The carpet cleaners at Loudoun Valley Floors tell us they hear questions about health a lot. They say homeowners in Ashburn, VA., seem to be especially concerned about allergies and asthma with carpet cleaning.

When it’s cleaned and rinsed properly, there’s never a problem, but when you try the do-it-yourself route, you probably won’t rinse correctly, leave residue, and you’ll see and hear a lot of coughing, gagging, itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing and scratching.

Just ask my Cairn terrier, who gagged his way through one of my DIY phases. Believe me, I won’t try that again!

But it’s not just the detergent that causes problems. Many homeowners in Ashburn, VA., say they’re afraid that carpet cleaning will create mold and mildew.

Two things here can cause mold and mildew to grow:

1. Water. What many don’t realize is that it’s not just the surface that gets damp; the soaking goes all the way down to the padding. It only takes about 12 hours for mold and mildew to start growing, but we have high-powered fans that dry the flooring long before mold and mildew can start.

2. Food and in this case, it’s dirty carpets. Mold will feed on the dirt. In turn, the mold acts as a magnet for more dirt and bacteria, and that will bring on allergy and asthma attacks.

When inhaled, you might even get flu-like symptoms, even if you don’t have allergies.

Isn’t Vacuuming Good Enough for Carpet Cleaning, Asks Purcellville, VA Homeowners?

No, and here’s why. Dust mites, insect fragments and other undesired substances get trapped in the fibers, and will remain there until they’re removed.

On one hand, that’s a good thing. You won’t have worries about them becoming airborne when you sweep and dust, which will cause you to inhale them. However, vacuuming alone just can’t get rid of these things completely.

They’ll keep reproducing, so that number will keep going up.

The professionals have big, powerful machines that don’t even come close to those DIY rentals, and they’ll be able to scrub deep into the fibers. So while it’s a disgusting thought, do think about it: If these substances aren’t removed, and your family sits on the floor, they’ll be sitting on them.

Still have questions? Stop into the Loudoun Valley Floors showroom in Purcellville, VA., for more information.