Most of us would expect a doctor to say: "What You Can't See Can Hurt You!" We've even heard it from our mother as she requests us to wash our hands before dinner. But who would expect to hear it from a carpet cleaning professional?
Carpet has been unfairly blamed as a contributor to asthma, allergies, and for emitting high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Truth be told, carpet is our ally; like a filter it can "hold on" to many particles - dander, pollen, dust and other contaminants - that can cause problems. Vacuuming and periodically deep-cleaning your carpet can remove those particles before they overflow the carpet "reservoir" and enter the breathing zone.
Proper cleaning with a Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)-tested and approved vacuum effectively sucks up the dirt, dust, and other bio-pollutants from the carpet, locks it in the machine and keeps it out of the air. CRI also recommends that carpets be cleaned by a certified professional on a regular basis - every 12-18 months.
What about mold and fungi? Since most carpet manufacturers use synthetic fibers in the construction of carpet, it is nearly impossible for mold and fungi to grow - as long as the carpet is kept dry and cleaned regularly.
VOCs in modern carpet are minimal and dissipate quickly as a result of the widespread adoption of CRI's Green Label Plus program. CRI offers Green Label and Green Label Plus testing and certification to indicate carpet, carpet backings, cushions and adhesives that emit low VOCs. CRI represents manufacturers that produce 98 percent of all the carpet made in America, and about 95 percent of that carpet is certified under the Green Label Plus standard.
During and after new carpet installation in a home, CRI recommends extra ventilation; within 48 to 72 hours virtually all VOCS will have dissipated. Also, ask that the installer follow CRI's installation guidelines.
Since most people spend up to 90% of their time indoors, it makes sense to follow a good carpet maintenance program. By doing so, we maximize the benefits of carpet - comfort, acoustics, safety, visual variety and appeal - minimize the health-related concerns of bio-pollutant build up, and help ensure our home environment is safe, healthy and welcoming for friends and family.