I’m a huge animal lover. My dog, Gus, thinks he’s a human and that’s probably because I treat him like one. Yes, I will admit, I’m one of those people. He sleeps in my bed with me and claims a spot on the couch whenever I’m watching TV. This doesn’t create a problem for me (although I do clean and sweep constantly). It does, however, create a problem for my visitors with allergies.
I usually send Gus to my neighbor’s home for the weekend when my allergy-addled friends visit. This way, my vigorous cleaning spree can have at least some impact. Unfortunately, though, it’s never enough. My friends still find themselves stuffed up with red eyes.
This got me thinking, do people suffer from pet allergies if they move into a home that once housed a furry friend? The answer is a resounding, “yes!”
Did you know that it can take up to six months for pet dander to leave all surfaces?
Before anybody freaks out about their new home, owned or rented, not being clean enough it’s important to know that cleanliness doesn’t solve the allergy problem altogether. The issue is that pet dander is difficult to remove from carpets, wallpaper and furniture (if renting a furnished apartment). It can also linger in the air. So, if you find yourself in a new home without pets, but you are suffering from those allergies, here are a few things you can do:
Buy an air purifier: It is unlikely that pet dander will still be lingering in the air by the time you move in, but moving furniture around and unpacking may stir any remaining dander in the carpets. An air purifier can do wonders for clearing it out.
Clean the carpets: The carpets in a home should be steam cleaned and/or shampooed before you moved in. But, if you are experiencing an issue with your allergies, it probably didn’t happen. Arrange for carpet cleaning. Unfortunately, if you are still experiencing problems, you may need to replace the carpet.
Clean the upholstery: Obviously, if you are moving in your own furniture, this isn’t a necessary step. But, if you are renting a furnished apartment, this is important. Dander can settle into carpets, couches and curtains. Luckily there are products you can purchase that make this process much simpler. You can use the same products used to terminate dust mites. These items contain ingredients that can break down dust and its contents, including pet dander. There are tons of eco-friendly products that do the same work if you are worried about harsh ingredients.
Don’t dry dust: When you’re cleaning surfaces around the house, as most people do after they move in anyway, use a damp cloth instead of dry dusting. This will help to avoid stirring up dust and dander in your cleaning process.
Moving into a new home can be stressful enough without having to worry about your allergies kicking in while you’re trying to get settled. If you notice a problem, or even if you know beforehand that the previous owners had pets, arm yourself with the necessary tools to clear out any remaining allergens. If you are in a good negotiating position, you may even be able to get some of this taken care of ahead of time.