As the summer comes to a close, so starts the season of indoor allergies. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from indoor allergies caused by dust, dander, mold, and mites. At home, you can control these factors with regular weekend chores. In a large office, it takes more time and energy to keep your indoor space clean and allergen-free.
The symptoms of indoor allergies can be debilitating, especially if you spend every day in an environment infested with allergens. Indoor allergies can cause a whole host of symptoms, from a drippy nose to chills and body aches, lasting more than ten days.
The best way to treat indoor allergy symptoms is to avoid the triggers, including:
- Dust mites
This becomes almost impossible when working in an environment where triggers are always present. An in-depth cleaning is the only way to remove such triggers – and ongoing maintenance is the only way to prevent triggers from returning.
Keep carpets clean
A simple vacuuming job will likely not remove the dust mites in your office carpet. Deep clean office carpets regularly, at least once every quarter.
In other commercial environments, this becomes even more important. In a carpeted restaurant, for example, the dust and dust mites will collect beneath the fibers and feed on specs of food left over once the customers are gone. The same goes for theaters and other event venues. In any place where there is heavy traffic, food, and carpet, it’s essential to invest in very regular deep-down carpet cleaning.
Clean up after construction projects
Dust and debris left over from construction projects have a way of accumulating and lingering long after the projects are completed. It’s essential to have your workplace professionally cleaned after the completion of a renovation and construction project. The dust that lingers in the air and collects on surfaces is a significant cause of indoor allergies.
Clean bathrooms, kitchens, and cafeterias
The bathrooms and cafeteria/dining area are other places that are high risk for allergens like mold, mildew, and dust mites. Hire a professional cleaning company to ensure that every surface is free of dust and mold in bathrooms. Your cleaning company should clean countertops, food preparation surfaces, and also surfaces that become coated in grease throughout the day.
Maintain your HVAC system
It’s easy to instruct employees to dust their own work areas, but we often neglect important areas where dust builds up. Air vents are an example of this. Dust that accumulates in the ventilation system eventually circulates all around the office.
One way that your office can keep dust out of the ventilation system is to change the HVAC filters every three months, or more frequently. Work with your office janitorial staff to ensure this happens.
You can also keep dust out of the ducts by regularly dusting office surfaces. Do this approximately every two weeks. By removing dust from surfaces, you prevent that dust from re-circulating and entering the ducts.
One more way to keep dust out of the HVAC system: clean all ducts periodically. Hire a company that cleans ducts as needed. If you’re unsure whether your ducts need to be cleaned, remove the cover from a vent and peer inside. If you see a thick layer of dust inside the air duct, then a cleaning is warranted.
Engage in regular pest control
Did you realize that pest dander and their droppings are also another major cause of indoor allergy symptoms? Cockroaches specifically leave harmful droppings that can cause symptoms similar to asthma, but many other pests spread illness with their feces and urine.
Exterminating pests of all kinds is necessary to keep everyone in your office in the best of health. In addition to the initial extermination, general cleaning can ensure they have no reason to return.
Also, be sure that you have all of your bases covered by planning a regular trash removal schedule. Office trash can attract pests, so it’s essential to get rid of the trash throughout the week.