Recently, carpets have been developing a pretty bad reputation for being unhealthy additions to the home. They may trap dust, dander, and other allergens, leading to respiratory symptoms in the home's occupants, and the glues and dyes they contain can give off VOCs, which have been linked to an array of health ailments. Certainly, you can avoid these issues by choosing a flooring material other than carpet. But what if you really want that carpeted look in your home? Follow these three tips to make your carpet healthier.
Choose a low-VOC carpet
If you're getting new carpet, pay careful attention to the details when choosing a carpet material. Specifically, choose one that is labeled "low-VOC" or "no-VOC." There are many synthetic carpets that meet these standards, though they do tend to cost more than standard carpets. Many wool, sisal, and organic cotton carpets are also low- VOC or no-VOC, since they are made from natural materials.
Make sure that the glues and adhesives your carpet installation company uses are also low-VOC. Often, carpet glue is one of the largest emitters of VOCs in the home. Ask to see the glue label, so you can verify that your carpet installer is indeed using an appropriate adhesive.
Use green cleaning methods – and clean often
Carpet experts usually recommend cleaning the carpets two to four times per year, but most homeowners do so less often, meaning they end up living with a dirty, allergen-ridden carpet. Get into the habit of having your carpet cleaned, either by a professional or with a home-shampooing system, every 3–6 months from the get-go. This way, you won't give contaminants a chance to build up in the carpet. Make sure you or your carpet cleaning professional uses a "green" or "all-natural" cleaning solution.
Keep contaminants outside
Contaminants can end up on your carpet in many ways, but some of the biggest culprits are open windows and wearing shoes inside. Make a habit of keeping your windows closed, so pollen and mold spores don't blow in and land on your carpet. Don't put fans in your windows—this makes matters worse. Also, adopt a "no shoes in the house" policy so you're not tracking dirt and bacteria in on the soles of your shoes.
A home with carpet will probably always hold onto more mold spores, pollen, and other allergens than one with all hard floor. However, by following the tips above, you can at least make carpet less hazardous to your health. For assistance, talk to a professional like Home & Commercial Cleaning Service.