Check out 7 Plumbing Mistakes in Your New Home

Proper plumbing system is a basic need of all Indian households. Perhaps, it is the first thing we see while moving into a house or apartment. Nobody wants to enter a home to encounter leakage, seepage, damps, and other problems regarding moisture.

It is quite frustrating, right?

The weather in India changes every second month. With each weather conditions, numerous problems regarding plumbing occur in our houses. And, what can be more frustrating than a home of too many plumbing problems. Will you happily live in that space? Of course not. For an average Indian family, it is undoubtedly not worth to spend thousands in just plumbing.

There are some basic plumbing mistakes that we make each day and ignore them every time. They are so common that most of the families in India suffer through it. We are listing them down one-by-one, and they are worth avoiding. By only not doing them repetitively we can save a lot of our money.

Here is the list of 7 mistakes we should check out in a new home

1. Installation of Plumbing fitting

Many a times we do not check the installation whether it is loose or not fitted properly. It is a basic need for plumber to check the layout of a new home properly, so that FTA i.e female threaded adapter(which is used to connect plumbing line to tap) can be installed properly. If it is installed inside the tiles then extension piece would be required, this will create extra joint which may lead to leakage and if it is installed outward, then also plumbing fitting is not done properly. So it is important that FTA is installed at the level of tile surface. This is usually not done properly. Additionally, always ensure that packing around FTA is done properly with tile grout at junction of tile and FTA.

2. No Trap at Floor outlet

Traps are an important component of a plumbing system. They prevent entry of foul air, insects, etc from the sewers into the building and resist the spread of disease. These are fitted at the end of soil pipes of waste pipes to prevent foul gases coming out of soil/ waste pipe. It is one of the common mistakes done in new homes, that the traps are not provided. If smell is coming in bathroom, check whether traps are provided or not.

3. Improper Packing around pipes laid under floor

Packing around pipes which run under floor are not properly done. This is one of the defect which occurs in plumbing. It is important that packing should be done properly to avoid movement of pipes, as this can lead to leakage.

4. Proper Solvent not used

It has been quite a common habit of Indians to fit everything in one place. Using wrong glue (or solvent) for joining pipes might result in an inappropriate combination. If pipes are of UPVC which needs to be joined then UPVC solvent or glue to be used. This is same applicable for other pipes like CPVC. This is usually not taken care while plumbing works. But this can lead to less firm joint which can lead to further problems.

Additionally when two pipes are joined, check that the ends of pipes are dust free and clean for better results.

5. Check gaps around floor outlet

Check if there are gaps around floor outlet, which is one of the common plumbing mistakes due to poor workmanship. It is important to do grouting (i.e. process of filling the gaps at junctions with suitable material) properly around floor outlet to avoid damages due to moisture.

6. No Separate water control valve

Nowadays in some cases, single water control valve is provided for the water supply at kitchen and bathroom due to lack of supervision. This seems to be not a problem usually, but during maintenance or repair work of any particular area the water supply of both the areas will be stopped. If not rectified on time, it will create hassles for residents in future. Separate water control valve should be provided for each wet area like kitchen and bathroom.

7. Type and material of Water Control Valve

It is usually observed that UPVC ball valves are used as water control valve. But UPVC has less service life and cannot serve for long time. It always better that Brass gate valve to be used for it.

Conclusion

Our objective was to make you aware about common plumbing mistakes which we have observed in new homes. So that you would be able to relate to them and avoid them by knowing about it as plumbing system1 is very important.

Difference between Waterproofing and Damp Proofing

A home is a reflection of an individual’s personality and we understand the importance of its value to home-owners. It is important that homeowners focus not only just on the painting but also on the maintenance of the home.

It is often observed that several factors create damage on the walls of the home if proper attention is not given to them. The common problems that homes face include dampness, cracks, seepage and leakage, which will affect its structural integrity.

People face a lot of problems due to leakage of water or seepage or dampness in buildings soon after construction and during life of buildings. Problem is faced by the occupants for repairing the same on a permanent basis. This is also a source of unhygienic condition, health hazard, etc., besides life of the building is shortened considerably.

In this case, usually people call vendors for repairing, some suggest you can have waterproofing or damp proofing. Although we use the terms waterproofing and damp proofing1 interchangeably, there is a significant difference between the two. There is a precise difference between damp proofing and waterproofing. The general aim of both is to minimize the travel or passage of water through a material.

Waterproofing is mainly done on the positive side i.e this is done on the surface of wall that comes in contact with water. This is done on roof, wet areas and external parts of building whereas Damp-proofing (wall) is done on the negative side i.e where it affects like internal wall problem, seep-in and ventilation. Suppose there is wall without waterproofing in your bathroom so this will cause dampness in this wall which may be common to room causing problem in the internal wall. Waterproofing is more effective as it keeps water in its various states from crossing a surface, therefore moisture from the soil, water vapour and water under hydrostatic pressure2 is efficiently barred. Whereas damp proofing only controls water vapour from the soil moisture and will not stop the inflow of liquid water.

Therefore damp proofing will only keep the dampness out from element of your building, it cannot prevent water from seeping in through cracks. On the other hand, waterproofing is effective in preventing water from entering through any holes or cracks. Since waterproofing materials are more flexible in nature and are applied as a thicker layer, it helps to keep the cracks covered and provides better insulation to the element.

