All set to buy a new house? Read checklist of common problems for homebuyer to look out for before investing in home/property.

20 Common Problems Home Buyers Should Look Out For

Whenever you decide to buy your dream house, you need to keep a lot of things in mind. It is a lump sum investment. Some of you out there would be using all your life’s savings in buying your house. Any kind of casual behaviour is not acceptable in the process of choosing your house. Lots of considerations are to be made and points- checked while finalizing the home like the locality, the builder/owner, affordability, legal matters, age of the property, quality of construction, etc. Besides, you must also keep your eyes open for a number of home-related problems like the condition of the walls, roofs, ceilings, floor, doors and windows, fittings, electrical, plumbing and so on; once you start living in the house these will bother you the most.

Here are a 20 problems that you should be careful about while buying a house.

Examine the property closely - the overall condition, from outside to inside and ground floor to the roof.

1. Construction Issues

Examine the property closely – the overall condition – from outside to inside, from ground floor to the roof. Does the integrity look compromised? Though it is a professional’s job to analyse even you can form an idea by just looking at it. What is the condition of the walls? Are there any cracks in them? Check the roof – do you see any cracks in it? Are the railings standing strong? Are there enough outlets on the roof? Do you see any broken pipes from outside? Make a checklist and go ticking as you examine the property diligently.

The house should have proper airflow and ventilation in every single room including the kitchen, bathroom and the storeroom.

2. Ventilation Problems

The house should have proper airflow and ventilation in every single room including the kitchen, bathroom and the storeroom. The house remains fresh and there is less growth of moisture inside the house; hence, lesser microbial growth and a healthier and happier family.

Make sure that adequate sunlight enters the house, as it is important for keeping your house fresh.

3. Sunlight

Make sure that adequate sunlight enters the house. Sunlight is extremely important for keeping the atmosphere of the house fresh. It kills bacteria and other microbes naturally and prevents stale smell in your house. It also keeps the house warm during the winter and is good for the growth of plants in your garden.

4. Water Resources

Make sure the house has proper water resources. Water is indispensable to any household. Earlier hand-dug Wells were the primary water source but now proper drilled wells and government water supply lines serve as primary water resources. These should be available at the house you purchase or else there will be difficulty in getting clean water at your residence.

When you go to check out a home make sure you look for its plumbing system. Check that all the plumbing lines are in good condition.

5. Plumbing Problems

While you go to check out a home make sure you look for its plumbing system. They are hidden sites inside the house but are an important and integral part of a comfortable home. Old households with old pipe systems can cause problems. There might be a leakage in the plumbing lines or it might have rust on it. Check that all the plumbing lines are in good condition and there is proper flow of water. And if it is a new home, you can check out some plumbing mistakes.

There should be sufficient drainage on the property you purchase otherwise that can cause stagnation of water leading to serious issues.

6. Drainage Problems

The drainage system of the house should be in proper condition. In case of damage to the drainage system, mould infestation and water clogging can take place. There should be sufficient drainage on the property you purchase or else that can cause stagnation of water leading to serious issues like breeding pests, vegetation growth and stale smell in and around the house. Drainage repair costs should be estimated along with the price of the house.

A poorly maintained or damaged roof/ terrace can lead to future problems including water seepage.

7. Roof / Terrace Problems

They is most important aspects and components of a house. A poorly maintained or damaged roof/ terrace can lead to future problems including water seepage. Roof repairs are expensive and should be estimated along with the price of purchasing the house. Make sure that the roof has proper drainage of rainwater and has no seepage problems. Water does not leak through it or in future you can have serious problems like damping issues, crumbling paint, vegetation growth, pest issues, etc. inside the household.

Check the floor slope to avoid stagnancy of water.

8. Flooring and Slope

Old houses mostly have cement or marble flooring. If you consider keeping it, check the floor and wall joints, the overall grouting condition and if any cracks are visible on the floor or not. New properties with tiled flooring too may have these problems. So, check that and consider getting them replaced or repaired soon. Sloping is something that often escapes our eyes and senses. Be careful or else, standing water may bother you in the future. Read Understand the problems due to incorrect slope in wet areas of your home.

Make sure that the wooden doors, windows and other wooden installations are in proper condition.

9. Wood Condition

Make sure that the wooden doors, windows and other wooden installations are in proper condition. In old houses, the wood is exposed to moisture for a long time. There may be rotting of wood which needs to be looked into. Wooden furniture and installations should be protected with proper paint and finish.

Gaps around the frame, loose hinges and latches, doors making a creaking sound, cracked glass in the window panes, rust in the iron grills are common issues in door and windows.

10. Door and Window Issues

There can be numerous of them – trust us! Gaps around the frame, loose hinges and latches, doors making a creaking sound, cracked glass in the window panes, rust in the iron grills – all these can make your stay in the house really troublesome with secondary problems like water seepage, damp etc arising in no time.

11. Fittings and Installations

No matter how small these components may appear, fittings and installations play a crucial role in holding all parts of your home intact. Also, they add a lot to the aesthetics. Check if all of them are in proper condition- non-rusted, strong and working- right from bathroom fittings to the doors and windows. Replacing the worn-out taps, faucets and shower heads with new ones and iron/wooden window frames with UPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) materials1 will always go a long way in making your new home stronger and safer.

12. Electrical Safety

The house should have proper electrical connections and wiring. Watch out for any fault in the electrical circuit and faulty wiring in the electrical panels. Make sure that there are no faults or else it can cause tripping or fire. These are potentially hazardous. In case of faults in the electrical system, estimate the price of the repairs along with the price of the house.

13. Environmental Issues

Older homes may have lead-based paints, toxic moulds, asbestos in them. Any of these are harmful to your health.

Older homes may have lead-based paints, toxic moulds, asbestos in them. Any of these are harmful to your health. Since there were no restrictions in the past old buildings still continue to have these toxic materials in them but these should be avoided while buying a home. Asbestos and lead paints are extremely harmful and can cause serious health issues like respiratory damage.

Make sure the house has not been affected by termites and other pests.

14. Pest Problems

Make sure the house has not been affected by termites. Termite infestation is a very common problem in our country which can pose a major threat to the furniture in the house. To avoid this problem, make sure that you check with the current seller that the house is free of termite and other pests and also if pest control is needed and what should be the frequency of it. Check the corners of the house, the garden area and the doors for termite with visual signs.

Buyers should look for a proper parking area and space inside the house.

