Five tips to keep your home dry & dreamy during the monsoons
Pankaj Poddar, co-founder of Hipcouch, shares a few tips to protect your home from the perils of the monsoons
We all love the monsoons. Not only is it a great time to be outdoors, but also indoors with a plate of crispy pakoras and a cup of hot, piping chai. However, the monsoons can play spoilsport with your home. It’s not uncommon to see moss and mildew on your walls, flooring and furniture, thanks to the dampness. Then there’s the problem of seepage wrecking your walls, the fear of accidents owing to exposed electrical wires, rusting grills, smelly rugs and mats, termites… Suddenly dreading the rains, aren’t you? Well, there are ways to keep your love for the wet season and your home intact!
Repair rather than regret
Check all exterior surfaces like walls and roofs for cracks and get them repaired, while you still have time. Cracks allow moisture to seep in, and cause damp patches. The resulting dampness can damage everything that comes into contact with the walls. All these gaps need to be filled with crack-fill putty.
Roll those rugs and carpets away
Fancy carpets and rugs are best avoided during the monsoons. Excessive moisture can make rugs damp, smelly and effectively ruin them. Store them in a dry place until the monsoons are over. Use mats and rugs which are resistant to moisture and available in a variety of colours and patterns. Remember to air them out before storing them.
Better safe than ‘shocked’
If you find out that there's a faulty wire in the house, get it repaired as soon as you can. Heavy rains could cause an electrical failure, and a short circuit, which is dangerous. Make sure that all joints are covered. If the electricity box is near a window or any such place where it might get wet, keep it covered with plastic at all times.
Wood needs special care
Keep all wooden furniture a few inches away from the walls - to avoid the transfer of moisture. Use special cleaning agents designed purely for wooden furnishings. Clean furniture only with a dry cloth. Make sure to termite-proof the home - damp weather and damaged wood draw them like bees to honey. Use absorbing agents like silica gel powders, neem leaves or naphthalene balls in wooden cupboards and drawers - they don’t just keep moisture away, but also help avoid bad odours.
Don’t forget the floor
Use a cleaning agent to mop the floor - this keeps insects and pests away. If you have damaged tiles, replace them before the monsoons set it - cracks are a breeding ground for moss and algae. In case of wooden flooring: don’t let wet shoes, umbrellas or clothes stay on the floor for a long time; use super-absorbent mats at the entrance of the home; dry mop wooden flooring; keep the home ventilated - except when it’s pouring cats and dogs; and keep it protected by using wax sealants periodically.
Change your linens as often as possible
Moisture in the air can ruin your linens. Make sure you change bed sheets, pillow covers, cushion covers, etc. as often as possible. Use materials which are quick to dry. Use bright coloured linens to infuse life into the home - the gloom of monsoons can make the home look a tad dull. Use sheer curtains to dress up the windows and allow natural light into the home.
A few bonus tips:
• Install shades over windows and balconies to prevent water from coming in.
• Do not shut the windows. Even though it is advised to shut the windows when it is raining, keep them open all other times. It reduces humidity and banishes some of the dullness from the home.
• Make sure all the drains in the home are unclogged. Clogged drains are breeding grounds for insects and foul odours.