Dealing Your Home With Monsoon | This Checklist Might Help Protecting Your Home from Rainy Season

Rainy season brings pleasant weather, but it can also bring a series of problems if your property (home, office, etc) is not ready to handle the negative effects of this weather.

Although the monsoon season is one of the best seasons of the year, it also brings plethora of small and big problems for your property & health. From mold and fungus to roof leaks and damp walls, this season is all about trying to keep the inside and outside of our home in a decent & dry condition. As prolonged exposure to water can result in dampness, peeling paint and unhealthy living conditions, it is recommended to make sure that your house is well-equipped to deal with the rainy season.

Significance of Monsoon Home Care

With the onset of monsoon, there is an unusual odour in the home, garden and wardrobes, which can be a complete turn-off. Different types of insects and pests surface, making life difficult.

The monsoon season can be intimidating as it brings along unpleasant odors, mosquitoes, flies, pests, moss, molds, and fungus into our homes. It also exposes us to air-borne and water-borne diseases, posing significant health risks. Suddenly, our positive atmosphere diminishes, and worries take over, leaving us with limited options. Hence, it is crucial to be cautious during the monsoon and prioritize the well-being of our home to effectively tackle the challenges brought by the rain. Ultimately, a healthy home is essential for fostering a happy environment for its inhabitants.

During the monsoon season, home care becomes crucial for several reasons

  • Protection from Water Damage: Monsoon brings heavy rainfall, increasing the risk of water damage to your home. Proper home care measures are crucial in preventing water intrusion, leaks, and flooding that can compromise the integrity of your property.
  • Preservation of Structural Integrity: Continuous exposure to moisture during the monsoon can weaken the structure of your home, leading to cracks, decay, and other structural issues. By implementing preventive measures, you can maintain the strength and durability of your property.
  • Management of Humidity and Mold Growth: The high humidity levels during the monsoon create an environment conducive to mold and mildew growth. Effective home care practices, including ventilation and moisture control, help prevent the proliferation of these harmful substances and ensure a healthier living environment.
  • Ensuring Safety: Water and electricity pose a significant risk when combined. With increased moisture and the potential for leaks, electrical safety becomes paramount during the monsoon. Taking proper precautions and addressing any electrical issues, helps prevent hazards and promotes a safe living space.
  • Pest Control: Monsoon provides favorable conditions for pests like mosquitoes, termites, and rodents to thrive. Implementing pest control measures, such as sealing entry points, eliminating standing water, and keeping surroundings clean, is essential to prevent infestations.
  • Preserve Indoor Air Quality: The monsoon season can lead to poor indoor air quality due to increased moisture, mold, and allergens. This can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues.
  • Enhancement of Comfort and Well-being: Taking care of your home during the monsoon promotes a comfortable and safe living environment. It reduces stress, creates a sense of well-being, and allows you to enjoy the rainy season without worrying about potential damages or health hazards.
  • Understanding the significance of monsoon home care and implementing the appropriate measures ensures the protection and well-being of your home and its occupants throughout the rainy season.

    Essential Checklist for your Home in this Monsoon

    Rains bring in so much relief from the summer heat, but, with it also comes, humidity, seepage and other problems. As monsoon has arrived, we are ready with our checklist for your property. You would be happy to note that this checklist can be used to reduce/ prevent the Pre & Post Monsoon effects. Use the checklist below to make sure that you won’t have to worry about the problems when the rain hits your home / office.

    Following is the checklist for your property care:

    1. External walls to be checked for any cracks: Check the external walls for crack. Due to this, rainwater and moisture will enter wall surface thereby affecting adjacent / in-house wall surface and will weaken the integrity of associated elements.

    2. Check the gaps around window: Most common damage inside homes / offices occur due to water seepage from the gaps between window frame & external wall. Gap will be a source for rainwater to flow inside the home. These gaps can become entry points for rainwater, leading to moisture intrusion, paint deterioration, and wall damage. Properly fill and seal these gaps to prevent water seepage.

    3. Check blockage in drain pipe outlet at Roof and Balcony: Check and clear any blockages in the drain pipe outlets on your roof and balcony. This will prevent water from accumulating and causing stagnant water conditions.

    4. Check Electrical fittings to ensure Safety: Negligence in maintaining electrical wiring can be fatal, or at least it will force you to live without power in the monsoon due to breakdowns.

    Damaged electrical sockets and wiring should be addressed before the onset of the rains. For more details, refer to our electrical safety tips for monsoon.

    It is better to get things inspected properly by the home inspection professionals. They can rule out the shortcomings and take up repairs accordingly as part of your monsoon precautions.

    Apart from this, check the outside electrical switches if they are exposed to rains to avoid electrical accidents. Cover them using splash guard to stop penetration of rainwater to avoid electric shock.

    5. Fix Dampness / Seepage problem in areas with electrical fitting: Always try to avoid the dampness or seepage problem in your home/ office especially the areas with electrical outlets like electrical system and switches. These can lead to electrical hazards at your home/ office.

    6. Address termite infestations: Termite infestation is a major problem where high humidity / moisture exist. As the rainwater creates moisture, if not treated at the right time, it can lead to increase in termite infestation. So it is important to check them and get rid of it as soon as possible.

    7. Check for leaks in roofs: Check your roof or terrace floors for any leakage and get it fixed as soon as possible before it damages the associated/ attached area. This can happen due to various reasons that will depend on the type of flooring condition.

    8. Check the waterproofing condition at Roof: It is important to check condition of waterproofing on the roof/ terrace before rainy season to avoid significant damage to property due to moisture. Spring is the best season to perform outside home/ office improvements especially waterproofing at roof.

    9. Check your Air Conditioner for any leakage: Air conditioner should be checked for any possible leakage to avoid increase in moisture content. Further, AC drain line cleaning & setting AC as per weather will also help.

    10. Assess the surroundings: Look for any tree branches or vegetation leaning against your roof or walls. Trim or cut them to avoid potential damage during heavy downpours.

    11. Watch for signs of moisture or dampness: Keep an eye out for visual signs of moisture or dampness, especially on ceilings and walls. Stagnant water on the roof can lead to moisture intrusion, so early detection is crucial.

    12. Check the water pockets in roof and balcony: If there is any slope problem, then there are chances of water pocket occurrence in roof and balcony especially around drain outlets.

    13. Exterior wall Condition: It is important to check the condition of external wall. There are chances of presence of algae, fungus or paint deterioration, which can further lead to spreading of moisture in internal areas of house.

    14. Check the areas of wall junction with door: If sealant or any other filling material is deteriorated at sliding door frame of balcony / terrace and wall, there are chances of moisture spreading intruding from these areas. So it is important to check the areas of wall junction with doors as well.

    By following this checklist, you can proactively address potential issues and protect your property from the challenges brought by the monsoon season.

    Apart from this, you can also read our blog on Home care solutions during Monsoon

    Conclusion

    While the monsoons give us endless reasons to like them, they also tend to damage both the exteriors and interiors of our property. It is important to inspect your home or any other property before & after the monsoon so, that the problems can be rectified as soon as possible before they get increased in their magnitude.

    Importance of Moisture / Damp Inspection: Protecting Your Property & Health

    Introduction:

    When it comes to maintaining a healthy and safe living environment, addressing dampness in your home is of utmost importance. Dampness can lead to a range of issues, including mold growth, property damage including structural, and human health risks.

    Dampness in a property is a common issue that can have detrimental effects on both the structural integrity of the building and the health of its occupants. Whether it is due to seepage, leaks, condensation, poor ventilation or due to other causes, dampness can lead to a host of problems such as mold growth, decay, and damage to the building materials.

    Conducting a damp / moisture inspection in your home is a proactive step towards identifying and resolving damp-related problems. That is why damp inspection is crucial to identify and address damp issues promptly. In this article, we will explore the significance of damp or moisture inspections in your home and the benefits it offers.

