Caring for Health and Home During Heavy Rains.
The current weather phenomena causing heavy rains in Tamil Nadu and Chennai in particular which some blame on climate change is causing severe disruptions in personal and work lives. While Tamil Nadu is receiving rainfall thanks to the northeast monsoon, the intensity and frequency have increased due to the depression in the Bay of Bengal. Since the start of the Northeast monsoon in October, Tamil Nadu regions have experienced about 43 per cent excess rainfall, according to Indian Express.
In such times not only do you need to take good care of your health but also protect your homes. It’s not uncommon to see moss and mildew on walls, flooring and furniture, thanks to the dampness. Then there’s the problem of seepage wrecking the walls, the fear of accidents owing to exposed electrical wires, rusting grills, smelly rugs and mats, termites – to name just a few.
So here are ways to keep your health and your home intact
- Dampness and insect infestation
Heavy rain brings with it humidity and dampness that is perfect for insects and other pesky creatures. It’s not uncommon to see insects crawling in and around your house. It’s important to check for the source of dampness, which provides a favourable breeding environment for these insects that become sources of various infections.
Check all the rooms for signs of dampness. Look at walls, ceilings, under the shelves, behind the closets and doors, even check the walls from the outside to find white mineral deposits or flaking paint. Once you track down the affected area, the next step is to check the source of the problem. Most likely, you will find leaking pipes, walls, and ceiling cracks. Make a note of all the areas you need to fix, so as to prevent further damage.
You may use sealant, putty or grout to cover cracks on pipes and walls. Opt for silicon paints that have high water-resistant properties for indoors walls.
- Maintenance of electricals
We all know that water and electricity do not go hand-in-hand. Messy electricals can cause short circuits and long power cuts or, even worse, electrical shocks. In case of any defaults, immediately switch off the main power supply and seek professional help.
- Prevent fungus and moulds.
If you can see blackish growth on your walls, that’s mould, which later turns into toxic fungus. It is a highly poisonous growth that thrives in moisture and humidity. Here’s how you can spot mould before it spreads:
- Bubbling of paint: If you notice tiny bumps underneath the surface of your wall paint, there is moisture and probably mould too.
- Chimney smell: If your chimney has a musty smell, it’s probably collected a bit of mould from moisture in the kitchen.
You may contact a professional to deal with mould and fungus and rainy season cleaning. However, here are easy some ways to prevent mould and fungus:
- Use bleach to remove mould and mildew from walls, tiles, shower curtains, bathroom mats, etc.
- Borax and vinegar solution can be used with scrub on affected areas.
- Install a bathroom exhaust fan to facilitate proper ventilation.
- Repair leaks in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Enable ventilation
Ventilation is a must for every home throughout the year. As the air inside the house gets moist during rains, it can further increase the growth of mould and fungus. Cross-ventilation will keep humidity levels within the houses in check and get rid of any musty smells. Moreover, a well-ventilated house has low chances of wall damage from condensation. So, open up those windows and increase the airflow.
Learn about different ways you can enable cross-ventilation in your home with this video.
- Reduce moisture
Simple day-to-day activities also count. So, while you cook, keep the dishes covered with a lid so that the steam stays inside. Do not dry wet clothes in the rooms, keep them outside on the balcony only. Make a habit of wiping down the walls of the bathroom after taking a shower, this will protect the walls. You can also invest in a dehumidifier, as it is very effective in drying up everything and anything quickly.
The nicest thing about rain is that it stops, eventually. So let’s enjoy it while it lasts, making sure our health and our homes are protected as best as possible.
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