Here in Florida, we spend so much time worrying about what’s on the ground, in the shade, under the water…that we often forget about what’s in the air. But given our abundant air pollution, humidity and allergens, there’s still just as much of a concern in the air around us. And then there’s the many water sports so popular here in Largo. We love spending our days swimming, surfing or diving in our local natural waterways, only to come home and track it all inside – often barefoot. Here, we’ll take a quick look at how a little floor maintenance can help you maintain a healthy home.
Is Carpet Really Bad for Air Quality?
Carpet is often blamed for contributing to poor air quality in the home. In the past, there was a small grain of truth to this. But as new innovations have contributed to more resilient carpet, this is no longer the case. In fact, it can actually help filter your home’s air.
When dust and allergens eventually settle, they become trapped within the carpet’s fibers. Newer types of fibers prevent them from becoming embedded, allowing them to be cleaned with ease.
Of course, you still want to prevent a buildup of particles in your carpet. So, it’s important to vacuum at least once per week. To maintain air quality, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This will further prevent any particles from reentering the air. Even better, HEPA vacuums usually cost the same as their conventional counterparts.
Porcelain Flooring: Anti Bacterial AND VOC
Pretty much all modern flooring is designed to minimize the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC). This is especially true of porcelain tile flooring, which actually releases zero VOCs.
This goes hand-in-hand with porcelain tile’s hypoallergenic properties, meaning that mites and mold simply cannot survive on or under its surface. Since floor mold is among the most hidden health threats in the home, this is good news for your home’s air quality.
As an added bonus, porcelain repels bacteria and is among the easiest hard surface flooring options to clean.
What Happens When you Don’t Clean Floors
We all seem to live such busy lives that cleaning the floors easily ends up on the back-burner. Unfortunately, the consequences can be both costly and time-consuming.
If spills aren’t cleaned right away, they can soak through to the subfloor, where the moisture is much less likely to evaporate. Over time, this dark, moist environment offers the perfect environment for mold.
Unfortunately, this problem isn’t limited to carpet; some types of hard surface flooring are also prone to moisture and mold. Hardwood may immediately come to mind, but it isn’t alone. That’s why the popularity of waterproof flooring continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Earlier, we discussed the ability of HEPA filters to help clean your home’s air. However, there’s an even bigger advantage to using HEPA: dust mites. Dust mites are small, often microscopic, pests that, well, tend to view us as large, walking snacks. They thrive in the kinds of dust, dirt and dander buildups that we often see in poorly maintained carpet. Fortunately, HEPA filters capture them and even their tiny eggs. This is another reason why it’s important to vacuum at least once per week.
Lately, we’ve been hearing about the ease of getting sick from the bacteria on hospital floors. Unfortunately, many of the same bacteria can also be found on hard surface flooring in the home. Granted, it won’t be found in nearly the same quantity, but if floors are not cleaned regularly, this presents yet another health hazard in your home. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when selecting a cleaning solution.
For expert advice on the best flooring for your home, or to see the many styles of flooring available, be sure to stop by the At Homes showroom in Largo today!