Studies have found that houses with carpet have up to 15 times less airborne allergens than houses with hard floors. This is because carpet acts as a filter in the home, trapping the airborne pollutants and creating a healthier indoor environment. Like all filters, carpets need to be cleaned on a regular basis as they can act as reservoirs for bacteria, allergens and mould.
The best way to keep the filter clean is vacuuming with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter twice a week, and getting your carpet professionally cleaned once a year.
We don’t want to scare you, but here are some examples of viruses/microorganisms and illnesses that carpets can amass if they’re not correctly maintained:
Bacteria that Could be Growing in Your Carpet
The Norwalk virus, also known as Norovirus, can survive on carpets for four to six weeks. This virus causes stomach flu and other digestive problems. It can also become airborne each time the carpet is walked on. Norovirus is a particular problem in areas with lots of dust. Doing a regular vacuum can reduce the life and spread of the Norovirus.
Salmonella is a pathogen (a disease-producing agent) that usually causes diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. This illness can last four to seven days, but can be more severe in young children and the elderly. Salmonella can easily be tracked into the home on the bottom of shoes, and pets add to the danger of salmonella in the carpet. Maintaining a clean, dry carpet is the best way to kill Salmonella, which only has a short life. However, it is best to never eat food that has fallen onto even the cleanest of carpets.
• Kawasaki Syndrome
Named after the Japanese doctor who discovered it, Kawasaki syndrome is believed to be a rare illness caused by bacteria and chemical toxins in carpets that enter the lungs. This illness can cause physical disabilities, and even death. Although some studies connect Kawasaki syndrome to dirty carpets, its origin is still idiopathic. Again, regular vacuuming can reduce the danger.
This bacteria is mostly found during winter months in damp carpets and can cause campylobacteriosis (an infectious disease caused by eating or handling contaminated food or drinks), which can be lethal in persons with compromised immune systems. Travelling through the bloodstream, campylobacteriosis can cause bloody diarrhoea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever. To kill this bacteria, it is as simple as keeping your carpet clean and dry.
Apart from keeping your house clean and healthy, regular vacuuming and professional carpet cleaning will keep your carpet looking great, and greatly improve the life of your carpet, saving you money in the long run.
The Electrodry carpet cleaning system includes a thorough industrial pre-clean vacuum to remove as the “dry” pollutants. The Electrodry system also includes Healthguard to remove the germs and mould in the cleaning process.
So when’s the last time you vacuumed your carpet or had your carpet professionally cleaned?
“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
What Bacteria Exists in Carpets? By Jimmy Johnson
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