I am a hardwood floor refinishing specialist, and I understand the significant impact that well-maintained hardwood floors can have on the indoor air quality of a home. Hardwood floor refinishing is not only about restoring the beauty of your floors but also about reducing allergens and promoting a healthier living environment. In this article, we’ll explore how hardwood floor refinishing can be a valuable tool for allergen reduction and provide you with insights into other ways to make your home allergen-free.
Hardwood floor refinishing isn’t just about restoring the beauty of your floors; it’s a game-changer when it comes to reducing indoor allergens. Let’s dive into the real-world impact of refinishing your hardwood floors and back it up with concrete data.
According to a study by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, carpets can accumulate up to 100 times more allergens than hardwood floors. By replacing carpets with hardwood floors and refinishing them, homeowners can expect a significant reduction in allergen levels in their homes. I personally had multiple allergies in the past to dust and things that grow in it. That is why I always use the mask when removing old carpets. You can only imagine what lives in the carpet, because even if you thoroughly clean it, a lot of what you can’t remove, gets underneath the carpet to the sponge and just stays there. That is why removing even a quite clean-looking carpet there is a lot of dust that is exposed after removing it.
During the refinishing process, professional experts employ dust containment systems that can capture up to 90% of allergenic particles generated during sanding. This means that refinishing not only restores your floors but also actively reduces allergen levels in your home. Lots of residue accumulates on the surface in the finish itself till the point that you can practically smell it while sanding the hardwood floor. Imagine you spilled something on the carpet and tried to wipe it dry with a cloth, thinking it’s solved the problem because the carpet seems now dry when you touch it with your hand. However, the water goes through the underneath, gets soaked into the sponge and the plywood that’s below, and creates the environment for allergens to grow.
Research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that hardwood floors are easier to clean and maintain than carpets. This ease of cleaning can result in up to 50% less time spent on allergen removal compared to carpeted surfaces. Many people who are pro carpets at first don’t like the change from carpet to hardwood floor, as all the dust and dirt is showing more readily on the hardwood. This means that to maintain good visual effects, they have to swipe and clean the floor more often. This is just a visual representation of how much dirt collects in the carpet, as it is still there you just don’t see it that easily.
The choice of finish matters. Water-based finishes, often recommended by experts during refinishing, can reduce airborne allergens significantly compared to oil-based finishes, as demonstrated in studies by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. I can agree with this fact, however, if you keep up with the cleaning routine it is not a significant factor. Oil-based finish is in fact more sticky and I can agree that more allergens can accumulate and are harder to wipe off.
A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that homes with hardwood floors had up to 30% lower indoor air allergen levels than homes with carpets. Refinishing can further enhance this advantage, contributing to better indoor air quality. Carpets act as a magnet for allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and even mold spores. These allergens can settle deep within the carpet fibers and become difficult to remove, even with regular vacuuming. It traps allergens allowing them to suspend in the air when disturbed. This can result in continuous allergen exposure. Also, the carpets contain adhesives, padding, and dyes that emit volatile organic compounds into the air, which contributes to indoor air pollution and triggers allergy symptoms.
Homeowners report spending up to 40% less on cleaning supplies and professional cleaning services after switching to hardwood floors. This not only saves money but also reduces the use of chemicals that can exacerbate allergies. However, a hardwood floor will have to be swiped/vacuumed and cleaned more often than a carpet as the dirt will be more visible than on the carpet.
Regular Cleaning: Maintain a regular cleaning routine to remove hair and debris. Use friendly hardwood floor cleaners like EcoMe floor cleaner, Bean & Lily floor cleaner, Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar floor cleaner, Puracy natural carpet and upholstery shampoo, Better Life Naturally Dirt-Distroying Floor Cleaner, etc. More about maintaining refinished floors – click here.
Homes with hardwood floors tend to have a higher resale value, with an average increase of 2.5% according to a survey by the National Wood Flooring Association. Additionally, hardwood floors are a sustainable and eco-friendly choice, aligning with modern environmental concerns. It is a great investment for the future.
Carpets can pose several challenges for individuals with allergies. They can trap and accumulate allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen deep within their fibers, making thorough cleaning difficult. Moreover, the tight weave of carpet fibers can harbor these allergens, making them hard to remove, even with regular vacuuming. This can result in a continuous cycle of allergen exposure for allergy-prone individuals.
In conclusion, the benefits of hardwood floor refinishing in reducing allergens are not just theoretical; they are backed by substantial data. By opting for hardwood floor refinishing, homeowners can experience a tangible improvement in indoor air quality, spend less time and money on cleaning, and enjoy the aesthetic appeal and eco-friendliness of hardwood floors. So, if you’re looking to breathe easier and live in a healthier environment, consider hardwood floor refinishing as a practical solution, especially when compared to the allergen challenges posed by carpets.