Waterproofing also eliminates the inflow of water and moisture that can enter the home through the ceiling, wall and roof cracks; therefore these are areas that must be waterproofed to ensure a lasting solution. Damp proofing them may not be sufficient. But damp proofing will increase the capacity of wall to retain moisture.

Conclusion

Quality waterproofing can be the difference between a strong, long lasting, healthy home and one that constantly requires repair and maintenance.

Our objective was just to make you aware about the difference between Water-proofing and Damp-proofing, so that you can wisely make the correct choice when you face the problem in your home.

Of course it is a very vast topic. To know more about it, click here3.

Don’t Take Your Smart Home for Granted – Keep It Safe

9 Safety tips you must pay heed to in order to keep your Smart home and solutions safe

Who doesn’t own a Smartphone today? Even your next-door neighbour Mr. Sharma has gifted his mother a Smartphone last Diwali, right? We have come past the phase where we were dubious about updated versions of technology and phones bearing the same. Now we are in the supersonic era where everything is at your fingertips – be it switching on the lights of your drawing room or be it cleaning your house – one swipe in your Smartphone is all you need. We know how much pride you take in your Smart Home when it is cleaned and lit up automatically and almost all your household chores get finished in a flicker of an eyelid. All the while you just scroll through your Smartphone or engage in other things.

So, what is a Smart Home1? Whenever a homeowner like you is provided with efficient energy usage techniques, comfort, and convenience and of course, security, through smart home apps on your Smartphone or through other devices connected to the network, we call it a smart home.

You knew all about it this far, didn’t you? But how much have you worried about smart home safety? Feeling tensed? Well, don’t. Here we present you with a list of nine common safety tips which you must pay heed to in order to keep your Smart home and solutions safe.

1. Default password

The password and username provided during installation are easy and most vulnerable to fall prey to a cyber attack. This is a common mistake that we all do. This way the security of your Wi-Fi router and all the other devices connected to it, can be breached. Set strong, alphanumeric passwords with both lower and upper case letters and special characters. Unique passwords are safer and will protect you against most common and easy cyber attacks.

2. Software updates

Have you been ignoring the notifications of updating certain apps and your mobile software? Well, you should not have. The updates are designed to manage any loopholes in the existing version. By not doing the updates you are bringing your smart home safety at risk. Always update your Smartphone software and ensure protection from security breaches.

3. Integrated subsystems

Are your smart home units grabbing your attention for wrong reasons like a non-responsive heating unit or non-connecting security cameras? The issue is that your subsystems are not working in an integrated way. It might be that the smart devices you have chosen may not be compatible with each other but neither you nor the installation personnel knew about it. Go for an electrical inspection before installing them. This way you will be able to identify the glitch causing the gadget tantrums and resolve it.

4. Batteries draining out

As a part of the maintenance of the smart home devices2, the batteries need to be taken care of as well. Some devices are low energy products (for example door sensors). They will need battery replacement only once in a year. But high energy products (like motion sensors) will drain away batteries faster. In addition, make sure you set up a strong Wi-Fi range and move the smart devices closer to the home network. This will do wonders. Also, go through the settings of the devices and remove unnecessary features.

5. Data theft

The data you generate through your smart appliances without implementing protected wearable will provide a cyber attacker access to personal information of yours. From here this information will be used in fraudulent transactions. Data theft will gradually lead to identity theft. To ensure your smart home safety, go for encryption as that will enable one to access transmitted data only with the use of the decryption key.

6. Hijack of devices

As Internet of Things (IoT3) has advanced, so has cyber attacking. Consult an expert and ask for secure boot technology to inhibit any malicious firmware4 from being invested by a cyber attacker. After all, Smart Home needs a smart security solution.

7. No to Open-to-all Wi-Fi network

Keep the Wi-Fi account you use for your Smart home devices private. As for your guests and other visiting relatives, set up a guest network separately. Logging in to this separate network will keep your IoT devices from being hacked.

8. Verification by authentication

If you have not chosen two-factor authentication5 (2FA) we should doubt whether you want your smart home safe or not? This will make you stand strong against cyber attackers aiming at your smart devices. One-time codes sent to your Smartphone will make security a notch stronger. You should always choose smart device apps offering 2FA as this will enhance your smart home safety.

9. Review your home’s safety: Go for a home inspection

Smart or not, safety of home is never a one-time thing. It must be ensured 24X7, checked from time to time, and reinstalled and/or upgraded every year or as advised by experts. Now, the last word of the last paragraph is very important – “experts.” You do need experts to tell you if your home is safe and for that, you must opt for a comprehensive home inspection. Following are the areas that a home inspection covers and are integral to the safety of a Smart home as well:

Installation, Finishing, Operations & Functional Issues are always on the radar: Only a strong home can be transformed into a smart home. However, over a period of time, the structure and components of a house tend to give in to stress. The walls and ceilings, doors and windows – all become defective and weak. Lack of maintenance further expedites this deterioration process. Cracks are visible on the walls. There are seepage and damp in the ceilings. How can you expect such a home to be safe even if you install smart systems around it? Moisture present inside the wall can any day cause major electrical accidents and damage your gadgets altogether. Only home inspection experts can detect these hidden risks. They do so by using advanced technology tools. As a result, you become alert of the potential risks and your smart home is saved.