    Common problems related to Moisture in the Home

    Wet areas in your home are more vulnerable to water damage; so experienced and knowledgeable inspectors pay special attention to checking bathrooms kitchens and balconies. Some of the common problems include:

    • In bathrooms, damage to wall tiles and flooring may be caused by inadequate or poor waterproofing.
    • Leaking taps, pipes, toilets and other plumbing issues may result in significant water damage to cabinets, wall and floors. It can also percolate to peripheral areas.
    • In kitchens and other wet areas, the inspector will pay specific attention to areas underneath shelves, inside cupboards, as also the skirting along walls for signs of overflows, sinks as well as leaks arising from improper plumbing installation.
    • Absence of proper drainage or improper slope leading to water accumulation can on the roof or balcony or wet areas can lead to seepage/dampness.

    How to identify the source of dampness?

    • Damp walls feel cold to the touch; it also causes the flaking of paint and peeling off wallpaper. Additionally, mold and fungal growth form greenish-grey spots on the walls. Such wall dampness is caused by constant water leakage / seepage, maybe from the roof, leaking water tanks, or seepage from exterior walls, balcony or terrace or windows.
    • Water may seep from constant leakage from a plumbing installation or water collected on the roof or upper floor through the ceiling to cause discoloration in paint or create visible brown patches in the ceiling.
    • Areas like bathrooms, kitchens, store rooms, or closed spaces are usually not well-ventilated and are a source of A strong musty smell within these areas is a clear indication of dampness.
    • Checking the tile grout in moisture-laden areas like bathrooms and kitchens for any kind of mold growth. The mold shows the grouting’s waterproofing is not adequate and might let water seep into the floor or walls.
    • Black mold may develop around the frames of wooden and uPVC windows due to water seepage through gaps between the window frame and the wall

    Damp or Moisture Inspections play a crucial role in identifying the source and addressing moisture issues in your home. It detects the actual source of moisture with the help of advanced thermal imaging technology. Let us know further in detail about its advantages.

    Benefits of Damp inspection for Ensuring a Healthy and Safe Living Environment

    • Early Detection and Prevention

    One of the primary reasons to have routine / annual damp inspections is the early detection and prevention of moisture-related issues. Dampness can occur due to various factors, including leaks, condensation, or poor ventilation. By conducting thorough inspections, professionals can identify signs of dampness in its early stages before it evolves into a more significant problem. This allows us for speedy action to be taken, preventing further damage to the property and reducing the risk of costly repairs down the line.

    • Maintaining Structural Integrity

    Moisture can cause destruction to the structural integrity of a building. It can also cause electrical & mechanical damages and become grave safety issues. When dampness infiltrates the walls, floors, or ceiling, it can weaken the materials and reduce the stability of the structure. With time, this can lead to damage which not only endangers the safety of the property but also decreases its value. Moisture / Damp inspection can identify areas vulnerable to moisture damage, allowing for timely repairs and maintenance to preserve the structural integrity of the property.

    • Prevention of Health Hazards

    Dampness in a property has significant adverse impact on the health of its occupants. Excessive moisture provides an ideal environment for the growth of mold and other harmful microorganisms. These can release spores and allergens into the air, leading to respiratory issues like asthma, allergies, skin issues and other health problems. By conducting damp inspection, potential sources of moisture can be identified, and appropriate measures can be taken, ensuring a healthy living environment for residents.

    • Protecting Property Value

    As a property owner, it is essential to prioritize the maintenance and well-being of your investment. Investing in damp inspection can help you maintain the value of your property. By proactively addressing any damp issues beforehand, you can present a well-maintained and desirable property, increasing its market value and attracting potential buyers or tenants.

    • Avoiding Unpleasant Smell

    As mentioned above, untreated mold due to dampness, can create an unlikable and musty smell around your home. You may experience an unpleasant smell but not know where it is coming from; this may be because the damp patch or mold spores are hidden behind the wall or furniture or anywhere. The smell of dampness and mold can become strong and overwhelming in your home; you do not want it to stop you from having guests around or interfere with your everyday life. Luckily, with the correct damp treatment carried out by a professional, you should be able to get rid of the smell fairly easily. Just remember that when it comes to dampness, out of sight should not mean out of mind.

    • Improving Indoor Air Quality

    Dampness and mold growth can significantly degrade indoor air quality. Mold spores, along with other airborne allergens, can lead to respiratory problems and worsen existing conditions such as asthma or allergies. A damp inspection helps identify areas of concern and enables you to take the necessary steps to improve indoor air quality. This may include implementing better ventilation, installing natural dehumidifiers like indoor plants, or repairing leaks and moisture sources.

    • Prevent Termite Infestation

    Termites are destructive pests that can cause significant damage to your property. They feed on wood and cellulose materials, making homes with wooden structures particularly vulnerable. While there are various methods to prevent termite infestations, one important aspect is conducting regular damp inspections. Dampness provides an ideal environment for termites to thrive, as they require moisture to survive. With damp inspection, you can find the termite infestation & their source to give you a long term solution.

    • Improving the appearance of your Home

    Painting over damp patches can cause the paint to crack and deteriorate and often, the black patches can show through paint. Instead of wasting your time and money on products in an attempt to cover up damp patches, it is best to first get your home inspected thoroughly.

    Conclusion

    Damp / Moisture Inspections are a vital aspect of property maintenance that should not be overlooked. By detecting dampness & its sources in its early stages, helps preserving the structural integrity, preventing health hazards, improving energy efficiency, and protecting property value. It helps you identify damp / seepage / leakage sources, giving you long term – least cost – least destructive solutions. It will save property owners from significant expenses and ensure a safe and comfortable living environment. If you haven’t had a damp inspection recently, it is time to consider scheduling one to safeguard your investment and the well-being of those who reside in your property.

    A Damp House is a Significant Human Health Hazard

    Ever wondered how damp in your house is playing with your health? Yes, the dampness on the wall here and there not only spoil the look of your home but impact the health of your family too. India being a tropical country, the building structures here are exposed to a high amount of moisture and humidity. Thus, they become more susceptible to damp development. When you are living in such a home, one thing leads to another and before you even know, your health is at risk too. Research suggests that on an average, we spend around 16 hours in our home. So, it is easy to apprehend how much at risk we are of developing health disorders due to damp.

    Common human health hazards associated with a damp, moisture-laden house include:

    • Allergic Rhinitis: Characterized by frequent sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy eyes, and post-nasal drip, allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory condition of the mucus membrane inside the nose. It is caused by viruses, bacteria, and allergens. Some of the external triggers of allergic rhinitis include humidity 3 chemicals, and air pollution (indoor or outdoor) etc.
    • Skin diseases: Most of the skin infections are caused by fungus. Fungal spores are the causal agent of these diseases. To understand more, click here 4 .
    • Migraine:One of the most common triggers of migraine is the weather. Whenever there is high (or low) humidity, there is a change in the oxygen levels in the air. The air becomes saturated with moisture in high humidity conditions reducing oxygen levels significantly. As a result, it
      becomes difficult for the brain of the people with migraine to receive the right amount of oxygen to function properly. Result? – Unusual expansion or contraction of the blood vessels to compensate for the lack of oxygen, exerting tremendous pressure on the nerve fibres. Therefore, indoor humidity too may trigger a migraine 5 headache.
    • Depression:Dampness and growth of fungus in poorly ventilated homes have been long associated with depression 6. One should be careful about it before it takes the turn of clinical depression.
    • Upper respiratory (nasal and throat) symptoms
    • Asthma symptoms in sensitized persons with asthma

    What are the reasons and how does damp wreaks havoc on our health?

    1. Flourishing Pathogens

    When you have damp in your home, it means excess moisture has been accumulated. Guess what, it is best for enabling pathogens and all kinds of germs to flourish and reproduce in higher numbers. Besides viruses and bacteria, other microorganisms like fungi and algae also proliferate in a moist environment. These microorganisms, being pathogenic, bring forth health disorders of various types. They release harmful chemicals in the air that pollute the indoor atmosphere or act as allergens causing mild to severe irritations in different parts of the body. If dampness persists these irritations tend to become chronic in nature.

