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The Environmental Protection Agency and its Science Advisory Board have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. Also, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 50 percent of all illnesses are caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air. Over 40 million Americans suffer from allergies due to home bio-pollution. If you or your child has allergies or asthma, you already know that many things can bring on, or “trigger” an asthma flare or episode. Some things that trigger asthma attacks are called allergens. Some people get symptoms from only one allergen—like dust mites. For other people, more than one kind of allergen can trigger an episode.
Work with your regular doctor or clinic to find out which allergens affect your child or you the most. If asthma flares happen a lot your doctor may suggest medication or life style changes. Keep an asthma diary. Concentrate on controlling the allergens. Start with the easiest, least expensive ways, like cleaning. Set up your cleaning plan one room at a time, beginning with where the allergy-sufferer sleeps.
Every home has dust mites. You can’t see them but they are there. They feed on our skin flakes, as we shed about two pounds each year. We spend about a third of our lives in bed so most dust mites are in our pillows, bedding and bedroom carpets. You can control them by keeping bedding clean and controlling dust. Dust mites in the bedroom are a trigger for people with allergies and asthma. Use special mite-proof covers to keep dust mites from getting into pillows. They are sometimes called “allergen-impermeable”. If you don’t use covers, wash pillows at least 4 times a year, and replace them every year. Mattresses should be cleaned every six months by a professional cleaner using an extraction method to reduce allergens. A professional cleaner can also apply a neutralizing spray to reduce allergen irritants between regular cleaning. Regular cleaning of carpets and upholstery should be part of your allergen-control plan.
Call All Brite Cleaning & Restoration, Inc. today at (603) 524-4889 or (603) 226-9399.
Warmth + Moisture + Skin = Dust Mites
Mold and mildew are tiny plants that grow where it’s warm and damp—like in the shower. They release invisible “spores” into the air. The floating spores trigger allergy and asthma episodes. And wherever they land, the spores start growing new mold.
Warmth + Moisture = Mold
Mold can also grow on appliances – like air conditioners, dehumidifiers and humidifiers. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to change filters and clean regularly. To find products that remove or control mildew – read the label. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for wearing protective equipment if required. You can use an antibacterial product two or three times a week to prevent mold from coming back.
Cockroaches are attracted to food and moisture—including crumbs, cooking grease and plain water. After dust mites, cockroaches are the second largest group of indoor allergens. It’s important to remove or tightly cover all food and water, especially at night when cockroaches are more active.
Food + Water = Cockroaches!
Cockroaches are often found around the refrigerator because of food spills and dampness. These spills and moisture also grow mold. Keeping your refrigerator clean is an important part of controlling allergens. Follow the cleaning instructions in your owner’s manual.
When children play and crawl on the floor, they can breathe in allergens. Keep carpet, furniture and curtains as clean and dust free as possible. All home furnishings should be professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning frequency is based on the number of people in the home, if you have pets or smokers and the amount of outside dust and pollution. When you vacuum, some of the allergens trapped in carpets and upholstery are thrown into the air. Whenever possible, have a non-allergic person do the vacuuming. Or, wear a dust mask and goggles if eye allergies are a problem. Use a vacuum that has a HEPA (99.7% efficient) filter and/or exhaust filter; or use a special bag that holds allergens inside the bag. Vacuum at least once a week and more often if you have a pet. Empty the bag when it’s half full (or throw it away if it’s disposable). An upright vacuum or a canister with a powered head is best for carpet. A canister vacuum without a powered nozzle is fine for cleaning upholstery, draperies, blinds and light dusting. Mold and germs grow in wet or damp carpeting. Carpets that have been damp or wet for more than 24 hours should be removed or professionally cleaned and restored.
Dirty carpets and fabrics hold dust mites + pollen + animal dander = allergies
Most homes and offices use a central heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC). Other homes may have central heating but use wall unit air conditioners. All heating and cooling systems should be cleaned on a regular basis.
Air duct systems can hold dust, pollen, animal dander, dust mite allergens and mold spores. If you are an allergy sufferer and have never had your air handling system cleaned, you may want to have this service performed. Condensation in the air conditioning system, particularly during the summer, can collect and be a breeding ground for mold. Make sure the system drip pans are cleaned and moisture is draining properly.
Replaceable filters should be changed monthly. A filter enhancer can be sprayed on to disposable filters to improve their efficiency.
Cleaning products are tested by their manufactures to make sure they are safe to use. But accidents can happen, especially with young children. Also, people who are very sensitive to certain chemicals should be certain to read the product contents on the label before purchasing harsh cleaning agents.
Here are some ways to use cleaning products safely:
Want to save time and reduce allergens? Then get rid of clutter!Having lots of stuff around does more than clutter up a room. It makes cleaning harder and gives places for dust and other allergens to collect. Follow these simple steps to reduce clutter.
The number one enemy of our homes is water. If you have water from broken pipes, leaks or rain coming into your home—it must be treated immediately! Steps need to be taken to dry the carpet and prevent further damage. We at All Brite Cleaning & Restoration, Inc. have 24 Emergency Water Extraction services. Call our office 24 hours a day and you will be put in touch with an emergency on-call technician at (603) 524-4889 or (603) 226-9399.
When walls, flooring, carpets or parts of your home stay wet for longer than 24 hours, mold and bacteria will grow. This can result in the release of severe allergens into your home. Mold produces mycotoxins, which have the potential to produce toxic affects to our immune system and internal organs.
With moisture present, mold can grow on sheetrock, between the walls of your home or under flooring. You may have a mold problem after a flood that is not at first visible. Do not delay in immediately contacting your insurance company whenever you have the unfortunate event of water damage.
Call All Brite Cleaning & Restoration at (603) 524-4889 or (603) 226-9399 to immediately begin drying the home and its contents
Since many allergens float in the air, they are hard to avoid. Cleaning (like dusting and vacuuming) can stir up the air and the allergens in it. Just like other particles in the air, sometimes cleaning products can “trigger” an asthma attack. But it’s still important to clean. If you don’t, dust, mold and other allergens will build up, making asthma symptoms worse.
If you have allergies or asthma, here are some important tips:
Over 40 million Americans suffer from allergies due to home bio-pollution. If you or your child has allergies or asthma, you already know that many things can bring on, or “trigger” an asthma flare or episode. Some things that trigger asthma attacks are called allergens. Some people get symptoms from only one allergen—like dust mites. For other people, more than one kind of allergen can trigger an episode.