Electrical maintenance is covered: A sturdy electrical wiring system is the backbone of a smart home. Periodical audits ensure that everything is safe. During the audit or electrical inspection, each and every component of the system is checked – the switches, power sockets, wires, and circuit breakers, etc. Besides, it also helps you to manage your home’s energy consumption effectively.

Plumbing faults are identified: From leakage to the loose faucets in bathrooms, home inspectors check every invisible fault and issues that may cause damp or other problem. Also Damp/ leakage issues can be a reason that lead to bigger health problems.

You may not know but your home can be a den of potential risks. Upgrading it to a smart property without first eliminating these risks can cost you severely – both financially as well as physically & mentally. The best way to avoid that is to invest in a home inspection – health check-up of your smart home. It will initially cost you a few thousands more but will eventually prove to be a wise decision towards safe home.

To learn more about the home inspection, click here.

Through this blog, we just want to tell you about some tips related to smart home and also importance of getting it checked by experts to ensuring safety of your home.

New Home? 7 Things You Must Do During the First Week

The joy and excitement of moving into your new home is something different. The mere feeling of living in your very own heavenly abode is enough to cause butterflies in the stomach! While the whole moving in process is a lot of fun indeed, it is not devoid of tonnes of to-do tasks, all of which are necessary things to be done before you can even begin to enjoy the feeling.

Here we bring to you 7 most important tasks to complete in the first week of your moving in so that you can relax and live happily ever after.

Things to Do in the First Week of your New Home

1. Turn on the Utilities if not done yet

You should have arranged the connection of the main house utilities before the move as it is an important step, but if you have not done yet for some reason then do it without delay. Naturally, the first utility companies to call are the power and water providers – things will look much brighter, easier and smoother once you have electricity, gas and running water in your new house.

2. Get a TV, Telephone and Internet connection

Let us face it electronic media is now a part-n-parcel of our life. You would need them particularly if you have kids, to engage them while you unpack and arrange items in the house. Even otherwise, they are a good way to relax after a few hours of tiring yourself out. And telephone and internet connection are also important for communication and you can shop through the internet, pay your bills etc.

Again, be careful about where you are installing the TV set or other. There will be walls adjacent to bathrooms and other areas with possibilities of damp or moisture intrusion. Avoid those places to reduce any chances of electrical hazards in the near future.

3. Share your new address and check security essentials

Once you are sorted on getting all the essential utilities in place, it is time to update your new address in all the important places it needs to be. Do not forget to share it with all your loved ones too.

Coming to the home itself, assess how do you find the security facilities there? Are the main gate of the building and entrance of your flat in their desirable states? Check for any issues in the door locks, doorbell, and other small things like an eye hole. To ensure further safety and prevent intrusion of any kind, you may consider installing CCTV cameras, motion sensors etc.

Pro tip – Remember to change the locks: This is very important if you are moving into a resale apartment. You never know who all has the key to this house. Your safety in new home is primary. Even if it is a new apartment, the keys may have been with the builders’ staff (painters, construction workers), so why take a chance? Also, now is a good time to call a locksmith before you begin your new life.

4. Sort out what you need and don’t need

Believe us, now is the best time to do it – you may never find time again once you settle down and start your everyday routine. It may be anything from clothes, kids’ toys, utensils, or even important documents (some of them only seemingly important). Set aside the ones which you think are not needed anymore and arrange the rest of the documents neatly in files and folders. Label and organize them so that you can find them easily when needed.

5. Clean up or hire professionals

A new house is not necessarily free of dust or stains. You will need to tidy up the place and make it suitable to start living in. If you find it difficult to manage everything yourself, hiring professional cleaners might be a good idea. They will take care of every wall, cabinet, and bathroom, damp stains there and literally spruce up your place to turn it to brand new.

Now here is a catch – if you come across any damp spot or seepage in any corner of your house, be alert. Is it just a simple water stain? Ask yourself. Removing the stain can certainly be a good idea but you must try to know the cause behind it. And for that, you must rely on a professional who are experts in damp inspection.

6. Arrange for help in unpacking

You will surely need one if you have kids around but even if you do not, it is fun to call friends and family to help you unpack. Doing it together helps you all bond up and makes things easier on you too, allowing you to take a breather and not tire yourself out unnecessarily.

7. Get a home inspection done

A professional home inspection is always a better idea to proceed. This should be the one of significant task on your checklist because it is extremely important to ensure that your new house is healthy. You have already spent a huge amount of time, effort, and money on home buying. Why spend more on fixing it up later? Home inspection would identify the exact problem areas so that you can get them rectified by the builder itself if it registered under RERA, before even moving in. These issues can be related to any corner of your home, any component, and of any magnitude. There can be a persistent damp problem, an error in the slope of floor, poor quality window and door frames and locks, rust-prone bathroom fittings, or a problem in the circuit breaker etc. From inspecting electrical wiring system and switches to checking lofts and balconies, plumbing systems, a home inspection does everything that is crucial for your hassle-free living.