    2.Humid conditions make transmission faster

    If multiplying by leaps and bounds was not enough, the transmission of viruses and bacteria and other microbes is facilitated in humid conditions. When you present them a humid indoor environment, they tend to spread exponentially.

    Look at what’s happening in the current pandemic situation! Earlier it was said that COVID-19 can flourish only in cold climates. But more recent evidence shows that it can be transmitted in all areas including hot and humid places 1. Actually, virus thrives inside the human body the normal temperature of which is 36.5-degree to 37-degree Celsius. This is regardless of the external temperature and weather conditions. So, apart from maintaining basic hygiene, it is advisable to keep your house as damp-free as possible to restrict the transmission of viruses.

    3. Flourishing dust mites

    Dust mites are popular in households where the temperature is considerably high and the moisture level is also in excess. They are the catalyst to give rise to allergy, stuffy nose, respiratory problems and asthma. So, if you have experienced stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and breathing problem then you might want to look into the condition of your house. These symptoms can further give birth to health problems that
    will cost you in the long run. It is better to invest some money in your house now or at least take suitable care.

    4. Welcoming pests

    Well, mosquitoes and flies infested every part of the house, spiders spinning cobwebs in every corner, the occasional screeching of mice or musk-rats- is this how you picture your home? Damp build-up welcomes all these pests and other unwanted ones too. They have a directly proportionate relationship with damp which means the greater the damp in the house, the more is the number of pests. Now
    would you want to live in a house with humans or disgusting pets? If the former option is your choice then get rid of this unhealthy living condition immediately. It affects your immune system, breathing pattern and slowly destroys your health.

    5. Cold climate

    Several types of research have shown that a cold indoor climate is the result of dampness in those regions where it is not naturally cold outside. Unmaintained house, damaged roofs and walls are the common causes but it could also be because of the lack of proper ventilation. Humans can stay overall healthy if the environment in which he or she is living is dry with optimum moisture content in the air. If
    the house becomes a place where it is difficult to breathe then it is obvious that the environment isn’t right.

    Cold indoor atmosphere adversely affects respiratory health. A significant number of people in the world suffer from asthma 2 which is often linked with damp indoors. Chronic coughing, wheezing, breathing difficulty are the health problems which lead a person towards asthma. And asthma could be life-threatening. It just gets worse if not treated in the right way with the right amount of attention.

    To make your life a little easy, here are some common signs of damp to watch out:

    Damp patches : A patch is a sign of damp commonly seen on the ceiling, walls, behind the WC in the bathroom etc. Damp patches on walls are generally the result of penetration 7, where water from outside gets into the brickwork through gaps and cracks

    Musty damp smell : The first and the foremost thing about damps are they are musty and smell bad. The freshness of a room gets evaporated with damp walls. So, always keep an eye on this.

    Peeling and flaky paint : The most common thing in a house that has been ignored. Once you start noticing this, get a professional inspection done and get it fixed.

    Cold in-house atmosphere : Do you wonder why your house feels cold be it summer or winter? Well, it’s the damp dude!

    Discoloured walls : Discoloration is characterized by localized darkening of the original color of walls

    You can read this article for a better understanding of the same.

    You should take proactive steps to reduce indoor air pollution because if you want to live a healthy life, your home is where you should start. Our environment plays a major role in our mental and physical well-being. So when it’s damp and dirty, it is not only creating a negative space you are living in but also and most importantly it is affecting your health in a way you might not anticipate. In such cases, it is sooner the better. Go for a professional damp inspection which will help in detecting the source of dampness with help of thermal imaging technology and take decisive action to eliminate damp from your house at the earliest.

    You should take proactive steps to reduce indoor air pollution because if you want to live a healthy life, your home is where you should start. Our environment plays a major role in our mental and physical well-being. So when it’s damp and dirty, it is not only creating a negative space you are living in but also and most importantly it is affecting your health in a way you might not anticipate. In such cases, it is sooner the better. Go for a professional damp inspection which will help in detecting the source of dampness with help of thermal imaging technology and take decisive action to eliminate damp from your house at the earliest.

    Signs of dampness or moisture are common but not the knowledge about its sources and effects. Read this article to know the sources and effects of dampness in a house.

    Top 7 Sources of Dampness in a House & its Harmful Effects

    Flaky paint, leaky ceiling, wet and patchy walls – Aren’t these a common sight in most houses we see around us? Let’s face it, our own houses, too, must have had one or a few of these imperfections at some point in time. We noticed; we disliked; we thought of doing something about it; and perhaps, we moved on! – Often, taking inadequate or no measures at all. But do you know – dampness is one of the most harmful things that can cause a building to deteriorate prematurely? Worse – it affects the health of the residents severely.

    To prevent a house from becoming damp, we must know the reasons behind it. Faulty sills, bad masonry work, subsoil water in the foundation are just some of the most common causes of dampness in a building. What are the other sources of dampness? What are the effects of it? Read on to know it all.

    Sources of Dampness in Buildings

    There are a number of sources of dampness in buildings. Some of the common causes are as follows:

    Improper plumbing installation in buildings can lead to leakage/dampness problems with gradual use.

    1. Improper Plumbing Installation

    Improper plumbing installation in buildings can lead to leakage/dampness problems with gradual use. This can be due to the following few things:

    • If FTA (female threaded adapter) of a plumbing fitting is installed inside the tiles then an extension piece is required. This creates an extra joint in the pipeline which may lead to leakage.
    • UPVC pipe used in a hot water line is an example of the incorrect material selected as per its properties. In such cases, the material, unable to withstand high temperatures, will begin to degrade and break down leading to leakage.
    • The wrong solvent-material used for joining pipes can be another cause of plumbing failure. For example, if pipes are made of UPVC, the solvent or glue to be used should also be UPVC-compatible. The same is applicable to CPVC pipes. Any incompatibility here can lead to leakage and dampness due to a less firm joint.
    • If grouting is not provided at the junction around bathroom floor drain outlet pipe, there will be spreading of moisture. This will ultimately lead to unhealthy & unhygienic conditions for residents and can lead to deterioration at below storey ceiling surfaces in due course of time.
    • Loose plumbing fitting or inadequate tightening of plumbing fitting with FTA or other faulty workmanship at the time of installation etc. are also one of the common reasons which lead to leakage/ dampness problem.
    If the waterproofing membranes are not overlapped properly, rainwater can seep through the gaps.

    2. Faulty waterproofing

    If the waterproofing membranes are not overlapped properly, rainwater can seep through the gaps. Besides, wrong sloping, defective junctions between the slab of the roof, terrace and parapet of the wall, and clogged outlets may also lead to water stagnation resulting in dampness.

    Moisture intrusion can also happen if no fillet or drip mould is provided at the chhajja.

    3. The intrusion of rainwater through walls

    Most common damage inside homes occurs due to water seepage from the gaps between window frame & external wall. Gap will be a source for moisture to flow inside the home. If gaps are not filled properly, it will lead to moisture intrusion, paint deterioration & damage to inside walls.

    Moisture intrusion can also happen if no fillet or drip mould is provided at the chhajja. Also, If the paint used on the exterior wall is not of water-repelling variety then moisture can settle beneath the coat and spread internally over time. In both cases, exterior walls begin to deteriorate fast due to moisture.

    Sometimes defective construction materials are used during the construction of the building which can lead to construction quality issues.

    4. Poor construction materials

    Sometimes defective construction materials are used during the construction of the building which can lead to construction quality issues. For example: If poor quality materials are used like sand with excess salt then efflorescence will happen sooner or later. Poor quality bricks will swell upon absorbing rainwater leading to dampness.

    5. Indoor Plants

    Most plants release moisture into the surrounding air through small pores called stomata on the leaves – a process called transpiration. This increases the moisture content1 of the indoor air. But not all plants are humidifying. Moreover, you must know how much to water your potted green friends so that they do not release excess moisture into the air. A little knowledge of indoor gardening can help you avoid dampness in your home while still making it eco-friendly and sustainable.

