Studies show the average office worker in the UK will spend up to 34 hours and 26 minutes a week in their office space. That’s over 1,795 hours a year, and 84,365 hours over a lifetime! When we're spending such a significant chunk of our time in one building, it’s important to make sure it’s a space we can feel healthy and hygienic in. This is where dirty carpets can be a real danger.
A clean carpet in a workplace can go a long way in making an office feel like home. You may have an office cleaner, but do you know when the carpet was last deep cleaned? A clean carpet doesn’t only look good - it’s a necessity for office health and safety.
Regular deep cleans can help you to avoid health issues, or at least lessen the level of irritation they cause.
Often, even if a carpet looks clean to the eye, it can still be harbouring unseen germs that shorten the lifespan of the carpet. Most importantly, a dirty carpet can have some serious implications on your health.
The risk of dirty carpets
The fact that most problems can't be seen is probably a big reason why people will neglect their carpets. While a microscopic allergen or small stain may not seem likely to cause health problems, they certainly can.
In offices, we often share a space with many other people, with shoes constantly coming and going over carpets. This tracks a huge amount of bacteria from outside into the office, and as we step, germs can be lifted up into the air we breathe.
Some common health issues can be significantly worsened, or even caused by, this bacteria in the carpets. This is why, for the sake of communal office safety, carpets should be regularly cleaned.
What kind of problems lurk in carpets?
These are some common health issues that a bad carpet can cause:
Weakening the immune system
Carpets can contain toxins and bacteria, which, if allowed into your body, can weaken your immune system over time.
If your immunity is weakened, you may not be able to fight infections as well, potentially leading to more serious issues. If you’re immunocompromised, a dirty carpet can make you more susceptible to illness. Babies, the elderly and people with conditions such as diabetes are more susceptible to infection from bacteria.
Other than health issues, sometimes you feel off for no reason at all. There is always a reason; however, we may not recognise it right away. It may be related to dirty carpets that haven't been cleaned recently.
The most common health issue is respiratory illness. Carpet fibres can trap a variety of allergens, including dust, dirt, pet hair, and mould. Walking on the carpet will cause these to be thrown into the air, where they can be inhaled.
This is a recipe for respiratory problems and breathing issues. For people with issues such as asthma, a dirty carpet can significantly worsen their symptoms. Some people can experience problems even without a pre-existing condition when there is too much debris.
A carpet that’s not cleaned properly can be dangerous for people with allergies. If you’re allergic to things like pollen, dust, mould, pet fur, or more, unclean carpets can be a nightmare. You risk aggravating symptoms, or even developing new allergies.
Carpets can be the cause of your allergy symptoms even if you aren't aware you have one. When you vacuum, you are disturbing those allergens and releasing them into the air. This can cause a reaction too. You could have an allergy problem if you sneeze after vacuuming, so don’t ignore the signs!
You may not sneeze when you encounter certain allergens, but your skin may be irritated or react when it comes into contact with them. Things like dust mites in carpet can cause everything from rashes to athlete's foot to eczema.
Even just normal household dust or pet dander can cause a reaction for people with sensitive skin. If your skin has come into contact with the carpet while sitting on the floor, you might experience skin irritation. The irritation is likely the result of something inside the carpet.
It’s possible for moulds and spores that grow in carpets to cause an upset stomach in some cases, although this is less common. A food-borne disease, Salmonella, can also develop on the carpet if food is spilled on it. These mycotoxins can cause stomach irritation and even infections.
Once in contact with it, you may contract the disease without realising it.
Is Cleaning a Duty of Care in the Office?
In a working environment, company owners and managers have a duty of care for their employees. Care includes ensuring employees are safe and well, and their health is protected. Adhering to your duty of care is important for growing trust and showing your workers that you’re committed to their safety.
Having a carpet cleaning service come in is one method to ensure that their workplace is maintained and hygienic. It not only gives visual appeal for office users and visitors, but it is also far better for your health.
If you’d like to know more about your Duty of Care and how cleaning can help your workers, you can read our blog here.
Why should you get your office carpets professionally cleaned?
Whilst it’s important to have your carpets regularly cleaned, it is always best to have a professional do the job, rather than trying to do it yourself.
Keeping carpets clean is not as simple as people think. If the carpet gets wet during the cleaning process, this creates ideal damp conditions for mould to grow. So you have to be careful every step of the way!
If you hire a professional carpet cleaner, you won’t have to worry about this. Professional carpet cleaners make sure that stains and allergens are removed, so that your carpets look and smell great. They keep you healthy as well!
If you’re looking to see top notch cleaning results for your office carpets, the best way forward is with regular office carpet cleaning. Deep cleaning should be carried out every 12 to 18 months according to cleaning professionals.
This will have many benefits for your carpet; it will look nice and clean, reduce bacteria and health issues for office users, make the carpet easier to spot clean, and increase the carpet’s lifespan! You can learn more about why carpet cleaning is important for hygiene here. Even the oldest carpets can start looking happy and healthy with the right care!
Remember, your carpet’s results will only be as good as the cleaning company you hire! Before you settle on a cleaning provider, you should carefully consider what you’re looking for. This article can help with the process by providing 10 questions you should ask your carpet cleaning company.
If you need your carpet cleaned or even a quick assessment carried out, call us today to make an appointment. Here at A Cleaning Service, our carpet cleaning services are available for all types of carpets in homes and businesses.