Curious, how a home inspection can save you time and money? Here you go.

If there is any concealed leakage/ seepage problem, you can hire professionals who are expert in thermal imaging technology.

Additional tip: If you are planning to do interior designing of your house, start doing the research now. But before hiring an interior designer, don’t forget to get your house inspected professionally for better results. Only a healthy home can showcase a good decor perfectly.

The professional home inspectors will come over, inspect your property and help identify any potential damage. They will check for damp or other issues your house may become a victim to a few years down the line. In the case of resale properties, an inspection is a must because you don’t know how the earlier owners would have maintained the property. But don’t ignore inspections in new homes too as problems start surfacing there only after a few months.

Conclusion

Our objective was to make you aware about the important things/ task to be done in the first week of your home.

Moving in can be quite cumbersome but enjoy the fun and don’t forget to maintain your home well.

8 Everyday Habits to Keep Your House Fresh & Damp-Free

Living with dampness is a real-life challenge. It is one of the most irritating things that we all want to say ‘No’ to. It is annoying for your premise no matter if you are the owner or a tenant in a house. Damp spots in a house not only look unpleasant but also display issues with maintaining plaster stability and colour quality. Plus, dampness poses a big threat to the health and hygiene of the house inmates. Deteriorating air quality gives rise to breathing problems and allergies while a constant stuffiness becomes the reason for clinical depression. With a little precaution, you can take care of these damp related issues by yourself.

It is rightly called, “a stitch in time saves nine.” Here we suggest eight everyday habits, which if you adopt, will help you to keep your house fresh and damp-free to a large extent. The other benefit of following these tips is cost savings. You will be able to avert many elaborate repair work in the future.

1. Keep windows open at least during daytime

It is always wise to keep the windows open during daytime. This allows sunlight and open air to enter the room and it keeps the ventilation1 easy and free flowing. This is simple, yet works like magic. Sunlight and open air flow controls the condensation of moisture, and prevents damp from setting in.

Maintaining the easy and natural ventilation is a stress-freeway to control the dampness in your home. Try to keep door and windows open as maximum as possible to let air and light in.

2. Check and repair cracks on the walls

If you get to see any cracks on the wall, take immediate action to repair it. These are the places that let moisture to enter the wall and act as triggers for inducing dampness which can invariably weaken the entire structure.

Make it a regular habit to inspect the tiles and pipes and outlets in the roof for any blockage and leak. Once you make it a regular habit, you will be able to identify damp prone areas of your home. Regular checking of drains also helps a lot. It ensures that there is no blockage and overflow and negates any chance of damp.

3. Make cleanliness a priority: Don’t neglect algae & fungal growth

Microbial plant growth is one of the alarming signals of damp at home. Check diligently if you find any traces of algae or fungi on the walls. If seen, take immediate step to remove them. If you see them growing again, consider a home inspection for there is a bigger damp issue hidden somewhere in your home. A damp inspection would be the best way to unravel it.

Don’t forget to inspect your kitchen and bathroom areas because both these places are unusually moisture prone. If any leakage is found, make it a rule to mend it as fast as possible. Bathroom furniture, regardless made of PVC or nylon material, may attract damp in the bathroom or kitchen. Take control of the situation as soon as you see discolouration or smell something rotten.

4. Clean the upholstery at regular intervals

Upholstery is the paradise for accumulation of dirt, grime, and microbes and in many cases can cause the damping issue inside a home. Check on a weekly basis the cleanliness of these fabrics.

Make it a habit to clean the furniture and upholstery in your home to keep them dust and damp free. It is good for your home’s hygiene and keeps dampness at bay.

5. Check excess moisture addition to your indoor atmosphere

Don’t make a habit of drying clothes inside home and keeping the bathroom windows closed for hours. These unhealthy habits are some of the reasons behind the increased moisture content in your home. To get rid of the problem, you may think of getting a dehumidifier for your home. At least, make the habit of using exhaust fan after taking a bath or switching on the kitchen chimney while cooking. Small efforts will go a long way in keeping your home comparatively dry and fresh all the time.

6. Deep-clean your home on a periodical basis

Not only before Deepavali but your home needs a deep-cleaning after every 3-4 months in a year. Deep cleaning means removing dirt from every imaginable place & corner of your home and making it squeaky clean. While engaging in this activity, you may come across many hidden problems. Tend to them immediately or get a home inspection done if you think it requires an expert intervention.

7. Take damp problems seriously, identify the underlying reason

Damp is the outcome of an underlying leakage and/or seepage problem. We all know that but how many of us try to identify the source? None, let’s admit it. The moment you come across a water stain on any wall or ceiling, you either think that it is temporary and would disappear in a while or consider repainting the patch to hide it. This can turn out to be a futile and rather costly attempt to repair damage. Try to identify the source of the damp. If you can’t do it on your own, take the help of professional home inspectors, they will use advance thermal technology scanners to identify the source of damp and advice you on the best feasible solution.

8. Verify the leaking plumbing line, dripping faucets

Constantly dripping tap and plumbing line leakage can create damp in your home. Once you repair these leaking points, you will probably get to rectify the damping spots. Make a habit to inspect your plumbing line and dripping faucet, if any, at regular intervals.

