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Does wood floors help with allergies?


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#1 StacyWithFourRugrats

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 11:35 PM

I have always heard wood floors help with allergies (as opposed to carpet since the carpet traps in the pollen and other allergens). Has anyone with bad seasonal allergies noticed a difference when they replaced their carpet with hardwoods?

We suffer horribly from seasonal allergies. This past week has been miserable for us. We have hardwoods downstairs with the exception of our bedroom (master is downstairs). The stairs and the upstairs is all carpet. If hardwoods *really* help with allergies, I would seriously consider getting them sooner than later throughout the house.

Thanks!

#2 dangermom

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 11:40 PM

Well, my good friend with severe allergies is moving into a new place, and takes it seriously enough that they're replacing everything with wood laminate instead of carpet. I've always heard that it does help a lot, but haven't much personal experience.

#3 JWSJ

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:01 AM

Our upstairs is carpetted. The downstairs is hardwood.

With my mild allergies, I can tell the difference.

#4 JenniferVA

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:04 AM

My dh and 8yo have environmental allergies. Specifically my 8yo has allergies to tree pollens and dust mites. After a few convos with our family allergist we plunked the money down and removed the carpeting in our family room and the 8yo's bedroom. We have noticed a change already for the better in him since we took the carpet out. We also took the carpet out of the schoolroom last weekend to improve his daily environment even more. He has had less sinus problems and has lost the cough I normally see when things start to bloom. He's even noticed that he is "sick" less often. We're almost a carpet free house now...only 3 bedrooms to go! That being said, we do plan to keep the two area rugs in the living and family rooms; but, I'll never put even one little throw rug in the 8yo's bedroom because the less of that stuff the better for his health.

#5 girligirlmom

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:28 AM

The least expensive solution is to wrap the mattress and pillows in allergy safe covers. That's what we did and it helped a lot. We never did the box spring but that would be next.

We then started homeopathy which has eliminated the need for any OTC or prescription meds in my children or me. No more Zyrtec, Advair, Albuterol, Rhinocort, Allegra, Intal, or Flonase. It been almost two years and wow what a difference.

We still take chronic remedies but less often now. Last year the need for the remedies increased during the first week of May but no one needed an inhaler or and ER visit nor a nebulizer!

I wish we had gotten hardwood floors since I still want them, but we no longer need them for allergy reasons.

#6 Amy in Orlando

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:36 AM

We all have allergies here, two of my sons have HUGE allergies. Taking up all the carpet, getting rid of the drapes and losing all the upholstered furniture (in addition to the mattress and pillow covers) changed our lives dramatically. We didn't do it all at once, but now that we've done it, our lives are so much better. Still allergy-filled, but nothing like before.

#7 Rachel

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 01:09 AM

we ripped up every last bit of carpet and put in laminate flooring and the change was almost overnight. We do the mattress covers as well and replacing our couches with leather...........

#8 abbeyej

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:18 AM

...That being said, we do plan to keep the two area rugs in the living and family rooms...


There's a pretty huge difference between area rugs and carpets. Stuff gets trapped under carpets forever (have you ever seen carpet ripped up? even from a well maintained home? shudder!), but area rugs can be rolled up and vacuumed both underneath and the backside can be vacuumed. While it's still not as good as completely removing the rug (in allergy terms), it's far, far better than a carpet that can never be truly cleaned.

#9 Pajama Mama

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 07:17 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our upstairs is carpetted. The downstairs is hardwood.

With my mild allergies, I can tell the difference.


This has been my experience as well. I have allergies and asthma. With meds for allergies and asthma, I barely notice a problem while downstairs. When I go up to bed as night, I notice the difference. Heavy draperies can hold allergens, too.

#10 Karenciavo

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 07:26 AM

Stuff gets trapped under carpets forever (have you ever seen carpet ripped up? even from a well maintained home? shudder!), but area rugs can be rolled up and vacuumed both underneath and the backside can be vacuumed. While it's still not as good as completely removing the rug (in allergy terms), it's far, far better than a carpet that can never be truly cleaned.


Posted Image Especially when it's someone else's.

We ripped up all the carpets in our new to us home, thankfully we had hardwood underneath. It makes a difference.

