Choosing and Cleaning Flooring as an Asthma or Allergy Sufferer

The spring season brings sunshine, flowers, and…allergies. According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, approximately one out of every five people in the United States suffers from asthma or allergies. Whether you or a family member have year round indoor allergies or the pollen season is particularly bothersome, you’ll want to be taking extra measures to keep your home free from allergy inducing dirt, pollen, and a variety of other contaminants. In general, you want a floor that is resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew and is also free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since flooring can be the biggest source of allergens in a home, you’ll want to select the best flooring for your space and then know how to properly clean it after installation.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are usually the top choice for allergy and asthma sufferers. They provide no chance for mites, mold, or mildew to flourish and they can be easily cleared of dust, debris, and animal dander. To clean, simply sweep or vacuum your hardwoods. When you would like to polish your hardwood flooring, apply a liquid floor cleaner with a dry wax applicator.

Ceramic, Porcelain, Linoleum, and Vinyl Tiles

The hard, flat surface of ceramic, porcelain, linoleum, and vinyl tiles are also suitable flooring choices for asthma and allergy sufferers. When choosing this type of flooring, look for a smoother tile. The rougher the surface and edges, the more dirt and allergens it will hold. Flat surfaced linoleum and vinyl are often viewed as interchangeable, but they are actually made of different materials. Vinyl is a versatile, man-made plastic but linoleum is made from linseed oil, and is considered a more allergy-friendly option. To clean these tiles, wipe with a wet mop to quick clean and use a neutral floor cleaner for a more thorough cleaning. Never use an abrasive cleaner on a tile floor as it will scratch the glaze.

Laminate flooring

While hard surfaced laminate flooring doesn’t harbor dust or dander it may or may not be a good choice for asthma and allergy sufferers. Created from gluing together layers of recycled hardwoods, laminate flooring adhesives may contain formaldehyde as well as other dangerous VOCs. Check each product’s formaldehyde rating and choose one with either an E1 or E0 rating. Clean your laminate flooring with a wet mop to quick clean and use a neutral, non-abrasive floor cleaner for a more thorough cleaning.

Low Pile Carpet and Area Rugs

Low pile carpets are preferable to longer fibered carpets which can easily trap dust and dirt. Carpets and large area rugs should be vacuumed often and frequently cleaned and sanitized according to manufacturer’s instructions. Smaller, washable areas rugs are another option and can be placed over a more allergy friendly flooring choice.

By choosing the right flooring for your home, you can reduce allergens and improve air quality. Come to Flack’s today to see the wide variety of options available to you!