The damp spots will go away once the problems are treated and sorted. If the spots seem stubborn, contact a damp expert to investigate further.

Conclusion

Master these eight habits and make them a part of your daily chores. We can assure you that your home will become clean, hygienic, and damp-free to a large extent. It will have a better environment to live in and you will bask in the glow of good health and happiness. In addition to adopting good habits you must also be proactive in every step of life. So, educate yourself and stay one step ahead of your friends and neighbours in the matter of home maintenance.

Economical ways to keep your home warm in Winters

Winter is here, it is that time of the season when we sip hot tea or coffee along with some freshly made spicy snacks.

Temperature is decreasing and weather is getting colder1. However, for many, the winter season brings a lot of diseases with the onset of low temperatures. Hence it is important to keep your home warm in this season.

We usually use a room heater for keeping home warm. But this can increase your electricity bill. So we thought to discuss some economical ways to keep your home warmer this winter. Using these ways below will not only save money, but will make sure you are warm and comfortable all winter long:

1. Allow the sun in

Once the sun is up, you want to capture as much of that free heat as possible. Even on cold days, the sun is still warm. In the morning and during the noon, make sure you catch up as much of the heat as possible to keep your home warm. There are many people who keep their windows shut even when the sun is shining brightly. Open your windows and let the sunshine enter the room.

2. Put on curtains

Thick curtain can help you in trapping the heat and prevent it from escaping through the windows. Once the sun goes down, keep all that heat from leaving through the windows by closing the curtains. So, Open the curtains during the day light and put it on during night so that it can allow heat into the room and then protect it at night.

3. Make Use of carpets and rugs

Rugs and carpets help prevent heat loss through the floor. They are generally warmer to the touch than wood/ stone/ tile, and so offer a warmer surface to walk on. Using woolen carpet or any other carpet or rug that you may have, can help you trap heat and make home warmer.

4. Keep the unused rooms shut

If you keep all the unused rooms in your house shut, then this will block the cold air from circulating into the rest of the house. And your home would stay warm even in winters.

5. Seal gaps around door and window

In your everyday busy schedule, you might not really get time to check for any air leaks. Check the gaps around window and door frames to avoid the intrusion of cold air inside home. These gaps needs to be properly sealed to avoid other damages.

6. Add warmth with candles and lanterns

Light a candle or a lantern in your room. Candles will not only light your home and make it look beautiful, but they will also make it warm during the winter days. But better to use non toxic candles like soy candles2 to avoid indoor air pollution. These are inexpensive heaters to produce warmth in room. They are not as effective as electric heaters but will create some amount of warmth very cheaply. Just be careful of where they are placed and do not leave them unattended.

Conclusion

These are simple and inexpensive ways to stay warm in winters. This way you can be warm and comfortable in your home without worrying about the high electricity bills. Our objective was to make you aware about this, as it is important to keep your home warm to keep you healthy in this winters.

Repair Your House in Time to Avoid Spending More Later

To make a house – a home is no child’s play. People spend their entire lives trying to make their houses as beautiful and liveable as possible. However, despite their efforts, they are not always able to repair every damaged component of their house on time. Many wear-and-tear issues go unchecked and unattended for days.

You would say, “Everything gets worn out over time or with regular use; home fixtures and furnishings are no exception to the rule.” – True that. But unfortunately, putting off small repairs to a “later time” can actually cost us dearly. And by this, we mean both in terms of house damage and money. If you don’t believe us, here are some seemingly minor home repair issues that are often delayed but can get expensive when finally carried out.

4 Home Repairs That Can Cost You More If Delayed

1. Water stains on the walls or ceilings

It is easier to ignore them but they actually demand urgent attention, failing which they can cause seepage and the wall to rot eventually. If you notice water stains on your walls or ceiling, it means:

  • There is a leakage somewhere in the concealed water/ drain pipe from the above unit/ floor. The source can be located away from the stain itself.
  • There is a crack in the roof or the waterproofing1 membrane has worn out. Hence, leakage is happening from the roof.
  • Seepage from the wet areas in the upper/ adjacent unit: Wet areas like blocked drains, overflowing bathrooms, shower drains, etc area major source of excess moisture in a home. Water from these areas in the upper/ adjacent flat can seep through the gaps around and below floor outlet and leakage stains.

It is a common scene in many households but how many of us pay heed to it? We choose to ignore damp spots giving excuses for elaborate repair work and budget constraints.

What happens if damp is left untreated?

The seeping water can lead to spreading of moisture in associated areas and affecting it. This can lead to further paint deterioration problem and create unhealthy living conditions.

How to fix the problem in a timely manner?

To know how to fix it, you need to understand the cause also and proper steps. For that you can read A Stepwise Guide to deal with Water Stains on Your Ceiling.

2. Peeling off Paint

This may look harmless except a bit unpleasant to the eye though but it should not be delayed for the simple reason that cracking or peeling paint or putty can allow water from the concealed pipes to seep in, causing eventual dampness in the wall. This is, in fact, the opposite side of the coin if you consider point number one i.e. if there are leakage and seepage somewhere in the home and you are unaware of it, the paint will start peeling off.

