Attic Cleaning and Allergies

Attic Cleaning and Allergies: How to Minimize Dust & Pollen

For many people, cleaning the attic space is a daunting task that is often put off until absolutely necessary. But, neglecting to clean your dirty attic can lead to a buildup of pollen, dust, and other allergens that can cause health problems, especially for those with allergies and respiratory issues.  The attic cleaning process may not be a fun job, but it’s something that needs time and attention to improve indoor air quality of the attic and the living spaces below.

General Attic Maintenance & Attic Cleanup

Inspect Your Attic Regularly

It’s important to inspect your attic regularly for signs of damage or infestation. Check for water stains, holes or cracks in the roof, walls, attic doors, and ceiling. Look for signs of animal activity, such as droppings or chewed insulation which can be a sure sign of pest infestation, making it necessary for a thorough cleaning and rodent proofing, which may require more intensive cleaning services.

Remove Debris and Clutter

Avoid storing unnecessary items in the attic, as they can attract pests, attic dust, and make it difficult to access important areas for maintenance. If you must store items in the attic, keep them in sealed plastic containers.

Seal Any Air Leaks

Air leaks in your attic can allow dust and pollen to enter your home, even after you have cleaned. To minimize your exposure to allergens, it’s important to seal any air leaks in your attic. This can be done with weather stripping or by using foam sealant to fill in gaps and cracks in window frames and joists.

Install Air Filters

Installing air filters in your home can help to capture attic dust and pollen before they have a chance to circulate throughout your home. Consider installing a HEPA filter in your heating and cooling system or using a portable air purifier in your attic as well as other areas of your home. This will help with any attic cleaning allergies you might have.

Keep the Attic Well-Ventilated

Proper ventilation is crucial to maintaining good air quality in the attic. Make sure there are vents installed to allow fresh air to flow into the attic and exhaust vents to allow hot air to escape. Good ventilation also helps to prevent the buildup of moisture, which can cause mold and mildew growth.

Preparing to Clean the Attic

Wear Protective Gear

Before you start cleaning your attic, make sure you are wearing the appropriate protective gear. This includes gloves, a dust mask or respirator, and protective eyewear. These items will help to prevent you from inhaling dust and pollen and protect your eyes from any debris. When you really don’t know what to expect in the attic, you want to protect yourself against an allergy attack.

It is also important to be careful when cleaning the attic if you have insulation present. Many types of attic insulation, such as fiberglass or mineral wool, can release small fibers or particles into the air when disturbed, which can be hazardous if inhaled. Wearing protective gear will help shield you from both allergens and particulates from the attic insulation, as well.

Use a HEPA Vacuum

A standard vacuum cleaner may not be enough to effectively remove dust and pollen from your attic. Instead, consider using a HEPA vacuum which is designed to trap even the smallest particles. This will help to ensure that you are not spreading allergens around your home as you clean.

Prepare your vacuum: Make sure that your vacuum is assembled and that the filter is properly installed. Also, ensure that the dustbin or bag is empty and that the attachments you need are easily accessible.

Prepare the room: Before you start vacuuming, remove any large debris or objects from the floor. This will prevent the vacuum from becoming clogged and ensure that it can effectively capture small particles.

Start vacuuming: Turn on the vacuum and begin vacuuming the room, starting from the farthest corner and working your way towards the attic doors. Use a slow, steady motion to allow the vacuum to pick up as much dirt and dust as possible.

Pay attention to corners and edges: Be sure to pay special attention to corners, edges, and other hard-to-reach areas, as these are often where dust and allergens accumulate.

Empty the dustbin or replace the bag: Once you have finished vacuuming, empty the dustbin or replace the bag. This will prevent any trapped dust and allergens from being released back into the air.

Clean the filter: Clean the HEPA filter by removing it from the vacuum and gently tapping it to dislodge any trapped particles. You can also wash some HEPA filters with water, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

Consider a Professional Cleaning

If you have a severe allergy to dust mites and pollen, or if you’re not able to clean your attic on your own, consider hiring a professional cleaning service such as the experts at Attic Construction. Our professionals have the expertise, equipment, and cleaning supplies necessary to thoroughly clean your attic and minimize your exposure to allergens.

Can Dust in Your Attic Make You Sick?

