Fall has officially arrived, and here in Merrimack Valley, that means fall allergy season is here as well. If you suffer from allergies, you may think that you know everything there is to know about pollen and the other allergens that steal your ability to feel good, but did you know that you that your carpet could be making you sick?
Carpets and rugs look great, but they can also trap the particles and critters that make you miserable. Here in New Hampshire, pollen and dust mites are the most severe allergens that get trapped in your home, but your carpet can house a host of other allergy-inducing agents as well. For example, skin cells (the average person sheds about 1.5 million cells every hour), pet dander, and dust are more plentiful in your carpet than you may think. Additionally, our humid climate makes mold a constant concern.
Regularly vacuuming your carpets can help with some of these allergens, but vacuuming doesn’t get deep into the carpet, where most of the grime lives. In fact, 95% of dust mites can remain in the carpet after vacuuming, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
As if allergens were not bad enough on their own, all of that dander and pollen are perfect food for bacteria. When combined with the darkness and protection found deep in your carpet, that is basically an invitation for germs to move right in. Research has found that most carpeting contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch. That is FOUR THOUSAND times dirtier than your toilet seat!
Between allergens and bacteria, an unclean carpet is a serious threat to a healthy home. Additionally, many vacuum cleaners don’t have a good air filter, and can then re-cycle the germs through the air. In his book, The Secret Life of Germs, Philip M. Tierno, P.h.D. tells the story of a family who experienced recurring stomach problems due to salmonella trapped in the carpet, which was repeatedly kicked back up into the air by a sub-par vacuum cleaner.
Since we are talking about things that could make your family sick, it’s also worth mentioning that the Norwalk virus, responsible for the “24-hour flu,” can survive on an unclean carpet for up to a month.
Long story short, your carpets can do some serious damage to your immune system, so what can be done to help? It is recommended that you have your carpets professionally cleaned every six months to keep your home as healthy as possible. Chem-Dry Merrimack Valley uses a patented Hot Carbonated Extraction process, which deeply cleanses your carpets, thus eliminating any critters that are hiding from your vacuum. Additionally, our process uses less water than a traditional steam cleaner, meaning that mold and bacteria won’t have the same opportunity to make their comeback. Call us today to get a free quote, and start breathing easier!