The advent of the monsoon season in India, which brings respite from the sweltering heat, tends to bring joy to millions of people – from the farmers waiting for their crops to yield, to children stomping in puddles. However, it can also be one of the most challenging times for home owners. Here are a few tips to ensure that the house you call home, is prepared to tackle any unforeseen challenge.
1. Protecting the house’s walls
Monsoons are synonymous with musty odours. The walls become prone to mould and mildew growth, which further add to the odour. In such cases, scrape off the mould and use a mixture of bleach and water, to wipe the walls. Bleach not only acts a cleaning agent but also as a disinfectant, which prevents the mould from growing again.
2. Maintenance of locks
Unfortunately, one only thinks about the importance of locks, when they do not function as they should. One of the most common causes of malfunctioning locks, is the changing weather. Hence, ensure that the locks are checked on a monthly basis. If the lock is not operating smoothly, use WD40 spray, as this helps to remove the dust gathered in the interior part of the locks. Use a soft cloth to clean the surface of locks. Do not use oil/lubricant/gel or any other spray for cleaning locks.
3. Safeguard furniture
Most Indian homes have wooden furniture or leather upholstery. These can be ruined by the dampness and moisture in the air. To protect your furniture, place it away from the doors and windows. Avoid any re-designing work at home, especially one that involves the use of wood, during the monsoon. Put camphor balls, neem leaves or cloves in the cupboards and closets, to protect the items from dampness.
4. Protect doors
Wooden doors have a tendency to swell, due to the increase in the moisture content in the air. One can apply oil on the sides of doors, to avoid this. Another option is to use sandpaper, to scrub the part of the door that gets stuck while closing it. Metal framed doors/windows can get rusted easily due to moisture. An easy way to prevent rusting, is to paint the doors regularly.
See also: Home maintenance during the monsoons
5. Check the windows
The windows in our homes have the maximum exposure to rain and if not maintained, it could lead to water leakage. While repainting window frames is an option, one can change to frames of UPVC (also known as Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride). UPVC window frames are moisture-resistant and restrain rain water and wind from coming in contact with the inner layer of the window. The hinges are the most neglected part of a window. Ensure that the hinges are properly fixed, as it plays a significant role in stopping seepage of water into the house.
6. Indoor atmosphere
The humid air and lack of natural light create a gloomy atmosphere indoors. Seepage and leakage also affect the aesthetics of the house. To ensure that your home feels fresh and welcoming, keep it well-ventilated. Open the windows and doors to let some fresh air and natural light in. Use bright colours such as yellow, orange and red for your upholstery. Make the most of artificial lights, to give your home a fresh and cheerful look.
7. Prevent leakages
It is important to spot leakages on time, so that the rain water does not cause any damage to the walls and roof of the home. The cracks through which leakages happen, can weaken the wall and turn into a breeding ground for fungal growth. Take precautionary measures by painting the walls of your home with a water-proof coating.
(The writer is EVP and business head, Godrej Locks & Architectural Fittings and Systems)
Tips to protect furniture and flooring during rains
The moisture during the rainy season can seep into wooden furniture like cupboards and damage the contents. Here are some tips, to safeguard your furniture and flooring:
- Place camphor or naphthalene balls in the closet, which will absorb the moisture while protecting the clothes and valuable items against insects and pests.
- Keep wooden and iron furniture away from the windows from where rainwater may enter.
- Spray the furniture with waterproofing solution, to prevent the dampness from damaging the material.
- Rains increase the chances of termite attack. So, it is better to take preventive measures by keeping cupboards and wardrobes well-ventilated and termite-free.
- Wooden flooring must be protected during rains, as the surface tends to absorb more moisture. Place absorbent mats and ensure proper ventilation.