When the IICRC surveyed 1,155 U.S. homeowners about their sentiments toward home health and flooring, it found that 75 percent believed carpet to be the least effective floor covering when it comes to reducing conditions that aggravate allergies. [Note: Ad or content links featured on this page are not necessarily affiliated with IICRC (The cleantrust) and should not be considered a recommendation or endorsement by IICRC (The cleantrust)].
“Homeowners, specifically, are often misled into believing that carpet itself aggravates allergies,” said IICRC technical advisor Jeff Bishop.
Bishop explains that scientific studies demonstrate that often just the opposite is true: “In addition to insulating, absorbing sound, and preventing slips and falls and associated injuries, carpet often actually traps airborne allergens that can easily be vacuumed out, whereas other flooring may allow irritants to be stirred up by normal traffic or sweeping and released into the breathing zone,” said Bishop. “It is airborne dust, not carpet, which is the culprit that triggers allergies.”
The “You’d Be Floored” survey also revealed that a majority - eight out of 10 U.S. homeowners (81 percent) - feel that their family’s health is directly related to the cleanliness of their floors. Among households with allergy sufferers, half (50 percent) agree that the type of flooring in the home can contribute to allergic reactions.
Additionally, three out of four homeowners surveyed (77 percent) vacuum their floors at least once per week. Those with children are more likely to vacuum several times per week - 47 percent among those with children and 32 percent among those without. When it comes to restorative cleaning, nearly half the homeowners surveyed (49 percent) “deep clean” their carpet at least every six months, with 39 percent hiring a professional carpet cleaning service. While nearly half of those surveyed (45 percent) “deep clean” other hard surfaces in their home at least every six months, only seven percent hire a professional.
To ensure an effective reduction of allergens in the home, the IICRC recommends that homeowners increase vacuuming frequency and hire professional certified cleaners.
“To maintain the appearance of floor coverings, all flooring - not only carpet - should be professionally cleaned to preserve finishes and durability, and to improve indoor air quality for family members,” said Bishop.
Complete survey findings may be viewed at www.CertifiedCleaners.org.
Additional Key Findings:
• Carpet is the most common floor covering in U.S. homes. The majority of U.S. homeowners use carpet in bedrooms (80 percent), living rooms (65 percent), offices/dens (68 percent) and family rooms (63 percent).
• The majority (52 percent) of survey participants indicated the primary advantage of carpet is that it’s comfortable. Forty-one percent say the biggest drawback is that it shows soil.
• Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. homeowners have rugs in their homes.
• Among homeowners who replaced their carpet, 49 percent did so because of wear while four in 10 (38 percent) replaced carpet due to soiling and staining issues.
• Half of U.S. homeowners (50 percent) say it’s extremely or very important to hire a professional cleaning service that is certified by a professional organization.
(Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent those of The Housekeeping Channel.)