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Carpet vs. Hard Flooring Surfaces – Which is Better for Allergy/Asthma Sufferers?

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, approximately, one out of every five people in the United States suffers from asthma or allergies. Indoor allergy triggers include dust mites and mold, as well as pollen tracked in from the outdoors, all of which can affect the air quality in your home. Also, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) present in many paints and finishes are a concern of many allergy and asthma sufferers. VOC’s are also present in many products used in the home, these include different types of man-made flooring surfaces, laminate flooring, carpet and carpet pad. To help improve for indoor environment and ease allergy symptoms, looking for allergy-friendly flooring options, including brands which emit lower amounts of VOC’s.

But the debate goes on – “Carpets vs. Hard Surface Flooring.” If you do research on this topic you will find a multitude of articles and opinions written by many reputable sources. These include, the Mayo Clinic, Mohawk Carpets, Carpet-health.org, The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), Shaw Carpets, The Center for Disease Control (CDC), The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, The German Asthma and Allergy Society, The Canadian Carpet Institute, Building Green…and the list goes on and on. But the focus on all this research comes down to this.

  • Whether you have carpets or hard surface floors, you must have a dedicated schedule to clean and maintain your home or business
  • Whether you have carpets or hard surface floors, you must do your research on how the products you are installing is manufactured. You must be aware of the amount of VOC’s, the Volatile Organic Compounds that these products emit.

That’s it, simple. No matter what surface you have, if you do not clean and maintain those surfaces you will be enhancing the possibility of an allergic reaction. And if you install a product that emits high amounts of VOC’s into the environment of your home you will also enhance the possibility of an allergic reaction. So, let’s explain some of the facts from some of these organizations regarding Carpets vs. Hard surface flooring.

Carpets can be found in a wide variety of fibers. These include nylon, wool, cotton, silk, sisal, polyester, blends of these different fibers. We can all agree that carpets can act as a reservoir for dirt, dust, pet dander, dust mites, etc. But in some cases, this can be an advantage as carpet holds these allergen- causing substances within their fibers, therefore preventing them from becoming airborne every time someone walks through a room, opens a window or door, or the air conditioning or heat comes on. Because these allergen-causing substances are held in the carpeting this means that the potential for exposure lessens. That’s good, but that’s where having a dedicated schedule to clean and maintain your carpets begins. Your carpets must be vacuumed and cleaned on a regular basis.

Vacuuming is the key in this maintenance schedule. How often should you vacuum? You must determine that by your household’s environment. These determining factors include, how large is your family, do you have pets, do you have entrances directly onto carpeted areas, where is your house located, to name a few. What this means…some areas of your home may need to be vacuumed more than others. And please remember, that there is a right way and a wrong way to vacuum your carpets. The wrong way – superficial going over your carpet a couple times a month using the vacuum your inherited from your grandparents. The correct way – investing in a vacuum with a built-in HEPA vacuuming system two or three times a week. What is a HEPA vacuuming system? It is a vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter which is designed to remove 99.97% of airborne particles and holding these particles in the recovery tank. Whereas, your inherited vacuum will release a majority of the dirt and dust particles back into the environment of your home.

And let’s understand something else about vacuuming. Wherever you are in your home or if you are at work, stand up and look at the room you currently are in. Yes, there is the flooring, carpets or hard flooring surfaces, but what about the other soft fabrics – sofas, chairs, pillows, blankets, lamp shades, bedding and drapery. And what about those horizontal hard surfaces – the tops of desks, end tables, bookshelves, dressers, and the blades of your ceiling fan. Dust is everywhere, so when we stress the need to vacuum, we mean everywhere, including under your furniture. Have you looked under your bed or dresser or dining room hutch lately? You should, because if you haven’t, every time you walk by, or open a window or door, some of those dust bunnies come out and recirculate into your environment. That’s what was meant where it was referred to as a dedicated schedule to maintain your environment. Let’s add one more thing to the list that needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular schedule – Ductwork. If your home or office is heated and air conditioned using the forced air system, those ducts
need to be cleaned, treated, and the furnace filter replaced as part of a regularly schedule program.

In a study preformed by Professor Roshan L. Shishoo and Alf Borjesson of the Swedish Institute for Fiber and Polymer Research, in an article for C&FR, they call out forcefully to refute claims of health risks in carpets. The use of carpets in Sweden has steadily decreased since 1975. However, the authors point out that the occurrence of allergic reaction and other environmental sensitivity in the general population has increased. Again, this is where proper maintenance of your environment is so important.

