Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Get monsoon ready...!!

Like it or not, monsoons are here and they aren’t your homes best friend!! Like all good things, the monsoons too come with their own set of challenges, such as how to rain proof your home and make it more comfortable and cheerful. The weather becomes pleasant but do remember that your houses need to be protected from the rain or else you may end up with seepage and dampness in your homes. Here are a few things you must do to keep your homes clean and free from dampness-
·       Avoid bringing rainwater into the house and place a good absorbent door mat, one outside the door and one inside. Buy a fancy holder with traditional or contemporary prints and designs that can accommodate at least five umbrellas. You can place the stand near the entrance. Not only does it serve its purpose, but also brightens up your living room. Make proper arrangements to take off footwear at the entrance. A shoe rack is an essential item any time of the year. More so, during monsoon. Nobody likes the sight of an entrance filled with dirty shoes and sandals, especially when it rains.
·       Clean your shoes and shoe rack periodically. Shoes have the tendency to absorb a lot of moisture and wearing wet ones can cause fungal infections. Fix in a low voltage bulb inside the shoe cupboard so that the heat emitted from it will absorb moisture.
·       Fix any kind of cracks on your walls or roof. Waterproof your roof if possible and make sure the mouth of your rainwater pipes are not blocked with leaves or any kind of debris.
·       Tile joints in bathrooms should be checked and kept sealed.
·       The overpowering smell of moist air can be depressive and also cause respiratory troubles. Install ventilators in high humid areas of the house to avoid dampness. Make sure there is enough cross-ventilation and the fresh air comes to the house before the rain hits to your home.
·       Termite infestation is a major problem where water leakage or high humidity exists. Check all damp places to find out termite invasion in the house and call for professional help.
·       The best option for carpets is to roll them and stack them away for the monsoon season. If you must keep them make sure to clean them regularly as these create a musty smell in rainy seasons. Expose them to sunlight from time to time. Invest in some bright coloured lightweight rugs. They will make your rooms look cheerful.
·       Stay away from whites and beiges and go for bright interior accents to uplift the mood. Bright and inviting interiors will keep you in high spirits even when there are prolonged rainy spells and you're stuck indoors.
·       Vacuum clean your sofas once a week. Change your bed sheets and bed linens weekly and pack away excess cushions and pillows to avoid damp musty odors.
·       Protect your wood floorings from moisture and warping by keeping them properly waxed.
·       Check your cupboards for any kind of dampness. Camphor balls or Neem leaves and cloves usually keep silverfish at bay.
·       Regular house cleaning can protect your home from moisture content in the air. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are good options to reduce humidity levels inside your home. 
·       Wooden doors and windows too need attention as they tend to expand due to moisture. Protect them by painting them at regular intervals and use waterproof varnish.
·       Don’t use heavy curtains; replace them with lighter curtains that are easier to dry in case they do get wet.
·       Move your plants outdoors during the rains. The transpiration process (when a plant ‘sweats’ to cool itself) increases the dampness in the air inside the house.
·       The risk of electrocution and short circuits is the highest in the rainy season. Unsecured power boxes and exposed wires can cause major problems, so get them all fixed before the monsoons hit your home. Any electric bulb or tube in the open must be covered or removed to avoid accidents.
·       Don’t get any renovation or painting work done for your home till the monsoon goes away. It will only add to your monsoon woes.
·       Wrap all your silver ware in thick layers of cotton swabs and put them inside airtight bags or containers. This will prevent them from oxidization caused by humid air.
·       Get the exterior walls repainted with weather-proof paint to avoid damage. You could also try a water-sealant for maximum protection.
·       If you have a basement, then ensure there is a proper drainage system for water and it is unclogged. If you feel that this will not suffice then have a motor handy to pump out excessive water. This comes in quite handy even for large balconies in apartments these days.
·       If there are low areas that are prone to water accumulation, see if you can fill them with sand for the rainy season. If that’s not possible, try and see if you can use sandbags as a barrier against flooding from rain water.
·       Garden is an ideal place for insects, worms and mosquitoes to breed during monsoon. While you can’t keep the garden dry all the time, the least you can do is to avoid stagnant water from accumulating around the plants. Young trees should be secured and mature trees can be trimmed in order to prevent damage to them or to your property.
·       The wind can cause backyard things to break, bend, and blow about and cause damage. Start by making sure the obvious backyard items are secure. Patio furniture, umbrellas, and roll up patio blind should be stowed.
·       Prepare for an emergency: Remember the power outages that come with amazing weather? Yes, those. Make sure all UPS systems and backup generators are powered and charged, and keep some battery-powered portable lights, with a good stash of batteries, handy.

Rains can be a delight with a bit of preparedness. Let’s enjoy the rains this time without worrying and stressing about the damage.

 Interior and Landscape designer

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