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How to Keep your Family Safe from Asthma and Allergens

How to Keep your Family Safe from Asthma and Allergens

home 2In Australia, owning a home is a big part of its culture. In ways, home ownership exemplifies the saying “a man’s home is his castle”. The popular image of a castle is one made of thick concrete, sturdy wood and surrounded by a moat populated by giant, hungry alligators. While Australia is known for its Outback, its homes certainly do not have moats and man-eating alligators swimming around!

The imagery is to evoke the symbol that a home is there to protect the family. It provides shelter from the elements, protects the members from animals on the prowl and keeps everyone safe from unsavory characters preying on innocent victims. But most home owners are unaware their own beloved home is being invaded by deadly, unwanted creatures that can cause illness and serious health complications every single day.

They don’t see these creatures because they are invisible to the naked eye. These creatures lurk in the places you frequent and nest there; feeding, breeding and excreting. Sometimes you see their handiwork glimmering on a ray of sunlight. According to health specialists, 100,000 of their species can thrive in one square yard of your carpet.

These are the dreaded dust mites. Their excretions produce allergens that are transmitted in the air. Allergens wreak havoc to your immune system and can seriously harm those with asthma especially young children and the elderly. Dust mites are just one cause of allergens. Molds are another.

Molds are a by-product of moisture. Water can support any living organism. Spores are bacteria that are also transmitted by air and find their way into your home every day. All it takes is moisture or water for spores to grow into a culture. Some of these molds turn into toxic substances referred to as “black molds” which have been proven to cause serious health issues to home dwellers. The molds can grow so thick it can penetrate wooden panel boards which are beyond salvage.

In the household, molds grow prevalently in the kitchen and bathroom where water is frequently used.

In truth there is no proven way to eliminate allergens and molds. As long as there is constant activity, conditions for allergens and molds to thrive will exist. The best approach is to manage the volume of allergens and minimize mold growth through preventive measures.

Preventive measures begin with laying down house rules:

  • Keep shoes off the main living areas in the house; preferably store in a well-ventilated cabinet near the entrance door.
  • Remove all used clothes and dispose properly in the designated bins.
  • Keep pets outdoors.
  • Regularly vacuum car upholstery.
  • Eat and drink only at designated areas in the house.
  • Clean spills and stains right away.

It is not enough that these house rules are in place; you must strictly enforce them! Children can be rebellious but you have to see to it that they follow the rules for the benefit of everyone.

Next, draw up a schedule for household cleaning and maintenance. These should include the following:

  • Vacuum three to four times a week.
  • Dust tables, windows, chairs, counter-tops and other areas frequented by dust every other day.
  • Keep mattresses covered in air-tight plastic covers.
  • Keep windows closed most of the time and schedule use of air-condition.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom floors dry as often as possible.
  • Use mold and bacteria killing solution to wash floor tiles.
  • Dispose of stale water containers properly.

Finally, keep an inventory of items that can be used to clean carpets, furniture and floor tiles safely. These should include:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Club soda
  • Enzymatic solution (for pet owners)
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach and non-bleach detergents

Make index cards that describe the correct ingredients and mixtures to use when cleaning stains and have these accessible to everyone.

home 1These are good strategies and measures to have in place to ensure the safety and well-being of your household. But remember these are only designed to control the growth of allergens and mildew. Even with strict implementation of these guidelines, there will come a point in time when your efforts will not yield significant results.

The best and most effective option would be to bring in the professional carpet cleaners. They have the equipment, experience and expertise to have your household problems under control. Professional carpet cleaners will assess the situation and draw up a game plan that will suit the needs of your home. When you bring in the professionals, not only will you see the difference, you will breathe the difference!

The professional carpet cleaners will not discourage you from continuing your guidelines. In fact, they will encourage you because it makes their job a lot easier. For most homes, you will only need general carpet and home cleaning services every 12 to 18 months. But for the busier ones; homes with more than two children and multiple pets, you may have to schedule visits by your friendly neighborhood carpet cleaning company every six to 12 months.

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