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LEAKS & PEELS

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Humidity is on the rise as monsoon descends upon us. Aakriti Patni brings you a few simple tips to prevent your home from becoming a damp mess

Flowers blossom, plants go green and there is a renewed, romantic vibe in the air as the rains hit the city. The air appears fresher and the smell of wet mud fills our senses. But, as soon as you step into your house, a wave of dread hits you. The rooms are cold and damp, the walls are leaking and peeling, and the excitement of the monsoon wears away. Moisture seeps through the exteriors and attacks the walls, leaving behind mould, fungus and ugly patches.

With the monsoons underway, it is first important to understand which areas are most prone to peeling and leakage. The exterior walls of the house, terraces and bathrooms are the areas that are more likely to be affected. The best way to protect your walls and other susceptible areas would be to waterproof the walls and roof prior to the advent of monsoon, to avoid moisture from settling in. But, if you haven’t done that already, here are a few tips to prevent damage during the downpour itself.

Control humidity levels
Humidity is the villain here, and the best way to reduce it is through cross ventilation. Create cross ventilation between rooms by opening windows to keep the humidity levels down. Another way to tackle humidity levels would be with the help of a dehumidifier. It sucks up moisture in a room by extracting water from the air. Controlling humidity is the most basic thing to protect moisture from attacking your walls.

Kill that fungus
As moisture seeps in, fungus breeds and mould soon covers the walls and even gets on to your clothes and furniture. Tip number one to prevent the growth of mould would be to ventilate the house properly. Open windows, especially in the bathrooms and kitchen. To get rid of existing mould, avoid using vacuum cleaners and brushes to tackle the problem; they can cause it to spread. It is best to kill the fungus with chemicals to eliminate all chances of re-growth. Use a mixture of bleach and water, spray it on the affected areas and scrub it with a paper towel. To tackle mildew, use a bit of diluted alcohol. Even warm water and detergent can work wonders.

Hide peeling walls
Paint peeling off the walls is almost synonymous with the monsoons. The walls begin to deteriorate as moisture seeps in and paint begins to slowly chip off, leaving behind an ugly sight. The obvious and simplest solution would be to waterproof your walls or to paint your house. However, painting your walls during the monsoons isn’t a good idea. Luckily, there is a better solution than simply living with peeling walls. Wallpapering your walls is a safe bet. It is a cost-effective method, especially if only one wall is severely affected. Wallpaper is durable and long-lasting, if properly applied. And, for the DIY generation, it’s also a great activity! While these measures serve as quick fixes during the monsoon, it is essential to turn to long-term solutions to fix any damage. Waterproofing your walls, adding concrete, repainting and filling the cracks in your walls are the standard techniques to protect your home from water damage.

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