Getting your home ready for monsoon in India
Given that the monsoon season lasts for a few months in India, there are many aspects that need to be looked into while considering home care needs. In fact, 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 that you find and fix the problems that keep recurring. Once they have been fixed, after the monsoon, you can plunge into the decoration aspect. Or, start fixing the problems once the monsoon is over and you have assessed what needs serious attention.
1. Seepage in foundation walls can be due to a leaking downspout. These problems should be corrected . 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.
2. Termites are a major problem wherever water leakage or high humidity levels are a feature. They would require professionals to do a really complete job, but you would need to check the whole house for any signs of termite infestation, which tend to increase during the rainy season.
3. Some easy do-it-yourself remedies for woodwork. Place camphor in your cupboards, it takes away the moisture and protects your clothes. Neem leaves are also effective against silver fish, which are a common problem in the rainy season. Cloves are an equally effective remedy.
4. Hardwood floors need maintenance during the rainy season. Make sure they are free from moisture and wax them to protect them. Moisture content in hardwood floors tends to make them warp.
5. 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 fibers. A good carpet cleaner will also keep them from getting a musty smell. Rugs should be rolled up during the rainy season, as they just get dirty if you use them. Ideally if you can wrap them properly in polyethylene sheets they are saved from water damage and insect infestation as well.
6. Waterproofing of the roof 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.
7. Walls need to be checked for breakages and seepage. The exterior masonry should be repaired well before the onset of the rains. Paint on the interior walls should be checked for flaking.
8. Ventilation is an important aspect of home care during monsoons. Make sure there is enough cross-ventilation and fresh air coming into your home, otherwise the humidity levels will cause a general feeling of dampness.
9. Tile joints in bathrooms should be checked and kept sealed, especially in apartment complexes.
10. Keeping areas clean can prevent mildew and by ensuring that the moisture content in the air is kept as low as possible. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are a good way to reduce the humidity levels inside a home, but the best way to protect upholstery and rugs is sunlight. A good sunning is the best way to keep moisture from creating problems.
11. An investment you can make this year is a tumble dryer. In a country with such an extended monsoon, we should use tumble dryers, not only to ensure that our clothes do not smell because of moisture trapped in the fibres, but hanging clothes inside the house to dry is one of the reasons why the moisture content in so many homes is so many homes is so high. While its wet outside, you must think of every conceivable way to keep the inside of your home DRY. That solves half the problems that are associated with a prolonged rainy season.
12. Any major work in the home should be done either before the monsoon or after.
Meanwhile, enjoy the rain after a pronlonged scorching summer