Let us start off by saying that we’re well aware that the title of this blog may raise some eyebrows as a curious choice. What does being Canadian have to do with the quality of the air that we breathe in our homes? Well, it all comes down to a little Canadian practice that seems to be more of a unified commonality than it is a stereotype. It’s the act of taking off our footwear when walking into a home.
If you don’t think that this everyday practice is much of a Canadian thing, just ask one of your friends from south of the border how often he or she takes off his or her shoes in the home. From our experience, many Americans seem to find the whole “take your shoes off at the door” thing a waste of time. As well, many Canadians can’t imagine a world where they would track in the dirt and grime from the outdoor ground into their homes.
Arguably, HowToSpotACanadian.ca explains it best. “Canadians take their shoes off when entering a home. There isn’t any questioning it,” reads the parody-based website, “As soon as you enter the front door you’re taking off your shoes. That’s just the way it is. As a Canadian myself, I find this practice completely normal…From what I’ve heard, Americans generally leave their shoes on at home.”
So back to the question that makes up the title of today’s blog. Let us ask it another way. Does taking your shoes off at the door help to improve indoor air quality? Sure it does! As Jeanie Lerche Davis reminds us on WebMD.com, it’s important to keep the floors of your home as clean as possible. When people walk inside with dirty shoes, they are undoubtedly bringing in pollutants from outdoors.
To avoid this, Davis highly recommends that you put a large floor mat at every door. “People track in all sorts of chemicals via the dirt on their shoes,” she writes, “A door mat reduces the amount of dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants from getting into your home. If the mat is big enough, even those who don’t wipe their shoes will leave most pollutants on the mat — not the floors in your home.”
Bob Avonda of Avonda Air Systems writes that removing your shoes at the door is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re not tracking dirt into your house that can get picked up into the air. Naturally, it pays to keep a clean home. He recommends that you dust and vacuum with a HEPA filter regularly. However, it evidently pays to do things the Canadian way. Avoiding shoes in the home minimizes the amount of dirt that you have to clean.
If you do have to clean dirt that has been tracked in from the outdoors, it’s best to do so thoroughly. Davis insists that you mop up all of the dust that your vacuum may have left behind. “You can skip the soaps and cleaners and just use plain water to capture any lingering dust or allergens,” she advises, “New microfibre mops (and dust cloths) reportedly capture more dust and dirt than traditional fibres and don’t require any cleaning solutions whatsoever.”
The way we see it, being Canadian is definitely good for your indoor air quality! As long as you’re practicing the good old Canadian tradition of leaving your shoes at the door, you’re doing your home – and everyone who lives in it – a big favour. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to ensure that you’re on the right track. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.