If you babysit grandchildren with severe allergies, it's important that you keep your home as clean, healthy, and safe as possible for them. The carpets and floor tile in your home can harbor harmful pathogens that can potentially aggravate your loved ones' allergies, including dust mites and mold. You can take several precautions to protect your grandkids from these problems, including steam cleaning your carpets and floor tile. Here's more information about the pathogens in your home and what you can do to reduce or eliminate them altogether.
What Really Hides in Your Carpets' Fibers?
Although carpets can make your home feel warm and cozy, they can also harbor things that make people sick, including dust mites. While vacuuming removes surface dirt and dust, it may not enough to clean the deepest fibers of your carpets, which are some of biggest hiding places for dust mites. Because of how dust mites move about the home, vacuuming can actually make your grandchildren's allergies worse.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that use the air currents in your home to move around your house. Every time you disturb dust, the mites become airborne and "float" until the dust settles on a new surface. Your loved ones might sneeze or experience runny eyes and noses when they encounter the pests in your carpets. Dust mites hiding in the dust on your furnishings can also trigger your loved ones' allergy symptoms.
One of the best ways to beat a dust mite problem is to clean your carpets with steam. Carpet steam cleaning can be done by you or by a professional, but you may want to use the professional method initially for the best results. A great number of professional carpet cleaners use equipment and treatments monitored and/or recommended by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, an organization that strives to protect the health of consumers.
After you have your home professionally steam cleaned, it's possible for you to touch up your carpets with a consumer-grade steamer. However, be sure to read the product information about the equipment thoroughly before you invest in one. The equipment should be able to clean the deep fibers of your carpets and remove contaminants from them, including dust mites. If you can't find consumer-grade steamer with these features, it's probably in your best interest to just schedule regular professional cleanings with a contractor.
There are other types of flooring in your home you should clean regularly, including your floor tile.
What Hides in Your Floor Tile?
While floor tile may seem like it's easier to maintain than carpets, it may actually not be. Not all floor tiles have perfectly smooth surfaces. Some types of tile, such as unglazed ceramic, are porous and can absorb moisture easily, especially if you have them in high-traffic areas like your bathroom and kitchen.
Moisture can potentially attract mold that will use it to feed and thrive. Mold can cause respiratory, skin and a host of other problems in many people when they encounter it. One of the problems with mold is that you won't always notice it, particularly if the fungus grows beneath your tile. Mold uses tiny, airborne spores to spread undetected to other locations in the house, including beneath your floorboards, behind your walls, and even in your basement and attic. You should understand that it doesn't take mold a long time to grow in your home. One mold spore has the potential to create trillions of spores in a single location.
To combat the spread of mold, it's important that you check your floor tile to see if you should replace it, or if you should clean and glaze the flooring instead. If the tile feels damp or squishy when you press your hands on the surfaces of it, you may want to just remove and replace it. These signs may mean that water has penetrated the tile and absorbed into the floorboards beneath it.
If the tile feels dry and unaffected by moisture (no cracks or dark water spots on its surface), steam clean and glaze the tile instead. You can steam the tile yourself, but it may be better to have a professional clean and glaze the tile at the same time.
For more tips on keeping your carpets and floor tile clean and healthy, contact a professional today.