Paint or putty also commonly starts peeling off around window and door frames where they hit against the wall or along the circumference of the holes around ceiling fans.

Result?

  • Damaged aesthetics
  • Increased risk of electrical hazards (in case of presence of electrical fitting in affected area)
  • Diminishing value of the property

How to fix the problem in a timely manner?

Repainting would be the obvious answer. But hang on there. Putting a fresh coat of paint on a damp wall will do more harm to your house than anything else. Here is what you should do before painting your house.

3. Blocked drains

This is another common problem area in homes and most likely ignored too. The issue is an outcome of certain objects or heavy materials being flushed down the drain in home bathrooms, & also in balcony and roof. Some examples include fallen hair, shampoo sachets, paper towels, and the like, which don’t get easily flushed out and therefore result in clogged pipes and drains.

What happens if left untreated?

Blocked drains can result in water overflowing from the outlet. In fact, if the blockage is severe, it may also cause the pipes to burst, which means even more spending, later on, to get it fixed.

How it can be taken care of?

You can get it repaired by a plumber. You can also refer some DIY in blog by Constellation on How to Fix a Clogged Drain2.

4. Termite and other pest problems

They come uninvited and become a part of your home rather soon. Their presence can be quite serious since they tend to cause enormous havoc in a short span. The worst is the structural damage, termites have the potential of causing and the only solution to get rid of them is to slay them out with the help of professionals. Don’t delay at all. Call pest control services to do the needful. Also, read this article to know about the following queries/ topics:

  1. How to determine whether your home is infested with Termites?
  2. Preventive Tips against Termites
  3. Natural Ways for Getting Rid from Termites
  4. Methods for Controlling Termites

Remember one thing – pests do not invade homes that are clean and hygienic. So, if you find any trace of them, be alert of a hidden damp issue. Call for a home inspection and get the source of damp detected and repaired in time.

The list of “small issues turning big” doesn’t end here. There can be things like loose latches of doors and windows, gaps around the frames, decaying wooden furniture, defective switches, loose faucets in kitchen and bathrooms, buckled, cracked, or stained tiles, etc at any point in time.

In a nutshell, small problems will keep surfacing but leaving them unattended can cost you a fortune later. Strike when the iron is hot. Be vigilant, do the small repairs from time to time, and invest in regular home inspection they will suggest the solution for repairs to prolong the life of your home.

Learn why to have Home Inspection before Interior Designing?

“So, you bought a new house? Congratulations! Now you will go for a chic interior designing.” – Sounds familiar? But, “Hey, you got a new house for yourself? Go hire a home inspection. Interior designing can wait” – admit it, you have never come across such a suggestion, and this is exactly where we need to change our mindset. A newly-built home, an old home lived or left vacant for years – nothing guarantees a property’s sound health. And if it is not in its pink of health you cannot make it look good externally. This is true for the house you have been living in for years, as well. If you want to give your beloved nest a makeover, you must get it checked by a home doctor first. Once the doctor (home inspector) says your home is perfect, health-wise, go ahead and deck it up! Only a healthy body can flaunt the best of styles, right?

Here are 6 reasons to opt for home inspection before interior designing making it more worthwhile:

1. No damp, no damage, no blame

Implementing home inspection at your home will easily identify areas where you have high dampness. It could be your roof or wall or places you least expected. With the appropriate measures suggested by professional home inspectors, damp removal will follow. Now when your chosen interior designers set forth for making your house more aesthetically appealing, they will find everything in its place.

Very commonly the blame of a broken tile, a chunk of plaster missing from the wall, and discoloration, etc are conferred upon the interior designers and the team working on it. This is not only unfair but also illogical. In fact, it is the interior designing team that faces the music after taking up the job. No solution to fix damp problems1 seem to work. No wallpaper or installation gets fixed on the wall in a secured manner. There is always a risk of shelves and cabinets falling off the wall due to its damaged texture. Simple Plaster of Paris and multiple coats of paint are wasted just to make a damp wall look proper. What is your situation then? You are like a fish out of water clueless about the end result and cost!

Inspecting your house will settle a specific quality baseline. So, once the designing work starts, no scope of blaming due to damage can arise.

2. No delay in deadline

Of course there is a strict deadline for any work and neither home inspection nor interior designing is any exception. Once interior designers are at work and one or another problem with your building arises, their work will be delayed. If the home inspection team identifies the problem areas beforehand, you can repair them on a priority basis also.

Always keep in mind that if your home has not been inspected earlier and the designers find a damp spot here, an electrical defect there, those things need to be repaired first and that will actually postpone the expected date of completion of the project. As a customer, you also have to cough up extra money. Moreover, it will be quite inconvenient for you as well living in a temporarily messed-up house. A home inspection before interior designing is thus helpful in sticking to the deadlines.

3. No baffling budget

Well, let’s face it. The interior designers are supposed to perform only what they have been assigned. Now, if you present them with a faulty home in desperate need of inspection and they have to repair more than designing, things will not remain the same. The budget will increase, quite obviously.

Had you asked for a home inspection prior to stepping into interior designing, you would have known what your home has in store for you. Don’t get surprised if the interior designers ask for more on finishing their work than what they had asked for at the start of the agreement. In short, you need to allow the designing team to stick to their core competency. Or else, bear the extra costs.

