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Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Health Impacts

Carpet and upholstery cleaning is something that is usually done when we decide to improve the appearance of your home. Its main purpose is to improve the overall state of a property by removing dirt, stains, and odours. There are, however, many other positive effects of carpet and upholstery maintenance which are not widely recognised despite their great significance. Some of the most important health effects of carpet and upholstery cleaning are associated with its effect on indoor air quality and on dust mites.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscope bugs that feed with dead skin cells which shed from the human and animal skin. Although dust mites do not carry diseases themselves, they can trigger allergic reactions in people suffering from asthma and other allergies. Skin cells accumulate in places like mattresses, sofas and carpeted areas and consequently, those are the places with a higher concentration of dust mites. Tens of thousands of dust mites are present in an average house, particularly in households with pets like dogs and cats.

Although it is almost impossible to completely eliminate dust mites from your house, there are several ways to reduce their amount. Simple measures like hovering your carpets and mattresses airing your bed and the whole place can help. However, professional carpet and upholstery cleaning can significantly reduce dust mites and control the health problems linked to them. Carpet can also be a favourable place for the development of other pesticides and fungi which might irrigate existing eczemas or influence appearance of new ones.

Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air quality is directly influenced by the state of your carpet. Carpets trap various solid matters and small particles and can be a source of chemical emissions and pollution if they are not properly maintained. This may lead to eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, skin irritations and cough.

It depends on the type of the property and the traffic patterns how frequently a carpet needs to be cleaned to avoid extensive levels of indoor air pollution. The chart provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifies the recommended carpet cleaning frequency.

RECOMMENDED CLEANING FREQUENCY GUIDELINE FROM THE EPA*

Environment

Day Care
Center

Nursing
Homes

Residence

Office Building

Food Service
Establishments

Commercial

2 persons,
non-smoking

2 persons,
with smoking

young
children

young children
w/pets

ground
floor

higher
floors

retail shops,
banks

Normal

2 wks

1 mts

6-12 mts

4 mts

6 mts

3-6 mts

3-6 mts

6-12 mts

1 mts

3-6 mts

Contaminated
Outside Dusty

1 wk

1 mts

2 mts

2 mts

1 mnt

1 mts

1-4 mts

2-6 mts

1 wk

1 mts

Extreme Cold
Weather Climates

2 wks

1 mts

4-6 mts

3 mts

3 mts

2 mts

2-6 mts

3-9 mts

2 wks

2 mts

High Humidity
Biogenic

1 wk

1 wk

4-6 mts

4 mts

3 mts

2 mts

2-6 mts

3-9 mts

2 wks

2 mts

* From: U.S. EPA Letter, January 1989

According to the US Environmental Agency, carpets that are cleaned more often require less and weaker sanitizing chemicals which decreases their negative impact on the indoor environment and subsequently on your health. Regular maintenance and frequent professional carpet treatment also prolong fabric’s life so you can enjoy using your carpets longer. Professional carpet cleaning is essential not only for the maintenance of a clean and pleasant appearance of your home but for health reasons and for safety.


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