15. Availability of Parking Space

Buyers should look for a proper parking area and space inside the house. Parking areas are extremely important and indispensable. It ensures that your vehicles are kept safely. Most of the time, buyers are extremely engrossed with the house interiors that they forget to take a look at the parking area. This should not be done or else later there will be issues with parking your car.

Now, the above points are all specific problems that are very common and we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. While you should be vigilant about these, you can’t afford to ignore other important matters like:

16. Area

Do a little research on the area – low-lying or not because you may face water-logging problem in that case during the monsoon. Areas with too much hardness in groundwater tend to have houses with ugly, yellowish stains on fittings and surfaces. Know these facts and make your decision.

17. The Neighbourhood

Make sure the house is in a neighbourhood which is safe to live in and there are no criminal activities going on in and around. Most importantly, people are warm and welcoming and understand each other’s requirements and necessities. Buy a house from where there are no communication problems. Main roads, transportation and market are available. The locality should preferably have departmental or grocery stores and easy access to the market, hospital and educational institutes.

Pre-handover home inspection is always a preffered factor for buying.

18. Builder/developer or owner

If the property you are buying is a house or a resale flat then try to deal directly with the owner. If it is a new flat then check your builder’s track record and make sure he has got RERA approval for the project. You should also insist on a pre-handover home inspection as that will further put all your concerns to rest.

Ask for the documents which show clearly that the current owner has the legal rights of the land and the house.

19. Legal Issues

Make sure that the house abides by every legal right. Ask for the documents which show clearly that the current owner has the legal rights of the land and the house. Ensure that the property is not mortgaged to any bank / lender. Try to find out about the locality and the current owner of the house from the neighbours.

20. The Recent Value of the House

Do not underestimate the future possibility of reselling this house you buy. Something might happen which may lead you to buy another house or shift to a new place. In such a situation you might need to sell your current house. The value of a property keeps on increasing with time if it is in a good locality. You should sell the house at a profitable rate, so take that into consideration while purchasing.

While buying a house make sure that you invest in a property with no or least problems. It is a crucial investment in your life and along with being affordable, it should fulfil all your requirements. Do not overlook any small problem. To avoid future complications, make a checklist and make sure you do not miss out even the minutest of issues. It is advisable to take the help of a professional service like home inspection which will cover the visual examination of all accessible areas of a home/property using modern technology and specialized tools, is designed to describe the condition of the basic elements, identifies and reports issues with the suggested solution. Otherwise, there will always remain a chance of overlooking a couple of problems which will become bigger later and add to your overall cost.

An eco-friendly home nurtures happy and healthy souls. Make Your Home Eco-Friendly in 12 Easy Ways.

Make Your Home Eco-Friendly in 12 Easy Ways

The rapid changes in environment and climate make it an absolute necessity to be alarmed for the future. Global warming is the root cause of climatic pattern disturbances, which is in turn caused by man-made pollution. Making changes in your lifestyle is a necessity. Developing your home into an eco-friendly one is an ordeal but it is definitely worth it. Try out our simple tips for turning your home into an eco-friendly one.

1. Reduce Use Of Plastic At Home
2. Use Recycled Products
3. Use Energy-efficient Lighting
4. Switch Off Appliances When Not In Use
5. Buy Low-Energy Appliances
6. Choose Your Paint With Care
7. Make Your Own Compost For Your Potted Green Friends
8. Use Natural Cleansing Products
9. Hang Your Clothes In the Sun to Dry
10. Watch Your Water Usage
11. Rainwater Harvesting
12. Manage waste at home

Changing life patterns, increased pollution, urban as well as rural industrialization has taken a toll over the environment. We have destroyed thousands of hectares of forests, polluted the water bodies, disrupted the natural habitat for millions of organisms just to fulfil our own needs. The environment we are living in is degrading every single day. It is our responsibility to save the environment and natural resources. After all, we all are living and breathing in the laps of mother nature. It only takes a bit of conscious effort to change our lifestyle to an eco-friendly one. We will also be able to save some of the existing natural resources. Sustainability is not a concept, it is a way of living. Our responsibility starts with changing our habits at home. We should strive towards changing our homes into an eco-friendly space.

Here are a few ways to make your home eco-friendly:

Try to reduce use of plastic at home. The lesser the plastic usage, the lesser is the production of non-biodegradable waste from house.

1. Reduce Use of Plastic At Home

Replace all the plastic containers in the kitchen with steel or glass containers. Use glass bottles for drinking water instead of plastic once. The lesser the plastic usage, the lesser is the production of non-biodegradable waste from our house. Try to avoid fibre utensils. Try sticking to aluminium, steel, and iron utensils for cooking. Reduce the use of polythene bags and instead use cloth or jute bags for shopping. Do not use plastic plates or cups during gatherings. Indian markets have plenty of alternatives to this like the disposable plates made of leaves. Try packing food in aluminium foils1 instead of plastic boxes.

Use recycled products to reduce energy consumption and dependency on raw materials.

2. Use Recycled Products

Recycling products help reducing energy consumption and dependency on raw materials. It reduces water pollution, soil pollution and to a certain extent air pollution also. There is no need for a landfill for disposing of the old items. There is no need for waste disposal. You can refurbish your furniture, paint them and give them a new makeover. Paints or polish coating is good for the long go. In case you need to buy glass containers, consider reusing empty coffee or candy jars. Empty boxes of biscuits and cakes can be used for storing small miscellaneous items.

Clean your home the greener way. Use old, discarded t-shirts or towels for making rags. Use them for dusting and mopping instead of paper and follow the 3R – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-philosophy, literally at the ground.

Use energy efficient lighting to reduce energy consumption.

3. Use Energy-efficient Lighting

Replace all your traditional bulbs with CFLs and LEDs. Traditional lights have a higher energy consumption in comparison to the CFLs and LEDs. Traditional lights also give out 90% of their energy as heat. This raises the temperature of your house and surroundings. In a country like India with extreme summer temperatures, it is advisable to opt for LEDs and CFLs. They are a bit expensive compared to the traditional bulbs yet are much more eco-friendly.

We should switch off appliances when they are not in use.

4. Switch Off Appliances When Not In Use

We should be extra careful that we do not waste electricity which in turn is the waste of natural resources. The production of electricity is dependent on natural resources. We should switch off appliances when they are not in use. We should make sure that we switch off fans and lights before we leave our rooms, once we finish charging our phones we must not forget to unplug the charger. These practices also save you from mishaps and accidents.

