Many of us look at our carpets and think nothing of them. Sure, they may need a cleaning or a good vacuuming, but that’s all the attention we really pay to them. Unfortunately, there are potential dangers in your carpet. It’s possible that what is lurking underneath the surface of your flooring could lead to health problems for you and your family members.

Here’s what everyone needs to know about carpets and the impact they can have on your health.

Chemicals and Mold
Carpets are made from synthetic materials that are often treated with harsh, even abrasive chemicals. These chemicals can be a potential irritant to your family. Additionally, the glues and padding used to install your carpet add another layer of chemicals that can cause problems.

As your carpet sits there and ages, it can accumulate things like mold, mildew, dirt, dust, and bacteria–which can all negatively affect your health.

Respiratory Health
Probably the most common issue that can occur with carpeting is breathing problems. Be it the chemicals, the mold, or just plain dust, there are plenty of opportunities for irritants to accumulate. These can harm your lungs and make it difficult to breathe, especially for those who already have breathing issues, are very young, or elderly.

These carpet irritants can cause asthma attacks, sore throats, and irritation of the nose, throat, and lungs. If you already suffer from allergies, these irritants can make those worse.

Preventing Health Issues
One of the easiest ways to prevent these health issues is by removing the carpet entirely and switching to hard-surfaced floors such as wood or tile. This is especially useful in the kitchen and bathrooms that tend to become damp, leading to carpet molding.

If that isn’t an option, then be sure to vacuum often using a HEPA filter. Ideally, get a professional to do a regular deep cleaning of the carpets. Also, you can place mats outside of your home to help decrease the amount of dirt that is tracked in. If you have a new installation, you may want to wait a day before spending a lot of time in the room and a few days before you let children play on them.

Carpets can (and should) look great. You want them to represent your home as an inviting environment. Keeping your carpet in tip-top shape not only makes it look better, it can also help prevent illnesses and allergies so often caused by carpet irritants.

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