Carpeted Floors & Mold Allergy
Remove carpet. If at all possible, replace carpet in the bathroom with hard flooring. With the unavoidable excess moisture and water spills in the bathroom, mold is likely to grow.
Watch the humidity. Keep a close eye on the humidity in your basement so that carpet is not becoming damp and prone to mold. If humidity exceeds about 45%, you may need a dehumidifier to get rid of moisture.
Cleaning your carpet. The Mayo Clinic recommends using "a dry method of cleaning so that the moisture from carpet cleaning does not provide an inviting environment for mold growth". You can use a dry carpet cleaning product to clean carpet yourself. If you get a professional carpet cleaning service, ask questions up front about the method of cleaning and how long the carpet will take to dry.
Carpeted Floors & Pet Allergy
The dried flakes of urine or saliva produced by pets is very sticky and adheres to carpets, hard flooring, walls, furniture – actually, every surface. It is almost impossible to completely avoid pet allergen.
Even if you do not have a pet, you can track pet dander into your home on your clothing or a previous owner's pet can cause you trouble. It is easier to remove pet allergen from hard flooring, but carpet treatments (see chart above) can neutralize pet allergen when used regularly.
If you have both carpet and a pet, frequent vacuuming and carpet cleaning will help. Be sure to clean up pet accidents immediately to prevent this concentration of allergen from being stirred up into your breathing space.
Reduce dander (dry skin flakes shed by your pet) at the source by bathing your pet often or applying a moisturizing solution.
Also remove pet allergen while it is airborne by using a special pet furnace filter and pet air purifier.
Carpeted Floors For The Chemically Sensitive
Either carpet or hard flooring can be a problem if you are chemically sensitive. Although carpet has not been made with formaldehyde for about 30 years, there are still some VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can cause problems for those who are chemically sensitive.
Usually it is the adhesive used to attach the carpet fibers to the backing that causes the odor. Allowing carpet to air out for 72 hours after installation will allow almost all of the odor to dissipate.
When buying new carpet, look for low VOC emissions. If possible, leave the windows open and leave home while the carpet airs.Floor cleaning products can also be a problem. The use of plant-based floor care products can help prevent reactions.
Uncarpeted Floors & Allergies
Uncarpeted floors are more practical when it comes to allergen avoidance because they are easier to clean, and to see when they need cleaning. You have the same amount of allergen, but with hard flooring it remains on the surface (not deep in fibers), where it is easier to eliminate.
With vinyl, hardwood, laminate, or tile floors, keeping the floor clean and allergen-free is just as important as with carpeted floors. Vacuum often with a HEPA vacuum, use dust mops in between vacuuming. Wet mopping or steam cleaning removes dirt and allergen that is stubborn.
If you have uncarpeted floors, you may miss the warmth of carpet. Area rugs that can be washed every two weeks in hot water or with an anti-dust mite additive can provide the benefit of carpet without the difficulty of cleaning wall-to-wall carpet.
Floor care is important in reducing allergens and their symptoms. Replacing carpet with hard flooring is generally recommended, but there are ways to make living with carpet and allergies possible. Using the tips above for your particular allergy can help you in the constant fight to avoid allergens.