Here are the most effective things we did to improve our breathing comfort:
*Inspected and sealed windows and rooftop vent which were adding moisture through because cracked old sealant was shrivelling away with age. That was the most necessary thing and made a HUGE difference.
*Used air conditioner as a dehumidifier when needed (even when we weren't hot)
*Worst areas for us were under the twin beds (we have middle bathroom). We found mouse poop and white chalky mold in some spots. To clean this up, we disinfected the area, washed it with TSP, and dried it out (it was unsealed wood) by lifting the beds, and placing lamps (with regular lightbulbs that get warm) to dry up the area when we went out.
*Ripped out rotten wall bumpers, and disinfected walls.
*Once the area was definitely clean and dry, we painted all of the porous wood surfaces that were hanging onto smells, and this made a HUGE difference.
*Twin beds: We painted the floor underneath, and underneath the mattress area, on both sides (I guess that would be called the storage area). We matched the latex odor and moisture sealant paint to go well with the upholstery fabric. Also used that same paint for the space between the folding sofa bed and the wall, and under and behind the fridge area.
*We now use recycled 4 or 5 ice cream plastic tubs from an ice cream place, to store 'junk' under the beds. Reduces the opportunity to grow mould on stuff. Keep extension cords, christmas lights etc.
*Washed and dried all soft surfaces;
*Foam mattresses--used lysol, and thoroughly dried them in the sun.
*We make a point of using fleece and/or synthetic blends for bedding since higher cotton count fabrics seem to act like moisture sponges.
*Rented steam cleaner and did all carpet and upholstery.
*Washed and rinsed (several times) curtains, and hung dry outside when pollen count was low.
*Found that some of the rollup blinds were TERRIBLY moldy smelling upon closer examination, so we tossed them.
*Pulled fridge out to reveal mold and dust all behind back wall. I stood in the spot where the fridge had been and reached up, elbows deep, with lysol/clorox wipes.
*Pulled out all plastic storage bins and disinfected outside, left to dry.
*Spent hours on my side and stomach reaching shoulder deep under bed and sofa area.
*Bought bag of volcanic rock to absorb moisture and odor, hung it in bathroom.
*Used thick plastic storage bags for bedding while not in use, in closet.
*DID NOT attempt to cover up any smells with air fresheners, smell-deadeners, candles, etc which would have only aggravated the asthma.
*Wiped every nook and cranny, with lysol wipes. Found mouse poop everywhere the first time! Including under burners. Grody!
*Did not hang wet towels or wet bathing suits in bathroom, outdoors instead.
*For some reason the night table between the twin beds was quite stinky;
dinsinfected and painted underneath. I don't think there is enough circulation in that table unit, so we do not store anything porous within (no paper, cardboard, fabric).
*Placed food items in Tupperware containers, to reduce moisture-loving cardboard packaging.
*Washed window screens.
*I found that the only way to truly get some of the grime off walls was with Mr Clean Magic Eraser Sponge (I resisted due to chem, but tried it since lyson wipes just couldn't cut it for the walls). Rinsed walls after using Magic Eraser.
*Used small fans to improve air circulation when necessary; also effective for cooling air and drying out humidity.
I learned the hard way that it is important to wear a mask when cleaning up nasty grossness. I also learned it is important to know where your inhaler is at all times, and not only where the nearest clinic is, but what the hours are! I now also wear gloves, and have a hot shower after doing any yuckiness cleaning.
I suspect we could eliminate allergens by removing carpet all together and replacing with laminate, but I prefer the feel of carpet for the AS.
Please feel free to add any suggestions, or comments, anyone out there who knows some good tricks!