Using low energy appliances are an excellent step towards an eco-friendly home.

5. Buy Low-Energy Appliances

Using low energy appliances are an excellent step towards an eco-friendly home. BEE-labelled or eco-star labelled appliances2 will cause less wastage of energy. They are also pocket friendly in the long run. They minimize the electricity bill. When you buy washing machines, air-conditioners, refrigerators, try and invest in one with more number of eco-stars ensuring maximum energy efficiency.

There are other ways to make your home energy-efficient. To start with:

  • Switch off all lights, fans and other appliances when not in use.
  • Replace traditional glowing lights that convert almost 90% of energy into heat with LED spotlights.
  • Run the AC, not below 24- 25 degree Celsius.
  • Weatherise your home.
  • Service your appliances at regular intervals and replace them when they’re old.
  • Don’t keep your laptop on charge continuously. Once charged, unplug it.
  • Unplug all battery chargers when the gadget is fully charged.

Becoming energy-efficient starts with making little changes in your lifestyle and perspective. Take the first step and you will feel happy about making a small positive change in your surroundings.

Choose your paint with low or zero VOC to keep home safe from its harmful vapours.

6. Choose Your Paint With Care

If you are noticing a rising incidence of allergies and asthma in your family, chances are that either your house is damp Or your wall paint contains high levels of VOC (volatile organic compound). Consider giving your home a makeover. Choose environmentally safe water-based paints with low or zero VOC and give a fresh lease of life to your beloved home.

7. Make Your Own Compost For Your Potted Green Friends

Make use of compost instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for your potted green plants.

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are harmful to the soil and plants in the long run. They can lead to various plant diseases and acidification of soil. They also contaminate the groundwater reservoirs. Compost can be made by using non-toxic biodegradable waste from your home like the vegetable peels, dry leaves, garden waste along with mud. It works as a natural fertilizer for your plants and helps them grow. It also replenishes nutrients in the soil. It restores moisture in the soil. Moreover, your biodegradable waste is used up at your home itself.

Use natural cleansing products to ensure an eco-friendly home.

8. Use Natural Cleansing Products

Chemical-based or synthetic cleansers are another threat to water bodies. When we clean our house with these cleansers, the chemicals enter the water transport system and make it unfit for drinking. They are also harmful to our health and sometimes may cause rashes and skin burns. We should switch to natural cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, etc. these are non-toxic, majorly non-allergic.

Drying our clothes in the sun instead of dryer cuts down our dependency on electricity.

9. Hang Your Clothes In the Sun to Dry

This is a great way to save electricity. Drying your clothes in the sun instead of dryer cuts down our dependency on electricity and instead, we use solar energy. It is also good for checking bacterial infection and growth. The UV rays of the sun are powerful against microbial growth. The clothes which are dried in the sun generally smell much fresher as compared to the ones dried using electric dryers. Clothes are warmer and the fabric – happier too!

10. Watch Your Water Usage

Keeping a track of your water usage and checking water wastage is a great step towards an eco-friendly home. There should be no wastage of water. Do not leave the tap on while brushing. Wash your dishes with closed tap and sink. In case of any water leakage or seepage make sure it is repaired at the earliest possible.

Replace your old showerhead with a modern low-flow showerhead. Such showerheads are designed to check the amount of water wasted. So, if you take shorter showers and use one of these fittings, you can surely save a lot of water. The idea is to avoid water wastage in every possible way.

RO waste water uses can be for household chores, watering plants, washing car etc.

Coming to the other uses of water for household purposes, switch to Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purifier as that would be a good investment for many reasons3. The wastewater generated by the purifier can be used for:

  • Watering your plants (after diluting, since total dissolved solid content is too high).
  • Cleaning various items and surfaces.
  • Cleaning sewage pipes.
  • In the bathroom for flushing & cleaning.
  • Washing your car – avoid using a hosepipe; instead, use a wet sponge. It cleans better and saves water.
  • Filling your water cooler.
  • Bathing your pets.

To learn more about reuse of wastewater generated by RO water purifier, read RO waste water uses – 6 Simple Ways.

11. Rainwater Harvesting

Storing rainwater for later usage during scarcity, is rainwater harvesting. The rainwater is collected in a cistern or a large tank for future usage. It is a great step towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. Pollution has caused enough damage to freshwater bodies. Rainwater after treatment can be used for a lot of purposes ranging from cleaning to gardening. Rainwater harvesting mitigates the water scarcity during periods of drought and reduces dependency on groundwater resources. Another advantage of using rainwater is that most of the times it is free of chemicals. The only thing we need to be careful about is acid rain.

A man standing with two bins of segregated waste labelled paper and organic respectively.

12. Care to manage waste at home?

Segregate your household waste before disposal. Put wet and bio-degradable wastes like food leftovers and vegetable peel into one bin and non-biodegradable wastes like plastic packets into a separate bin. This will help you to do waste management right in your home.

Conclusion

Now that we have discussed these possible ways to make our home eco-friendly, we should actually put in the effort to change our lifestyle. Step by step we can contribute towards saving our environment for the upcoming generations, in our little small way. Recycling, Refurbishing, Unplugging will not cost us massive lump of money, but will definitely help us save the environment. Few of these tips will help you to even save money. The renovation cost of eco-friendly homes is lesser than in normal homes. You can do DIY stuff before you want to pursue it.

How to eliminate smell from bathroom? Read the article for 10 effective ways

How to Eliminate Smell from Bathroom? 10 Simple Ways

Bathrooms are a multi-purpose area. From brushing your teeth to bathing, from relaxing in your tub to freshening up – all of it is associated with your own private space, your bathroom. The last thing you would want the space that refreshes you to be smelling foul. Unpleasant odour and unhygienic conditions in your bathroom are definitely not welcome. Bathroom cleanliness and hygiene is of prime importance for a healthy lifestyle and good quality living. So, follow these simple and amazing tips to freshen up your home by driving away all bad odour from your bathroom.

Hang on! Before we share the tips with you, let us tell you two ways to go about it. First, you can identify the exact source of the odour and clean that spot only and you are done. Second, make toilet cleaning a part of your daily routine – the end result you get is a sparkling clean bathroom fresh smelling as new!

Here are the tips directed towards the second approach:

More the moisture in bathroom more will be growth of microbes. Turn off shower properly, clean a mirror with a piece of cloth.