So, what about carpet cleaning. There are a multitude of methods that can be used to clean your carpets. Which method is best? It depends on which study or report you read. There’s hot water extraction, shampooing, dry powder, and encapsulation to name a few. But remember one thing, whether you clean the carpets yourself or you hire a professional, if your carpets are not thoroughly vacuumed prior to cleaning to remove as much of the particulate waste that has probably reached the backing of your carpet, when you introduce any amount of moisture you are “basically creating mud in the fibers of your carpet.” And once that carpet dries, there’s even more debris that will be released into your environment to affect those with allergy issues. Remember, when having your carpets cleaned, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, there are carpet cleaning detergents that are designed to leave very little residue in your carpets which is very important when cleaning for those who have allergy issues.

So, what about Hard Flooring Surfaces. Where do we start? Of course, there is wood flooring. And even with wood flooring, there are three categories – solid wood; engineered wood; and laminated flooring. What’s the difference?

  • Solid wood is real wood, directly from the tree. Most solid wood floors are oak, but there are other solid wood types available such as bamboo.
  • Engineered wood is made from layers of wood or high-density particle board which is bonded together by using adhesives, heat and pressure. Then this is covered by a thin veneer of wood.
  • Laminated Flooring is made from particle board and then covered with a thin picture of wood to give it a real wood appearance.

Then there is the tile and natural stone flooring. These include ceramic tile, porcelain tile, marble, quartz, slate, travertine, and limestone to name a few. All have their different characteristics that may appeal to you and is appropriate to where this type of tile will be used.

And now one of the most popular types of flooring being installed these days is resilient flooring.

These include:

  • Linoleum – Sometimes confused with vinyl type flooring. But linoleum is a natural product made from linseed oil and sawdust. Years ago, linoleum was primarily installed wall-to-wall like carpeting. Today it still comes in solid sheets, but also in tiles and planks.
  • Vinyl – Now there are 2 different types of vinyl tile – Luxury Vinyl (LVT) and Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) and both are completely different. LVT is 100% vinyl, while VCT is a small amount of vinyl with limestone and other filler material. VCT has been used for many years while LVT is relatively new.
  • Cork – Made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which is ground, processed into sheets and baked in a kiln to produce the tiles.

Now that we have given a description of the different types of flooring available – Carpets, wood, and resilient, there is one more thing to discuss when it comes to allergies. Remember we talked about VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds, this is where you need to do your homework when you are purchasing and installing some of these flooring products. Whenever you purchase any flooring product you need to ask for the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). The SDS is a document that contains information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with the chemical product.

To help improve your indoor environment and ease allergy symptoms, you must look for allergy-friendly flooring products which emit lower amounts of VOC’c. And what products emit VOC’s:

  • Carpets
  • Carpet Pad or Cushion
  • Engineered Wood Flooring
  • Laminate Wood Flooring
  • Linoleum
  • Vinyl Tile
  • Glues that are used for installation of some of these flooring products

When starting a project, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a professional, do your homework if you or some one in your family has allergy issues. You need to know what is being installed into your home or business.

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Top rated FAQ Questions

How does Just Gone Sanitizing & Deodorizing System™ (Chlorine Dioxide) Work?
Most people have never heard of Chlorine Dioxide (Clo2). Or else they think its bleach (which is Sodium Hypochlorite or NsCIO). Like bleach, Clo2 is used as a sanitizer and bleaching agent. Unlike bleach, Clo2 is safe to use, does not leave toxic residue. Chlorine Dioxide oxygenates products rather than chlorinating them. Clo2 is considered a “friendly” Deodorizer, Sanitizer and Disinfectant.

There are a lot of pathogenic organisms out there that can cause chaos.
Clo2 is highly effective on most bacteria, virus, fungi, mold spores, algae, and blood borne pathogens, protozoa, yeast and biofilms.
Some names you might recognize are;

Legionella – Salmonella – Cryptosporidium – Giardia Cysts – Coliforms
Listeria – Shigella – Staph – Norovirus – Influenza – Anthrax – Cholera
E-coli – Hepatitis – Hepa Virus – EBOLA – C Diff – MARS – MERSA

Is Chlorine Dioxide non-toxic? What about residue?
Chlorine Dioxide is residue free as the active ingredients break down to naturally found products in the environment, primarily salt and water. It is environmentally friendly and has no harsh reactions on your skin.
Can Chlorine Dioxide be used on hard Surfaces?

Absolutely, it is ideal for use as a hard surface cleaner because with minimal surface time it is highly effective against many different organisms.

