Common Myth: Is carpeting bad for allergy suffers?

Well this is a much debated and often misunderstood topic. Many believe that the carpet in your home traps the allergens and makes for poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Well this is only half true.

For years I believed that having carpet in my home was one of the reasons my allergies acted up so often. I grew up in a home that was about half and half. Half carpet and half hard surface. My eyes would water, nose would itch and the worst was the insistent sneezing. Carpet had to be the problem, right? Wrong. It was actually the solution. The problem was I was allergic to so many different things that I couldn’t go anyway with out being affected. to add to that I was young and my body had not built immunities to these things.

As we all know getting older brings on opportunities and maturity. Both inward and outward… “Grow Up and Move Out”. Well I did just that. As I got older my symptoms lessened but were still there. I lived with dogs, cats, plants, messy people, clean people and anything or anyone else you can think of. My body seemed to get used to most of my “triggers” after a while. I think I would build some type of immunity to it. Not fully but to a tolerable degree.

A few years ago I moved in with a friend of mine. I had a dog and he had two. Dogs were never a big bother to me but for some reason this situation really kicked up my stuff. As soon as I walked into the house it would start. Just like I was a kid again. My body couldn’t handle it.

Eventually I moved out and bought a place of my own, with carpet of course. My symptoms have not returned like that since.

I have done research on this topic and realized that the carpet is the LARGEST FILTER in your home. After seeing and reading about this it all makes sense. The house I lived in with three dogs had nothing to do with the animals. It was the fact that there was tile through out the entire house, bedrooms and all.

The reason my symptoms would act up every time I hit the door was because I was disruption the pressure in the room. This would cause all of the debris to erupt into the room and into the air. Thus causing me to inhale the things I was allergic to.

Now about the carpeting. Being that this is a filter it holds the allergens in place, allowing them to stay dormant when there is a change in pressure. It prevents anything from becoming air borne. Yes it can build up and if not maintained, will overflow and cause health problems. This is why it is imperative to vacuum on a regular basis and have routine steam cleanings by a professional. I do not mean someone claiming to clean carpets at *Low Low Prices*. I mean a true *professional. Carpeting is an important part of your living environment. Treat it with respect and it will keep you healthy, and last you decades. If your thinking of installing hard surface floors in your home remember… hard surface floors need to be maintained daily to prevent air borne allergens and carpeting only a few times a month.

So in conclusion yes carpeting traps allergens (in a good way), but does not make for poor IAQ (If maintained properly). If not maintained properly it can be detrimental to your health.

*According to the IICRC trained and certified in the type of work to be performed.

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