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Monsoon care for your home
Rekha I Nambiar |
July 14, 2005
Any major renovation work at home should be done either before the monsoon or after.
This is the basic rule of home décor.
However, if you have haven't bothered to rescue that leaking roof or wall, you can still exercise some damage control during the course of the monsoons.
Try these quick-fix monsoon tips.
i. Do-it-yourself remedies for woodwork
Protect wooden cupboards, desk drawers, etc.
~ Put camphor in your cupboards; it takes away the moisture and protects your clothes.
~ Neem leaves are effective against silver fish, a common problem in the rainy season.
~ Sprinkling a few cloves among your clothes is an equally effective remedy.
ii. Say goodbye to termites
These are a major problem wherever there is water leakage and/ or high humidity.
They would require professionals to do a really complete job. Do check the whole house for any signs of termite infestation, which tends to increase during the rainy season.
iii. Hardwood floors need maintenance
Make sure they are free from moisture. Wax them to protect them, as the moisture content in hardwood floors tends to make them warp.
iv. TLC for carpets and rugs
Carpets, especially wall-to-wall carpets, need to be vacuumed regularly with cleaners that will take away not only the dirt but also the moisture that seeps into the fibre.
A good carpet cleaner will also keep them from smelling musty.
Rugs should be rolled up during the rainy season; they just get dirty if you use them. If you wrap them properly in polyethylene sheets, they will be safe from both water damage and insect infestation.
v. Ventilate your home
Make sure there is enough cross-ventilation and fresh air coming into your home, otherwise the humidity levels will lead to a general feeling of dampness.
vi. Tile protection
Tile joints in bathrooms should be checked and kept sealed, especially in apartment complexes.
vii. Cleanliness is a must
Keeping your home clean can prevent mildew by ensuring the moisture content in the air is as low as possible.
Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are a good way to reduce the humidity levels inside a home.
The best way to protect upholstery and rugs is exposing them to sunlight; a good sunning prevents moisture-related problems.
viii. A tumble dryer, a good investment
In a country with such an extended monsoon, we should use tumble dryers for more reasons than one.
The primary one is to ensure our clothes do not smell because of the moisture trapped in the fibres.
Drying clothes inside the house is one of the reasons why the moisture content is so high in so many homes.
While it's wet outside, you must think of every conceivable way to keep the inside of your home DRY.
This will solve half the problems associated with a prolonged rainy season.
ix. Don't do any renovation at home during the monsoons.
i. Professionals can help
It is a good idea to get a professional to do an inspection of your home, old or new, prior to the monsoon and ensure you find and fix the problem areas.
Once they have been fixed, you can plunge into decorating your home after the monsoons.
ii. Banish wet walls
Seepage in foundation walls can be due to a leaking downspout.
Again, these problems should be corrected before the monsoon.
The causes can be many, so corrective action can only be taken when you have determined the cause of the problem. Stop gap measures do not really help, as the problem is likely to recur the next year.
iii. Waterproof the roof
This is essential before the onset of monsoon.
~ Check that the drains are not blocked with leaves.
~ Ensure that water is directed away from the foundation.
~ Check the underside of roofs for leakage or water condensation.
Interior designer and consultant Rekha I Nambiar is based in Delhi.