Yes, dust in the attic can potentially make you sick. Attics are often neglected spaces, and over time, dust can accumulate on surfaces and in the air. This dust can contain a variety of particles including pollen, mold spores, and other allergens, as well as dust mites and their feces. When you breathe in these particles, they can irritate your respiratory system and cause symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. In some cases, exposure to dust in the attic can also trigger asthma attacks or cause more serious respiratory problems.

In addition to respiratory issues, exposure to certain types of dust in the attic can also cause skin irritation or rashes, especially if you are sensitive to specific types of fibers or chemicals. For example, insulation made from fiberglass or mineral wool can be particularly irritating to the skin and lungs if it is disturbed and the particles become airborne.

What are the Symptoms of a Dust Mites Allergy?

The symptoms of a dust mite allergy can vary from person to person, but they typically include respiratory and allergic reactions. Here are some common symptoms of a dust mite allergy:

Sneezing: Dust mites can irritate the nasal passages, causing frequent sneezing.

Runny or stuffy nose: Dust mites can also cause nasal congestion or a runny nose.

Itchy, watery eyes: Exposure to dust mites can trigger an allergic reaction in the eyes, causing itching and watering.

Postnasal drip: When mucus from the nose and sinuses drips down the back of the throat, it can cause a sore throat, coughing, and a feeling of needing to clear the throat.

Cough: Dust mites can also cause coughing, especially when you are exposed to a lot of dust.

Shortness of breath: For some people, exposure to dust mites can cause difficulty breathing, especially if they already have an underlying respiratory condition such as asthma.

Skin irritation: Some people may experience skin irritation or rash due to exposure to dust mites, especially if they have sensitive skin.

Can Air Purifiers Help with a Dust Allergy?

Yes, air purifiers can help with a dust allergy by reducing the amount of dust particles in the air. Dust allergies are caused by a reaction to the proteins found in dust mite feces, as well as to other particles such as pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. When you inhale these particles, your immune system can overreact and trigger allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and congestion.

Air purifiers work by pulling air through a filter that traps particles, including those that can trigger allergies. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are especially effective at capturing small particles such as dust mites, pollen, and mold spores, which can be difficult to remove from the air using other methods.

Using an air purifier in the attic in combination with other measures such as regular cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming can help reduce your exposure to dust particles and alleviate allergy symptoms. It is important to choose an air purifier that is appropriate for the size of the attic, and to regularly change the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Can Cleaning the House Cause Allergies?

Cleaning the house can potentially cause allergies, especially if you are allergic to certain cleaning supplies or dust and other allergens that are disturbed during the cleaning process.

Exposure to cleaning products: Many household cleaners contain chemicals that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and can also trigger allergic reactions in some people. Common cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia, and aerosol sprays can be particularly irritating or allergenic.

Dust and other allergens: When you clean your home or attic, you can stir up dust and other allergens that have settled on surfaces and in carpets and upholstery. This can cause these particles to become airborne and trigger allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.

Mold and mildew: When cleaning bathrooms or other areas that are prone to moisture, you may disturb mildew and mold spores, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.

If you have concerns about the quality of air in your attic or the potential health risks of cleaning the attic space, you may want to consult with the professionals at Attic Construction who specialize in attic cleaning and allergen removal. We are dedicated to superior customer service and have been providing families in the American Southwest with highly-experienced, professional attic cleaning services since 2011.

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Written By Joseph Sheiner

Joseph Sheiner is a construction industry professional with over 15 years of experience. He began his career in the insulation industry in 2012, and co-founded Attic Construction Inc in 2013. As CEO of the company, Joe oversees all operations and is in charge of training and product knowledge.

Under Joe’s leadership, Attic Construction has become the largest leading Attic Restoration Company in San Diego, Orange County and Phoenix. He has personally performed and supervised insulation work in over 7000 homes. He is certified by Owens Corning as a CEE (Certified Energy Expert) and is a licensed contractor by the CSLB.
Most recently, Joe has helped expand Attic Construction to two additional locations – Orange County and Phoenix. He is currently working on expanding to additional locations in the near future.

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Great work! Our attic went from totally disgusting to pristine.  They are courteous and professional and clean up after themselves.

-Karen L. Santee, CA

Andrew was very informative and helpful during the whole process. Excellent communication and his team did a great job. He came on Sunday and the work was done and completed by Tuesday. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fair prices and great service.

– Joey E. San Diego, CA