The Health Risks of Having Dirty Carpets

Dirty pet on the carpet

Carpets are a great choice for homeowners who are looking for a comfortable flooring option. They provide thermal insulation, feel warm and cozy to the feet, and cushion falls and impacts on the floor. But these benefits can be quickly thrown out the window if you fail to clea n your carpets. Dirty carpets are an imminent health hazard. It traps dirt, collects bacteria, and is a potential breeding ground for mould and mildew if it suffers from water damage.

The last thing you want it to put your family at risk of flu, allergies, and a whole host of other health problems. Here are a number of health issues that can arise from having dirty, unhygienic carpets.

Respiratory problems

Dust, pet hair, dead skin cells, and mould are all contaminants that can potentially get trapped in your carpet. These tiny particles accumulate over time and can be inhaled by you or your family members. Walking on the carpet is enough to agitate the carpet and free these particles up in the air. If inhaled, it can cause respiratory issues for people who suffer from asthma. Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is a real possibility and may worsen if the individual continues to inhale such particles.

Allergic reactions

In the same breath, dirty carpets can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. Carpets are virtually a magnet for allergens like mould spores and dust mites, causing problems like coughing, sneezing, teary eyes, and in some cases, hay fever. Some people may even experience skin allergies like itching, redness, and irritation due to mould and ragweed. 

If you notice any allergy-like symptoms on a day-to-day basis, it’s likely that your carpet is one of the main culprits. Leaving a dirty carpet untreated can flare up the symptoms even more and contribute to serious health risks.

Compromised immune system

Your body works hard to fight off diseases and keep you healthy. But if your carpet is a dirty mess, then you’re not really doing yourself any favors. When you live in an unclean environment, your body’s working overtime to ward off bacteria and toxins. Eventually, your immune system will get tired and this will expose you to flu-like symptoms and other health risks.

Newborn babies have underdeveloped immune systems and the frequent exposure to dust, dirt, and bacteria can make them sick faster than adults. Keeping the kids healthy is just as important as cleaning your carpets so don’t risk their health by neglecting your textile floors


Keeping your carpets clean is crucial for disease prevention. This becomes increasingly important if you have pets around the house, as their urine and feces can spread germs quickly than you may realize. Pet waste can be potentially dangerous for kids, causing both nose and lung irritation. Not only that, but the dampness from pet urine can also encourage mould growth and trigger severe allergic reactions.

Cats and dogs that like to be outside can transfer bacteria and other microorganisms outdoors and into your carpet. Ticks and fleas can find their way inside, bite you, and transmit diseases like plague and typhus. Regular vacuuming alone won’t kill bacteria and dust mites, which is why you should have your carpets steam cleaned at least every 6 months.

Stomach illness

A wet carpet is a dangerous carpet, particularly one that hasn’t been dried properly. Aside from the presence of mould, mycotoxins produced by fungus can cause severe stomach illness and infection. You are likely to inhale mycotoxins on damp basement carpets, which are oftentimes left untreated. The best way to address this is to dispose or eliminate water-damaged carpets before they transform into a swamp-infested mould kingdom.

Mental stress

The detrimental effects of dirty carpets go beyond physical health risks as you can potentially experience mental stress as well. Unclean, unhygienic carpets decrease the comfortability of your home and deteriorate your daily living experience. Add in the stress from dealing with allergic symptoms on a day-to-day basis and you may find yourself mentally exhausted. The good news is that you can prevent all of these health risks by maintaining your carpet on a regular basis.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to proper carpet cleaning and maintenance. Make it a habit to vacuum your carpets at least twice a week and address any pet stains as soon as possible. We recommend contacting a professional carpet cleaner to give your textile floors a deep clean at least every 3-6 months. Carpet cleaning methods like steam cleaning and hot water extraction will both clean and sanitize your floors, thus eliminating any potential health risks.