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Home improvement: protecting your family from mites

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ March 17, 2011

If you suffer from asthma and allergies like I do, you know that there can be more trouble in your home than meets the eye. Often you'll complete a thorough cleaning of a new or remodeled home only to burst into a fresh spate of sneezing and watery eyes. For most people, home allergies are sparked by black mold that grows in the basement and interiors. For me, and millions of other sufferers, the real culprits are dust mites.

If you're still hacking and hewing after having a thorough black mold inspection that turned up negative, then it's time to consider bringing in a cleaning service or contractor to perform a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning procedures typically include a thorough scrub with industrial-grade vacuums fitted with HEPA filters. Remember, any effort to improve your living conditions is a valid home improvement project.

Cleaning interiors and protecting against mites

Adult dust mites lay up to 40 eggs each, and the eggs hatch nymphs that feed on bed dust, human dander, fungi, and tiny particles that remain from spills of human or pet food and crumbs. Experts at the Ohio State University blame dust mites for eczema, respiratory ailments and headaches. As much as 90 percent of asthmatic conditions can be attributed to mites. Dust mites are practically invisible to the human eye.

Researchers say a typical human mattress can play host to 10 million mites. That means you'll have to constantly be cleaning-if you are allergic. One way to cut infestations is to replace all down or feather pillows with those filled with synthetic materials. Choose latex mattresses over other materials. Put on a plastic mattress cover made specifically to cut down on allergens and damp brush it daily. Use cotton bedding instead of wool products.

Vacuum frequently with a HEPA vacuum and, if possible, in lieu of carpeting, install wood flooring without any fabric that can host the mites. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you receive a skin or blood test from a physician to detect possible allergy to dust mites.

Even with deep cleaning and a bedroom home improvement project to minimize mites, you may still need to take antihistamines or decongestants. Consider installing a home air purifier. And keep the humidity in your home as low as possible. Pesticides are not a good option-especially in your bedroom.

Remember to clean, clean and clean again. Home allergies are nothing to sneeze at!

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