As the summer winds down, it’s time to prepare for allergy season. Go ahead and stock up on tissues and tea, but we suggest also evaluating your floors. Did you know that certain types of flooring are actually worse for those who suffer from allergies and asthma?

When it comes to preventing asthma and allergies, the smoother flooring surface the better. Dents, divots, and other texture can harbor dirt, mold spores, and other allergens and be difficult to clean completely.

Related: How Often Should I Get My Carpets Cleaned?

Hardwood floors

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, hardwood floors are the ideal flooring type for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Their smooth surface doesn’t trap dust, mold, or other allergens the way rougher textures do. It’s also a durable material — if maintained properly, wood floors can last for more than a hundred years.

Cork flooring

For a modern take on wood flooring, opt for cork floors instead. They’re a natural insulator and uniquely cushiony, but they pack an extra benefit for those who suffer from asthma and allergies — cork has naturally occurring antimicrobial properties that fight mold, mildew and other fungi. And because it is such a dense material, it won’t shed microscopic particles into the air you breathe.

Polished stone

Smooth granite or marble floors are an attractive option that are also easy on the allergies. The polished surface prevents the growth of allergens and is easy to disinfect. However, this benefit really only applies to polished stone. Natural-look rock flooring with rough surfaces will be harder to clean, thus encouraging the growth of bacteria and spores. Any stone flooring should also be sealed to protect the floors and prevent growth of microorganisms.

Ceramic Tile

Tile is a fairly popular choice for flooring materials, but it may not be the best option when it comes to preventing asthma and allergies. Many tile patterns contain small dimples in the surface that trap dust and bacteria even when it looks clean. The rough texture of the grout doesn’t help either.

Vinyl Flooring

The chemicals that go into making vinyl flooring can be harmful, especially for those suffering from asthma or allergies. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the main ingredient in vinyl flooring, will emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when the flooring is new. These can exacerbate allergies or respiratory issues, especially in infants and children, and can cause irritation in the eyes, nose and throat.

Carpet

The general consensus is that carpeting is the not the best flooring choice if you suffer from asthma or allergies. Carpets tend to trap dust and skin cells in their fibers. It is very important to routinely get your carpets cleaned if you have carpet and suffer from allergies. Dr. Chem-Dry can remove 98% of allergens from carpets. This will help to improve your quality of living.

Related: How Dirty Carpets Can Affect Your Health

No matter what type of flooring you choose, it is important to clean it regularly and thoroughly to prevent the buildup of allergens. A professional cleaning service like Dr. Chem-Dry can help you get your floors squeaky-clean to keep you healthier longer. To hear about our many floor cleaning services, give us a call at 602-243-6379.