We have all heard that the carpet in our homes may contribute to asthma and allergies. What is the truth? Myth or reality?
“While many doctors are still recommending carpet removal to their allergy and asthma patients, they were very open to information about proper carpet care and maintenance as a viable alternative to taking carpet out.”
So before you rip out all the carpet in your home you might want to read the latest (May 19, 2008) and most comprehensive report on the subject that backs up the CRI’s position on carpet and asthma. (more…)
I get asked frequently how often should I have my carpets cleaned? The truth is, there is no particular schedule other than maintaining your warranty valid (most carpet warranties specify every 12 to 18 months). Cleaning frequency really depends on the type of traffic you have on your carpet and how you maintain it. Maintenance goes a long way in extending the time between cleanings.
I cleaned a house with a light beige carpet a few weeks ago that had never being cleaned and was 13 years old. It looked great! The home belonged to a couple with no kids or pets and who had a excellent vacuuming regime. Some people can get by with professional cleanings every 2 to 3 years, while others need their carpets cleaned every 6 months or so. Appearance alone should not be the determining factor when deciding when to clean your carpet. Today’s carpets are engineered from the fiber up to hide soil. In fact, a tan, residential grade carpet can hide up to a pound of dirt per square foot before it becomes noticeably soiled!
Appearance, reduction of potentially unhealthy contamination that may accumulate in the carpet, and manufacturers requirements to maintain your warranty should all be factors that help you decide how often to clean your carpeting.
Looking for new carpet? I recommend you put SmartStrand on your short list for many reasons.
Mohawk SmartStrand was released in 2005 and is made with DuPont Sorona polymer.
Now technically speaking this is a polyester fiber. What? Polyester you say, have you last your mind? No, this not the same type of builder grade polyester that we have learned to hate which easily mats, crushes and scratches.
The polymer is made by DuPont in pellet and the fiber and carpets are produced by Mohawk. DuPont’s trademark for the chemical type is 3GT, but the structure is chemically identical to PTT polymer. Shell/PTT PolyCanada also manufactures PTT which Mohawk uses as well.
DuPont has been making polymers for decades. Think Kevlar and Stainmaster which have become household names. We now have them to thank for Sorona which is naturally stain resistant. That means the protection will never wash off or wear-off. You will never have to reapply carpet protector after cleaning. The Achilles heel of nylon carpets is that the chemical stain resist proprieties will diminish over time and with recommended cleanings. SmartStrand with Sorona does not have this problem. Mohawk and Dupont are so convinced that PTT is superior to PET that they have made an application to the American Trade Commision (FTC) to re-classify it under a new name.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) explains:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
EPA’s Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) studies found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas. Additional TEAM studies indicate that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.
The majority of soil in carpet is dry, insoluble, particulate matter. An analysis by Proctor and Gamble Laboratories of carpet soiling samples representing a cross-section from throughout the United States reveals the following data on soil in carpet:
- Tracked-in, gritty particles make up approximately 55%.
- Animal fiber from people, pets and fabrics comprise about 12%.
- Another 12% is vegetable matter and fiber from fabrics, indoor plants, lawn trackings and paper products.
- These combine to account for 79% of the soil nestled in carpet fibers.
This soil composition varies with geographic location and use of the facility. This dry soil is often abrasive and can harm carpet fibers if not removed. Under the weight and movement of foot traffic, these particulate soils can scratch and cut carpet fibers, dulling the appearance of the carpet. Abrasive soil is the major cause of carpet wear.