Weekend Warrior: Taking Care of Your Home and Car: Carpet and Wood Surfaces

Starting off the new year with a blog series on Fridays, “Weekend Warriors: Taking Care of your Home and Car.”  This week kicks off the series with Kevin Pearson, owner of Pearson Carpet Care, sharing information about your carpet and hard wood surfaces.  

There is a misconception today that if you were to put in a hard surface floor into your home or office that it would help the indoor air quality.  This is not necessarily true, especially if the carpet is maintained properly from day one.  Carpet by its very nature acts like a filter or a trap, keeping dust and allergens out of the air we breathe. 

Generally dust, pet dander and other airborne particulates that fall to the carpet will tend to stay trapped in the carpet until they are removed through vacuuming or hot water extraction.  This is assuming that they can reach the carpet.  If there is an abundance of furniture, boxes, or other things on top of the carpet then the dust and airborne particulates will not be able to reach the carpet for it to do its job.

Hard surface floors would be similar to a room that had too many boxes, furniture and other things in it. By this I mean that the flat surface of a box, magazine, or plastic storage container would still collect just as much dust and other allergens as a hard surface floor.  So the next time the ceiling fan was turned on or you walked by the stack of boxes the dust and allergens would to be disturbed and kicked up into the breathing zone.  However, only properly maintained carpet will actually contribute to improved air quality.  A carpet that is neglected and already “full” of trapped dust and debris will not yield as healthy of a breathing environment. 

An independent test done by Professional Testing Laboratory, Inc., Dalton, GA., (Asbury, G. Cleaning and Foot Traffic Emissions Analysis. Test Number 0072198 in May of 2002), compared the distribution of airborne dust associated with normal activities, such as walking, on hard and soft flooring surfaces.  The findings show that walking on hard surfaces puts more particles into the breathing zone than walking on carpeted surfaces. They also found that carpeted surfaces trap more particles so that walking on carpet results in less dust, pet dander and other debris that gets kicked up into the breathing zone.  

The end result is that a properly maintained carpet that is able to trap dust and airborne particles will lead to a healthier and cleaner environment than a poorly maintained carpet or a hard surface floor.  So periodically you need to have your carpet cleaned to prevent a build up of dust and dirt in your carpet.  

Kevin Pearson is a Master Cleaning Technician with the IICRC and has been in the cleaning and restoration industry since 1992.   Kevin is presently working on a committee to rewrite the carpet inspector standards in our industry and has previously served on the carpet cleaning standards revision committee.  He also serves on two other committees at the IICRC and is on the Board of Directors of the Professional Cleaning and Restoration Alliance.  For information Call Pearson Carpet Care at 281-548-7200 or visit our website at  http://www.pearsoncarpetcare.com.

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