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We Are Available 24/7, Call Today

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Zoono Mini-Fogger

The Zoono fogger is a quick drying formulation that incorporates the proven, unique Zoono antimicrobial technology.

This product is ideal for occasions where a fast acting, antimicrobial product is required in order to minimize downtime when treating computer keyboards, desk phones, photocopiers, printers, headsets and microphones plus touch points such as door handles, light switches etc.

The Zoono Aerosol’s unique antimicrobial technology provides maximum protection to high risk areas.

Each fogger covers 200 square feet – $29.99

Zoono Hand Sanitizer GermFree24

As it’s name implies, Zoono’s Hand Sanitizer GermFree24 utilizes the unique Zoono technology and incorporates it into the Ultimate Protection Hand Sanitizer.

Unlike traditional hand sanitizers that kill germs only while they are wet, Zoono starts killing germs immediately and then keeps working, protecting hands from germs for up to 24 hours!

This is important news especially when you consider that our hands are the #1 vector for germ transmission. In other words: clean hands = healthy family.

Better still, Zoono is a FDA Compliant nontoxic*, water based antiseptic – it is less toxic than Vitamin C and won’t dry hands out like alcohol-based products.

Nothing works better and lasts longer to protect your family’s hands than Zoono.

Active ingredient is less toxic than Vitamin C

Hand Sanitizer – 5.07 oz. Bottle $11.99

Swamp Juice Beads.

Need an alternative to harsh chemicals or toxic alcohols in your bug repellent? Try our all-natural SwampJuice Beads!

Formulated using Eco-Solutions’ patented process, SwampJuice provides a safe alternative to common, chemical-filled bug sprays. SwampJuice is safe for kids and pets. SwampJuice can protect your entire family from mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika virus and encephalitis.

Laboratory tests from Serra Research show that SwampJuice exhibited outstanding repellency. After 45 minutes both LIB and BF reported 100% Repellency. To clarify, LIB stands for mosquitoes that “Land with the Intent to Bite” and BF stands for “Biting and Feeding.” In other words, SwampJuice is highly effective at preventing mosquito bites.

Each small, but concentrated, bottle of SwampJuice has the power to safely and effectively repel insects without harsh chemicals.

  • DEET-free
  • GMO-free
  • Non-irritating

*SwampJuice cannot be sold in Alabama.

Swamp Juice Beads – 2 Jar Pack $17.98

Swamp juice 

Swamp Juice Insect Repellent Spray. Need an alternative to harsh chemicals or toxic alcohols in your bug spray? Try our all-natural SwampJuice spray!

Formulated using Eco-Solutions’ patented process, SwampJuice provides a safe alternative to common, chemical-filled bug sprays. SwampJuice is safe for kids and pets. SwampJuice can protect your entire family from mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika virus and encephalitis.

Laboratory tests from Serra Research show that SwampJuice exhibited outstanding repellency. After 45 minutes both LIB and BF reported 100% Repellency. To clarify, LIB stands for mosquitoes that “Land with the Intent to Bite” and BF stands for “Biting and Feeding.” In other words, SwampJuice is highly effective at preventing mosquito bites.

Each small, but concentrated, bottle of SwampJuice has the power to safely and effectively repel insects without harsh chemicals.

  • DEET-free
  • GMO-free
  • Non-irritating

*SwampJuice cannot be sold in Alabama.

Swamp Juice – 2 oz. Bottle $4.98 

Air-Fresh 101

GOT MOLD, MILDEW, ODORS?

When you’re looking for an air freshener that can kill odors at their source, chlorine dioxide gas is a smart choice. While producing chlorine dioxide (ClO2) used to require expensive generators, Eco-Solutions has developed a unique product, AirFresh 101, which can create this chemical quickly and for an affordable price. When the contents of AirFresh 101’s are activated in water, they produce a slow release ClO2 vapor which can produce and release chlorine dioxide for up to 30 days.

Depending on the area size and vapor concentration, this chlorine dioxide air freshener will eliminate odor-causing smoke, hydrogen sulfide, pet odors, and much more.

Best of all, AirRelief is safe to use on nearly all materials, making it an ideal air freshener for many locations, including:

  • RVs
  • Boat cabins
  • Cars
  • Basements
  • Public bathrooms/locker rooms
  • Hotel/home owners and senior living rooms
  • Musky areas
  • And almost any other enclosed space

In addition to AirFresh 101, we also offer Aqua-Tab tablets that can produce ClO2 solutions perfect for eliminating odor on many surfaces or in small-scale water treatment operations. All of these stabilized chlorine dioxide products ship in airtight packets.

Air Fresh 101 – 3 Pack $12.00