The monsoon season is a time for homeowners to make some changes to their homes, to guard against small/big damages. India is predicted to have normal monsoon rains in 2020. However, as we cheer the arrival of the monsoon, no laxity should be shown towards guarding our homes against exposure to water and moisture as it may be detrimental. This is particularly true for those living in areas prone to heavy rains.
Rain-proof the exteriors
Let us begin with the exterior of your home first, as this is the part that would directly be exposed to the rains and this is where potential seepages would make an entry inside the house. In the rainy season, moisture accumulated in the ground can rise above. Eventually, moisture seeps through the exteriors of the house and causes damp patches on the internal walls. Aside from the fact that these patches are actually impacting the health of your home, these would also make the home smell poor, cold, damp, and invite fungi.
You should first check for any cracks or damages that might be visible in the exterior walls and fix them immediately. Another effective way to prevent seepage is to use water-proof paints on the exterior walls. Over time, you would need to re-paint the exteriors. Owners of homes with large open spaces should also make sure there is no blockage of drains in case of a downpour and that the rainwater can drain freely.
Rain-proof the terrace
The terrace is as much exposed to the elements of nature as the exterior walls and plays an equally important role in safeguarding your house. As most homes in India have flat roofs, it is important to ensure that the rainwater drains smoothly. The first step towards waterproofing your roof/terrace would be to make sure it is clean and that water does not accumulate anywhere when it rains. To keep the terrace relatively clean, one should trim the trees close by.
Another way to stop seepage is by applying multiple layers of elastomeric coating on the roof. Apart from protecting it against water, this coating will also insulate it, preventing loss of heat from inside the building.
Fix blockages in drainage pipes
A proper drainage system is important, to ensure that there is no waterlogging in any area of the house. Aside from ensuring there are no blockages with the house’s drainage system, also make sure the stormwater drains outside the house are not blocked by silt or debris. Typically, the civic authorities in your area should take care of this. If this has not happened, register a complaint and get the work done on a priority basis.
Check electrical wiring and appliances
A majority of mishaps that involve electricity, take place during the rainy season. Consequently, homeowners should ensure that power cables do not come in contact with water. This is where earth leakage circuit breakers come into the picture, as it safeguards against electrocution and electrical shock.
Get all of your faulty electric sockets and equipment fixed in time. Note that when exposed to water and moisture, circuit breakers, fuses, socket outlets, plugs, and switches can malfunction. Try not to fix them on your own. It is not advisable to operate equipment that runs on electricity, in the rain, or on wet grass. Within your home, never use electrical items, especially water coolers, with wet hands.
Rearrange the kitchen
This is another area that would require your particular attention during the rainy season, as some of the food items in the kitchen have a greater chance of going bad. Storage assumes key importance at this point. Airtight jars always help and so does the use of glass jars, in place of plastic containers. On bright days, you may like to sun-dry grains and pickles, to avoid infestation by worms of fungi. The kitchen should have no damp areas.
To remove funny odors from the kitchen cabinet, just leave an open container carrying freshly ground coffee inside the closet.
Change the curtains
Let as much sunlight enter your house as you can, to keep it moisture-free during the rainy season. For this, and to get a better view, replace dark, heavy, and opaque curtains with light, sheer and transparent ones.
Protect your furniture against moisture
All wooden things in the house tend to react adversely to humidity and moisture, which are typical of the rainy season. Aside from making your precious articles of furniture lose their shape and form, these conditions would also make them vulnerable to termites and pests.
To protect furniture against humidity and moisture:
- Apply a fresh coat of varnish/lacquer to prevent the wood from swelling.
- Keep wooden furniture at least six inches away from the wall.
- Buy a humidifier to keep the temperature and dampness in check.
- Do not clean the furniture with a wet cloth.
Rearrange the storage cabinets
In case you have wooden cabinets at home, they can be similarly vulnerable to moisture and humidity. All the above-mentioned remedies should be applied, for the upkeep of cabinets, as well.
Over time, an odor can start to emanate from fabrics that have been lying unused for a long time. While the cabinets should be rearranged to protect your precious linen and silk from getting harmed, natural protection in the form of pouches containing camphor and cloves can be kept at various places in the cabinet, to fight the odor.
Get rid of unpleasant odors
A common complaint in the rainy season is the musty smell that overtakes the house, along with mildew. There are various homemade remedies to get rid of this smell.
- Lemongrass oil can effectively get rid of musty smells in the living and bathroom areas. Mix it with water and use a vaporizer to get the best results.
- Put vinegar into a spray bottle and use it as an air freshener.
- Mix one part of hydrogen peroxide with two parts of water. Spray the mix in the affected area.
- The neem (margosa) leaves can save your clothes from fungus and bad smell.
- Baking soda and rock salt are equally effective in ridding your home of rancid smells.
Invest in quality doormats
A good quality doormat is a must during this season, to keep your house clean and dry. Keep doormats that absorb moisture and dust well, at all entry and exit points, to make sure you do not carry these into the house. Invest in non-plastic, textured ones, so that it catches all the dirt and water.
The room/ area where you store your raincoat, shoes, umbrellas, etc., must also be kept clean at all times, to avoid the accumulation of moisture and dirt.
- Refurbish small pieces of furniture with a fresh coat of paint, or with vibrant wallpaper.
- Use bright colors for the upholstery or furnishings, to overcome the gloomy atmosphere outside.
- Do not leave drenched clothes unattended for a long time.
- Only dry-clean things during the monsoon.