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Maine1 01-06-2013 08:46 AM

Allergen issues
We are doing some remodeling in the house we just bought before we move in. The house was built in the early sixties. The previous owners had pets (dog I think).

My teen daughter has pet allergy issues and mild asthma. When we first looked at the house she was somewhat bothered by the allergens but we just assumed it was the owners dog that was the issue. The upstairs is all hardwood floors and the downstairs had carpet. I have removed all the carpet and have been doing alot of remodeling work downstairs. I have moved walls, closets and completely gutted one bedroom. I have also replaced rotted interior wall framing that was caused by plumbing leaks. There was some mold in the walls but the affected material has been removed as far as I can see.

Right now, the house is always full of dust from the work I am doing. I have been wearing a mask while in the house.

My daughter stopped by yesterday for a few minutes and had a bad allergy reaction shortly after. She was sneezing, coughing and felt horrible. Now my wife is worried that the house is permanently "tainted" by allergens which will make it impossible for my daughter to stand. I am thinking and hoping that it is just from the dust and stirring up everything in the air.

We still need to finish cleaning out the baseboard heaters which some were completely matted with dog hair.

Is it going to be possible to clean up this house and make it a comfortable place for my daughter?

oh'mike 01-06-2013 08:59 AM

All the construction dust---off gassing adhesives and paint fumes will get to even people with good lungs----finish up the job --avoid over use of adhesives (drywall adhesive is particularly nasty and can be avoided with a few more screws)

Let the place air out and see---priming the raw subfloor will aid in controlling dust and left over pet dander----

Maine1 01-06-2013 09:10 AM

The subfloor downstairs is concrete but it still has old sheet flooring which I am planning to leave alone as it may contain asbestos. I am going to have carpet laid over it. Should I treat the old flooring somehow before the carpet is installed?

oh'mike 01-06-2013 09:14 AM

If it will never be tiled--I'd suggest priming it with a latex primer ,just to seal in any pet stains and dust---

Just a thought---have you tested your daughter for latex allergy? Although rare, it's not unheard of--

Maine1 01-06-2013 09:24 AM

Thanks for the advice. My daughter has been around latex paint and other latex products without issues so I think shes ok there. The only time she has bad reactions is around pet allergens (cats and dogs). I think we are just going to have to do a very thorough cleaning when the work is all done. Would it be worth it to hire someone to clean the house before we move in? Im not sure if a professional cleaning company would have special allergen abatement products or methods...

oh'mike 01-06-2013 09:27 AM

I seriously doubt that a cleaning service will do a better job than you will---

I an serious about sealing in dust and dander as you finish up an area--before your floor coverings go in---that helps a lot---

joecaption 01-06-2013 09:32 AM

Carpet with someone with allergys living in the home:eek:.
I'm not seeing that as a great flooring choice.
I'd stick with a hard surface.

Maine1 01-06-2013 10:14 AM

I know what you're saying makes sense, but we have always had carpet without any issues. However we never had any pets. We do keep a clean house so I think it should be ok.

joecaption 01-06-2013 10:21 AM

Ever had it on a slab before?
At a minimum use a padding with a vaper barrier.

Maine1 01-06-2013 10:29 AM

Yes we had carpet on A slab floor before. Although this was in Florida and now we are in Maine. I thought it was a good idea for the concrete floor to breathe through the carpet. But I wonder since this will be laid over the old sheet flooring if it would make any difference. I wonder what the perm rating of the old sheet flooring actually is. Is that a vapor barrier?

oh'mike 01-06-2013 10:41 AM

That's plenty of vapor barrier---

Maintenance 6 01-07-2013 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 1087410)
If it will never be tiled--I'd suggest priming it with a latex primer ,just to seal in any pet stains and dust---

Just a thought---have you tested your daughter for latex allergy? Although rare, it's not unheard of--

Just as an FYI: people with latex allergies have a problem coming in contact with natural latex rubber. Latex paint does not contain "latex", only vinyl or acrylic resins. Natural latex rubber is a pretty rare commodity. Occaisionally, it is used in rubber gloves and a few other odd products. :wink:

md2lgyk 01-08-2013 07:33 AM

Don't forget to have your hvac ducts cleaned (if you have them). That much probably isn't a DIY project. Might also consider an electronic air cleaner. No pets here, but we have one and it sure cuts down on dust in the air.

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