1. Get rid of moisture!

More the moisture in your bathroom more will be the growth of microbes. This will lead to a discomforting smell inside the bathroom. After you have used the bathroom, wipe extra water off the floor, turn off the shower properly so that it doesn’t continue to drip, clean the mirror with a piece of cloth, and don’t forget to take the wet towels out to dry in the sun. In addition to these daily little things, keep a check on your fittings for any leakage / seepage. If you come across any loose faucet or leaky pipe, repair or replace it immediately. Seepage / Leakage can lead to damp & moisture related problems and to a persistent stuffy smell.

Use exhaust fan & dehumidifier for removing excess moisture & humidity.

2. Ventilate your Bathroom

Ventilation helps in the removal of trapped air and moisture from the bathroom. There is a constant movement of air which helps in freshening up the area. Any trapped foul smell escapes and a gush of fresh air rushes in. Removal of humid air checks the growth of microbes in the area. Algae and fungi are also less likely to develop in a well-ventilated space. With ventilation, humid air escapes. This causes lesser condensation on bathroom walls and other equipment leading to a clean and more hygienic environment.

One of the commonest ways to ventilate a bathroom or toilet is to install an exhaust fan at a height.

Exhaust fans or dehumidifiers in the bathrooms are primarily set up to remove hot air, excess moisture & humidity from the bathroom. It is significantly important as it is instrumental in the elimination of bad odour as well from your bathroom. An exhaust fan helps to dehumidify the air circulating in the bathroom thereby reducing damp and microbial growth.

Indoor plants in bathroom will help reduce foul odour.

3. Place potted Indoor Plants

By indoor plants, we usually think of plants that thrive in the kitchen, bedroom and living rooms, but there are plants for your bathroom too. The right bathroom plants will help reduce foul odour from your bathroom, absorb moisture and also make your bathroom aesthetically beautiful. Plants which prefer a misty environment are perfect for your bathroom like ferns, orchids1, mosses and air plants. These plants will get natural environment and bloom happily inside your bathroom. They will help in recreating a waterfall-like picturesque inside your bathroom.

Air fresheners and activated charcoal are an effective way that help in removing bad odour from bathroom.

4. Use Air Fresheners

A huge variety of air fresheners are available in the market. Try using natural fragranced air fresheners. There are various air fresheners which contain toxic substances. Try to avoid these, as they are harmful in the long run. You can make natural air fresheners yourself by rubbing alcohol and essential oils for a fragrance like the lavender, rose, peppermint, lemon, etc.

Activated charcoal is another effective way that can help you keep foul odours at bay. However, it is an air purifier (non-electric) and not just an air freshener because, unlike the latter, it has no overpowering scent. When kept at any corner of the room, the bag of activated charcoal conceals the bad odour silently by absorbing excess moisture, micro-pollutants and allergens from the surrounding air.

Regular cleaning and sanitising of bathroom is very important

5. Regularly Clean and Sanitise

Overall cleaning: Regular cleaning of your bathroom is extremely important. The chronic foul smell of the bathroom can only be dealt with a thorough cleaning. Use a strong but safe toilet cleaner. Clean and disinfect each and every component like the washbasin, water closet, etc once in a week. You also need to wash the wall surfaces and accessories used in toilet / bathroom and wipe them dry after it has been used by everyone in the family on a particular day.

Make sure your bathroom has no fungal growth. They tend to give out a repulsive smell as well as can be infectious. Powerful cleaners may remove them but their pungent odour may be dangerous for you to inhale. Using vinegar, instead, for removing fungal growth will be far more effective and safer.

Floor cleaning: We rarely notice but the tile joints or the grout tend to wear off with time. In its place, gaps are formed where dirt begins to settle and fungal growth happens. This also gives off an unpleasant smell which refuses to go away easily. To get rid of floor stains and dirt, you must do deep cleaning of your bathroom / toilet at regular intervals. Regrouting once in two or three years depending on the condition can further address the issue effectively.

Unclogging the outlets and drains: This is a significant step in bathroom sanitization and hygiene. Bathroom and surrounding drains when clogged tend to give out the foul smell and become breeding places for insects like mosquitoes and flies which are vectors of harmful microbes which cause serious diseases. Drains have hair, dead skin, wrappers, thick soap scum deposited in them which clog the drain giving out the obnoxious odour. This clogging also causes backflow of water in it. Unclog the drain with the help of a vacuum. For more ways, click here2.

Be careful about cleanliness of the toilet bowl, as it is main reason behind unpleasant odour in bathroom.

6. Be extra careful about the cleanliness of the toilet bowl

The toilet bowl is the main reason behind the unpleasant odours in most of the cases. So it is of utmost importance to keep it sparkling clean, both for both hygiene and aesthetic purpose as well as for removing bathroom odours. Apply a readymade cleaner on the inside walls of the toilet bowl, leave it for ten to fifteen minutes, and then scrub with a brush and flush. Make sure to scrub the underside of the toilet seat, before downing the flush for they hide the filthiest of dirt. For cleaning the external part of the bowl, use paper towels and antibacterial spray. Don’t forget to reach the back areas and the bottom of the commode / water closet to complete the cleaning process.

Painting your bathroom after damp removal can be really effective in doing way with bad odour.

7. Put fresh paint after damp removal

Painting your bathroom walls after removal of dampness can be really effective in doing away with the soggy bathroom odour. Bathroom paints should be strong and durable. This will not only make your bathroom look graceful but also repel insects and microbes.

Empty the toilet trash bin daily to eliminate bad odour.

8. Empty toilet trash bins daily

This is a must. No matter how insignificant the amount of trash is, vacate the bin every day and place a fresh trash bag inside it. Once in a week, disinfect the bin to eliminate any chances of pest infestation and fungal growth that may become a potential cause of bad odours.

Use air purifier to remove foul odour from bathroom.

9. Invest in an air purifier

Markets presently are flooded with air purifiers of various brands and price ranges. These appliances help in the removal of any foul odour from your bathroom. Further, they trap pollens, dust and other allergens which might be harmful to you. Air purifiers have multipurpose usage. You can check online stores for budget-friendly options.

10. Other nitty-gritty of toilet odour removal

Your habits go a long way in determining how hygienic your bathroom / toilet will be. Try to be careful about changing the bath supplements like sponges and loofahs every now and then. Replacing the old items with new ones will not only give your bathroom a fresh look, but will also prevent bacteria and other odour-forming microbes from growing on them. Besides, hand, face and bath towels should also be changed from time to time to keep your bathroom smelling fresh as new, always.

