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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Carpet and asthma?

Goodbye carpet, hello wood floors!

Neighbor has asthma and has a cute little dog, but Little Dog seems to have a little bladder. Neighbor was shampooing her carpet (after the professional cleaning company had already tried getting the carpets cleaned.) She was determined to get them clean and she wondered if she had missed any areas where Little Dog may have gone to the bathroom. So we decided to look with a black light and see if any areas glowed. Well, there were more places that DIDN"T glow on the carpet. Little Dog has been very busy over the last 7 years.

After we recovered from the shock of seeing how much urine was on the carpet, Neighbor decided to pull it out. That's Hubby pulling up the tack strip and loading up the back of his truck with a load of carpet for the landfill. That should stop Little Dog from going to the bathroom on the floor. We noticed that in the areas where there the wood floors were bare, Little Dog didn't seem to use those areas as her personal bathroom.

Wood floors are actually the best choice for a home if you have asthma. (or any other hard surface material) Yes, they do require more cleaning but that's because you can actually SEE where they are dirty. Carpet is very good at hiding dog urine, dropped food, dust, bacteria, molds, etc. The thought just makes me shudder.

I am anxious to see if Neighbor's asthma will improve. She has struggled for years, and her asthma seems to be getting worse. I can hear her wheezing when I talk to her on the phone (and that's AFTER she has had a breathing treatment.) She even gets monthly Xolair injections, and even that doesn't seem to control her asthma.

So, once that carpet is gone, and Hubby can help refinish the wood floors, I would like to see if Neighbor's breathing gets better. And as for Little's a good thing we love her so much! Neighbor takes her out on walks throughout the day, but I think Neighbor may install a small dog door now so Little Dog can go outside to go to the bathroom. Little Dog doesn't like to go to the bathroom in the backyard, she likes going on walks so she can check her "pee-mail" and see what the other neighborhood dogs have left behind.

If you have asthma but never seem to feel like you can breathe very well, talk to your doctor. Medication is a big part of controlling symptoms, but so is your environment. Hard surfaces are best for the floor (and you won't have problems with Little Dogs using carpet as their bathroom)


  1. Hi Andrea! Your hardwood floors look so nice! I wanted to reach back out to you and let you know PMD Healthcare is giving away free Spiro PD's for World Asthma Day!! To enter to win you just need to enter your favorite asthma tip on our Facebook wall and fill out some basic info here:
    Feel free to enter to win your children a Spiro PD personal spirometer!

  2. Sounds like fun! I'll have to check it out :)

  3. Don't know if you'll see this since it's been almost a year since this post.

    How is your neighbor's asthma now that the carpet has been gone for awhile? I sometimes feel like going on an anti-carpet crusade. I'm convinced that so many people with asthma are living in apartments with carpet that was installed in, like, 1973, and the carpet is the root of the problem. Certainly moving to a house without carpets helped me tremendously.

    1. It actually has helped. It's very difficult to keep carpets clean (not to mention the pad underneath) With wood floors, it's easier to see where the floor is dirty and to quickly suck up the dust with the vacuum.

      I am a wood floor devotee!!!

  4. There are carpets that are made particularly for asthma sufferers. Wool carpets are offensive materials for dust mites, because its long and boorish fibers cannot be inhaled, and for that reason do not have an effect on asthma sufferers.

    Lyda Tavorn

    1. Sorry Lyda, I don't know how I missed your comment!

      For us, it's not the type of carpet, it's that carpets can never be as clean as wood floors. I can SEE the dust and debris on my wood floors and easily suck it up with the vacuum. :)

  5. Why don't you try out a nylon carpet, Andrea? It’s the most anti-allergy carpet out there. Wool is also good, but you have to check with your doctor just to be sure. Whatever material you choose, the most important thing is that you keep your environment clean and dry. Willie @

    1. Hi Willie,

      We have had different types of carpet in our homes over the years. We prefer wood floors because you can see that they are clean. I can see crumbs, hairs, dust, etc. And I can easily suck them up with a canister vacuum.

      Any type of carpet hides dust and other debris. I like to actually SEE that my wood floors are clean.

      Some people like carpet, but we have used wood floors in our last two houses and LOVE THEM!! :)

  6. Dirty carpets can be kind of a health hazard, if left unabated due to the nature of their material. Individual fabrics can trap all those particles, which can then be released in concentrated quantities to impact respiratory systems. That is why we should not only just clean them. We should clean them thoroughly, extensively and comprehensively. That's our best way forward. Good luck!

    Nancy Graham @ Anew Carpet Cleaning