Should You Have Carpet If You Have Allergies?

Many people believe that if you have allergies you should get rid of all of your carpet.  It actually depends on what you are allergic to. Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air) including:~~Dust mites are microscopic insects that live all around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that fall off our bodies every day. They're the main allergic component of house dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

~~Dust mites are microscopic insects that live all around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that fall off our bodies every day. They're the main allergic component of house dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

~~Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often called hay fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. 

~~Molds are fungi that thrive both indoors and outside in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

~~Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the salivagets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn't cleaned.

Most carpet sold today is made from harmless materials like polyester and nylon, the same stuff clothes and bags are made from. These synthetic blends are constructed out of lab-developed fibers that repel allergens, in part because they are nonorganic and offer an inhospitable climate. For example, mold has nothing to eat and particulate (pollen, dander, etc.) can be easily vacuumed.  Wool should be avoided because allergens and mold can thrive in it. Regardless of material, avoid shag -- the shorter the strands, the fewer places the particles can go. Also choose carpet with tightly woven strands for the same reason.

But no matter which carpet type you choose, dust, pollen and other allergy-aggravators are still in there, so get rid of them. Vacuum regularly and have your carpets professionally cleaned (hot water extraction) on a regular basis.  Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps allergens; some vacuums are even equipped with them.

Allergens sink into the carpet and out of the air, but even with frequent vacuuming, they're still down there. Hard floor coverings offer no haven for allergens -- they just sit on the surface. They're easier to clean than carpets -- a simple sweep and vacuum quickly gets rid of allergens.  If you opt out of carpet, however, note that hard surfaces require more frequent cleaning. If not maintained, the result will be a dusty, sneezy environment that is inferior to the allergen-trapping properties of a carpet-covered room.

In short, if you want to sweep/vacuum more frequently, a solid surface may be better. But, if you aren't able to maintain the flooring almost daily, carpet may actually serve you better.But maybe you have chemical allergies.  There are carpets that are low/no VOC. First, you need to know exactly what chemical(s) you are allergic to.  It is usually the latex that is used in carpet construction that a client is allergic to. Air.o by Mohawk has no VOCs and is latex free.  SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets are made with Dupont Sorona which is OEKO-TEX® certified free from harmful substances. The SmartStrand fiber is also made in part with plant-based materials.  A wool carpet with a woven (axminster) backing is also extremely low in VOCs, as there is no secondary backing and wool is a proven air purifier. A synthetic fiber pad or a rubber waffled pad is usually your best choice for carpet cushion when VOCs are a concern.

Most clients need assistance choosing the best product for their situation.  Enhance Floors & More Design Consultants are trained in the questions to ask to guide you to the right product for your home.  Come see us today!

Design Tip-Transitioning Into Fall
It is still late August, and we just enjoyed a brief moment of cooler weather, and it was wonderful! The kids are all back in school, so our thoughts are turning to making some changes in our homes: putting away all the swim paraphernalia, finding your fire bowl, and making the house generally feel a little more "Fallish."

There are several small steps you can take that won't scream autumn, but will start to welcome the season. Start bybringing some natural elements inside-- dried hydrangeas if you have those in the yard, interesting small branches and berries, acorns if you can find some (or were smart enough to snag a few last year and put them away).Use some of those same items to put together a fall wreath for the front door or a tabletop bouquet. Create a display of acorns, pine cones, pretty leaves, and maybe small pumpkins. You can definitely find artificial ones at the crafts store if there are none in your yard or market.

Next, add a few layering pieces in the house-- a cozy throw on the sofa or over the foot of the bed. Other ways to bring in texture and warmer colors are with linens, pillows, dish towels, and place mats. Little touches in the main rooms of your home can add up to a big "feel" in the whole house! Be sure to also include a small number of metallic accents and deep, saturated color touches.

The last and most all-encompassing element to add is something that evokes the smells of Autumn. Candles, candle warmers, pot pourri, or wall plug-ins-- make them spicy and fruity. Think cinnamon, apples, that fall leaf smell. Not too floral or minty. And just a hint of a scent, not too much. But remember, it's still too early to buy that turkey!

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker---a tribute to the contributions and achievements of our workforce.  We will be open Saturday, September 1 from 10 until 5. We will then be closed Sunday and Monday.  Enjoy your well deserved holiday!

You Don't Have To Lift A Finger
I listen to a radio commercial most mornings as I drive into work that brags about when this shop-at-home flooring dealer  installs your new floor, you don't have to lift a finger.  That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's not entirely accurate. Per their website: All you have to do is move your nick-nacks.  What does that really involve?

You will need to move small items (decorative items, lamps, plants, TVs, DVD players, and fragile, irreplaceable and/or sentimental items) out of the area being done.  Please clear out closet floors. Strip beds.  Hallways that have hanging or breakable items should be cleared.  Remove any pictures andwall decorations in the area being done, as well as in adjacent areas and rooms beneath the room being covered.  Remove light globes or fluorescent tubes in the areas below the roomswe are working in.  (Much of our work requires hammering and these items may be jarred and break from the vibration.) If you have a grandfather clock, pool table, piano, organ, or aquarium that requires special handling, please make arrangements to have them moved before the installers arrive. Wall units and entertainment units should be emptied and separated if they are bolted together.  We do not move computers, televisions, stereo systems, and similar items. If the china cabinet or hutch is to be moved, please remove all dishes, crystal, etc.  

Flooring installers are prepared to move furniture, not empty out a bookcase filled with books or unload your china cabinet so that the new flooring can be installed.  Yes, there is prep work that you will need to do prior to your installation. We will tell you what you need to do to get ready, and not surprise you the day of installation by telling you what you must hurridly do before we can get started.  

I Was Floored by Enhance
Stephanie in Roswell writes:"We used Enhance Floors nine years ago to put hardwood floors in our home. Most recently, they did granite countertops and a backsplash for us. They were on time and cleaned up, and I would say they are excellent."Thank you, Stephanie.  We are very grateful for our repeat clients.  Enjoy your "new" kitchen!

How Much Does It Cost?
We recently installed a new quartz countertop in a smallish Marietta kitchen with a simple subway tile backsplash for a little less than $4400 for both.  We installed new luxury vinyl floors in the kitchen last year, and the cabinets still looked great---the new countertop and backsplash truly made our clients kitchen look brand new!