A shower cap for your home

A shower cap for your home

 Keep your homes free of mouldy smells and dampness this monsoon. A few home remedies are all you will need to keep your house rain-ready, writes  Bindu Gopal Rao

When the heavens pour down, you will need to change the way you take care of your home interiors. Dampness and mouldy smell are two most common problems for most homes during monsoons. Read on to find out how to make your home monsoon-ready.

Carpets

Monsoon brings with it dirty floors, damp furniture and moist fabrics. This makes maintenance of carpets very difficult, considering most homes use heavy carpets. Suggests Ashish Dhingra, Founder, Obsessions, “It is better to roll away your expensive carpet and instead use a decorative bamboo or a coir mat. Ensure that you cover the rolled carpet with a plastic sheet to prevent it from moisture and accidental leakages and damages. Heavy carpets and monsoon do not go hand in hand. These carpets take days to dry and tend to retain the musty smell in them. Opt for carpets which are easily washable, light in weight and do not require much maintenance.”


Wood

Another thing that gets affected immediately is wood – an integral part of homes and décor. Brian Leslie, Technical Advisor, wood products, FII India, says, “Wood is a hygroscopic material. Therefore, controlling moisture is of utmost importance when it comes to wood, as high moisture levels result in swelling of wood while low moisture levels result in split or cracked wood. Wooden products should not be kept in a wet or humid area. Areas having more moisture are harmful for your wooden furniture; remember to move
the pieces of furniture away from such spots.”

Fragrance

It is important to keep the ambience from smelling damp. Fragrances that contain a blend of top notes with warm, earthy and spicy nuances in the base will help keep the home smelling fresh and cosy even while it rains.


“Try lemongrass reed diffusers to keep your homes zesty and radiant. Ylang Ylang candles will add a sparkle to dining and living areas. Apple cinnamon vaporisers can add zing to a special occasion or
gathering. For your wooden cupboards and desk drawers vermiculite powder/ EVA beads which absorb essential oils and gently release fragrance in the air can be used,” recommends Kiran Ranga, managing director & Master Fragrance Creator, Ripple Fragrances.

Drains and sockets

While you strive to keep your interiors fresh and clean, do not forget the functional part of your home - the drain pipes. Drains tend to get blocked during rainy days. “Have a plumber check the drains to make sure there are no blocks when it rains. It is always better to inspect all wiring and electrical sockets before the season begins,” advises Arun Kumar, founder and managing director, Casa Grande Pvt Ltd.

Furniture

It is advisable to use a water-resistant adhesive that protects furniture from de-bonding when exposed to water. “Be careful to never use a wet cloth to clean your wooden sofas and chairs as moisture makes them damp. Placing a de-humidifier in the room to protect antique furniture from getting moist would be a good way to add life. For wrought iron furniture, coating it with anti-rust would enable to keep it in a good shape while upholstered furniture should be cleaned with a dry cloth on an everyday basis. In case you have hardwood flooring, it should be coated with wax to protect it from moisture,” advises Ashish Shah, Co-Founder, Pepperfry.com.

The walls

Due to extreme and harsh climate, water seeps in through the walls of exterior and hence results in algae or fungal growth. Yatnesh Pandey, Chief Manager Marketing, Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd recommends, “To have long-lasting walls, it is recommended to paint with water-proofing, so that water seepage does not occur, followed by a top coat of paint that has high water repellency with additives that prevent growth of algae and fungus.

A water sealant, which is a special liquid, should be applied like paint on the exterior wall as it acts as a protective layer on the concrete wall.”


Décor


Welcome the monsoon with necessary changes, smart renovation of furnishings and floor areas.
Sheer curtains are important while redecorating the home. During monsoon, they allow fresh air and sunlight to enter the room. The light and airy curtains will ensure proper ventilation in rooms along with instant change in interiors.

Munawar Sharifi, Founder, The Design Company advises, “You can consider having monsoon blinds in balcony/ decks to keep the area semi-dry in monsoon and yet allow the feel of balcony. Monsoon blinds are available customised to your size and come in PVC transparent Roman blinds and wooden looks.”

Remember not to embark on any major home renovation exercises this season. Likewise, it is better to avoid painting interiors during the monsoons.

However, if you have planned for interior painting, allow adequate time for internal moisture to dry off.


More tips

To keep your home as dry as possible, you can use a dehumidifier or air conditioner.

Also make sure that there's enough cross-ventilation in the house.

Neem leaves or naphthalene balls in cupboards help absorb the moisture and prevent any bacterial growth.

Keep all windows closed, so, if there is a downpour you don’t have water entering through the window.

Monsoons are the ideal time to give your home a lively makeover. Fight the dull grey of the sky with a palette of bright vibrant colours of crockery, rugs or even cushions.

When swabbing, add a drop of vinegar to the water. This acidic medium discourages the formation of mould.

For furniture and furnishings, regular dusting and maintenance is more than sufficient. If they are set against the wall, inspect behind them regularly. It is best not to have them touching the walls.

Placing camphor in the wooden cupboards and shelves reduces moisture in the wood. It also protects the clothes and keeps it safe from insects.

Keeping cloves or silica gel sachets on clothes also eliminates the dampness problems associated with the rains.

Use a dry, soft cloth to clean furniture everyday to reduce dust accumulation which can build up and soften the finish on furniture. Never use a damp cloth.

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