Monsoon care for your buildings:
No question that rainy season brings pleasant weather but it can also bring a series of problems if your home is not ready to handle the hardness of weather that might be there.
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“Beautiful buildings, greatest of architecture and interior designs which don't look good after a few years, why ? - the most common reason is poor upkeep and maintenance, which is ignored.”
We have realized our buildings are aging and falling apart only during the monsoon when people in each Home or flat has a complaint of water seepage and cracks are visible in the dampness on our building. There are many reasons why your building is falling apart or complaining of seepage or cracks. These could be because of poor material & defects in building construction
Use the 7 point checklist of Vinay and Rashmi, which is below to make sure that you won't have to worry about the problems when the rain hits your home.
1. Check leaks in roofs and walls
Check your roof and terrace floors to see if there is any leakage and fix it before the rain starts. You can apply a waterproof coating after initial repairs are done to fill up the cracks on the terrace floor. Replace loose or missing tiles to prevent roof leaks. Any debris which blocks the mouth of rainwater pipes should be cleaned occasionally for a smooth flow of rainwater from the roof. The undersides of the roofs should be checked for any water condensation. Also, repair leakage in foundation walls to avoid any loss of the contents of the house. Dampness is experienced from the hair cracks on top of the parapet wall, in the parapet plaster and external plaster. These cracks should be filled with an acrylic based flexible putty.
2. Check electrical fittings
Check outside electrical switches if they are exposed to rains. Cover them immediately to stop penetration of rainwater and fix water seepage in the electrical room and in the generator room to avoid electric shock. Any damaged electrical cords should be replaced without any delay. If you feel uncomfortable while making additions or changes in electrical supply, consult a professional or electrician.
3. Drainage Pipes and Water Pipes
If the building is 3 years old or more then it is possible that the G.I. Pipes passing through the masonry walls must have pitted/rusted which is a source of leakage. This problem should be attended before monsoon as the water table rises and aggravates the problem. Silicone Injection Grouting can effectively arrest this sort of a problem. It is necessary to attend to any leakage from the house drain before tackling the subsoil water rising problem.
4. Clean rain gutters
Ensure rain gutter are clean to protect foundations, basements, and roof from water damage before the beginning of the rainy season. If the gutters are not clear of leaves and any debris, drain outlets will be blocked and rainy water will overflow them and eventually spread on roads or pathways. Termite infestation is a major problem where water leakage or high humidity exists. As the rainwater creates moisture, check all damp places to find out termite invasion in the house. You may need to take professional help to destroy termites completely.
5. Clean carpets, rugs regularly & Protecting Wooden Flooring
Carpets get damp and create musty smell during the rainy season. They are vacuumed regularly with carpet cleaners to remove dirt and moisture. The rugs should be rolled up and wrapped in polythene sheets during the rainy season to protect them from water and insect infestation. Rainwater spoils the shape and quality of wood articles in the house. Check all wooden items and wood floors if they are properly waxed (polished) to protect them from moisture since the moisture content in hardwood floors tends to make them warp.
6. Protect wooden cupboards, desk drawers
The moisture of rainwater can reach your cupboards and drawers and destroy inside articles. To protect clothes and other valuable things, put camphor balls in your closet. Alternately you can place Neem tree leaves in cupboards since it also protects clothes and furniture from silverfish, a common problem during the rainy season. You can sprinkle a few cloves among clothes to keep insects at bay.
7. Do the regular house cleaning
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. Expose upholstery and rugs to sunlight to protect them from moisture.
Don't renovate home during monsoon. It is better to do renovation works like painting walls, waterproofing, etc. before or after the monsoon. After the renovation is over, you can take up the decoration project. Don’t forget that building maintenance is a regular feature and one that requires weekly supervision and early intervention on the same. If you find out any problem during the rainy season, get professional help to fix it.
Always consult an architect, who can help you with the best workable suggestions and good advice. Hopefully, this will help us show some more respect to the structures where we invest our hard earned money and where our loved ones spend their lives in.