Moving Into a New Home That I'm Allergic To!

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Chris_J
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/22/2007 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everybody!

I currently suffer from allergies to household dust and certain types of animal fur, which cause my eyes to water and the back of my throat to itch and drive me insane. These allergies stem from me having quite bad asthma from the age of 4. Now at 21, the asthma very rarely surfaces, only when I get a bad reaction to the dust or fur.

I've recently purchased a house that I will be moving into soon, but unfortunately, the previous resident of the house wasn't a fan of dusting. I guess it just wasn't his thing! Also, he owned two German Shepherd dogs, which unfortunately for me again, I'm allergic to. Ontop of all that, he was a heavy smoker eyes

On both of my visits to the house during the viewing process (around 20 minutes at a time) I came out absolutely adoring the property, but I couldn't wait to leave on the count of my eyes were streaming and my throat was incredibly itchy. It had even caused the skin on my neck under my chin to be very itchy and triggered my asthma.

This is something that has greatly concerned me since purchasing the house, but I was convinced by people that that is would be possible remove from the house. My partner and some friends have kindly agreed to thoroughly clean the whole house from top to bottom, in an attempt to remove the allergens, but I'm concerned if they still remain hidden deep in the fabrics of any remaining carpets/furniture/fixings etc then it will set me off again which will be a total nightmare, as I will have to live there!!

I am wondering whether anyone could offer me any advice on the best methods to removing every trace of doggie matter and dust that my body doesn't seem to agree with. I know simply vacuuming and dusting everywhere is not going to be enough. It's going to need something a little more thorough!

Please help sad

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 5/22/2007 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to Healingwell :) I'm so sorry that such a happy occasion can bring discomfort! What about hiring a cleaning company? If you call a company up and explain to them what is going on, they can be sure to clean everything there is to clean that has the dog hair or dust such as the light fixtures etc. Or if your friends are willing they can do that type of cleaning as well. If this house has carpet, then I recommend you tear the carpet out, clean underneath and have new stuff installed or leave it if it's hardwood. Carpet is notorious for triggering allergies because allergens can penetrate deep into the carpet fibers making it impossible to clean, even with steam cleaners. Same thing can be said of any furniture. Good luck and I hope I offered some suggestions :)
                                                       *Sherry*
Left sided Uc '92 - Colazal, 6mp, Canasa, Forvia, Biotin (in remission)***Secondary Raynauds Syndrome '04 - Norvasc***Fibro '06***Acid Reflux '07 - Prilosec OTC***Plagued by cysts - Prometrium***
 
**Help others such as yourself by donating to Healingwell, every penny counts!**
***Co-moderator for UC***Moderator for Allergies/Asthma***
 
 

 
 


Chris_J
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/22/2007 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank-you for you reply.

I did consider hiring a cleaning company, but of course, it can be quite expensive, so I thought a DIY method may just work. My partner has explained to me that she would ensure every carpet, fixture, fitting and surface would either be steam cleaned or wiped down where possible, which should collect the allergens, rather then just stir them up where regular dusting and vacuuming would otherwise do. We were planning on removing the downstairs carpets (where the pets were only allowed) and steam cleaning the upstairs carpets, and wet cleaning everything where possible. As you say though, if that doesn't help, I guess I'll just have to rip up the whole lot.

Do you think that could almost guarantee a sneeze free home for the time being?

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 5/22/2007 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
A little tip about vacuuming. Have your partner vacuum before she cleans because vacuuming stirs up the fibers, dust and whatnot. Wait about an hour or two after a good vacuuming then dust, clean, wet down, steam or whatever it is that has to be done.

All this cleaning might work but in the meantime is there an allergy med you can take or are you already taking one?
                                                       *Sherry*
Left sided Uc '92 - Colazal, 6mp, Canasa, Forvia, Biotin (in remission)***Secondary Raynauds Syndrome '04 - Norvasc***Fibro '06***Acid Reflux '07 - Prilosec OTC***Plagued by cysts - Prometrium***
 
**Help others such as yourself by donating to Healingwell, every penny counts!**
***Co-moderator for UC***Moderator for Allergies/Asthma***
 
 

 
 


manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 5/22/2007 11:32 PM (GMT -7)   
 
  Hi Chris,
 
  You probably already planned to do this, but make sure you have the vents professionally cleaned.
 
  Also, there is a product you can purchase that is a filter that goes over the furnace and traps dust and allergens and supposedly makes a huge difference.  You can to this site:  www.homelife-enviro.com .  I'm not sure if it's listed there but you can e-mail the contact person and ask about it.  This guy is in Canada, so if you're in the U.S. I'm not sure, but maybe he could stlill help you out.
 
  We just bought an air purifier through that site and found the service was excellent and the purifier seems to be helping a lot. 
 
