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Are Your Carpets Making You Sick?

Are Your Carpets Making You Sick?

Indoor air quality is a subject of growing concern. Research has been conducted into better understanding the relation between health, air quality and carpet cleanliness. We spend about 90 per cent of our lives indoors, either at work, school or in our homes. Therefore it makes a lot of sense to do all we can to purify our indoor air.

Every time you or one of your friends enters your home, pollutants, grit and soiling are tracked in. These pollutants are made up of pollen, mould, air pollution, bacteria, fungi and carbon monoxide. Add to this we have the result of everything that is created out of day to day home living. Such include juice and other beverages, food particles and crumb, sticky residue left from sweets, skin particles and animal dander plus dust mites.

In the modern era we place a lot of emphasis on draught proofing and insulation. By fitting better sealing windows and doors which are energy rated, and by sealing any gaps, cracks and crevices we have become very effective in keeping warm air in and cool air out. The downside of this is that indoor air is now 10 to 100 times more polluted than the air outside.

By the law of gravity, dust and airborne particles will always find the lowest point in which to come to rest. This will be on ledges, shelves, fire surrounds and our flooring. If you have a wooden, laminated vinyl or tiled floor you will get a good indication as to what is in your air by observing the material that comes to rest on the top of your floor. The greater part of this material is made up of dust and fluff, however closer inspection will turn up other material, as mentioned above, some of it identifiable and some of it not.

Now, you may be thinking that you are one of the lucky ones because you have wall to wall carpeting. With the exception of a little dust now and again, which you attend to on a regular basis, you see no cause for concern. None of the pollutants mentioned above are visible and you don’t own pets. While all this may be true, and even if you run a strict cleaning routine, it does not guarantee a pure and healthy indoor air quality.

Carpets, rugs and upholstery cover the greatest area in your home. They act like giant filters, trapping, hiding and camouflaging the various particles and pollutants as they come to rest by the law of gravity. As your carpet acts like an exposed filter as opposed to a sealed filter, this means that any loose impurities trapped between the pile can easily be dislodged and become airborne. Walking across your carpet sets off a chain reaction. Microscopic particles are sent swirling into the air, which you breathe and the remainder eventually come to rest in your carpet once more.

While it makes very good practice to have a regular vacuuming routine, this can only go so far in removing all of the pollutants and particles from your carpet. Debris that is deep down in the pile or perhaps surrounded by oil based matter cannot be removed by vacuuming alone. The EPA found that professional hot water extraction cleaning removed up to 1500 per cent more indoor pollutants from carpet that had otherwise been vacuumed nearly every day. Most people clean carpets because they look dirty, however by the time you see the dirt in the carpets, they’re probably filthy.

This can make a big difference in conditions that may have been aggravated by poor indoor air quality, such as allergies, asthma, emphysema and other breathing problems. If a carpet is not professional cleaned on a regular basis, it can become a breathing ground for bio-pollutants.

In my experience, rarely do people clean their carpets in an effort to protect their health, opting instead to clean for appearance. At Oran Cleaning Service we focus on health issues as well as appearance. Indoor air quality is an important part of our cleaning process. We know that a professional cleaning on a regular basis will improve indoor air quality, and leaves you with a clean, fresh healthy carpet.

If you have any concerns on the health condition of your carpet and think that they may be effecting the quality of the air you breathe, contact Brendan on 0121 472 3349. Very often we can give advice over the phone, without the need for a home visit.

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