Dust, mold and pollen are bad news for allergy and asthma sufferers. So you certainly wouldn’t want to invite those things to stay in your home by settling in your carpet. But that’s exactly what carpet does – traps those pesky, invisible allergens without you knowing. And with every step, they are released into the air for you to inhale.
The good news is allergies don’t have to mean hard surface flooring. There are carpeting options that don’t trap as many allergens. Read on to find out what you should look for when purchasing new carpet for your home.
What to Look For
Carpeting made of synthetic materials is better at repelling pollen, dust and allergens. This is because the fibers are not organic and provide an inhospitable climate for things like mold. In addition, you should ask for carpeting that’s labeled as hypoallergenic. Nylon and olefin carpets resist moisture, dirt and mildew, making them good options. Also ask about polyester, Triexta and Air.o.
People with sensitivity to chemicals will want to avoid volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are carbon-based chemicals that quickly evaporate at room temperature. They may trigger allergies, respiratory irritations and headaches. Look for Green Label or Green Label Plus products to make sure you’re purchasing the lowest possible VOC-emitting carpet.
Lastly, don’t forget about the carpet padding – make sure it’s also synthetic and free of allergy-triggering vapors and chemicals.
Be Careful During Installation
Avoid triggering an allergy flare up while your hypoallergenic carpet is being installed (cue Alanis Morissette’s Ironic). Take these precautionary measures to cut down on allergens flying through the air:
- Have the carpet installer unroll and air out the carpeting in a well-ventilated area
- Ventilate the room as much as possible by using fans, a vacuum cleaner with a fine filter, and opening windows – to rid the area of dust and other particles coming from the new carpet
- Stay away from the house during and immediately following installation
- Clean Your Carpet Regularly
Even after making the smart choice of purchasing a hypoallergenic carpet, you’ll want to help keep allergens away with regular cleaning. Pros recommend vacuuming weekly, and deep cleaning, with shampoo and/or steam cleaning, every 6 months. Using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can be especially helpful. It’s a good idea to hire a professional carpet cleaner to get rid of embedded dirt that a regular vacuum or DIY carpet cleaner can’t extract. In addition, consider enacting a closed window policy during allergy season and “no shoes” rule in your house – this will reduce the amount of allergens that enter your home and settle in your carpet.
The very best way to eliminate allergens from your home is to install hardwood, vinyl or laminate flooring. Because there is nowhere for dirt, dust and pollen to hide, these flooring options are great for allergy and asthma sufferers. Allergens “sit” on the surface of hard flooring and are easier to remove with a quick mopping.
If you’re ready to get relief from your allergies or asthma by switching up your flooring, contact one of our sales team members at Loudoun Valley Floors. We can walk you through the various options available and help you kick allergens to the curb.