Bathrooms, as said earlier, is a place for relaxation and refreshment. Any bad odour there, will definitely disturb your peace of mind. The foul smell attached to your bathroom can make you feel fatigued. Also, foul odour in your bathroom grows with time. You need to become alert as soon as it starts to turn smelly. In general, regular cleaning practices help in the maintenance of good hygiene and health. Try to focus on natural methods for cleaning instead of chemical-based products.

RO waste water uses - 6 simple ways to utilize it

RO waste water uses – 6 Simple Ways

1. Use the RO Waste Water for watering your plants
2. Use it for household chores
3. Toilet flushing and Cleaning
4. Sewage Pipe Cleaning
5. Utilize it for Car wash
6. Bathing Pets

For every Litre of potable water produced, the RO purifier generates ~ 3 litres of waste water.

Most Indians are concerned about the quality of water supplied through municipal and borewell water systems. These concerns are related to the increasing levels of pollutants and microorganisms in borewell systems and the diseases that they cause.

Most of us are switching to water purifiers for a clean & purified supply. One of the most commonly used methods, for this reason, is Reverse Osmosis (RO)1.

Every invention has its own advantages and drawbacks. RO water purifiers are one of the best examples as these machines give you pure and clean water, but also generate a substantial amount of waste water. For every litre of potable water produced, the RO purifier will generate around 3 litres of waste water. If you pass 4 litres of water through an RO purifier2, it would produce only 1 litre of drinking water. Since the purification process is gradual, we don’t even realize that a good amount of rejected water is seeping out from the waste pipe.

We all know, water is the most important & precious resource you have on this earth without which you cannot expect your life running smoothly. It is the basic necessity required in almost all daily routine which you follow and so it is your sole responsibility that you must not waste this useful resource. You cannot avoid using water purifiers considering the quality of tap water. The installation personnel generally suggests installing RO units over sinks so that the rejected water gets drained out. But you can re-use this rejected water, which is high in TDS (totally dissolved solids) and inorganic salts, for different household purposes (other than drinking and cooking purposes3) to make it useful.

How to store RO waste water for usage?

How to Save RO Waste Water and Store it

The simplest way of saving this waste water would be to drop the reject water pipe in a storage object. Suppose your daily requirement of drinking water is 20 litres, then on average your purifier would generate around 60 litres of waste water. You can use a 20 litre water can with tape and close lid option. Make a hole in the lid and connect the RO waste water pipe to lid. It is better to connect a pipe in tape towards down to prevent spilling of water from height.

Easy Ways to Re-use RO Waste Water

Utilize RO waste water for watering your plants.

1. Use the RO Waste Water for watering your plants

Waste RO water can be used for watering plants. But as this is usually high in TDS, it is better to dilute it with normal tap water and then use it. Because high TDS water can reduce the fertility of soil in the long term. To be on the safer side, you can start with a few plants. Use the RO waste water for 15-20 days and check its effect on the plant’s growth. Each plant will respond to this change in a different way, which will give you an understanding of which plants are responding better to RO waste water.

Use of RO reject water for Floor mopping and soaking utensils will save lots of clean water.

2. Use it for Household Chores

Using the RO waste water for mopping the floor is easy and will save litres of clean water every day. Mix the RO waste water with fresh water, and use it for mopping floors. Make sure to dilute it properly because TDS content may lead to some salt deposition on the floor. You can also reuse the RO waste water for your used utensils after every meal. You can certainly use the water to soak the used utensils so that the food stuck on the surface won’t dry up and can easily be removed during washing. But, washing of utensils should only be done with fresh water.

You can also use it for daily use clothes, but do keep in mind that delicate fabrics may not react well to the TDS content and other materials in the water.

Make use of RO waste water for toilet flushing & cleaning toilets.

3. Toilet flushing and cleaning

While it cannot be used for bathing, you can use the filter waste for toilet flushing and cleaning. Flushing takes up nearly 6 to 7 liters of water which directly goes down the drain. It is a massive amount considering the number of times we flush daily. You can limit this normal tap water wastage by using the waste water for flushing. Pour it down the cistern of the toilet to utilize it efficiently.

Additionally, It can be diluted with regular freshwater to clean porcelain tiles, bathroom fixtures, faucets and the toilet seat. This is done to avoid discoloration, or deposition of salt on the fixtures or others. You must though, always monitor for any signs. To avoid damage, we suggest using this method for periodical clean-ups only.

4. Sewage pipe cleaning

The waste RO water can be used to clean sewage pipes at home or in the kitchen, as it has a high saline content.

Wash and clean your car with RO waste water.

5. Utilize it for Car wash

This is probably the best use of the reject water from the RO machine. Washing up a car requires a substantial amount of water. And using your RO waste water for this purpose makes sense. You can mix the waste water with fresh water to give your car a good wash. Hence, you can not only clean your car but also end up saving a lot of water.

Make use of RO reject water for bathing your pet.

6. Bathing pets

Rejected RO water can also be used to bath your pet. But always dilute it with the same amount of normal tap water before doing this. You should also dry your pet after bathing.

Apart from above-mentioned points, you can use the waste water to refill your room cooler as well during the summer.

Conclusion

Using these simple tips, we can end up saving a lot of water. These little ideas will conserve water that can make a world of difference if everyone adopts them. Since we all know that there is a severe shortage of water throughout the world, we all must develop these practices in our routine to conserve water. Remember that every drop counts and is precious!

7 Effective ways to have a Healthy Home

1. Make it Clean & Clutter-free
2. Keep it Dry and Moisture-free
3. Keep Pests away from Home
4. Ensure proper Ventilation
5. Take care of Air quality
6. Toxic-free & Safe Living
7. Opt for a Home Inspection

Most of us spend at least half of our lives in our homes without realizing there is a connection between our home and health.

A happy and healthy environment is essential for a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to improving our health, we tend to focus on nutrition and exercise, and we spend less time focusing on how our environment can affect our body. Our home is where we spend a lot of our time, so it is important that we figure out ways to make it healthy.

In order to create a healthy environment, we should start from our homes individually. Everyone’s living space is different, and there are some aspects you cannot control, but you can follow some tips that can help to improve the health of your home.