Going for interior designing post a successful home inspection is a wiser choice if you do not want a hole in your pocket or get your mind baffled by the final bill amount the designers present you with.

4. Waive off wastage and rework

When you put home inspection to work, you can identify seepage or dampness issues quite early. In this context, let us just remind you of a small thing. It doesn’t matter whether your home is brand new or quite old. Dampness and other issues like leakage in the open or concealed piping system, overhead tank, moisture intrusion from window frames can occur at any time. If you skip an inspection, the nuisances will come up later when you have already finished designing the interiors of your home. It will spoil the furniture, expensive fixtures in your bathroom, heavy wooden work on doors and partitions, appliances set up you have so long craved for – everything. Result? Rework. The interior designers have to start from scratch again and redo what they had already done earlier. Wastage will also follow.

You can avoid all these things with home inspection prior to interior designing. Even if the designers recreate the same style for your home after putting down their previous work, there will be some issues with quality. Do not take risks with the design deliverables. Instead, call for a home inspection service today.

5. No damages during interior designing

An interior designing team is unlikely to know from where the concealed plumbing line or electricity line of your home is passing. So, they can install a design material or cladding at a place unknowingly damaging a part of it. Later on, you will have to face the consequences. A home inspection prior to interior designing can advise you on where not to install a decorative item or fixture. For example, on a wall adjacent to a wet area like the bathroom, it is meaningless to mount wallpaper. Sooner than later, it will start coming off due to seepage and dampness in the wall. An interior decorator would not be able to foresee this problem. It is only after a home inspection team points it out that you can tell your interior designer, “See, this is what my home inspection report card says. Let’s not plan any elaborate makeover for this part of the house.” This way, you can avoid further damage to that space and save money on something that will not last long.

6. Advantages for the interior designers

It is always easy to put the blame on others, isn’t it? If you are a part of the interior designing team you will more frequently come across accusations that your team has not given their best. Some months or days after you completed a project, you will receive complaints saying that the designs on the wall are coming off, the appliance set up has not been perfect, and so on and so forth. An unsatisfied customer actually leads to a loss of reference. They are not likely to recommend your service to others. It’s your business which will face problems though there might not be any fault of yours.

Insist your customer for a thorough home inspection before you start your work of designing in the house. This way you can avoid brand dilution as the faults will be identified well beforehand.

To know how a home inspection can help you in your interior designing project, click here.

Both home inspection and interior designing go hand in hand as they share the common objective of ensuring the following:

  • The functionality of your home and its components
  • Health and inherent beauty of the home
  • Safety and security of the inmates
  • Longevity of the property

So, go ahead and do up your dream home by professional interior designers BUT only after a thorough home inspection has been done. Do not let your home face even the slightest of nuisances. Also, update yourself and be aware of how to take care of your home and bid farewell to damp and other damages permanently. Here is a fact sheet that gives you all the trivia on home inspection – read more to make the best decision before investing in interior designing.

Primer : Is it necessary to apply it before Painting?

Painting any surface basically serves two purposes. It enhances the beauty of walls/ structure and also protects the surfaces of the structure. Before painting any surfaces, the application of primer is recommended. Some question arise, like – Why primer is required? Can’t we do away with primer by applying one more coat of paint? For a layman, the difference between the two is not easily understood as both look similar.

Before painting any structure, you should know the difference between primer and paint. Paint and Primer both are different products, though they look like same. They have a different purpose, function and constituents. We would first explain the primary difference between primer and paint.

Difference Between Primer and Paint

Primer

Primer is paint but without pigments, it primarily consists of resins. Primers are designed so that they create a bond with the sub surface and also with paint, to create a uniform surface which is suitable to receive the paint.

Function of Primer

Primer penetrates in the porous surface and seals the surface to ensure better coating and adhesion. It also hides imperfections and provides an even, smooth, and stable foundation for the paint. It is a problem solver providing good coverage.

Paint

Almost the major constituents of paint remain same as a primer, plus paints contain pigments, which provides the colour. Paints contain different types of additives than primers. These additives perform a different function like providing bond and adhesion, quick drying, durability, etc.

Function of paint

Paints add colour and shininess to the surface. They make the surface finished and provide protection. Pigments in paints also help in hiding the surfaces. There are many constituents added in the paint so that it dries quickly and it gives durability, i.e. life to the paint.

If the paint is applied to an unprimed surface, it may crack, peel off within few months. For paint to last long, priming the surface with the right primer is important.

Now, We jump into a commonly asked question i.e. Is it necessary to apply Primer before painting?

The primer as the name suggests, is the primary layer that is ready to receive paint. It is nothing but paint without pigment. It improves the adhesion of paint and thereby increases durability and life of paint film. Apart from this there are other uses of primer:

Primer before paint is like the base of your paint job and can be used on wood, plastered wall, concrete, etc. Applying primer coat over new surfaces reduces the amount of paint being absorbed by the basic surface. The primer will help you in hiding joints and other small defects, when it is applied to surfaces. Basically it is paint without pigment, it serves all the functions of the paint at a lower cost, as it is the pigment which increases the cost of paint. If primer coat is not applied, you might have to apply one more coat of paint, which of course will increase the cost. It increases covering capacity of the paint and thus decreases the overall cost of painting.

