Allergies don’t just affect you when you’re outside during the summer months and the pollen count is high. You and your family can also experience allergy symptoms because of environment allergy triggers inside your home. Airborne allergens can become trapped deep within your carpets’ fibres until they’re disturbed by foot traffic and released into the air you breathe.
So, what causes allergies, what steps can you take to prevent them and how can your local professional carpet cleaner help to make your home a healthier place for you and your family?
Allergic reactions typically occur very quickly, which is why you feel fine on your journey home from work, only to suddenly start sneezing and coughing within minutes of entering your home.
Common allergic reactions produce symptoms, including:
- Blocked or runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Itchy rash and reddened skin
These symptoms generally occur when the allergy sufferer inhales the airborne allergens, although some people react on physical contact with the allergen.
Common Causes of Allergies
There are many common substances found in the home that can cause allergies, including:
- Tree, flower, and grass pollen
- dust mites
- Animal dander (minute flakes of skin and dried saliva)
- Mould and mildew
All these allergens can easily become airborne, floating up from deep within your carpets’ fibres when disturbed by everyday foot traffic. When breathed in, the allergens trigger adverse reactions in sufferers.
In-Home Allergen Control
There are a number of steps that you can take to control allergens.
1. Perform, Regular Thorough Vacuuming
During allergy season and if you have pets, you should ideally vacuum your carpets every day or at least several times each week. Regular vacuuming can help to remove dust and allergens from the deepest layers of the carpet and prevents a potentially harmful build-up of allergy triggers.
If your household contains allergy sufferers, it’s a good idea to invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are designed to trap most of the tiny, allergy-causing organisms in the carpet and to prevent dust from being re-circulated in the air.
2. Immediately Mop up Food and Drink Spills
Anytime food or drink residue gets left on carpet, mould may start to form and bacteria may proliferate. Bacteria and mould can cause unpleasant odours and release tiny particles into the air that can cause allergies.
Blot up spills immediately using paper towels, and then use a mild solution of warm water and washing-up water to clean the area. Allow the carpet to dry thoroughly, and then vacuum over the spot to lift the pile.
3. Use Doormats
During the summer months when trees, plants and grasses are in full bloom, plant spores and pollen can be brought into your home on your clothes and shoes. You can keep many of these unwanted substances outside simply by putting a good quality sisal doormat just inside your front door and asking visitors to wipe their feet.
4. Control the Humidity
A humid environment will encourage the growth of mould and mildew in your carpets. Keep your rooms well ventilated or air-conditioned to remove humidity, and consider having steamy rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms tiled, rather than carpeted.
5. Request Regular Professional Deep-Cleaning
The best way to ensure that your carpets remain allergen-free is by having them deep-cleaned annually by a firm of professional carpet cleaners. Steam-cleaning kills pathogens and leaves your carpets fresh, fluffy and looking as good as new.
If appropriate, ask your professional cleaner to use mould retardant and antibacterial products and to apply a protective coating that prevents food spills from soaking into the carpet.
Avoid At-Home Allergy Flare-Ups
Although you can take steps to control the allergens in your carpet, the best way to ensure that your home environment remains really healthy is by having your carpets professionally deep-cleaned every year. Why not have a chat with the helpful experts at Black & White Home Services to see how they could help make your home an allergen-free zone?