  As for the cigarette smoke, unless you buy sealant and paint all the walls with that, it will continue to remain in the air to some degree.  The molecules of tobacco are so small that they go right through regular paint (if you were planinng to try painting to cover it up it wont work too well).  And you can't clean it out.  I learned this years ago when my husband and I were about to move into a home that had been smoked in.  What we did do though, was to rent a steamer and hubby steamed all the walls with TSP in the steamer.  It did help some, but like I said, tobacco just doesn't really 'go away.'  I also talked with a lady who bought a house that had been smoked in and she said 'after 8 coats of sealant they finally got rid of the smell.'  So yeah, there are things you can do, but it's not easy to get rid of it.  I know when I am in a smoking house, generally my lips burn, throat and nose and eyes may itch, and face starts feeling hot.  That's how I react to tobacco so I just try to stay clear of it.  However, you've bought this house now, so I'm sure you'll be resourceful and find what you need to do to make it work.
 
  As others have said, definitely taking the carpets out will be a huge plus.
 
  I guess your answer is basically:  Perseverance. 
 
  One other thing I learned from the salesperson at the web-site I gave you, is that if you put the furance on adn leave all the windows open for a week before moving into a house, this will cause the house to rid itself of a lot of the gases from painting etc., so I assume it would also help to clean out the dust etc. in the atmosphere, but I'm not sure.
 
  I hope everything works out alirght for you.
 
  manyembers

Chris_J
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/23/2007 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
@Red_34 - Thanks for the tips, I will take those into consideration. I don't currently take any special allergy meds apart from occasionally the odd anti-histamine. I use my asthma inhaler whenever it effects my breathing.

@manyembers - Sorry, I didn't mention, I'm actually located in the United Kingdom. These vents that you describe, are they those floor vents that most American houses have? There are no such systems in common British housing. I would be interested in an air purification system though. As for the tobacco smoke, I don't seem to be too allergic to that, so it shouldn't be to much of a problem. However, I hate the smell, so I'll be doing my best to remove it. Most of the walls are currently covered with wallpaper, so that will be removed, followed by a fresh skim of plaster, which should hopefully rid of the smell. It's just the ceiling that may be an issue, since that's where the thickest of the tobacco staining ends up!

I'm relying on our trusty steam cleaner, as it's going to get a loooong weekend of use!

By the way, what is TSP?

manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 5/24/2007 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chris,

That's good to hear! I'm glad you can remove the wall paper and go from there.

TSP - I don't even know what it stands for, but it's some sort of cleaner. I don't know if you'd have that in the UK. - Okay, just found it on the net. It stands for Trisodium phosphate. IT's an all purpose cleaner, and is good to use before painting to get a 'nice clean bite' according to the article I read. It removes grease and soot etc. You should be able to find some info. about it on google.

That's wild that you guys don't have vents your way like we do. So that is one less thing to have to clean. yeah

Air purifiers - you can buy small ones for just one room - like the bedroom, or for an office or for the whole house - ranging in price of course. I have heard very good things about the ones that contain a "hepa" air filter.

All the best!, mb

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 5/25/2007 6:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you considered getting new carpeting or putting in tile floors? Also getting the smoke out of the walls will be hard! try KILZ to coat the walls might help ask you local hardware store about it. Never buy another houses that has had a smoker because the smoke is the hardest to get out, it gets into the walls and floor boards. I wish you a lots of good luck trying to get it out and hope you can. Lots of well wishes to you and keep us posted as to how its going. (((Hugz)))

connielee640
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/22/2012 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   
My advice is to take all of the owners old things like the carpet, curtains and have them wash or better if you get a new one. When I moved last year into my new house, I put into garage sale the old owners things with his permission of course and the advance removals australia brought my things from my previous house.

Post Edited (connielee640) : 9/22/2012 7:48:36 PM (GMT-6)


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4648
   Posted 9/23/2012 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Lots of good advice in this thread!

You might also have a furnace company install a box on the air return system just in front of the furnace that accepts a 4" wide high quality filter. They work better and cheaper than particle zappers. I have a furnace/air conditioning unit that has 2 speeds on the fan, and I keep it on 24/7/365. I dust once a month, and I've had dogs, cats, kids and grandkids, have whole house carpeting.

I agree with the others - rip out the carpets, and leave floors bare if money is an issue, but at least apply a sealer. It's not possible to just put in new carpet to remove the smells. Pet messes soak into the sub-flooring. Then replace with linoleum or tile. I'd send out any drapes to the cleaners or get rid of them. Have professionals wash down the walls and ceilings. Just fuzz-busting won't do the job!

The newer paints are supposed to be one step, no priming needed, but I'd use the Kilz. It's worked well for me when repainting rental houses after smokers. I don't allow smoking anymore.
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