Can Old Carpet Make You Sick?
Carpet is one of the most popular flooring types—it’s comfortable, warm, and looks great when it’s well-maintained. If you have carpet floors in your home, you already know its benefits and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages of carpet is that it takes a little extra effort to clean and maintain. Not cleaning your carpets regularly can cause them to fade and discolor over time. Carpet requires regular vacuuming, professional cleaning, and replacement every now and then.
Replacing your old carpet floors and keeping them clean is not only important for aesthetic purposes, but for the health of your family. Old carpets accumulate dust, dirt, allergens, and even mold over the years. Your old floors could look clean but be hosting all kinds of gross contaminants. These unsanitary irritants can aggravate allergies, trigger asthma attacks, and cause fungal infections:
Old carpet can trap allergens and aggravate your family’s allergies. Vacuuming regularly helps keep these contaminants to a minimum, but old carpet is sure to contain traces of allergens from this year and from every year since it was installed. Here are some of the allergens that could be living in your old carpet.
If you’re allergic to pollen, you already know there’s no escaping it—especially in the springtime. The wind carries pollen near and far. It can get into your house through open windows and on your shoes. When pollen in the air settles, it gets grounded into your carpet fibers when you walk on it.
Most people don’t think about mold unless it’s visible, but mold spores float around just like pollen. When these spores float inside, they can find a home in your carpet. If you’re allergic to mold, the accumulation of mold in your old carpet can make you sick.
Dust mites are tiny, eight-legged arachnids that live in carpeting, bedding, and furniture. Dust mites eat dead flakes of human skin and are so small you can only see them with a microscope. Although some dust mites are inevitable, you’ll have more of them if you have old, dirty carpet.
Animal dander is pet dandruff. When your pet’s loose skin cells flake off, they get trapped in your carpet over time. If you’ve had pets for the last couple years, there’s bound to be tons of animal dander in your old carpet.
Old carpet also increases your risk of asthma attacks. The allergens in old carpet can reduce the indoor air quality of your home and trigger asthma attacks just like they trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and other allergic reactions.
When your body’s immune system identifies allergens like pollen, mold, dust mites, and animal dander as an invader, antibodies bind to the allergen, causing an allergic reaction. If you or a family member of yours has asthma, the same reaction can affect your lungs and airways, causing an asthma attack.
While regular vacuuming and professional cleaning services can remove a ton of contaminants, getting new carpet is some homeowners’ best option—especially if your carpet is super old or you have severe asthma. Investing in new, low pile carpet is a smart decision for asthma sufferers. Low pile carpet has shorter, tighter fibers which gives allergens fewer places to hide.
One of the best benefits of carpet flooring is that it’s comfortable to walk on barefoot. If your carpet is old and dirty, however, it can cause fungal infections.
The most common fungal infection you can get from old carpet is athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a highly contagious infection that causes itching, stinging, and burning between your toes or on the soles of your feet. If you have cuts, scratches, or grazes on the soles of your feet, you have a higher risk of picking up athlete’s foot from walking on old carpet. Old, dirty carpet is also a breeding ground for other fungi that can cause ringworm, jock itch, yeast infections, and more.
The carpet in your basement is especially susceptible to fungi. Since fungi thrives in dark, damp environments, your basement’s carpet is the perfect breeding ground. Always make sure to clean up spills properly, get your carpet cleaned professionally, and replace it when it gets too old to prevent fungi growth.
Cleaning your carpet regularly and replacing it when it gets too old is important to prevent allergies, asthma attacks, and fungal infections. Investing in quality, low pile carpet is a good option for homeowners with allergies or asthma. If you have questions about carpet flooring or would like to invest in new carpet soon, visit one of America’s Floor Source’s locations in Columbus, Indianapolis, or Louisville. Our team of experienced flooring experts can show you samples and give you advice on what type of carpet you should install in your home. Check out our Mobile Floor Source service if you want us to come to you.