Are Your Dirty Carpets Making You Sick?
Most people only get their carpets professionally cleaned when they look dirty to the naked eye.
But the most important reason why you should be keeping your carpets clean is not actually for aesthetic reasons, but for health.
While most people are usually pretty good at minimizing obvious health risks in the home (turning off the oven, keeping young children away from fires etc) everybody forgets about the health risks posed by dirty carpets and furnishings.
A carpet that isn’t regularly professionally cleaned accumulates bacteria, fungus and other irritants at an alarming rate. Indeed, an old carpet can harbor up to eight times its weight in toxic dirt trapped deep in the fibers!
Carpets are also able to trap the toxic residues of pesticides and toxins from paints and cleaning sprays for many, many years unless removed by a deep, professional clean.
While your carpets may look clean, if they haven’t been treated in a couple of years they are likely to be a significant health risk to your family.
- Allergies. A carpet can hide many allergens that are responsible for common allergic symptoms including sinus issues. These symptoms are often dismissed by doctors as something to be medicated without treating the underlying cause. Recycled dust, fungus, per hair, dander and the ugly dust mite are some of the most common and troublesome allergens that your carpet will be harboring.
- Skin and eye conditions. Itchy, unexplained rashes in young children, along with athlete’s foot and other fungal conditions have been attributed to dirty carpets. Most carpets harbor bacteria and fungus picked up from outdoors and deposited into the carpet pile by shoes (another good reason to take them off!) For the bacteria and fungus to multiply and release spores, all that is needed is a small spill of water…
- Respiratory irritation. Pet dander is a common allergen for many and the tiny flakes of skin from pets easily nestles deep into the carpet pile, safe from the domestic vacuum! Proteins found in the urine, saliva and feces of cats and dogs also causes many people a problem. Some people are already allergic to certain pets but many are unaware that asthma is often triggered by an allergy to dander. A build up of toxins and allergens in a dirty carpet can also affect the ability of otherwise healthy lungs to function correctly.
Common symptoms associated with a dirty carpet:
If you have any unexplained and troublesome skin, respiratory or allergic symptoms that haven’t responded to conventional medical treatment, it is common sense to eliminate any potential allergens in the home as soon as possible.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Nasal congestion
- Excessive sneezing
- Runny nose
- Tightness in the chest
- Red eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Itchy skin
If you or your family are suffering from any of the issues then it goes without saying that you should first seek medical advice.
But as far as making your home a healthier, allergen-free environment, getting your carpets and furnishings professionally cleaned should be your first step.