One of the theories is that there may be a correlation between the increase in symptoms and when we moved into our current house. It is set into a hill and gets a bit damp downstairs. We've had forced ventilation installed under the house and G has been doing other bits and pieces to try and get some better drainage happening. The other day he went under the house and noticed that the corner that our spare room sits over is a bit of a "deadzone" in terms of airflow and that the underside of the floor boards was looking mouldy. That room always smells musty and we don't use it much, so it was a good candidate for phase one of ripping up the carpet and checking the state of the floorboards.
So today, with the help of a non-allergic friend, the spare room was emptied. When the filing cabinet was moved, here is what was underneath:
Well that explains why I always felt crap after being in that room for longer than 5 minutes and why the files always smelled like mould. Within about 15 seconds of me coming into the room to see the mould patch, my sinuses exploded and I had to flush them with saline solution, take an antihistamine and stay upstairs for a while.
Other patches were found under other bits of furniture. The carpet was quite damp. G cut the mouldy patch out of the carpet and the underfelt was also manky. So that went and the floor boards underneath were soft.
All the carpet in the room has now been ripped up and the floorboards washed with a bleach solution. The floorboards will probably have to come up as well. This picture shows the spidery black tendrils of the mould spreading across the floorboards:
This isn't boding well for the rest of the downstairs floor, but it does mean that we can do some mould proofing when putting in new floor. Looks like we're in for a bit of work on the house. If it was a better market it would be tempting to just sell the house and buy one that doesn't have a mould problem. Depending on how we go with abating the mould and whether that makes a difference with the allergies, we may still have to look at moving.