s foot, and eczema are all dirty carpet dangers that can be triggered or made worse by dust mites in the unclean carpet. Even if you maintain a regular cleaning schedule, dust mites are small enough to evade the most diligent home cleaners. Utilizing technologies such as home humidifiers and having the carpeting cleaned on a regular schedule can help in significantly reducing presence of dust mites.
Weakened Immune System
Your body works hard to keep you healthy! Whether you’re at home or at the office, your immune system is constantly fighting off germs and toxins. When you live in an unclean environment, your body is working overtime to fight against bacteria and keep you healthy. It makes sense that your immune system can start to get tired when you’re living in a home where there’s a buildup of germs and toxins in dirty carpets. Babies have developing immunes systems and are frequently in contact with floors, which puts them at a greater risk of getting sick from your carpet. If you have a home with toddlers and small children, frequent vacuuming and professional cleaning are important for keeping your kids healthy.
If you have animals, keeping your carpets clean is even more important for disease prevention. Animal urine and feces can cause a host of issues in your carpet. From carrying bacteria to creating smells like ammonia that can cause nose and lung irritation, pet waste can be particularly dangerous for small children who are in frequent contact with dirty carpet. The dampness can also increase the risk of mold growth, so immediately treating affected areas is crucial. Especially with cats and dogs that spend time inside and outside of the house, diseases and germs can be easily spread. Fleas and ticks can find their way into your home if you’re not regularly cleaning your pets and your carpets. These pests often cannot be eliminated by cleaning alone, often extreme heat or chemical treatments are required to free your home of these unwanted visitors. As much as we love our pets ensuring we take every necessary precaution to have a clean environment should be at the top of our list.
Nothing good comes from wet carpet. But you may not realize just how bad damp carpet can be for your health. The presence of mold can cause a variety of health issues, but the presence of mycotoxins cause severe stomach irritation and infection. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, mold can go unseen and is even more common in basement carpeting. Your carpet could even be a host for salmonella. While you may think of salmonella as a foodborne disease, this pathogen can be tracked into your home, putting your household, especially children, at risk.
Along with the host of physical illnesses that can result from dirty carpet, your mental health can also be affected. Ridding your home of a flea infestation or taking care of sick child is a lot of stress. The American Psychological Association has confirmed that stress produces physical symptoms and leads to a weakened and immune system. So clean carpets won’t just help you stay healthy. They’ll help you stay happy, too. So how do you protect yourself and your family against the health risks of dirty carpet? Regular vacuuming and cleaning does help. However, dirty carpets can also mean a dirty vacuum. To prevent spreading any carpet problems, make sure you are using a vacuum with a true HEPA filter that’s frequently cleaned and regularly change full bags.
Basic cleaning measures alone aren’t enough to ensure that your carpets aren’t a host to pollutants and toxins. It is recommended to have your carpets cleaned professionally every 12 to 18 months to protect against allergens and bacteria. This will ensure that your home is as clean and healthy as possible! Learn more about our Wiz Team, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration Specialists.