Health Benefits of Carpet Maintenance

Source | Re-Post System4 6/28/2016

There is a widespread perception that carpet cannot be kept clean (sanitary) and that because of its inability to be kept clean, carpet contributes significantly to the deterioration of indoor environmental quality, especially indoor air quality. This unnecessary misconception often leads to policy decisions for removing carpet from many environments such as schools, health care facilities, and public agencies.

Decisions to remove carpet as a response to ineffective cleaning often deprive consumers and occupants of many desirable features provided by carpet, but simply transfers environmental problems related to cleaning breakdown to environments that do not have carpet.

Carpets that are not cleaned and properly maintained can cause many health problems inside the building environment. It is estimated that patients allergic to biopollutants (fungi, mites, cockroaches, bacteria) make 500,000 to 1,000,000 hospital visits each year. From a public health perspective, it is difficult to justify indoor carpet unless a routine and effective cleaning program can be assured. Such a program calls for properly trained personnel applying appropriate cleaning methods and using environmentally-sound cleaning technology.

Given that neglected carpets pose a health hazard, some public health and medical authorities now take a strong position against it. They argue that carpet should not be installed in any building unless its owners plan to clean it frequently using an external extraction method. Some health authorities even advocate passing a law that would make it illegal to install carpet where there is high humidity, moisture, or other conditions that promote the growth of biopollutants – regardless of the owners’ intention to clean it. (Please note that this author does not agree with their position. We can manage carpet very well without another law.)

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