1. Make it Clean & Clutter-free

Having clutter and uncleanliness has proven to not only make your home dirty, but it can also affect your health. Excessive clutter can aggravate or worsen symptoms associated with various respiratory diseases (eg: asthma). Cluttered home invites rodents, cockroaches, insects and other pests. Pests in the home can cause respiratory illnesses and other health problems. Hence, Cleaning and de-cluttering your home enhances happy & healthy living.

2. Keep it Dry and Moisture-free

Moisture in homes can cause a variety of issues. From problems with personal health to damaging the home itself, water inside elements of building is an issue. Common human health hazards associated with dampness in homes include Upper respiratory issues, Asthma, Cough, Wheeze, Allergies, Skin Diseases, Migraine – Headaches & Depression. Structural integrity of your home gets weakened due to moisture intrusion. It is important that you stop leaks, control seepage, and maintain balanced humidity inside your house.

3. Keep Pests away from Home

Pests come to your home for 3 main reasons – food, water, and warmth. Seal cracks and openings (gap around window, door frame and pipes) throughout the home; keep kitchen and other areas of home clean, store food properly.

4. Ensure proper Ventilation

Home ventilation is an important factor related to the occupants’ health. Poor Ventilation increase the risk of airborne diseases, causes allergies, nausea and can also lead to serious health issues like eczema, nervous system damage, and cancer. Poor ventilation has been associated with “sick” homes for a long time, mainly referring to the damage caused by mould growth and other related problems to the building components. Therefore, ventilation is very important for your home.

5. Take care of Air quality

Common household cleaning products contain chemicals like alcohol, ammonia, chlorine and other solvents that must not be touched or inhaled. These have negative effects on our health that can cause irritable eyes, sore throats, and even headaches. These cleaning products release dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that not only give you common health issues but also aggravate allergies, asthma, and chronic respiratory issues.

Although we depend much on these cleaning products, however, we must use organic products as a safe option to go by. Using organic cleaners around the house will help the air quality immensely. The more we use less toxic products to clean our homes and indoors, the better it is for our health.

6. Toxic-free & Safe living

Store pesticides and other chemicals like leftover paint & oil, disinfectants (if you are having) in locked cabinets out of children’s reach. Keep all chemicals in their original, labelled containers – do not put them into another bottle or container. It is always important to keep it out of reach of children and pets1.

7. Opt for a Home Inspection

Home inspection – Health & Safety Check-up ensures everything in the house is functioning properly; it identifies hidden issues & areas that need repair. Take care of minor repairs and issues at the right time before they become a large problem.

Cracks, seepage, clogged drains and blockage in pipes are some of the common household problems that we face in our houses with time. Inspection is a significant way to become aware of the areas of the house that can act as a hazard or create problems in the future and also suggest solutions for specific issues. Home inspection is an essential part that ensures a healthy home for your family.

Home inspection is an important part not only during the purchase of a property but also with time when your home starts ageing. Maintenance of a home is as significant as maintaining other essential assets in order to attain a healthy home.

Home inspection is a health and safety check-up of home. Watch the video to understand it better.

Final words

Home is one of the most valuable investment of our life where we spend our maximum time. So your home is a key asset for you. Everyone needs a healthy home. Making your home healthier and safer in preparation for your living has to be a great responsibility. A healthy home can help you & your family have a healthy body. We hope that these tips will make your home a healthy one!

Why Ventilation is important for your home?

  • Why ventilation is important for your home?
    1. Helps in controlling moisture
    2. Health of you and your family
    3. Improves Air Quality
    4. Increases Comfort level
    5. Better Air Regulation
    6. Reduces Temperature
  • Some Considerations for good ventilation
  • Ventilation tips for better indoor Air

Ventilation is essential for home comfort. Proper ventilation prevents air pollutants from affecting the health of family and home. Without proper ventilation, a home or building can become a house of static air, where bacteria and carbon build-up, making the indoor air unsafe for the inhabitants. Like we do breathing exercises to have good health, similarly, buildings too need to breathe well.

In general terms, Ventilation is a process of replacing still & stagnant air with fresh air. A well-ventilated house is one that ensures sufficient air and sunlight infiltration into the house.

Read the content to understand: Why ventilation is important for your home?

1. Helps in controlling moisture

Ventilation is very important because it controls how much moisture is persisting in the home. If one has adequate airflow throughout home; walls, floors, and all the wood in the home will stay dry and not collect moisture. Wood can decay when exposed to moisture. If one lets moisture build up in these areas of the home, they will not only destroy the structural integrity, but they will also cause mold/ termite buildup or other moisture-related problem.

2. Health of you and your family

Proper ventilation protects you & your family from unpleasant odours and irritating pollutants. Poor Ventilation increase the risk of airborne diseases, causes allergies, nausea and can also leads to serious health issues like eczema, nervous system damage, and cancer. It causes sick building syndrome. Ventilation prevents the growth of fungus and molds in your home and hence keeps you protected from allergies and breathing issues. To know and understand the health effects, read Poor Ventilation and the health consequences that come with it1.

3. Improves Air Quality

If the air inside the house does not move outside, the pollutants such as chemical gases and germs would affect the air quality and cause harm. Ventilation helps expel the pollutants stored inside along with the bacteria, moisture and odour. It controls indoor humidity and airborne contaminants, both of which either contribute to or act as health hazards. Also, it helps in removing volatile organic compounds in house paint, air fresheners, cleaning products. Hence, proper ventilation helps in improving indoor air quality and ensure a healthy living.

4. Increases Comfort level

Ventilation controls the humidity level and allows you to breathe easier. When the room is filled with fresh & clean air, the airborne contaminants are eliminated. Moreover, sufficient inflow of air cools the room in the best way and this makes indoor ambiance better. All these add to the increase in the comfort level.

5. Better Air Regulation

A well-ventilated home has lower energy bills, and this is the reason why people prefer to live in a place that provides natural ventilation. It lowers the home’s humidity reduces the pressure on the air conditioner and also extends its life span.

6. Reduce Temperature

Sometimes when lot of people live in a small home, space becomes hot making the environment unbearable. A proper ventilation system reduces the temperature and makes a home comfortable and relaxed for everyone.

Some Considerations for good ventilation

In order to achieve good natural ventilation in a home, below considerations can be followed:

  • Outlet openings should be just opposite to inlets to ensure better cross-ventilation.
  • More height of the room gives better ventilation.
  • Inlet openings should be located on the windward side and at low level so that all parts of the room are uniformly ventilated2. Outlet opening should be located on lee ward side(side facing away from the wind) near the ceiling in the side walls. It is nowadays less common in homes.