    Vegetation growth around the wall is very harmful as vegetation in and around the walls leads to cracks in them and over time these cracks widen.

    6. Vegetation

    Vegetation growth around the wall is very harmful as vegetation in and around the walls leads to cracks in them and over time these cracks widen. Water deposits in these cracks causing further dampness.

    Dampness is inevitable if your house is improperly ventilated.

    7. Improper Ventilation

    Dampness is inevitable if your house is improperly ventilated. Numerous processes like exhalation by the inmates of the house, cooking, and use of geyser in the bathroom add moisture to the indoor air. If the area is closed, this excess moisture gets trapped. There should be proper air circulation in the house so that an optimum moisture level is maintained and indoor air quality never deteriorates.

    Dampness has serious consequences on the health of a building.

    Adverse effects of Dampness in a House / Property

    Dampness has serious consequences on the health of a building. It needs to be dealt with urgency. Otherwise, a culmination of all these damages may eventually lower its life expectancy.

    • Pest and insect growth: Damp households cause unhygienic conditions of living. Damp places attract microbes and insects. Damp places are breeding places of gregarious pests like mosquitoes, flies, and termites. Respiratory problems, wheezing skin rashes, allergies are often found in inhabitants living in damp areas.
    • Electric appliance damage: Moisture present in a house, if it comes in contact with the electric appliances, will damage them. This can also lead to serious problems like electrocution of the appliance and the person handling it might suffer an electric shock. So it is very important that areas around the switchboard and wiring have no moisture deposition.
    • Damage to doors and walls: Damp environment can have serious damage to wooden doors and windows. This leads to termite infestation in them along with swelling up of the wood. Doors and windows may even completely get damaged becoming function-less. In severe cases, installations might get damaged.
    • Damage to wooden furniture: A humid indoor atmosphere can affect the wooden furniture and other materials made of wood in the house. Wood absorbs moisture and swells up and this is certainly not good for the longevity of the furniture.
    • Corrosion of metal: Metal appliances, furniture or other items may get corroded due to the presence of moisture. Metals attract moisture and rust or lose the sheen with time. Metal installations may even become brittle and break off. This is dangerous especially in the case of railings and grills.
    • The efflorescence of plaster, bricks and paint: As already discussed, dampness renders bricks and plaster to crumble. Porosity increases and the strength of the materials decrease which is harmful to the building. The coating of paint also turns flaky and tends to fall off. This gives a nasty feel & look to the house. Peeling of the paint exposes the walls and ceiling to further damage.
    • Unpleasant-looking household: Damp patches on the walls with algal spores growing on them give a bad and unwelcoming look to the house. A stale, suffocating smell fills the air. This smell can cause allergy and skin diseases in many individuals.
    A damp house is a constant source of illness. Dampness affects your two most important assets - your home and your health.

    Effects of Dampness – On Health

    A damp house is a constant source of illness. It causes:

    • Respiratory ailments: Allergic rhinitis, chronic to acute breathing problems or asthma
    • Skin ailments: Rashes and redness
    • Recurring cold and flu
    • Depression

    Therefore practically, dampness affects your two most important assets- your home and your health. Can anything be scarier than this?

    Watch the video for better understanding:

    Last but not the least, dampness lowers your living standards. Who would like to reside in a perennially cold, stale-smelling house? To avoid this unpleasant situation, the source and the cause of damp should be identified first, and then repaired for a permanent cure.

    Nowadays, waterproofing and damp-proofing materials are available widely in the market to shield your abode from dampness and its harmful effects. With the advancement in technology, effective moisture and damp assessment can be done with thermal imaging technology, as well. You must opt for professionals for effective detection of dampness for ensuring a healthy home.

    Don’t make living with dampness a habit. Take definitive steps to get rid of this hidden devil corroding away your hygiene and safety silently but steadily.

    Water leakage can cause serious damage including health problems in a house. Know common causes of water leakages in homes.

    Most Common Causes of Water Leakages in Homes

    Water leakage is a serious issue inside a house which should be dealt with in urgency. There are quite a number of factors and reasons contributing to water leakage – it may be leaking plumbing lines or corrosion in plumbing lines, cracks in the walls, damaged waterproofing in the roof, or a leaking AC. Water leakage inside the house leads to serious issues like stale-smelling indoors, growth of microbes, pests inside the house, damaged property and a lot more. So, while you need a thorough health check-up of the house, here’s a heads up about the possible causes and their effects.

    Leakage can waste water, damage your home, and encourage unwanted organic growth. Watch out for these common signals of water leakage.

    Water Leakage: Signs and Signals

    Leakage can waste water, damage your home, and encourage unwanted organic growth. As you cannot see most of the pipework in your home, you may not always know that a leak has formed.

    One of the best ways to protect your home from future leaks is to understand and look for common situations that cause leaks. Watch out for these common signals of water leakage:

    • Dark patches on the walls and ceiling
    • A stale and musty odour
    • Peeling off of paint and plaster crumble
    • Visual leaks
    • The occurrence of pests, especially termites
    • Watermarks and discolouration

    A dampened environment in your house can lead to serious problems which are also signals of water leakage / seepage in your house. Skin rashes and allergy, asthma, nasal and throat congestion, coughing and wheezing can be caused by dampness due to water leakage or the bacteria which grows inside the household as a result of dampening.

    One of the best ways to protect your home from future leaks is to understand and know common causes of Water Leakage Inside the House.

    Common Causes of Water Leakage inside the House

    • Leakage from underneath the water sink can be a serious problem. This can happen due to loose or improper connection at the bottle trap or waste coupler tread joint.
    • Dripping faucets can be a serious and common problem of water leakage. Over tightening of a tap can cause it to leak. When a tap is hardened too much, it starts to develop a leak due to the wearing and tearing of the tap washer. A loose operating head or lever can lead to a similar problem. Sometimes debris get stuck inside the tap which may cause it to leak. Another common case is when people do not turn them off well enough.
    • Leaking pipes are a major contributor to water leakage in households. They are often embedded inside walls and are difficult to detect. You only get to know when the wall surfaces start to deteriorate. It is a clear sign of dampness which is difficult to get rid of.
    • If there are any leakage or moisture-related issues in the wall for some reason, vegetation will grow on the walls. This vegetation develops further cracks in the wall causing further deterioration.
    • In case of negligence, if cavities and holes are left in the wall, they behave as a source of attracting and storing moisture. They cause water seepage and an unhealthy condition in the household.
    • If your plumbing system is extremely old, rust and other forms of corrosion may wear it away. There will be discolouration on your pipes. This will cause water leakage inside the household. Rust can have other damaging effects too. Accumulation of rust may block the flow of water in the pipes resulting in the raising of water pressure and leakage. Severe rusting may also weaken the pipes and erode through the pipes causing leaks. To understand where leakage can happen, you need to understand the plumbing system of your home.
    • Damaged pipe joints are another common reason for water leakage in a building. Do you know why? – Because, the place where pipes connect often represents the weakest point in a line. It is always under significant pressure. Similarly, we have to avoid usage of extension piece for FTA(Female thread adapter – which is used to connect plumbing line to tap) during improper installation of plumbing fitting. Over time, these pipe joints deteriorate causing leakage.
    • Extreme temperature changes inside the pipelines can cause it to expand and contract alternately, which may cause cracks to develop inside the pipeline. This will cause leakage inside the pipelines. However, this is common mostly in hilly areas like Shimla, Dalhousie, Gangtok, etc.
    • Refrigerators1 or water purifiers2 can also cause water leakage inside your household. If these go unnoticed for a long period of time, they can cause serious damage to your floor. It is also extremely unsafe to use the appliances while they are leaking as they may result in an electric shock.
    • Leaky roofs, mainly caused due to deteriorated waterproofing, can contribute to water seepage inside the house. The improper slope can cause rainwater to accumulate on the rooftop / terrace which may then seep into the house.You must also make sure that there are no open electrical conduits on the rooftop or else, leaking water may enter the wiring system and cause serious problems downward (in case of the connection running downward).
    • All types of pipes and faucets are manufactured to withstand up to a certain level of water pressure. Any extra pressure or uneven surge can put a strain on them causing them to give away after a certain point in time. The result is leakage.
    Water leakage is a significant problem which needs to be addressed at the earliest. Know the effects of water leakage in house.

