Allergies are a part of everyday life for many people. Even if it does not adversely affect your health, all the sneezing, coughing and eyes watering up cannot be a pleasant experience. Most people suffering from allergies go to great lengths in order to avoid exposure to allergens. While we cannot control all the environmental factors around us, it is possible to make our homes a safe haven by keeping allergens at bay. For someone with allergies, having a carpet inside the house is usually a massive no-no. However, thanks to modern science, it doesn’t have to be.
When buying or remodelling a house, a critical factor that has to be taken into consideration is the likelihood of allergens finding their way into homes and unleashing themselves on the unsuspecting residents, triggering allergy attacks. Historically, hardwood floors have been the material of choice for any home that is host to someone who is prone to allergy attacks. Marble, granite and other natural and composite stones are also a possible option, but not financially viable. The sealed surface of hardwood floors ensures that no allergens get trapped and that clean-up is a breeze. This has usually been the downfall for carpeted flooring.However, gone are the days when having a carpet on the floor meant inviting a steady stream of allergens to the party. It is now legitimately possible to look at affordable flooring options beyond hardwood.
Picking the right material
Picking the right material is essential when buying a carpet; even more so if it is to be placed in a house that needs to be free of allergens. Even if the carpet does not trap any allergens, the carpet fibres themselves can trigger allergy attacks. When your home décor starts giving you a runny nose, it is time for a serious rethink. Most modern carpet manufacturers opt for synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester; these synthetic fibres have a number of advantages over their natural counterparts and are good news for people with allergies. Carpets made using synthetic fibres are more tightly woven and this drastically reduces the possibility of loose fibres. Also, synthetic fibres are natural deterrents to other forms of allergens. For example, pollen that is easily trapped in wool fibres is repelled by synthetic carpets. Similarly, with no organic matter to thrive on, mould spores are hapless within the net of synthetic fibres.
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Getting a carpet made using the right material is only the beginning. It still needs to be taken care of in order to ensure that it does not become home to allergens. When shopping for a carpet, you will find many options that are labelled as ‘low VOC’. This is to indicate that the carpet has very little volatile organic compounds present in it, including compounds that feature benzene and formaldehyde, two major allergens. However, the lack of these compounds affects the durability of the carpet and it will require more frequent cleaning. Thankfully, running the vacuum cleaner over the carpet once a fortnight is good enough for the job. In case of spills, clean them up immediately to prevent mould from gaining a foothold; they may not be around for long on synthetic carpets, but mould can be very dangerous for whatever time it is there. You can also wash synthetic carpets and many manufacturers focus on making carpets that can be cleaned in the washing machine. With regular care, a low VOC carpet can really help keep allergens at bay.
While regular care is essential, sometimes it isn’t enough. Even the smallest of allergens can trigger an allergy attack and nobody ever wants that, especially in a house with children. Having the carpet cleaned occasionally by professionals is a fantastic way to ensure that no allergens are trapped within the carpet fibres and that even the smallest of particles are removed. A carpet that is professionally cleaned requires a lot less regular care; significantly less than hardwood and other solid flooring options that ideally should be cleaned every other day. Professional carpet cleaning companies use the right cleaning materials that will get the job done and not linger around as allergens themselves.
With the right choice of material and proper care, there is no reason why your allergies should stop you from having carpeted flooring in your house or prevent you from purchasing an elegant carpet.