Ventilation tips for better Indoor Air

  • Use of exhaust fans: Exhaust fans draw air from a particular location and vent it to the outside. Both Kitchens and bathrooms should have an exhaust fan. Bathroom and kitchen fans are a significant part of your home’s ventilation system. They remove odours from your house, which improves indoor air quality. They also remove moisture, which decreases the level of humidity in your house.
  • Natural ventilation: Most common method of natural ventilation3 is opening windows and doors. When outdoor air is cooler and drier than your indoor air, by all means, open the windows and let that fresh air flow through.
  • Clean air: If exhaust fans and natural ventilation cannot serve the purpose, you can opt for a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home.

Final Words

Improper ventilation in homes can lead to illnesses and discomfort as well as cause damage due to poor moisture & temperature control.

Whether you are living in a home, fresh air is essential to survive. If you are searching for a new home to move in, check if it has good ventilation. It is very essential for health, efficiency and hygienic conditions. Hence while planning your home it should be ensured that each area/ room is properly ventilated.

Proper home ventilation is essential for the health of the residents and the structure. It controls the build-up of indoor air pollutants and moisture. Therefore, it is utmost important to keep the house adequately ventilated.

8 Essential Things every new Homeowner needs to know

1. Finding the main water control valve
2. Know the Electrical supply
3. Get to know your appliances
4. Take Advice before interiors or remodeling
5. Ensure General Fire Safety
6. Learn How to Identify Potential Issues in Your New Home
7. Know the Surrounding Essentials
8. Talk to the Neighbours

Buying a house is considered one of the most significant investments you will make in your lifetime and there is so much to think about – the move itself, changing billing addresses, unpacking and even getting used to the sounds that your new home makes.

After months of house hunting, you finally find the home that satisfies your needs. So you feel relaxed and stress-free in your new home. Once you buy a new place to live in, there are several things you need to know about it.

No matter whether you have purchased a new home or got the property in the resale, there are certain things that you need to take care of when you first enter your new home.

Just like learning to drive a car or cook food, every home has important things that the homeowner must be aware of and learn how to operate. For those who believe in absolute home comfort, here is a list of 8 essential things you must know related to your new home.

1. Finding the main water control valve

Water from a broken plumbing pipe can pour out dozens of gallons into your home’s interior in a matter of minutes, soaking everything in sight – including flooring, furniture and valuables. In this situation or others like (leak or drip), turning off the water mains can prevent the water from causing serious damage to other areas of your home. Water damage is one of the most common occurrence.

Nowadays, many homes have separate water control valves for each area (kitchen, bathroom), which is ideally better. And some homes have the main water control valve at terrace near storage tank. It is important to know the location of this main valve in case of any emergency. Make sure everyone knows where it is located and how to close the valve. Also always ensure it moves freely instead of hard to operate.

2. Know the Electrical supply

Familiarize yourself with electrical supply including the position of the Distribution Board (DB) in case of a trip while plugging in your systems for the first time. There are two common situations that will require you accessing your electrical panel: An outlet in your home has been overloaded and blown a circuit that you need to reset to restore power or, need to turn off the power of a certain area for some electrical work like installing an outlet, or light fixture. If possible label your Distribution board or panel, in case you or any other person requires to turn off the power for some task.

3. Get to know your appliances

Home appliances have made our lives so much easier. We cannot deny the comfort and convenience these appliances provide us. A day without these helping hands is quite annoying and troublesome. Just like cars and televisions, the appliances in your home have different life expectancies and a proper way to operate. It is important to know your appliances, as good care and correct use of these appliances will provide them a longer running life. It is always better to read the guide before using it. Also, keep the warranty card, service details and guide of all appliances together in a place.

4. Take Advice before Interiors or Remodeling

After buying a home, usually a homeowner plans to have interiors or remodelling. Home Remodelling is a big project, you should not take it lightly in order to maintain aesthetics, functional ease and of course to make your money spent worthwhile. Opting remodeling or furnishings without proper advice can lead to rework and waste of money, if there is any concealed leakage or other related issues in your home. So,it is important to know and understand the condition of your home first with help of professionals before furnishing or remodeling.

5. Ensure General Fire Safety

Fires at home are generally due to electrical shortcircuit or smoking or overheating. It is important for the homeowner to ensure the general fire safety at home. Firstly, in order to keep yourself safe, see how is the emergency exit in your building in case of an apartment. You should know the location of all of your home’s safety equipment in case of emergencies. Locate and check the availability of fire extinguishers and fire alarms. Obtain and maintain it, in case it is not present. You can also read Fire and safety regulations1.

6. Learn How to Identify Potential Issues in Your New Home

One of the best homeowner maintenance tips is to detect minor problems before they become huge issues. After purchasing your home, take some time to learn about some of the common issues homes face. Being able to identify a potential problem early on could save you money later. There are certain common problems that you need to take care of when you first enter your new home:

  • Plumbing Issue: The plumbing issue is most common for new homeowners. When you start living at the new place you need to see for any plumbing issue in the home. Visual checks can be done like leakage in the visible portion of pipes or watermarks seeping through the ceiling or walls; improper installation of fitting, and grout problems.
  • Check electrical system: Another important factor new homeowners should consider is the electrical circuits. You do not need to open the circuit board to find the issue. Check if you are facing some tripping problem in DB while using any appliance or there is any layout problem like the improper position of socket. You can also observe the outer layer of the system to see if there is any burning issue or damage to the wires system. If you require, hire a skilled electrician to check each and every wire connected to the home. The electrician will examine the system closely to see if any repair requires in the system.
  • Check the floor: The floor damage is common in a home. You should check for the damage tiles, hollowness in tiles, the gap at tile joints etc to avoid the water leakage or any other circumstances where your floor started losing its strength.

Apart from this, there are other basic elements like wall, ceiling, door, window. There can be some problems in these basic elements even in your new home. To understand more, read Moving to a New Apartment? Home inspection can be a saviour. If you want the help of experts in detecting the probable defects of your apartment, Contact professional home inspection services.

7. Know the surrounding essentials

Homeowners should determine where the nearest shops/retail facilities are, and their earliest opening and closing times to ensure that they can buy what they need. Also know about essentials like Hospitals, gas service center, public transport etc.

