Believe it or not, more than 30% of Americans live with some form of allergy, with a solid 25% of us experiencing seasonal allergies like reactions to pollen, as reported by the CDC. Given that so many people are affected, maintaining a top-notch indoor air quality in your facility becomes even more critical.
What exactly are allergies? Well, an allergy is basically your immune system throwing a fit over harmless substances, otherwise known as allergens. The usual suspects are pollen, pet dander, dust mites and mold.
While we tend to focus on ventilation systems and filters to maintain good indoor air quality, you can’t forget about your floors. Floors are one of the largest surfaces in any building and can significantly contribute to the buildup of allergens.
Unmasking the Allergen Hideouts in Your Floors
It’s not something we usually think about, but common allergens like dust, pet dander and mold can all make a cozy home in carpet fibers, between floorboards, or even on hard flooring surfaces. Any activity or movement can stir up these allergens, sending them flying into the air, ready to invade sensitive individuals’ breathing zones. The solution? Get them off the floor before they get a chance to go airborne.
Choosing the Right Flooring for a Breath of Fresh Air
Hardwood floors are often the go-to for those wanting to fight off allergies. They’re easy to clean and don’t tend to trap dust or allergens. But watch out for those crevices between floorboards – they can turn into allergen hideouts. And if not properly maintained, hardwood floors can also house mold. Keeping them dry and well-ventilated is the secret to preventing mold growth.
Tile and stone floors are another great option. They don’t trap allergens and are pretty straightforward to clean and maintain. But those grout lines between tiles? They can be like a magnet for dust and allergens, so you’ll want to give them some extra attention during cleaning.
Vinyl floors are another safe haven for allergy sufferers. Like hardwood and tile, they don’t trap allergens and are a breeze to clean. But be aware – some types of vinyl flooring can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause health problems. Going for low-VOC products and being mindful of the adhesive used can help you avoid this pitfall.
Traditional carpets may seem like a no-go, as they can trap and build up dust, pet dander, and other allergens. But thanks to modern advancements, some hybrid textile-based flooring options provide the comfort of a carpet and the easy cleaning of resilient flooring. Opt for a low pile and a backing material that prevents dust and allergen build-up below the flooring.
Kick Out Allergens with a Smart Cleaning Routine
To keep allergen levels low, a consistent cleaning routine is your best ally. Here are some practical tips:
- Stick to a regular cleaning schedule, which includes vacuuming, mopping, and/or scrubbing. Don’t forget about areas behind or under furniture where dust and allergens love to hide.
- Keep a close eye on building entrances, and consider entryway mats to cut down on incoming allergens.
- Some folks with sensitive airways react negatively to harsh cleaning products. Opt for gentler, low-VOC options.
- Fragrances can be irritating for those with sensitive airways. It’s best to avoid room fragrances or air fresheners, or choose options that remove odors instead of just masking them.
With a vast array of cleaning supplies, flooring options, and indoor air quality solutions, D&E Supply Company has everything you need to keep your facility allergen-free and the air quality at its best.
Visit our online catalog today and ask us about our products that are specially designed to reduce allergens in your facility. Our team is always here to assist you in creating a healthier, happier environment for all your employees, guests and customers!