    Effects of Water Leakage in House

    • Unhygienic conditions: Water and moisture inside a house are accompanied by bacterial and fungal growth. This might lead to diseases like asthma, allergic rhinitis, skin rashes, depression and so on.
    • Disintegration: Porous walls hold moisture for a longer time which may lead to deterioration of the walls & further damage. The bricks may develop cracks and fissures due to alternate cooling and expansion of water present in them.
    • Decaying windows and doors: Moisture may lead to the decay of windows and doors. They swell and tend to touch the floor causing obstruction during opening & closing and other related damages. The decay of wood frames, ironwork, bricks, etc may also be caused by moisture.
    • Plaster crumbles: On absorbing moisture, plaster turns soft and crumbles giving an ugly appearance to the walls.
    • Damaged wooden furniture: Wooden furniture gets damaged on continuous exposure to a damp environment.
    • Wall decorations are damaged: Wall decorations such as cladding, wallpapering, timber handicrafts are damaged as they absorb moisture from the damp walls. This ruins the aesthetics & weakens the structural integrity of your house completely which cannot be redone without solving the leakage problems from the core.
    • Termite infestation: Dampness attracts gregarious pests in a home – be it cockroaches, ants or termites. In fact, termites prefer living in areas with high moisture content. They infest damp walls making them porous and damage wooden furniture and structures.
    • Damage of electrical equipment: Electrical equipment may get damaged and short circuits may happen. It is extremely dangerous to use electrical installations in such situations. So, you must try to avoid dampness caused due to leakage / seepage, in the first place, especially where there are electrical outlets like appliances and switches and also see to it that water does not come in contact with the electrical wiring of the house.

    Trust us, water leakage (and seepage) which is the main culprit behind dampness can be a real threat to your home. Fix it before it costs you your peace of mind.

    Moisture assessment can be done in a better way with help of advanced thermal imaging technology.

    Moisture assessment using thermal imaging technology

    Thanks to the advancement of technology, infrared cameras or thermal imagers are making moisture assessment in buildings easier than ever. These cameras can swiftly and, most importantly, non-invasively focus on the probable areas of anomalies caused by excessive evaporative moisture cooling. The images formed on the lens of these devices actually show patterns of moisture-spread that only trained eyes can decipher. Hence, only professionals associated with building investigation should be relied upon for such a technology-centric yet accurate investigation procedure. Here’s more on thermal imaging3 and why it is becoming essential for moisture detection.

    Watch this to get a clearer idea of how leakage/seepage is detected in a home:

    Your home is the place where you spend the maximum of your time. After a hectic day at work, we get back to our home and relax. We would definitely not like to stay in a stale smelling, unhygienic and dampened house where water is leaking. Our home is our abode which should brighten up our mood. A dampened environment would make us gloomy. Water leakage / seepage inside the house should be tracked down and be treated at the earliest possible time as it is not only unhygienic but also unsafe. It is always advisable to take the help of professionals – the home inspectors for this or else you may overlook some issues or end up doing a wrong assessment of the problem. By employing thermal imaging technology, any hidden leakage can be detected to the source before they become large problem and lead to serious damage which can make your home unhealthy.

    8 Moisture Warning Signals in Your Home

    Prevention is better than Cure

    1. Dark Patches
    2. Peeling off or other paint deterioration
    3. Damp and Musty Odour
    4. Visible water stains or Discolouration
    5. Gatherings of Pests
    6. Visual leaks
    7. Condition of wooden furniture
    8. Health Symptoms

    Homes are supposed to protect us from the harmful things from outside like water, wind, and extreme temperatures. But sometimes, however, our homes fail to serve its purpose and moisture enters into our house.

    As a homeowner, moisture is one of the most common and annoying problems you can face. Moisture / Dampness in buildings is a major factor that contributes to mould growth, unhealthy buildings, and poor indoor air quality. Moisture is one of the most important agents of building deterioration.

    Moisture Intrusion is an often-unseen problem lurking in many homes. A little excess water in the wrong place can cause many other problems, such as mould growth, pest infestations, weakened building structures and unhealthy living conditions.

    In many cases, moisture problems in houses or buildings are easy to get missed until they have progressed to the point of despair.

    “Prevention is better than cure”. Early detection of these problems is significant for minimizing the extent and cost of the damage. But, how can you identify a moisture problem at the earliest?

    Let us go through warning signs of moisture that homeowners should be on the lookout for:

    1. Dark Patches in Home Elements

    One of the most common signs of water-related problems in any structure is the appearance of dark patches in walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. As water seeps into building materials, it tends to cause them to look visibly dark.

    Homeowners can often find these dark patches in ceilings after a heavy storm which indicates source of moisture can be in roof or sometimes due to floor / unit above if there is a leaky pipe there.

    2. Peeling off or other paint deterioration on the surface finish

    High humidity levels can cause wallpaper or paint finish to peel from the wall. Too much moisture behind the walls can eventually cause paint and wallpaper to start peeling or bubbling. If you see wallpaper or paint peeling or even protruding out like a bubble, it could indicate a moisture problem. Sometimes airborne moisture vapour gets behind the wallpaper and mixes with the glue, causing it to peel. Peeling off paint is mainly caused by moisture on the surface, poor surface preparation, using an incorrect painting method. Other paint deterioration like cracking or blistering paint on exterior or interior finishes can also happen due to these reasons.

    3. Damp and Musty Odour

    One of the most common signs of a moisture problem is the presence of strong, musty odour. This sign is a strong indicator that there is water damage somewhere nearby – possibly in the building materials hidden from your direct view. If you have a persistent, musty, damp smell in your bathroom, even after repeated cleanings, you may have moisture-related problem in the walls and subfloor. If a proper ventilation system does not help, you probably have a moisture build-up below the surface of walls or the floor. This odour is often caused by bacteria and mould growth that feeds on the excess moisture in a dark, cool space.

    4. Visible Water Stains or Discolouration

    A water stain will form a dark yellowish colour on your ceiling in a slightly deformed shape. This yellowish colour will soon turn into brown colour, and in fact, it may even start off sometimes as brown colour right at the beginning. It can be the symptom of a much larger problem and this is something that you should look into immediately. Some common causes of Water Stains on Ceilings are leaking pipes, leakage from roof and water seeping from upper unit / floor areas.

    Stains or Discolouration can be prevented by reducing the accumulation of moisture in the wall / ceiling. Yellow, brown or black stains etc on your walls are signs of water damage from behind them.

    5. Gatherings of Pests

    Water is a necessity for life – and pests like ants, cockroaches, rodents, termites are no exception. As the humidity rises in your home, pests such as these will migrate inside your home, where they will begin to reproduce. A sudden increase in the presence of pests could be an indirect indication that there is a suitable source of water in your home. Of course, other nutrient sources, such as open food containers, exposed trash bins, and the like can also attract pests.

    6. Visual leaks

    Water is the enemy of every home. Being a homeowner, if you find unwanted water in your home, you should make every effort to find the root cause as quickly as possible. You need to do periodical visual checks of moisture / leakage / seepage in the home and get them repaired. Some leaks can be easily found by visual checking whereas, some leaks are concealed inside wall / structure.

    7. Check the condition of wooden furniture

    Damaged wood is a classic sign of elevated moisture levels. Because wood is porous, it absorbs moisture from the affected area as well as from the air as humidity levels change. This will cause the wood to swell and shrink with the changes. Check the integrity of wood by lightly pressing it. If it is soft, you know it has weakened from moisture damage.