#11 CookieMonster

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 07:54 AM

However, and I have to say this, it only makes a difference if you actually clean them regularly. Dirty, dusty hardwood floors throw allergens (and other particles) up into the air very easily when you walk across them. My favorite day of the week is when I mop the floors upstairs. I can feel the difference up there as I walk across the floor.

I do not mean to imply that you would not keep house. I just know from personal experience that the wood floors themselves are only half the battle. :o

#12 StacyWithFourRugrats

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:17 AM

The least expensive solution is to wrap the mattress and pillows in allergy safe covers. That's what we did and it helped a lot. We never did the box spring but that would be next.

We then started homeopathy which has eliminated the need for any OTC or prescription meds in my children or me. No more Zyrtec, Advair, Albuterol, Rhinocort, Allegra, Intal, or Flonase. It been almost two years and wow what a difference.

We still take chronic remedies but less often now. Last year the need for the remedies increased during the first week of May but no one needed an inhaler or and ER visit nor a nebulizer!

I wish we had gotten hardwood floors since I still want them, but we no longer need them for allergy reasons.


Actually, we do have the mattress and pillow in my ds's room covered zipped up in the allergy protectors (mine however is not, which might be a good idea). He still has awful allergies and allergy induced asthma (which luckily has yet to rear his head this year...as for me....blah). My eldest ds, 5 yo, has been showing signs the last few years of developing seasonal allergies and this past week her "drainage" was so bad her upper lip turned red and raw in a day. We have her on otc claritin and it is helping her. I am on generic allegra (I really should be on singular for my asthma too), my eldest ds is on singular and my dh is on flonase and otc stuff (the allegra-d was causing high blood pressure).

The cost of medicine is alone a good reason to get hardwoods if they really help.

#13 StacyWithFourRugrats

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:22 AM

I do not have my mattress covered, I have 4 sets of heavy drapes and the carpet in our house is a shag/berber mix (NOT my choice but came with the house). Maybe I need to do some redecorating huh?

Besides the cost of adding a good 1000 or so square feet of hardwoods (in addition to the stairs), our biggest problem would be matching it to the pine hardwood that is already there. I have no problem with the snap-in type of hardwoods (cheaper and you can diy). However, the hardwoods already in my house are not that type. I could just rip it all up huh??? :lol: Don't think we have that kind of money sadly.

#14 Whisperlily

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 10:32 AM

I have 2 children with asthma/allergies and one with serious seasonal allergies. In December we moved into a house with only tile/hardwood floors. My DD has not had an asthma attack since we moved in, and my DS has not needed his allergy medicine.

It's actually quite strange, because we moved to an area with a higher pollen count, and more allergens in the air. I can't say that it's the floors alone, because obviously they should be sneezing/wheezing outdoors, but it's not bad at all. Central air, clean filters, and the hard floors must be helping. Especially at night, since that's when a lot of their problems would flare up.

#15 abbeyej

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:52 PM

I do not have my mattress covered, I have 4 sets of heavy drapes and the carpet in our house is a shag/berber mix (NOT my choice but came with the house). Maybe I need to do some redecorating huh?


Well, covering the pillows and mattresses with allergy-proof covers and simply removing the drapes are both much less expensive changes you can make that will still make a big difference. I would start with those, since they're quick, easy and (relatively) inexpensive.

As for living with the carpets, you can buy products like "X-Mite" that you sprinkle on the carpet (works on upholstery too), leave for a few hours, then vacuum up. It kills dust mites and reduces allergens.

Vacuuming daily (if you have allergies, try wearing a painter's mask) and using X-mite once a week will help, even while you have carpets. (It's also recommended that people who are allergic stay out of the carpeted rooms for a couple of hours after vacuuming -- that's not always possible, but one can try.)

I truly loathe carpets, but sometimes you're just stuck with 'em. ;) Go ahead and make the other, less expensive, easier changes first though. They may not be as exciting, lol, but they can make a difference in quality of life.

#16 unsinkable

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 01:08 PM

Another thing to consider:

If you have forced air heating, get the ducts cleaned. It makes a huge difference.

I hate carpets... we don't have 'em. Not a one! Floors are so easy to care for compared to carpets.


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