Can Old Carpet Make You Sick?

An old carpet may still look nice years after you install it. But it could also wreak havoc with your allergies. We have seen many cases where people begin sneezing and their eyes water as soon as they walk into a room with an old carpet.

The issue has nothing to do with how clean you are. Old carpets can pose allergy issues in even the neatest of homes. Keep an eye out for these symptoms, which indicate your carpets may be to blame for the way you feel.

Allergens Found in Carpets

Every time you walk into your home, you bring a little bit of the outside with you. That, combined with the sources of allergens already found inside the home, can lead to many potential triggers for your allergies. Allergens commonly present in carpets include:

  • Animal dander.
  • Pollen.
  • Dust and dust mites.
  • Mold.
  • Tiny insect pieces.
  • Carpet fibers.

Carpet padding and the glue that holds the carpet together can also bother some people, as can the carpet’s material. Many people are allergic to wool, nylon and polyester.

Some types of carpets are more likely to harbor allergens than others. High-pile rugs, which have long fibers, offer a place where allergens can grow and breed. But low-pile carpets may also contain dirt and pollen.

Carpet Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms associated with old carpeting include:

  • Sneezing.
  • Red, itchy eyes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Coughing.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing.

Preventing Carpet Allergies

If you experience allergy symptoms that you believe are related to your carpet, you can treat them by taking an oral antihistamine or applying hydrocortisone cream. Then try to allergy-proof your carpeting by using these tips:

  • Vacuum regularly: Use a vacuum that includes a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which traps allergens before they escape into the air. Check for HEPA certification for the vacuum. Some use advertising that calls machines “HEPA-like.”
  • Steam clean monthly: Have your carpets steam cleaned every month and don’t let anyone back into the room until they have dried completely.
  • Reduce humidity indoors: The less humid it is in your home, the more difficult it becomes for mold and dust mites to reproduce.
  • Close your windows: Keep them down on days when pollen counts are high outside.
  • Filter your indoor air: Install a HEPA system to purify the air indoors.

In addition to keeping your carpets clean and tidy, you may also consider deep-cleaning other upholstery in your rooms. While it may not be the main culprit, it can spark allergic reactions. The bigger the effort you make to remove all allergens around your house, the better you will feel. Wash draperies and vacuum furniture regularly.

Chicago Carpet Cleaning and Steam Cleaning Services

Can old carpets cause health problems? If you worry the old carpets in your property pose health hazards, get in touch with ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park. We offer cleaning and steam cleaning services that can make your carpets as good as new. Call 773-346-6767 today to set up an appointment.

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