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If you're an allergy sufferer, you probably have a love-hate relationship with carpeting. On one hand, you may love the way soft carpeting feels on your bare feet when you step out of bed first thing in the morning. On the other hand, you probably hate the allergy symptoms it triggers and the cleaning problems it creates.
There's no denying that wall-to-wall carpeting can be a nuisance to clean and maintain. Once you've spilled something on carpeting, it's often tough to get that stain out. For households with children, pets, or "spill-prone" adults, the problem of dealing with carpet stains is unrelenting!
Issues For House SellersThe fact that many people have both a physical and mental aversion to carpeting is an important thing to keep in mind if you're considering putting your house on the market. Although it can be relatively simple and inexpensive for new homeowners to remove carpeting, some prospective buyers can't look past it. It can be a "deal breaker." When staging a house for sale, it might be worthwhile to remove old carpet or -- at the very least -- point out to prospects that there are hardwood floors or other desirable flooring material underneath the carpet. Loosening up a corner of the carpeting so that it can be easily pulled away to show the underlying flooring material can help deflect objections about the carpeting being there.
Partial Solutions For Dirty Carpets
Newer carpets that haven't been subjected to the wear and tear of daily use can temporarily look good and complement the décor of a room. However, it doesn't take long for carpet fibers to collect and harbor a host of undesirable household allergens -- ranging from dust mites and mold spores to pet dander and bacteria.
Regular vacuuming and steam-cleaning can help reduce the problem, but it's more of a "Band-Aid" approach than a long-term solution. If you don't have the right kind of vacuum cleaner, it could even make the problem worse. Unless your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA (high-efficiency particular air) filter, it may actually redistribute dust mite proteins back into the room, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Carpet manufacturers often recommend that carpets be professionally cleaned at least once a year, but the benefits of that can wear off quickly.
There are a variety of products on the market for cleaning carpet stains, but they sometimes tend to do too good of a job. Not only do they get rid of the stain, but they also can cause the color of your carpet to fade in the treated area! Some carpet spot cleaners also contain toxic chemicals, so you have to be careful when using them.
One way to slow down the problem of dirty carpets in your home is to ask family members and visitors to take their shoes off when entering the house. Although you probably are not going to get 100% compliance -- especially with kids -- it will be step in the right direction!