Does my carpet need cleaning this year?
“But my carpets don’t look dirty, why should I have them cleaned?” The simple answer to this question is “healthy house, that’s why!" Like air-conditioners, carpets, rugs and upholstery should be professionally cleaned at least every 12 months.
It’s all about the things you can’t see
Let me explain why regular cleaning of your air-conditioners is so important for your home and family's health, and then I can explain the importance of regular carpet cleaning.
All air-conditioners, after regular use, become infected with “microbial contaminates.” This contamination includes fungi, mould spores and bacteria. Air-conditioners/heat pumps are the perfect environment for such contaminants which become airborne every time the air-conditioner is switched on. Mould and bacteria, combined with the humid conditions that we Queenslanders are used to, are a recipe for very bad and potentially dangerous air quality in your home. And if that isn’t reason enough for keeping your air-conditioner clean, regular cleaning will also decrease the running cost of your air-conditioner.
What’s with air pollution inside your home?
Regular, professional cleaning of your carpets is all about maintaining healthy carpets, which translates into good air quality. You may not know this but your carpets act like your homes air filter. It collects pollutants from the air so you won't breathe them in (better in the carpet than your lungs, we say!).
We tend to think of air pollution as something outside and far away, like smog or smoke. But the truth is the air inside your home is likely to be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by lead, formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon and even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners or domestic paint. Some pollutants are tracked into the home and some pollutants may arrive via a new mattress or furniture or even from dry-cleaned clothes and other items. In that mix, you'll also find microscopic dust mites (a major allergen), mould and if you have pets, then you'll also have pet dander in your carpets, not to mention other pollutants that children and teenagers bring in.
Did you know that in an average Brisbane home you are likely to find over 2 million dust mites feeding on dead skin, fungi spores and other debris? They live in your carpet, upholstery, drapes, mattresses and pillows. In the right conditions, dust mites can double their population in 10 to 12 hours, producing ten to twenty pieces of faeces per day. That means your home potentially receives over 100,000 dead dust mite bodies and 30 million pieces of dust mite faeces every day!
Microscopic mite faeces and corpses are so small (not visible to the naked eye) they blow up into the air as you walk around your house, especially in homes with hard floors. This means you are likely to breathe all of these pollutants into your lungs. Dust mites emit and secret a protein that when inhaled aggravates the lungs and causes a range of allergy symptoms including coughing, difficulty breathing, runny nose and sneezing.
Dust mites are the major cause of around 50% of allergy symptoms. Most people are not allergic to dust mites, but rather they are allergic to dust mite faeces and dead bodies. Inhaling this can cause respiratory problems such as asthma, and contact with our skin can often irritate the skin causing a form of eczema. To help limit the effect of this on your health you need to clean your carpets, furniture and mattresses regularly.
People often mistake the symptoms of mould exposure for other things. For example, they might think they are experiencing seasonal allergies, like hay fever. They might even wonder if they are allergic to pet dander or they might think they just have a cold or sinus infection. Since mould symptoms resemble these common conditions it is easy to mistake these symptoms for something else. Mould will grow on the backing of carpets and flourish in warm and humid conditions, like our Queensland summers. If you have an air-conditioner and it's been a while since it was last cleaned, your home is getting new doses of mould and fungal spores every time you use it.
Research by Philip Tierno, Jr., Ph.D., New York University Langone Medical Centre microbiologist, immunologist and author of The Secret Life of Germs, shows that your carpet is a lot dirtier than you think. In fact, it probably has about 200,000 bacteria per 2.5 square cm. That's four times the amount of germs that can be found on your toilet seat!
Norovirus, Salmonella, E.coli and Campylobacte can all collect in your carpets and upholstery. Norovirus, also known as the Norwalk Virus, can cause the stomach flu and other digestive problems. It is able to survive on carpet fibres for up to four to six weeks and can become airborne each time someone walks on or disturbs the carpet.
Most of us have heard of Salmonella, and think of it as a food-borne illness. Salmonella is a pathogen that can cause diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps. Salmonella is especially dangerous to young children and elderly adults. Although we associate it most often with contaminated food, Salmonella can be tracked into your home – and carpets – on the bottoms of shoes. This is one good reason you should never eat food that falls on the floor, forget the 'three second rule'.
Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, bits of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals that have fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in some people.
Additional allergy triggers or allergens come from sources other than the animal's skin. Proteins found in saliva, urine and faeces from cats, dogs and other pets can cause allergic reactions in some people. The most common allergies are caused by a protein from cats and dogs. The protein may come from dried saliva that has flaked off from an animal's fur that has become airborne, where it is then inhaled by the allergic person. Dust from dried faeces can be suspended in the same way. And in the case of cats versus dogs - sorry to all you cat lovers, but cats cause the biggest problem.
Making your home clean and safe to live in is simple
You probably wipe down your kitchen and bathrooms to make sure they aren't nursing a bacteria farm, so why are your carpets any different? It's the unseen dirt and pollutants that can cause the most harm and you can be sure your carpet is full of them, which is why it is so important to have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned on a regular basis.
At Results Home Services we know that clean carpets are important for providing good air quality in your home. We care about using the best and safest cleaning shampoos and stain removal products on the market. We provide a service that is more than just cleaning carpets and that’s why our customers continue to use us year after year. When you call Results Home Services you can be assured you will be getting the best carpet cleaning services in the industry. Our up-to-date carpet steam cleaning methods (hot water extraction) and professionally trained carpet technicians are able to provide you with a professional carpet cleaning service. Call us now on 3823-2500.