    8. Health Symptoms

    One of the most annoying problems of moisture is its effect on our health. Common human health hazards associated with moisture / dampness in home include: respiratory (nasal and throat) symptoms, Asthma symptoms in sensitized persons with asthma, Cough, Wheeze, Allergies, Skin Diseases etc. People often ignore these important visual signs of moisture, but it can be harmful for your health.

    Understanding and Detecting the Moisture Problem

    If you have spotted one of the signs above, then it is important to understand about moisture problem and know the actual source of it. For that, you need professional help who will use moisture meter1 and advanced thermal imaging technology which can detect hidden / concealed leaks in the structure and give you long term – least destructive – low cost solutions.

    If you feel your home has a moisture problem, you should take immediate action to solve it. Ignoring these signs will only make the problem progressively worse.

    Apart from this, it is advisable to get a moisture / damp inspection before spending on costly waterproofing treatment or other related repair works.

    Effective Ways to avoid Seepage at Home/ Property

    An important step towards a happy life is good health. And good health can only be achieved in a clean, hygienic and healthy environment. Seepage is a very common problem which the majority of Indian Households must have had experienced at some point of time. The moisture and dampness due to seepage can result in fungal and bacterial growth which in turn could cause various allergies and other health-related problems to the occupants of the home.

    The effects of water damage on your home as well as health can be far-reaching, and it may have massive damage. Therefore, ensuring that your home / office is free from any possible leakage and dampness has become one of the most important factors to understand and attend.

    Some possible reasons for seepage

    • It can happen due to faulty internal plumbing:
      • Leaky drainage pipes or plumbing fittings at home
      • Outflow in the water supply pipes
      • A leakage in the neighborhood property’s internal plumbing (eg – Leakage from Bathroom or Kitchen on the Floor Above.)
    • If a gap exists between the walls of your home and the neighboring building, this would also cause water to seep through.
    • Water dampness and seepage happens when the exterior walls are not plastered properly or due to the use of poor-quality plastering materials. And seepage can also happen through exterior walls from gaps around window frame.
    • Seepage of water through floor tiles in bathrooms/kitchens of floor/flat / terrace above.
    • Poor waterproofing at the time of construction.

    Ways to avoid seepage problems in your home

    1. Repair cracks on walls

    Cracks are among the root causes of moisture in your home. Due to cracks at the external wall, rainwater and moisture will enter the wall surface thereby affecting adjacent / in-house wall surfaces and will weaken the integrity of associated elements. If cracks not treated at the right time, can increase in depth and lead to further deterioration in the affected area. So it is important to fix or repair the cracks to have long lasting homes1.

    2. Reduce indoor humidity

    Sometimes we choose to dry laundry indoors. Drying it indoors is one of the causes which lead to humidity.

    And the kitchen is also a place in home, where steam gets generated due to cooking. One of the easiest way for reduced humidity is to keep your windows regularly opened and home well ventilated. Budget-friendly ways of getting rid of humidity & moisture in your home is by getting installed an exhaust fan, especially in your kitchen, bathroom and other household activity area where water is frequently used. But if you are still facing the problem of humidity, then you also can opt for a dehumidifier. Read How to Control Humidity in Your Home Using a Dehumidifier?

    3. Good-quality paints with specific property

    If the paint on your wall is of inferior or poor quality, it tends to seep in moisture through concrete, which can damage the exterior and interior walls. This can result in weakening the strength of overall structure of your property and also make it appear unpleasant.

    Apart from good quality, it is an important point to keep in mind: interior or exterior areas need a specific type of paint. Different paints have different properties and are formulated for different purposes. For example:  Exterior grade paints are used for exterior areas as they have resistance to cracking and dirt resistance, as well as provide protection from the damage ultraviolet (UV) rays cause.

    4. Follow the finishing procedure properly

    There are different layers to the final finishing of wall – like plaster, putty, primer and paint. If incorrect procedure followed at any layer like improper curing & poor surface preparation etc for the plastered surface finish at the external wall, then this can lead to cracks or surface damage. Thereby it can lead to a seepage problem, if left unnoticed. So, it is important to follow proper procedures in all layers of finishing.

    5. Perform a visual check

    Some visual checking that can be performed by a layman are as follows:

    • Check out for water pocket (or can say water getting accumulated) around drain outlet or any pipe blockage in the bathroom / kitchen, etc.
    • Check if any presence of algae or plant growth at exterior walls. The Existence of plants in an external wall or other parts of the building can cause cracks in walls which can lead to moisture intrusion.
    • There are some gaps which need to be sealed –gap around window and door frame; sink installation; AC gas pipe sleeve, drain outlet, gap at tile joints etc. It is important to seal all these gaps to save from the damage to home/property in future.

    These checks will give you a basic idea about the moisture intrusion in your home.  In case of any issues, seek the services of a professional expert who would perform a thorough scan of the house using advanced thermal imaging technology2, and recommend an appropriate solution.

    Common Mistake while dealing with seepage/ damp problems

    Most of the painters or other vendors usually fix the problem of seepage/leakage/wall paint peel off or dampness on the wall simply by applying waterproofing solutions on the affected areas and repainting it again with the paint. This is indeed one of the most common mistakes done to solve the seepage problem of home/property as it will solve the issue temporarily and the problem will occur soon again after a few days. Reason is the root cause of seepage/moisture-related problem has not been fixed well. The very first step to solve the seepage/leakage problem is to find the source of the problem in the property. By employing thermal imaging technology, the source of seepage problem can be found out without damaging the property and can save you from The Invisible Silent Killer.

    Our objective of writing this content was to share with you some effective ways to avoid seepage at your home or other property. If you are facing a seepage problem, check for all the possible causes in your house. If you want an expert advice, then damp inspection  using advanced thermal imaging technology can help you by detecting the exact source of this problem which will provide a long-term solution.

    Understand the problems due to incorrect slope in wet areas of your home

    Whenever you need to drain the water off your floors, whether it is your bathroom floor or any other wet area of your home,the proper slope at flooring helps to run the water off efficiently. Incorrect floor slope can cause water to run in the wrong direction, instead of gently sloping towards the drain.

    Now a question would arise in your mind – ‘What is Slope?

    The Slope of a surface means the surface of which one end or side is at a higher level than another, a rising or falling surface.

    When you install tile in wet areas, do you ensure that everything slopes to the drain? If not, let us understand its importance through this content.

    Firstly, let us know the areas of home/ office where slope plays a significant role.

    Slope requirement in your home or office

    There are floor surfaces in an apartment or home that require slope. Each surface given below needs a different slope:

    • Bathrooms
    • Balconies
    • Kitchen
    • Terrace
    • Drains & Plumbing lines

    Apart from floor surfaces, window sill and chajja also have a slope requirement. But we would be focusing on the slope at flooring. Slope requirement also depends on two factors, click here1 to know more.

    Generally, there can be two cases of incorrect slope i.e slope in improper direction and inadequate or insufficient slope.

    Let us discuss what problems can occur due to inadequate slope or slope in improper direction at flooring.

    Problems due to inadequate/improper Slope

    Due to incorrect slope, floor water will not drain easily through floor drain outlet and will lead to formation of water pocket or accumulation at a corner.

    If it is not rectified in time, it can lead to following problems or issues:

    • Damp / seepage related issues in the adjacent wall or floor surface
    • Fungus issue on floor surfaces
    • Strength of Flooring & wall surface will get decreased
    • Unhealthy living conditions in the house
    • Safety hazard

    Solution for this issue: We recommend review and if required, floor tiles to be relaid maintaining proper slope towards floor drain outlet and adequate strengthening with requisite type of sealant at floor and wall tile junction.

    Ensuring that a proper slope is provided around the drain for water to flow out easily is very important. Good drainage in wet areas like shower area in the bathroom is a key to preventing problems related to damp/moisture, so read content related to recommended slope2 for it by Home guides.

    You can also read content on How to slope a floor for drain3.

