Is your home rain-ready?

Last Updated 14 May 2015, 16:54 IST

After the scorching summer heat, the rains are eagerly awaited. The cool whiff of fresh air laden with tiny drops of water, the intoxicating smell of wet earth and freshness of everything around, makes the rainy season a welcome guest. But I am sure that you don’t want water-filled basements and leaky ceilings to spoil the show for you as just one heavy downpour is enough to cause great damage. So, here are a few tips and tricks to make your home rain-ready and turn this rainy season into a truly memorable one.

Start with the roofA roof keeps us dry and safe and hence, it is extremely important to take good care of it. Have a close look at your roof. If you see any cracks, get them sealed well before the rains. White cement mix works well to seal cracks and gaps.

Ideally, you should apply the sealant well in advance, so that it dries properly. If your roof has shingles or roof tiles, look for any broken, cracked or missing tiles and have them replaced. Also, ascertain that the metal flashing on your shingle roof is not rusted or cracked. Get the appropriate treatment done at least a month before the rains begin.

Clean the drains

Drains and gutters perform the essential task of transporting accumulated rainwater safely to the main drain without affecting the foundation of your house. One must check the drains and gutters for any clogging due to accumulated leaves, twigs, stones and grit on the terrace. These often clog the drainpipes and cause a back flow of water, which leads to major leakage problems in the ceiling. Or perhaps, there could be a leakage somewhere in between, causing the water to flood the foundation of your house. A cement sealant might come in handy here. As a routine, one should get the drain pipes cleaned and checked twice every year. For a more effective cleaning, you can utilise tools that are specifically designed to clean the gutters and drains.

Fix those cracks

Look out for cracks in the ceiling and walls. These cracks especially along the edges of the ceiling give rise to seepage in the walls. Seepage might eventually lead to flooding and development of mould and mildew on the insides of your house leading to unhygienic living conditions. So, have the cracks filled with a white cement putty and then paint it to match the wall colour. Do check out the doors and windows for gaps that can let rainwater inside. Treat these gaps with strips called brush seals that can seal the gap perfectly.
External cleaning driveDon’t let dried leaves, fallen twigs and wilted blooms occupy your lawn for a long time. Check your driveway for debris, too. Get them cleared regularly as they are likely to block the drain pipes and cause flooding in the rainy season. Have a good look around your house and see if there are any large trees that need a trim. Rainstorms can cause the branches to break and damage your home. Also, if you do have a swimming pool in your house, have the water level reduced as rainwater will accumulate there, too. Have your garden and patio furniture cleared and put away for the monsoons.

Check the basement

Have your basement checked professionally if you have had incidences of seepage or leakage previously. If advised, go in for resealing the entire basement as prevention is always better than cure. This is true, especially if your house is located in a low-lying area.Keeping sandbags around your house adjacent to the wall might help a lot with seepage. If there is only slight leakage, move all the basement furniture to higher rooms to cut down on damage.

Examine the electrical wiring

This is an absolute essential. Any exposed wiring needs to be checked or there might be a danger of short-circuiting. Make sure that there are no loose wires and check the junction boxes and switch boards for possible accumulation of water. Any bulbs or electrical fixtures out in the open must be removed to avoid damage. You might also consider unplugging unused electrical appliances to avoid electrocutions.
Small things matterKeep charcoal or camphor in your cupboards. Charcoal absorbs moisture and keeps your clothes, shoes dry and safe. Dry your clothes well before keeping them in the cupboards to prevent the growth of fungus. One should also try to do away with carpets in the rainy season as they become moisture-collecting agents.

On the odd sunny day in between the rains, open the curtains and let the sun dry and disinfect your home. You should clean your furniture with a dry cloth to avoid moisture accumulation. Acetone might come in use here since it dries very quickly. It is in fact a good idea to get your furniture polished before the rains to avoid moisture seepage.

Rains are a time to rejoice and have fun. Once you are done with making your home rain-ready, sit back and relax. Get cosy with a cup of tea and your favourite snacks and enjoy the cool refreshing rains.

(Published 14 May 2015, 16:48 IST)

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