For many allergy sufferers, the worst part of the affliction is that even in the comfort of their own homes – their own beds even – they find no relief. Pet dander, spring pollen, mold spores and dust are everywhere around us, even when we sleep. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t give up yet. Here are some cleaning tips to allergy proof your home.
To allergy proof your bedroom you’ll need to enclose your pillows, mattress and box spring with dust-mite-proof covers. Next, you should wash your sheets, pillowcases and blankets in very hot water (at least 130F), and continue to do this each week. Any bedding that can’t be washed should be replaced with a synthetic choice. Also, try to keep the area under the bed free of clutter so it will be easier to clean and more difficult for dust bunnies to hide!
Hard surfaces are the easiest type of flooring to keep clean. If possible, especially in the bedroom, remove carpeting and replace it with linoleum or hardwood flooring. Linoleum and hardwood should be damp mopped each week. For a Jacksonville wood floor cleaning service, turn to the experts at First Coast Home Pros for tips on the best cleaning practices. Washable area rugs can be substituted for carpeting if needed. Where carpet is required, the best option is a low-pile variety which is vacuumed weekly using a HEPA filtered machine. Your carpets should be cleaned frequently, by a professional with a steam cleaner since allergens aren’t affected by non-steam machines. If your carpets could use a deep cleaning or you don’t want to mess with the trouble off renting a steam cleaner, First Coast Home Pros offers professional carpet cleaning services including cleaning, restoring, deodorizing and protecting. Our method of carpet cleaning is steam cleaning because it achieves the deepest clean with the best results. As an extra precaution, always have family members and guests remove their shoes before entering the house to keep outside particles and pollen from entering the home.
If the dander created by the family pet is a part of the problem, definitely restrict your furry friends from your bedroom or your child’s bedroom. If possible, restrict your pets to just a few of the common rooms in the home to keep the dander in check. A weekly bath will also cut down on the amount of dander and pollen trapped in your pet’s coat.
Upholstered furniture like sofas and chairs – especially in the bedroom or living room – should be vacuumed regularly and deep cleaned once a year. First Coast Home Pro’s offers both dry cleaning and hot water extraction cleaning techniques depending on your type of furniture, as well as the options to apply protection or deodorizers. Nick-knacks are dust and dander magnets, and therefore should be kept to a minimum. Remember to always dust with a damp cloth – a dry cloth will just send the allergens back into the air. (When cleaning always start at the top of the room and work your way down so you don’t have dust flying everywhere after you clean the floors.)
Replacing heavy curtains that hold pollen and dander with washable curtains of cotton or synthetic materials will help keep the allergens from building up. However, if you are in love with the drapes and are not ready to replace them, First Coast Home Pros’ drapery cleaning service is the perfect solution. From blinds and curtains to cornice boards or window treatments, we can clean them all. Most of the time, taking a vacuum to the window treatments will get the job down, but a once a year deep cleaning is recommended to keep them looking their best, and to keep your allergies from affecting you in your own home.
You should regularly check all around your kitchen for sources of mold like leaking faucets or pipes, the refrigerator drip pan, moldy food in the fridge and even the bottom of the garbage can. Kitchen garbage should be removed from the home daily to prevent any unknown moldy items in the trash from sending mold spores out into the living area. If your kitchen exhaust fan doesn’t work properly, or vent to the outside, the problem should be corrected to help keep in the indoor level of humidity low and prevent the growth of mold.
Crumbs and other loose food garbage should be removed from counters and floors to discourage insects and rodents that are often an allergy trigger for many people. Cabinets and counter tops should be cleaned often with detergent and water for the same reason. Remember to store food (and pet food) in air-tight containers to discourage pests.
- Shower curtains, bath mats or rugs with visible mold should be removed and taken to the outside trash.
- Use bleach to scrub off mold in the tub, shower enclosure, on the faucets, under the sink and behind the toilet, but make sure it’s definitely gone as the mold spores are a trigger to many allergy sufferers.
- Wallpaper in the bathroom should be removed and replaced with either tile or an enamel paint that is resistant to mold.
- Look under the sink and behind the toilet for water leaks and other signs of mold growth.
- Check that the bathroom fan is working properly and actually venting to the outside to actively stop the growth of mold.
- Have a professional tile and grout cleaning service once a year to revitalize the flooring or shower by removing soil, grease and other contaminants that collects in the porous grout over time.
Air conditioning and Filters
When the weather is warm turn on the air conditioning instead of opening the windows to keep humidity levels low in the home and also to keep pollen from entering through the windows. To be effective, furnace filters and air purification system filters should be changed often on a regular basis. To help keep track, you can mark your calendar or note it on the inside door of your HVAC system. Also, consider having your duct work professionally cleaned. This service requires a lot of trust between the homeowner and cleaning service provider and at First Coast Home Pros, we are proud to be Jacksonville’s most trusted air duct cleaning professionals. We recommend having your duct work cleaned every 3 to 5 years based on your homes environment, such as number of pets, cleanliness of household and activities that affect indoor air quality, like smoking. The best times to consider a Jacksonville air duct cleaning are after moving into a new home, after completing a remodeling project, or of course, when your allergies are acting up.
Remember to be careful with your choice of cleaning products. Allergy sufferers are already feeling irritated and strong chemical smells will make the situation worse. Try looking into some of the new alternative “green” choices for your home cleaning products. All of the chemicals used by First Coast Home Pros are effective, yet mild and never harsh.
For more tips on allergy proofing your home or professional assistance with cleaning your home to help with your allergy condition, contact the experts at First Coast Home Pros!