    Lastly, we would like to conclude, Flooring with proper slope is ideal for bathroom floors, balconies terraces etc; floors on which water flows on frequently. You don’t need it much for areas like your living room, drawing room, or any other room that stays dry. The main objective of sloping is to protect the property from damage that is associated with incorrect slope.

    We hope this content will be useful in creating awareness about the problems that may arise due to incorrect slope at flooring in wet area.

    Painting Your House? Did You Treat Damp First?

    Whenever any festive season arrives, we wish to give our home a new look which would provide a happy feeling. Hence, painting your house is surely on the cards. But wait, have you done a survey of the house and made a list of places where dampness has already intruded and left its mark or where you suspect there is seepage? If not, do it. Call for a home inspection service. And if you are already aware of the leakage and/or seepage and damp and still not considering treating them before painting then be prepared to waste a lot of money on those cans of acrylic distemper and emulsions.

    It is not until recently that the paint companies have been making you aware of the effects of weather on your house and how choosing the right paint can stop the damage. Do you give as much thought to how your walls are compared to which shade to choose? No. It is time you be a bit more careful and look for any visible sign of dampness or seepage in your walls. Putting paint on a damaged wall will result in making it look beautiful but leaving it at a higher risk of damage.

    Contrary to popular belief, paint or putty cannot permanently fix the problem of dampness. To effectively treat dampness, we must first conduct a thorough damp assessment with the help of home inspectors and then decide on the solution. Repairing the leakage definitely is the first step to treating damp.

    Preface to house painting: Go to the root of damp and treat it

    1. Repair plumbing faults

    Water pipe leakage often releases water to the walls adjacent to it. For example, leakage from the water pipes in the kitchen or bathrooms can cause dampness on the walls of the apartment below it. To be sure, you must perform a thorough home inspection and check all the fittings and pipelines. Water leakage can occur in the internal as well as in external piping and even in the water tank itself. If you find any such leakage repair it first, without delay.

    2. Check the indoor moisture content

    The climatic condition of a place plays an important role in determining the condition of your house. In India, humidity is constant. Keep a check on the indoor moisture content of your house so that it does not overshoot the normal level. Ventilate your rooms and take other necessary measures to keep your walls and ceilings damp-free.

    3. Pipe leakage in adjacent flats, damp in your home: Alert thy neighbour!

    Be the friendly and courteous neighbour that you are and ask the family sharing floor or walls with your flat to check for leakage in their bathrooms and kitchen. This you do if home inspection finds no apparent problem in your home but you still see clear watery spots on the ceiling or bulging tiles in the walls of your bathroom. Once they fix the problem, damp issues in your home get solved.

    4. Check for the conditions of your building’s exterior

    If the outer walls of your building are in good shape then the chances of dampness in your inner walls reduce drastically. Plastering and using a weather-shield paint variety on exterior walls gives them an extra layer of protection against moisture and rainwater. However, if the plastering quality is not up to the mark or the paint is old then it invariably leads to moisture absorption and damp.

    5. Check the roof for leakage

    Water-logging in the roof is a cause of concern. Blockage in the vents can cause accumulation of a large quantity of water on the roof after rain. The water may seep through the roof and cause dampness in your ceiling. Other probable causes of a damp ceiling are crack in the roof, damaged waterproofing, etc.

    Clear the blocked outlets on the roof, detect cracks if any through a home inspection and repair them, go for remedial waterproofing of the roof, or erect a rooftop shed to stop water accumulation and resultant dampness as per condition.

    6. Close other sources of moisture intrusion

    You may not know but there could be other sources of moisture intrusion in your home other than the ones pointed out above. Prevent moisture intrusion through these places and then proceed to paint your house.

    Tips to prevent damp while painting

    Use good quality paint

    The paint you choose for your house can do more than enhance the beauty of the structure. Advanced paint solutions are enriched with silicon technology and so on. They absorb zero moisture and prevent water seepage through walls. Choose a weather-guard paint variety for the exterior walls and an equally good solution for the interior walls as well for the best results. You may consult a professional painter, who can guide you to choose the ideal paint for your house.

    There are certain paints which also have proven antimicrobial properties1. Due to the action of such paint solutions, the growth of fungi and other microbes on the damp wall gets reduced. This is of immense importance as dampness is known to cause a number of ailments such as allergic rhinitis, skin rashes, etc. Consider using these paint varieties for a beautiful and healthier home.

    Waterproof your walls

    To strengthen the walls of your house from within and treat damp and seepage it is important to subject them to proper waterproofing. Make sure that both the ceilings as well as your walls are all waterproof. Your painting service provider will only do that for you. Just know the requirement well beforehand to calculate your budget. Who to consult with for that? – A home inspection service provider, who else!

    Apply paint the right way

    As mentioned earlier, only paint or putty cannot solve the problem of dampness. To effectively prevent or slow down dampness, you should apply paint only after applying the primer. First, you must apply some anti-dampness chemicals like Dr.Fixit2 or Asian Paints Care Damp proofing3, on the walls. Always follow manufacturer’s specifications properly.

    If the problem persists even after all the remedies mentioned, call home inspectors to help you with a further damp assessment of your home. To learn more about the service, click here.

    How to Control Humidity in Your Home Using a Dehumidifier?

    • What is a dehumidifier?
    • Signs that you need a dehumidifier
    • Advantages of using a Dehumidifier
    • How do dehumidifiers work?
    • 10 Features to look for in a Dehumidifier
    • Tips to use a dehumidifier
    • Types of Dehumidifiers

    Is your home consistently sultry & warm inside despite your best efforts to keep it cool? Are you finding a mushy smell from everywhere inside the house? Well, before you blame the air conditioning system of your home or the room freshener you are using, check for the indoor humidity once. India being a predominantly warm country reports an excessive amount of humidity every year. High humidity causes plenty of damages at the macro level (www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/why-excess-moisture-is-a-threat-to-your-home). In households, humidity or high indoor moisture content leads to multi-dimensional damages that may need costly fixes. So, preventing humidity at the very initial stage is necessary for your home as well as human health. And using a dehumidifier makes this job easier.

    What is a dehumidifier?

    A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance that reduces and controls the level of humidity in the air in a closed space. By doing so, it prevents the growth of dust mites and other similar moisture-feeding micro-organisms inside the space and eliminates any musty smell resulting from them.

    Signs that you need a dehumidifier

    Any visible sign of dampness is an indication that the humidity level of your home is high and requires immediate attention. Few such signs of dampness are:

    • Damp patches on the walls and ceilings
    • Seepage/ leakage
    • Peeling paint and wallpapers
    • Bulging wall/ floor tiles
    • A persistent musty smell
    • Frequent incidence of allergy and skin problems within the family

    Advantages of using a Dehumidifier

    Dehumidifiers are effective units that come with several advantages for your space and most importantly, for your family. Following are some of the benefits:

    1. Humidity reduction & improvement of indoor air quality

    The quality of air inside a home is measured not only by the number and amount of toxins that one may or may not be breathing in but also by the humidity level of the air itself. A dehumidifier plays an important role in improving indoor air quality by reducing humidity (www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/indoor-air-pollution-one-of-the-top-10-disease-risk-factors-in-india). It makes a home less hospitable for allergens like dust mites. As a result, the home feels fresh and musty odour, if any, vanishes automatically. Allergens being a serious health threat, the incidence of allergy also becomes much less with time.

    The aesthetics of the building is also protected and the property is able to retain its value for a longer period of time.

    2. Prevention of structural deterioration of a building

    High levels of humidity can harm the structural integrity of a home. It can affect the woodwork, walls, ceilings, and metal fittings. A dehumidifier prevents a home from slow deterioration by controlling humidity that may originate due to a number of causes (www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/damp-seepage-assessment-with-solutions-through-thermal-imaging-technology).

    3. Time and energy saving

    Designed to further cut down on energy costs, dehumidifiers with an auto shut-off feature use intelligent software to actively monitor the climate of the space where the dehumidifier is applied. It shuts down the moment the desired humidity level is reached.

