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allergy–friendly floors – Carpet

Carpet

Flooring Type - Carpet

Carpet is attractive, comfortable to walk on, and, as an added perk, helps to hold mold, dust mites, pollen, animal dander and other airborne allergens in its pile rather than allowing them to circulate in the air. On the other hand, homeowners with allergies may find some carpet types have a tendency to aggravate their allergies due to VOCs released after installation and the potential for mold to grow in or under the carpet. To combat this problem, most all companies offer allergy friendly, mold and mildew resistant carpets, which provide a surface that can discourage these allergens from taking root. There are also "green" or eco–friendly carpet types made with fewer VOCs. This means cleaner indoor air during and after the carpet installation.

Recommendation:
For potentially easier cleaning and maintenance, consider a low–pile carpet verses high–pile carpet.

Pros

  • Tends to hold onto allergens, which can help minimize the amount of allergens in the air
  • Allergen–resistant carpet fibers such as nylon, polypropylene, acrylic, triexta, and polyester are available and can discourage mold and fungi growth. Moisture–resistant carpet padding is also available to increase carpet’s allergy–friendliness.
  • Green Label and Green Label Plus certified carpet has very low VOCs.

Cons

  • Carpet can hold onto animal dander, dust, pollen and other allergens on the surface and within the pile, making a complete cleaning difficult
  • Can be a breeding ground for mold, mildew, fleas and mites when subject to abuse and lack of maintenance.
  • VOCs may be emitted during installation but will dissipate within 48-72 hours.

Carpet Tips for an Allergy–Free Home

  • Choose an allergy friendly green carpet that emits low levels of VOCs such as those that are CRI Green Label and Green Label Plus certified.
  • Avoid laying carpet directly on cement, as moisture from cement invites dust mites
  • Use padding that is built to reduce moisture transfer and the possibility of mold growth
  • Vacuum frequently to help reduce allergens
  • Steam clean your carpet annually
    NOTE: Repeated steam cleanings may eventually remove any manufacturer applied stain and soil protection, necessitating a re-application.

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