Allergy Control – 5 Steps to Breathe Easier

Many people suffer from breathing illnesses such as asthma and allergies. The unknown culprit of these annoying maladies can be biological contaminants in your home.

Biological Contaminants

These include bacteria, mold, mildew, viruses, animal dander, cat saliva, dust mites, cockroaches, pollen & pollutants. The source of these can be located in your home or be walked in every time you enter your home.

Pollen originates from plants, viruses are transmitted by people and animals, bacteria are carried by people, animals, and soil and plant debris; and household pets can be the source of dander and saliva. But don’t think your body doesn’t contribute to these either! Dead skin cells, hair, saliva, sweat, and much more also contribute to poorer indoor air quality (IAQ).

There are also plenty of nasty things that are airborne that enter your home or office daily. Things like urine and feces from animals and humans dry and become airborne. This is especially true when you have rodent problems in or around your home.

Contaminated central air handling systems can also become a breeding ground for mold, mildew and other sources of biological contaminants. These are distributed throughout your home! Yuck! In fact, you should have your duct-work professionally cleaned and treated with a germicide at least once every 2 – 3 years.

Controlled Conditions

By controlling the relative humidity level in a home, the growth of some sources of biological contaminants can be minimized. A relative humidity of 30-50% is generally recommended for homes. Standing water, water damaged materials, or wet surfaces also serve as a breeding ground for biological contaminants.

These contaminants can trigger allergic reactions, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, and some types of asthma. Molds and mildews release disease causing toxins. So take care looking through your home for any signs of these biological contaminants.

Symptoms

Biological pollutants can create symptoms of health problems including: sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, fever, and digestive problems. Allergic reactions often occur after repeat exposure to a specific biological allergen. As a result, people who notice only mild allergic reaction or no reactions at all may suddenly find themselves very sensitive to particular allergens.

Some diseases are associated with exposure to toxins from microorganisms that can grow in building ventilation systems. These diseases can also be traced to microorganisms that grow in home heating and cooling systems and humidifiers.

Children, the elderly and people with breathing problems, allergies, and lung diseases are particularly susceptible to disease-causing biological agents in the indoor air.

Five Steps to Reducing your Exposure to Biological Contaminants:

Step 1: Have your carpets, furniture, and mattresses cleaned thoroughly and regularly by a trained professional.

At Contour Cleaning we are fully certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification – the largest industry certification board) to clean carpets upholstery, mattresses and more to remove these nasty contaminants causing harm to your indoor air quality.

Cleaning regularly is important to remove all the soiling and contaminants in your carpet, furniture, and mattresses where these types of microorganisms thrive. You carpet really is just a large filter for all the bad stuff brought into your home, if they fill up they release these contaminants into the air with every footstep.

Step 2: Vacuum your carpets, rugs, and upholstery regularly.

This may seem like  a no-brainer, but it is truly the most important thing you can do for your indoor air quality. We always suggest a vacuum that is fitted with a sturdy beater bar that will agitate the carpet while cleaning. HEPA filtered vacuums (like the ones we use for every pre-vacuum) are ideal for allergy suffers and have come down in price quite a bit over the years. It is an affordable investment you will see immediate results from.

Vacuuming sofas and chairs are equally as important and one of the biggest skipped steps we have seen while performing cleaning for your neighbors. Couches in particular are like clothing you never wash, just imagine all the oils and nasty particles inside your couch!

Step 3: Insure proper ventilation of attics, crawlspaces, dryers, kitchens, and bathrooms.

These actions will eliminate much of the moisture that builds up from everyday activities. By preventing excessive moisture you can keep away from the “danger zone” of ideal environments for biological contaminants to thrive. If you are unsure how to check these, call a reputable contractor in the area.

Step 4: WATER DAMAGE: BEWARE!

Thoroughly clean and dry water damaged carpets and building materials within 24 hours if possible! Or consider removal and replacement depending on the severity.

Water based carpets and building materials can harbor mold and bacteria. It is difficult to complexity rid such materials of biological contaminants.

If you ever have any water coming into your home from any source, call a professional immediately. In 48 hours even clear water becomes contaminated, in 72 hours clear water in the basement is treated the same as raw sewage due to the growth of bacteria and other biological toxins!

Step 5: Commit to regularly scheduled cleanings.

This includes your carpets, but also includes your whole home. Dust mites, pollen, animal dander, and other allergy causing agents can be reduced with every cleaning, however they cannot be eliminated. So schedule thorough, regular cleanings for your home. Here are a few key areas to focus on:

  • Wash your bedding in hot (130°F) water and use a allergen proof mattress encasement.
  • Avoid room furnishing that can accumulate dust that cannot be washed in hot water
  • Wash bath rugs regularly in warm water if materials allow
  • Clean shower curtains following the manufactures guidelines.
  • Disinfect and clean all drains, including basement floor drains

Following these 5 steps can greatly reduce the amount of allergens in your home.

Contour Cleaning is also happy to full anti-allergy cleaning treatments for your home. Our system uses 100% green chemicals derived from natural extracts of fruit seeds and plants. Our process includes an Anti-Allergen Pre-Spray, Anti-Allergen Deodorizer & Anti-Allergen Neutralizing Rinse. They work by instantly deactivating the DER pl in dust mite droppings by de-naturing and substantially reducing the IgE antibody-binding capacity of the allergen. For those suffering from allergies, this treatment is highly suggested!

We also offer a full disinfecting and sanitizing service which is safe for carpet, furniture, and mattresses. Our water based disinfectant spray includes bactericide, fungicide, deodorant, and antimicrobial all in one. It will kill allergy and disease causing germs, fungi, mold, and mildew. It also kills odor causing bacteria, including gama negative bacteria – the bacteria encountered in sewage backups and toilet overflow situations. It offers long lasting residual protection that keeps working, preventing germs and fungi growth on surfaces long after application.