    A dehumidifier with a higher star rating operates in an energy-conscious manner. That way, it saves energy and helps you to cut down on your unwanted expenses significantly.

    4. Easy and quick maintenance

    Portable dehumidifiers can be easily moved from one place to another, and they allow quick maintenance. They do not disrupt daily life and run quietly in the background without causing any harm to anyone.

    How do dehumidifiers work?

    Dehumidifiers control humidity (www.explainthatstuff.com/dehumidifier.html) by removing excess moisture from the air creating inhospitable living conditions for dust mites and other allergens. A dehumidifier is much like a vacuum cleaner. It sucks in air from the room at one end, takes the moisture out of it, and then blows it back out into the room again. The moisture drips through a pipe into a collection tank that has to be emptied from time to time.

    Dehumidifiers work in one of the two ways: by refrigeration or by absorption/ adsorption.

    a. Refrigeration

    In this process warm, moist air is sucked in through a grille on one side of the dehumidifier. An electric fan draws the air inward. The warm air passes over freezing cold pipes through which a coolant is circulated by a pump and compressor. As soon as the air cools, the contained moisture goes back in the form of liquid water and drips down off the pipes. Now, the moisture-free air passes over a heating element and warms back up to its original temperature.

    Another grille blows back the dry and humid air into the room. There is a collecting tray or bucket at the bottom of the machine where the moisture that was there in the air originally drips down into. A ‘float’rises upward as the collecting tray fills up. When the tray is full, the float trips an electric switch that turns off the fan and switches on an indicator light telling you the machine needs emptying.

    b. Absorption/ Adsorption

    Some dehumidifiers work by mopping the water out of the air with a water-holding material and then “squeezing” the water away to remove it. The mopping action involves either absorption (where the water soaks right into something) or adsorption (where the water is picked upon the surface of something).

    In this process, moist air is drawn in from the room through a duct. The air moves past a large rotating wheel made of water-absorbing material, which removes the humidity. The air is drawn by a fan operated by an electric motor. Dry air is blown back out into the room. An air duct underneath is kept hot by an electric heating element (yellow). The moisture-absorbing wheel rotates through the heated air space and has hot air blown past it to dry it out. The air is sucked past by a fan and electric motor once again. The hot, wet air is blown out through an exhaust duct.

    As per content by Corroventa on Adsorption Dehumidifiers (www.corroventa.com/products/adsorption-dehumidifiers). The picture shows the functioning principle for an adsorption dehumidifier. The air to be processed is sucked in through the inlet with the help of air fan, the air passes through the rotor whereupon the dehumidified air exists through a dry air outlet. The moisture that is adsorbed in the rotor is driven out through a small part of the air that being heated up in a heater. whereupon it passes through a smaller part of the rotor which is regenerated in this way. The damp air is then removed via the outlet to the environment.

    10 Features to look for in a Dehumidifier

    Investing in a dehumidifier is obviously a wise decision if you are residing in one of the warmer cities in India. Here are a few simple considerations that you must heed to while buying a dehumidifier (www.dengarden.com/appliances/Choose-a-Domestic-Dehumidifier).

    1. Tank size

    Dehumidifiers have a tank to collect water. It ranges from a minimum of 2 litres to a maximum of 8 litres capacity. Make sure you opt for the bigger tank so that you do not have to empty it too frequently.

    2. Drain tube

    Some machines with drain tubes enable the water to drain away rather than collecting in a tank. Remember that with a portable device it will not always be possible for it to drain externally. For example, if you are placing your dehumidifier inside a room, temporarily, then the drain tube will be rendered useless. In that case, you can insert the drain tube into the waste pipe already made for washing machine.

    3. Energy usage

    The electrical power consumption of dehumidifier and the relative running cost of it can be high. Generally, the desiccant machines use more power than refrigeration machines. So, investing in refrigerant dehumidifiers would be a wise decision.

    4. Weight & size

    Factors such as weight and size of the appliance are worth considering while deciding to buy a dehumidifier. It is better if it comes with a decent carrying handle.

    5. Extraction Rate

    Find out how many litres of water a day the dehumidifier can extract. Consider models with more extraction capacity and less power consumption feature.

    6. Laundry Mode

    Wet clothes drying up indoors during monsoon are an obvious source of excess moisture in households. Dehumidifiers are great for drying clothes. Some dehumidifiers offer a ‘laundry mode’ designed specifically for drying clothes. Such machines repeatedly extract moisture from the air without measuring the relative humidity of the room.

    7. Auto start/off

    If you want to run your dehumidifier using a time switch then make sure the model you use has an ‘auto on’ and ‘auto off’ feature to ease out manual intervention. It ensures: Power on, moisture extraction on.

    8. Slower speed

    A dehumidifier typically has more than one fan speed. Slower-speed machines are more economical and quieter but obviously, higher speed will result in more rapid extraction of moisture.

    9. Less noisy machine

    It is also worth checking if the dehumidifier is generating too much noise. If you want to have it running at night in the bedroom then make sure it runs quietly.

    10. Operating temperature

    You must check the operating temperature required to extract moisture at the desired rate. If you want to extract moisture from an unheated area then the desiccant models will give lower operating temperatures.

    Tips to use a dehumidifier

    • To get the best from a dehumidifier, vacuum it beforehand to make it sure the irritating dust particles are not spreading around or the air filter is not getting clogged up (if the dehumidifier has one).
    • Set the machines away from the walls, furniture, and curtains.
    • Keep the doors and windows closed while the dehumidifier is running.
    • Empty the collected water out of the dehumidifier after every use and before moving it to another room.
    • Instead of repeatedly turning your dehumidifier on and off, you can let the dehumidifier do it itself to maintain your desired humidity level. Try to keep a room’s humidity somewhere in between 50-60 percent.

    Types of Dehumidifiers

    Whole Home Dehumidifier

    The whole-home humidification system is the easiest and the most convenient method for adding or removing humidity from home. It checks the home for proper moisture content and then turns on the humidifier or dehumidifier as needed to bring the entire home atmosphere to the ideal humidity level. However, these dehumidifiers are more expensive and require regular maintenance.

    Desiccant Dehumidifier

    These dehumidifiers operate by passing the air through a rotor which contains moisture adsorbing desiccant material. Once water is removed from the air, there is a huge chance of drying as the dry air can be blown back into the building. Water collected within the desiccant wheel is removed by adding heat so the vaporized moisture can then be ducted out of the building.

    The desiccant material is actually silica gel, which is a porous form of granular silica. The internal structure of the gel comprises a network of microscopic interconnected pores. This gel can adsorb moisture by attracting it within each granule. Due to added heat, this moisture can then be released from the desiccant by evaporation. Finally, it is pushed out of the building, leaving the desiccant wheel ready again to collect further moisture.

    Refrigerant Dehumidifier

    Damp air from within the building is drawn into the dehumidifier and passed over a cold evaporator coil which cools the air below its dew point temperature. This results in condensation. The water droplets formed on the cold coils then collect in a pan which has to be removed manually. Some dehumidifiers have a hose attached to them that automatically purge the water. The dry air then passes over warm condensing coils, which heat it up again before releasing out to the room.

    Heat Pump Dehumidifier

    Heat pump dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air with the help of a fan, heat pump, and heat exchange coils. By using a fan, the air is sent past the heat exchange coils that are extremely cold. These dehumidifiers provide excellent energy savings and comfort. By installing a heat pump dehumidifier, one can expect to save around 10 to 30 percent of energy cost.

    Conclusion

    If you do not want to welcome and host excess humidity in your home and other recurring problems associated with it, get a dehumidifier as soon as possible. However, before that, to make your buy worthwhile, get a damp/seepage assessment (www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/damp-seepage-assessment-with-solutions-through-thermal-imaging-technology) of your home done. There are reliable home inspection service providers who scientifically assess the moisture content of your home using advanced technology like thermal imaging. Based on their report, try to find the source and a permanent remedy for the humidity and damp problem. Alongside, invest in a dehumidifier. It will keep your home dry, fresh, and healthy for years to come.