If suitably applied, primer will enhance the life of the paint, and also improve the appearance. Therefore primer before paint is absolutely necessary.

Some tips for Primer Application

  1. It is essential that the primer should only be applied to dry and clean surfaces. Before the application of primer coat, the surfaces are smoothened by sand paper and dust is removed.
  2. After the primer coat application, to ensure proper drying of the primer, the surface should be painted after a few days.
  3. The surfaces that have deteriorated should be cleaned properly before the application of primer.

And follow the instructions as per manufacturer’s specification.

Proper interior and exterior surface preparations combined with primer will build an effective barrier against stains and moisture and promote full adhesion of the paint. Primer is thus very useful as it reduces the cost of overall painting and also increase the appearance and life of the paint.

Old Problems in Modern House: Seepage and High Moisture

Mr. and Mrs. Chowdhury are a newly-married couple dwelling in a posh colony in Kolkata where they bought a house just after their marriage and are living there for since a few months. Well, the house is not a new one and the couple did not get much time to renovate. One day their neighbour Mr. Roy visited them. After chit-chats for a while he asked whether they planned to paint the house soon. When they replied in positive, Mr. Roy said, “Well, I have been a civil engineer all my life. Take my suggestions. Check the building for moisture seepage or water leakage.”

“There are damp spots here and there, Uncle. I’m thinking of repainting the whole thing. She was suggesting wallpapers. We haven’t decided what we’d do” said Mr. Chowdhury.

“Son, seepage problem and issues of high moisture / damp in even a modern building are like old wine in a new bottle. Never ever do the mistake of repainting over it. You have no idea how freaking this can be. Let me enlighten you a bit.

Let’s first know why moisture accumulates in your house. There can be external and internal reasons. What else other than the weather can be the external cause? You see, in a humid weather condition like Kolkata, your house is always exposed to high moisture. How frequent are we experiencing days-long depressions? Last it was Bulbul, earlier it was Fani, can you see how common it is becoming? And then the regular rains. To be truthful, we are completely helpless against nature. Least we can do is take care of our home and apply damp-proof1 measures in their place.

That reminds me, keep in mind it is not only your ceiling which stares at you with its damp spots. You can never imagine where and how you can discover moisture deposition! Behind the sofa set, the wall in between your room and bathroom, behind the WC, under the floor tiles, the geyser-mounted wall – anywhere you can come across seepage. Mind it, those areas where air does not pass and light cannot reach, are prone to develop such issues.

Now, as for internal reasons, there is not one, not two but quite a few. First of them will be the leaking pipes. Leaking fixtures, be it the exposed or the concealed pipes, brings the trouble of damp, high moisture accumulation or seepage with them.

Moving on, it is not only pipes which are the “Wanted Criminals”. Plumbing problems occur most commonly while setting up the bathroom. Faucet knobs and taps are often fixed loosely. The geyser maybe damaged, the hand-held shower can be leaky and so on and so forth. When you bought this house from the previous owners, you obviously didn’t check the bathroom like this, did you? The fancy bathroom fittings grab our eyes and we simply overlook the possibilities of plumbing faults in them.

You know Chowdhury, what happens is that the moisture and water from these faulty leaks, humidity from the weather – all these ups the moisture content of your house. Over days it goes beyond a permissible level and your house with all the modern amenities gifts you something which you never dreamt of. Flaky chunks from the walls, damp spots, swollen floor tiles will be your “home warming party gifts” a year later. Add to these, low-quality building materials and an unprincipled builder. Well, you could ask for nothing worse.”

By now Mr. and Mrs. Chowdhury were looking really worried and scared to some extent also. “What should we do Uncle?” they asked.

“Don’t worry that much. There is no problem that cannot be taken care of. Never jump to a decision before judging the circumstances well. At first, know your home well and see what is causing the damage actually. You and I may not be the right person to understand that. For that, you need the eyes of an inspector, a home inspector to be precise. I had home inspection for my house too before buying it and they said my problem was the ground below. Years ago, there might have been a water-body where the house stands now. Luckily, the house had not come up till then and I did what it required to seal the deal. The experts I hired have one more services Damp inspection, in which they use advance thermal imaging technology through which they detect the source of moisture and suggest the long term solution accordingly.

Now you may just paint the dampened areas or cover them with wallpapers. But take this for granted, these are like little crimes which you cannot hide forever. Even through the new wallpaper or new paint, the seepage marks will be as clear as daylight. Well, not immediately, but eventually of course. Why waste money like that? Instead, why not take the experts’ opinion?

Home inspectors are experts in the job of inspecting your house thoroughly and tell you the exact reasons for the nuisance you are facing with seepage issues. Don’t get disheartened by the results. You may wonder at what they find out. Home inspection service providers will give you suggestions as to what will be the best solution for you to bid goodbye to the adversities permanently.

You have many more years to stay in this home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful that your sweet abode shines every time you celebrate your togetherness? Call for home inspection today and do a thorough check up. Then when all these would be done, invite me for a sumptuous dinner, not only tea. After all, who gave you the idea to come out of this?,” smirked Mr. Roy.