We bet you have heard some things about carpet that you have come to believe is fact. Things like carpet is dirtier than wood floors or carpeting can create or exacerbate allergies. What if we told you that these and many other beliefs about carpeting, just aren’t true?
We found an expert on all things cleaning. In fact, he is a certified master cleaner, a master restorer, a senior carpet flooring inspector, a mold remediator, who does a considerable amount of restoration and cleaning. As a mold remediator, Ken Jordan with Accent American Inc. in Tampa, Florida has done a lot of projects containing carpet, mold, and allergens. In the process, he has done a lot of research and has shared the information and his cast experience with one of our flooring brands, Shaw Floors. (interview video at the bottom)
Carpeting Has Gotten A Bad Wrap
Carpeting has been blamed for allergies and a host of other ailments related to the flooring product not being clean. But Ken Jordan wants people to know that just isn’t true. In fact, he says that carpets are the biggest filter that you have in your house. Don’t believe it? We were skeptical too.
Carpet Is The Biggest Filter In Your Home
Here are the not so pretty facts about what’s actually going on in your home. Ken explained that every human sheds about 300,000 skin cells each and every day and that’s approximately 40 pounds per year. We know you may be cringing right now, but we ask that you stay with this. We promise it will be enlightening and open your eyes to the advantages and disadvantages of various flooring products. Just know that the information we are going to share gets worse before it gets better.
Dust Mites And Flooring
Dust mites eat the dead skin cells in your home. Yes, totally repulsive, but it’s true. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that are barely visible to the human eye and are typically found inside dwellings that contain dust. Now just like any other creature who eats, they also must remove the waste from what they eat. So, if you have carpet in your home, the fecal matter from the dust mites resides within your carpet. This dust mite fecal matter has a DLP protein that affects approximately 95% of the US population, but it is trapped in the carpet and therefore does not become airborne easily.
The Air Over Carpet Is Cleaner
Ken shared that the air over carpet is cleaner than with other flooring products. He explained that using his particulate counter he can run a test at the 4-foot level (the average breathing level of a woman or child) over kitchen tile or wood floor and then also over a carpeted area and the difference is dramatic. The air over the smooth surface flooring will typically be 10-1800 times more contaminated than the air over the carpet. That is the dust mite fecal matter floating in your home at your typical breathing level.
Now, remember these statistics would be from a clean home, not one whose owners do not clean regularly.
Dust Mites And Carpet
But it’s important to note that we are not talking about regular dust that you can see with your eye. If you see dust in your home, that isn’t what we are referring to here. Dust mite fecal matter is extremely small. To help you understand just how small, the period at the end of this sentence would be able to contain 16 dust mites, so now think how small their fecal matter would be. You can’t see it like you can see typical household dust.
So Ken asks this question. Would you rather have it in your breathing zone floating in the air in tiny particulates or being held to the floor within your carpet filter?
So with smooth hard floors, they are great but you just need to be aware and commit to the required cleaning necessary to keep the floating particulates down.
An Analogy About Mold And Carpeting
Ken gave an amazing analogy to help wrap your mind around carpet and allergens. He explained that carpet is largely made of plastic, which comes from oils and therefore inherently the problem is not the carpet. Carpets can’t mold.
Here’s the analogy:
Have you ever put leftovers in a Tupperware-like container and placed them in the fridge and somehow forgot about them for a while? In that time the contents of the container became moldy and you had to throw it out. This has happened to everyone at least once. So ask yourself this question. Is the mold in the container the fault of the Tupperware?
Choosing Carpet Over Hard Floors
We want to be very clear with you here. We are not advocating that you buy carpeting or that you only buy wood floors. We are simply trying to educate our customers on the facts about different flooring materials and their advantages and disadvantages. We want you to understand that proper and timely cleaning of the various floor materials you select goes beyond just their appearance. Whether you choose carpeting, wood flooring, or tile, or a combination of many flooring types within your home, you simply need to also take into account the cleaning requirements that may also affect your health as well.
Here’s the complete interview with Ken Jordon of Accent American Inc. and Shaw Floors.