(x-posted in Mindful Home)
We just bought the house, so we're planning to be here for a while. It had new paint and carpet (same throughout the house), though it was unoccupied for several months. Something in the bedroom is really getting to dh. We can't figure out what it could be. If he sleeps in there, or spends a little time in there at all, he starts coughing this awful, wheezy cough. He's much better in the rest of the house. Even better when he leaves the house.
He normally only has reactions to grass when he's cutting it, and rabbits. There was something he was seasonally allergic to when he lived in London, but that's not been a problem in the states. We live in a fairly dry climate, and there is no plumbing in the bedroom (nearest bathroom is across the hall) so I don't think it's mold. Plus, I don't smelly anything like mold.
We thought at first it was pollen blowing in from outside. It's been really hot, so I had the bedroom window open with a fan sucking in the cooler night air, but he's had his office window open with a fan and he's fine in there. Our backyard was nothing but a forest of giant weeds that put off clouds of pollen every time they're touched. He's mowed them all down now, but we haven't put in grass or anything else yet.
We heard from a neighbor that the previous owners kind of let the house go when they found out they were going to be foreclosed on, and that they had a bunch of cats shut up in one of the bedrooms (not sure which one). Dh isn't normally allergic to cats, but maybe with lots of exposure? We're not sure who put in the new carpet and paint, or when. We bought it from Fanny Mae at an auction, I don't think they did anything to fix it up. The house wasn't super clean when we moved in, but it wasn't visibly filthy either.
Any ideas on how to fix this? We're planning on shampooing the carpet as soon as we get the boxes out of the way. Other than that and wiping down the walls, is there anything else we can do to clean things up?
Mommy to DS1 July '09 and DS2 Oct '12
Could it be mold? An acquaintance who bought a house a few years ago said there was mold in the walls of the living room that was not visible (because the walls had been painted). I don't know much about it, though; it came up in conversation because she and her family were staying with relatives for a few days while the mold was removed. Good luck! I hope you can find the route of the problem and your DH feels better soon.
The subfloor under the carpet could be bad, also, was the carpet pad replaced at the same time? Seems like a no-brainer, but you never know.
Pollen will affect you more where you sleep simply because it collects on the bedding, and then you crawl under it, disturbing the pollen and dust as you go. That is not something you do in an office.
Shut the window, wash all the bedding, vacuum the mattress, have him shower head to toe before bed and see if he doesn't feel better.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.