Easy home care for the rains

Don’t let the monsoon wreak chaos at your abode; be proactive and adopt these hacks to keep your house safe and dry when it’s raining cats and dogs outside

Easy home care for the rains

Fix the leaking roof, loose wires and polish the wooden furniture before the rains land at your doorstep istock

Shristi Nangalia

Monsoon joys can soon turn into dreadful blues when uninvited rainwater creeps in through the windows and doors, or when clogged drains overflow and jam your sink, or pesky moss covers your carpets, or wooden furniture swells up due to heavy moisture. Stay ahead in your home maintenance game with the help of the following tips:

Step up the waterproofing

Checking for cracks, fissures and crevices in the exterior walls, interior walls, balconies, terrace and roof can help you determine the damage-control needed. Depending on the nature and location of cracks, treat the area with polyurethane, cement, thermoplastic or PVC waterproofing solution available locally. Apply a couple of coats of waterproofing paint or sealant spray to create an impermeable setup that can terminate water seepage.

Unclog drains and pipes

Clogged internal and external pipes are not just breeding grounds for pests, harmful micro-organisms and bad odours but can also create unexpected overflow of drain inlets into roofs, bathrooms and sinks. Unclog the kitchen, bath and rainwater pipes to avoid water stagnancy and overspill. Want to try an instant remedy? Pour a cup of baking soda, a cup of table salt and a cup of white vinegar into the drain. Leave it for 15 minutes and slosh it down with boiling water to clear the pipes.

Disinfect, disinfect, disinfect

Humidity and dampness provide a hospitable environment to moss, insects and flies. Regular disinfection of internal surfaces like kitchen platforms, tables, shelves, walls, floors, etc., can let you have a home that smells fresh. While readymade disinfectant sprays or solutions are available in the market, prepare your own organic mixture of 25 per cent vinegar and 75 per cent water. Add to it your favourite essential oil for fragrance.

Keep dampness and sneaky pests at bay

To get rid of excess moisture and bad odour, place bath salts at the corners of kitchen cabinets and shelves. Make bath salt solution at home by mixing six parts of coarse sea salt, three parts Epsom salt and one part baking soda. Add a few drops of essential oil for the desired aroma.

To stop raw food items from spoiling, keep cabinets well ventilated and switch to airtight jars or glass containers instead of the plastic ones. Use homemade vinegar disinfectant solution to keep bugs and insects off from your storage units. Place camphor, naphthalene balls or silica gel sachets in drawers, kitchen shelves and cupboards to keep dampness and pests away. Try natural alternatives like neem leaves or cloves to stop silverfish and bedbugs from making themselves comfortable in your cupboards.

Secure electrical systems

All electrical outlets and wires, including lighting, appliances, doorbells and alarms, should be sealed properly to tailor a shock-free connection all around the house. Get the electrician to thoroughly check and fix any exposed wires and loose connections. Also check for water seepage in the generator room, inverter unit, MCB, etc.

Protect wooden surfaces

Wood, bamboo, cane or engineered wood furniture, storage units, floor planks, wall panels and other exposed wood surfaces require extra care during the rains. Use only dry cloth or absorptive fabric to wipe and clean. Moisture penetration can prompt the swelling of wood, leading to distortion. Apply varnish or sealant polish to protect the beauty of the piece.

Put heavy carpets, curtains away

Chances of spoiling fancy rugs, carpets and drapes increase during the rains. It is best to roll and wrap these up with cling film or plastic coverings and store in a dry place to protect from mold and mildew. Go for water-resistant or light fabric that can be easily cleaned.

Cover and seal all gaps

Customise and install awnings, canopies or shades to check rain from entering the house through windows and balconies. Use silicone caulks or rubber sealants for making the openings air-and water-tight. Check for gaps in AC openings, skylights and vents too.

A small preparation in advance will go a long way in making sure that you enjoy your tea and fries in peace, even during the rains.

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