Do wood floors prevent asthma?

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 3:13am
Ethan Mom's picture
Joined: 03/27/2006 - 09:00

We have 10-yr old carpets in our house that have seen better days. Also, we had 2 cats before we found out our son was allergic to them. DS is 3 yrs old, has very severe PA and cat allergy, eczema, and reactive airway (not yet diagnosed with asthma, but has had several episodes of wheezing where we needed to nebulize him -- once so bad, we went to the ER at 4 a.m.).

My questions are:

1) Would ripping out the carpet and putting wood floors in help PREVENT the onset of asthma in the future? Or, if not preventable, would it make eventual asthma less severe?

2) Would laminate wood flooring be ok for him, or bc it is synthetic, would laminates contain things that may be problematic?

3) Re painting the house, it it recommended to use low-fume paints (forget the real name), or is regular paint fine if well-ventilated?

The cost to do the whole house in wood would be significant ($20k +), but I want to do what I can to protect his health, regardless. However, just got laid-off so funds are tight right now and am trying to balance cost and benefits....

Thanks for any input or suggestions!

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 3:34am
hopechapel's picture
Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

My Dr. told me that he did not care what it cost --- the carpets had to go.
We put down a laminate because we could not afford wood either. I think it is better -- just not optimal but we cannot all have perfect houses environmentally.
Going with a low-voc paint should not cost that much more.
As much chemical exposure you can save yourself, the better. You cannot take it all on at once ---- start by getting the carpests out.

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 3:35am
TarynsDad's picture
Joined: 02/14/2006 - 09:00

I am actually about to tear the carpet out of my house and lay a laminate floor. I'm no expert, but I think laminate is very safe. Plus, its a lot more cost efficient compared to real hard wood.
My daughter is PA and has Asthma and the carper in our house is awful. I can just imagine how many allergens live in my carpet. Especially with two dogs. My daughters allergist thinks it will make a big difference in the health of all my family.....fortunately we only have 600 square feet of carpet in the house, so it wont be too much money.

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 3:38am
momto1son's picture
Joined: 02/27/2006 - 09:00

The allergist said the best thing we could do for DS who is PA/TNA, dog allergy, Asthma is to get the carpet out of his room and the rest of the house if possible.
We have removed it in his room and layed hard wood flooring, also removed all stuffed animals, curtains in his room.

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 3:48am
sebastian's picture
Joined: 05/26/2003 - 09:00

When we bought the house we are in now we ripped out all of the carpets and put in laminate. It is much easier to keep clean and does cut down on dust and other allergens like cat hair.You would not beleive the stuff that comes off the floor...and to think it used to sit in my carpets!!
Laminate I think is the way to go esp with kids because it is more durable than wood. Wood gets dinged and scratched up more easily.

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:20am
fos4snt's picture
Joined: 09/20/2005 - 09:00

Yep. Docs said to get rid of carpet. I did, in two different houses now. Did it MYSELF, too. Lemme tell you, the nastiness that is harbored in and under carpeting is so disgusting, I cannot for a millionth of a second fathom why ANYONE would ever lay that stuff in their house. *shudders*
Doing it myself (I'm an Office Manager, not a construction worker, thank you) was so easy its not even funny. I did a 25 x 25 room for $1,500 with a good mid-grade laminate "floating" floor. Click together. That included the Quiet Walk underlayer. It took 2 days to lay a room that big. It took 3 to get the carpet fiasco up (MOST carpet is a breeze... rip with a box cutter, roll up, throw out then use a wonderbar to pry up the carpet tacks!) but ours was carpet laid over carpet which was GLUED to the subfloor. Insanity. But this is a very, very old house and everything was done so bassackwards its not even funny.
Anyway, I'm just tellin' ya that it doesn't need to be a 20k drop in cold hard cash. If you're courageous, you will find it's really simple to do and quiet the experience anyway.
Good luck gettin' that stuff out of there. You can check out for GREAT prices on floating floors and even real hardwoods. Maybe even just find some young handyman around town who's willing to lay it for you for a lot less than some contractor.

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:13am
Gwen 5's picture
Joined: 01/24/2003 - 09:00

Yep- We did it too! When dd was diagnosed with Asthma- first thing he did was tell us to get rid of the carpets-
We had real wood under the carpet in all but 3 rooms, so now our whole house is hard wood floor and we could not be happier!
I don't know if it prevents Asthma- but is much easier to keep clean and dust free!

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:34am
charlottesmom's picture
Joined: 06/28/2005 - 09:00

At this very moment, a friend of ours is laying down a pre-varnished hardwood floor in the main living area of our home. We think this will be much healthier for our PA DD who has had some asthmatic symptoms this year (she is still on Flovent 2 times a day until the end of March).
Will do the second floor at the end of the year.

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:11am
Wildone1's picture
Joined: 02/28/2006 - 09:00

Funny, we just priced out hardwoods for our main living area. If you can do it yourself or have a relative/friend, it is absolutely worth it. My son's asthma was the result of a URI this winter and he has not exhibited any other signs as we have managed it with the correct action plan since.
We have the UV light and air purifier on the furnace, as well as an air purifier in the main area. His room also has an air purifier, and we are leaving the carpet for now. We keep the dog on the main level and we vaccum a couple times a week. He has one stuffed animal and his mattress is covered by plastic.
I suppose if he has more trouble with asthma next winter I will consider taking out the rest of the carpet.

Posted on: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 1:11pm
Lori Jo's picture
Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

I agree with you. The amount of **** that I vacuum up EVERY 3 DAYS off our laminate floor and tile is amazing. And to think it used to just sit in the carpet.
We moved into this house 3 years ago. It is tiled over half of it, laminate in another 1/4 and carpet just in the bedrooms. I didn't like it at first. Now I'd go tile or laminate everywhere if I could. We don't have asthma here, but I'm a clean freak, and hard surfaces are just so, so much easier to keep truly clean. I'm sure by getting all of those allergens off of the floor, your ds would do much better.
Edited to add:
We laid some of the laminate ourselves. It is not very hard. You can even do 95% of it, then have someone come in and do the tough corners, thresholds, etc.
One thing I do not like about our laminate is that it is very slick when wet or with socks on. More so than the tile we have.
Cost wise, you could also consider linoleum tile. My sister did that in their house themselves. It was not expensive, looked nice, and was easy to install.
Lori Jo,
Rose, 7-31-02, PA
Beatrice & Georgia, 8-14-99
[This message has been edited by Lori Jo (edited March 28, 2006).]

Posted on: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 2:18pm
mamakat21894's picture
Joined: 10/23/2004 - 09:00

my ds who will be 4 this may also has severe pa as well as asthma. When he was 5 months old we moved into our house that was just built. two days later he ended up in the hospital with phnomina (please forgive my spelling). he was in the hospital for about week. when he came home he still had so much weezing and a very stuffy nose. All the carpets were new, everything was new. the respitory problems continued. about two months later my dog had passed away. she had distroyed the rug in his room as well as mine. we couldn't clean it, so we tore it out and unserneath it was black mold. at that time we tore out all the rugs had the mold remedation done and layed down tile through out my whole house, the change in my son was amazing. If my dog had not passed we would never had known what was under the rug. the mold was in three out of four bedrooms. just imagin what is under the rug or even in it. we als changed the filtration in our house fo the a/c and heat. that helped too. the paint thing can be scary too. the fumes are bad, maybe you could borrow an air filter of some fans to help cut down on the fumes. good luck with the flooring, watch for sales.
ds 4 in may pa tn asthma latex celiac red dye



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