Reducing Allergens in the Home with Hardwood Floors

If you live with allergies you have to be more conscious about some of the choices you make when it comes to designing and decorating your home.

Certain products and materials can set off your allergies and make you miserable. But did you know that even the type of flooring you choose can have an impact on your allergies?

Hardwood flooring is considered one of the best types of flooring for allergy sufferers. Some flooring experts almost always recommend some type of wood floors for any of their clients that suffer from allergies. Here’s why:

Carpets Vs. Hardwood Flooring

If allergies are a regular part of your life, then there are few flooring choices worse than carpet. Carpet can hide all kinds of allergens including dust mites, pet hair, dander, and dead skin. Dust mites are among the worst offenders for those with allergies. These microscopic pests are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but that doesn’t mean the excrement they leave behind can’t become a huge problem. 

Dust mites feed off of small flakes of human skin that people shed off the body every day. These pieces of skin end up embedded deep into the layers of carpet, even if you make an effort to vacuum regularly. It’s very difficult for even the best vacuums to suck up all dead skin cells.

And dust mites and their excrement can’t simply be vacuumed up. Even if you kill all the dust mites, their feces will be left behind, which is what provokes allergies the most. 

Wood Floors Can Be the Remedy

Thankfully there are some things you can do as a homeowner to reduce allergy symptoms in your home. One of the most effective changes includes swapping out your carpets for hardwood flooring. Installing hardwood flooring throughout your entire home (or at the very least, those rooms which you and your family frequent most often), you’ll reduce the risk of dust mites. 

Wood floors still gather dust, but the big difference, they don’t hold onto dust particles and dust mite excrement. Their hard surfaces aren’t pet dander or dust mite friendly since they can easily and frequently be mopped up with hot soapy water or allow dust to be easily swept away. 

Another huge benefit to hardwood floors when it comes to allergies is that pet odors and indoor smells won’t cling to hardwood floors as they do to carpet fibers. 

Plus, hardwood floors can be much easier to clean and maintain. There’s no need to call a professional carpet cleaner out to soak up stains. Hard floors can be vacuumed, swept, and mopped free from dust and its much less likely that you’ll miss a spot. 

Mold Can’t Thrive

It’s a well-known fact that mold growth indoors can lead to health problems for people and for pets. Untreated mold can lead to breathing problems, a persistent cough, runny nose, a worsening of allergies, frequent sneezing, and more.

You may be surprised to know that mold can grow on the carpet. In fact, mold can grow on any surface as long as the temperature is warm, moisture is present, and it’s dark enough to thrive.

Though mold won’t use synthetic carpet materials as a food source, it will consume the contaminants that are frequently found in carpet fibers. 

Carpets that have experienced water damage or sewage spills are especially prone to mold growth

If you live in a humid client or one where rain is frequent, you might want to look into replacing your carpets with a hardwood option.

Other Allergy-Reducing Measures

In addition to installing hardwood floors throughout your home, there are other changes you can make that will lessen your allergic reactions. Some of these include:

-Changing the air filters in your home regularly to reduce the amount of dust that cycles through your home

-Purchasing a vacuum that comes with a HEPA filter. These filters can diminish the number of surface allergens. Just make sure the vacuum you buy doesn’t come with a “beater bar” since they damage the surface of hardwood floors. 

-Have your air ducts regularly cleaned to remove bacteria, mold, and dust that might be lingering inside. 

-Consider getting a central air filtration unit for your house.

-Use a dehumidifier to keep your home’s humidity at less than 50%. Humid homes are more friendly to dust mites which means higher allergen levels. 

By combining these efforts, you’ll be much more comfortable in your home and decrease the chances that your allergies will flare up. 

Cleanliness is Essential

No matter what you’re floors are made of, hardwood, tile, or carpet, if you don’t keep them clean, your allergies can flare up.

So though hardwood floors are more convenient when it comes to keeping allergens at bay, remember that you still have to do your part with sweeping or vacuuming, paying attention to those spots under the bed or behind furniture, cleaning your vents, and grooming your pets regularly. 

Learn More About the Benefits of Hardwood Floors

Learn more about hardwood flooring, their benefits, and what it takes to maintain them by checking out our blog and our website full of resources. We’re also happy to answer your questions over the phone or in-person if you stop by one of our many locations!

And if you decide that carpet is still the way to go, we can help you choose the carpet that’s best for your home as well.