April 27, 2023
How can your flooring choice affect allergy sufferers?For the purpose of this article, when I talk about ‘allergy sufferers’ I am referring to the specific types of allergies related to airborne particles, such as asthma. Having an allergy can be frustrating and if severe can affect everyday activities. The initial symptoms usually happen within a few minutes of being exposed to a particular trigger. Symptoms can include: sneezing, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, sore throat, wheezing or coughing, and sometimes a red, itchy rash. The NHS website suggests that there are many triggers for asthma, including: pollen, allergens, dust mites, animal fur (dander), mould, damp, and even chemicals used in carpets. Carpets can be quite difficult to clean, even with a modern, high powered vacuum cleaner. Deep pile carpets can be the worst, as the have more areas for the allergens to hide and thrive. The good news is that Bamboo flooring can easily be kept clean so that dust mites and dander have nowhere to hide and mould cannot grow. For more information about the causes or triggers for asthma, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/causes/ Or www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/
Is carpet the worst offender?If you have an allergy sufferer living in your home then carpets are probably the worst choice for flooring. They may even make the allergy worse. Carpets are made up of loops, which can collect and hold dust, allergens, skin particles and animal hair. Dust mites, which are often a trigger for asthma, are microscopic insects that we cannot see, that get their nourishment from skin particles. They often thrive in warm, humid, and dusty areas and are most commonly found in carpets and soft furnishings. Deep pile carpets are the worst as they have more room for dust mites and other allergens to hide, and they are the hardest to clean. Another problem with carpets if they get wet. They can be very difficult to dry properly (especially thick or deep pile carpets). A damp or wet carpet can start to grow mould, mildew and fungi, all of which can aggravate asthma or other respiratory problems. Even cleaning a carpet on a daily basis with a high powered vacuum cleaner does not fully remove all of the dust, dirt and build-up of particles. Vacuuming can even make the condition worse as it disturbs the particles and sends them back into the air which can aggravate an allergy. The only way to ensure all of the dust mites are gone, is to fully remove your carpet. There are many, more hygienic flooring options such as hardwood flooring, vinyl tiles and Bamboo flooring. [caption id="attachment_104" align="aligncenter" width="408"] Bamboo forest[/caption]
How can bamboo flooring help an allergy sufferer?Bamboo flooring is a great choice if you or someone you live with is an allergy sufferer. The hard surface of the bamboo flooring means that dust, dirt and animal hair can easily been seen and quickly swept away. For more information about cleaning a bamboo floor, have a read of our Bamboo Flooring Care Guide. Bamboo is actually a grass, that grows at an extremely fast rate. A bamboo plant can reach maturity within 5 years, meaning that it can be harvested much more quickly than hardwood. Bamboo is a really sustainable material for flooring as the root can self-regenerate so there is no need to replace the bamboo; it will just continue to grow. As bamboo is a grass it does not harbour moisture in the same way as wood, and it is much more water resistant, meaning that it is less likely to allow mould and mildew to form. Some people with allergies may be worried about the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) for in bamboo flooring. The prime example of this is formaldehyde, which can be used in the production and manufacture of the flooring. VOCs like formaldehyde are only dangerous in high levels, and most good quality bamboo flooring contain little or no formaldehyde. It is always best to check this before you buy your bamboo floor. [caption id="attachment_1282" align="aligncenter" width="334"] Solid carbonised strand woven bamboo flooring[/caption]
What are the other benefits of bamboo flooring?Other benefits of bamboo flooring include:
- Eco-friendly flooring – it only takes around 5 years to reach maturity compared to at least 25 years for hardwood
- Durable and Strong – especially strand woven bamboo flooring, which is over twice as hard as Oak flooring
- Easy to look after – quick and easy to clean by following a daily routine
- Easy to install – it can be clicked into position over an underlay or glue directly down to the subfloor.
- Wide choice of styles – bamboo flooring can be found in many different colours, patterns, finishes, sizes, and is even available in parquet block.
- Cost effective – bamboo flooring can be found at a fraction of the price of hardwood flooring, but you are still getting a beautiful and natural product.
- Long life expectancy – bamboo can last a lifetime if cared for and looked after correctly.