8. Talk to the Neighbours

You might feel shy but getting to know your neighbours will be useful for you in the long run. You can look out for each other, notify each other of problems or issues in the neighborhood, and you will have someone that you trust to water your plants or feed your pet while you are away.

Apart from the above points Homeowners should determine the integrity of the physical security such as door locks and in case of the individual house, check the gate at the perimeter of house.

Bottom Line

Buying a new home is exciting as we have many plans in our mind to make it look more beautiful. But before focusing on the way to make it look better, there are certain things that you should be sure to familiarize yourself with when it comes to your new home. Being sure to know the basics related to some simple things mentioned above can benefit you in the long-run! Our objective was to make you aware of important things that every new homeowner needs to know to ensure your home running smoothly.

Minimize harmful effects of paints in your Home

Chemicals / VOCs present in Paints

Painting your home can enhance the beauty of your space and give a fresh new look to a boring room. It forms a part of the maintenance of your home and must be done once every 2-3 years depending on the condition. The unsatisfactory part is the immediate consequence of painting a room, that is, the suffocating paint odour.

The material (or can say chemicals) with which the paint is made, together with the solvent used to make the paint liquid so that it can be easily applied with the brush, stays on the wall even after the paint dries. It is the evaporation of this solvent, which leads to the suffocating odour.

The paints industry has developed multitude of chemicals to enhance the product shelf life, colour, texture etc. These paints are made from a few chemicals that are especially suited for this industry. Many of these are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which vaporize as soon as they are exposed to the atmosphere. They also contain heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and chromium. VOCs are organic chemicals that are mainly used as solvents for conventional paints. Once they enter into the air we inhale, they can go into our lungs and create a toxic effect on our bodies.

So what exactly is a Volatile Organic Compound(VOC)? VOCs are a large group of chemicals that are found in many products we use to build and maintain our homes. VOCs are chemicals inside paint that are released into the air as you paint a wall.

VOC is a carbon-containing compound that easily vaporizes into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues. It is one of the sources of indoor air pollutants.

Harmful effects on Human health

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) include organic solvents and organic chemicals. Because they are organic, it does not mean they cannot cause health problems. Apart from paint and solvents, there are other common sources of VOCs found indoors which include: Household Cleaning Products, Dry Cleaning Products, Paint Thinners, Varnishes, Cosmetics, Glues, Pesticides, Aerosol Sprays, Building Materials, etc give off VOCs.

Some of the chemicals can cause short term and long term adverse health problems. After painting, VOCs can be up to 1,000 times higher indoors1 than outdoor fresh air levels. VOC levels are highest during and soon after painting, they continue seeping out for several years.

VOCs from Paints are up there on the list of most harmful toxins to humans, animals, plants and aquatic life. Common Signs or Symptoms of exposure to VOCs:

  • Conjunctiva Irritation
  • Nose and Throat issues
  • Headache
  • Skin Allergy
  • Dyspnea
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Epistaxis
  • Fatigue and Dizziness

Some long-term effects include liver and kidney damage, respiratory issues and even cancer. These paints not only harm the human body, but also the environment. The by-products and waste of the synthetic chemical industry are detrimental to the environment and it leaves an enormous carbon footprint.

Best practices or tips to reduce Risk & Exposure

If you are going to do painting in your house, here are some best practices that you can follow in order to reduce your risk:

1. Schedule painting strategically

Although there may never be a time where your homes are completely vacant, try to schedule painting when there is minimal number of people present.

2. Select Indoor paint with low or zero VOCs

Be sure you select indoor paints wisely. Select a product that will generate less harmful fumes or VOCs, such as water-based paints. Their low level of volatile organic compound (VOC)2 makes them an environmental friendly option with minimal to zero harmful effects on your health.

3. Follow instructions and safety labels

Read carefully instructions and safety information on the product label before starting the painting process. Note any warnings, first-aid information, or if protective measures like gloves or goggles are required to be used. It is always beneficial to go through certain guidelines and wear gloves or a face mask while painting.

4. Provide Ventilation

It is always advised to have good ventilation with open doors and windows. Always paint in an area that is well ventilated. After painting, keep windows as open as possible for two to three days in order to allow paint fumes to exit the room. You can also consider using a fan in the window to help direct airflow to the outside.

5. Take breaks while painting

Long exposure can worsen the effects of paint fume. Take breaks to breathe in fresh air to help reduce your chances of side effects.

6. General precautions

Ensure your safety and safety of your loved ones by taking the following precautions:

  • Pregnant women are advised to stay away from wet paint till it is fully dried.
  • Keep children and pets away from painted areas and equipment.
  • Keep painted area and paints away from heat sources.
  • Stay out of the room that has been painted for 2 to 3 days after you are finished.
  • Close any leftover paint containers tightly to prevent vapors from leaking into the surrounding area. If you choose to dispose off leftover paint, be sure to do it properly.
  • Keep the paintbrushes covered with plastic bags when not in use.
  • Try to keep the paint containers covered with their lids as much as possible.
  • Use ladders safely.

Apart from the above tips, if you are still facing a problem then opt for air purifiers. It reduces VOCs in your indoor space. Consider having an air purifier running in the room you are painting and other rooms (where VOCs may have found their way into).

Eco-friendly Options for paints

Eco-friendly paints available in India can be classified into three types:

  • Zero-VOC paints: The level of VOCs in these paints is negligible that they can be termed as ‘zero-VOC paints’.
  • Low-VOC paints: Low VOC paints are those that contain less VOC or VOC Solvents than traditional coatings. Paints labeled “low-VOC” should contain fewer than 50 grams per liter of volatile compounds3(as per EPA guidelines).
  • Natural paints: These paints are made of natural compounds such as tree resins, water, plant oil, natural dyes etc. They do not contain any VOCs.

Some paint companies which provide eco-friendly paints include Asian paints4, Berger Paints, Dulux Paints, Kansai Nerolac5, Nippon Paints.

Last words

Many paint products contain VOCs that can potentially cause both short-term and long-term health effects. Our objective was to make you aware of the harmful effects of VOCs in paints on human health and the environment and also to provide you the best tips to reduce risk and exposure.

When painting indoors, you should always do so safely. If you are looking for the healthiest and eco-friendly6 alternative to standard paint, sticking to no and low-VOC options is a good idea.

Festive Home Cleaning: What’s Your Plan?

It is only a matter of a month. You can hear the footsteps of Navratri, the 9 days of celebration, puja, fasting and feasting, decking up yourself and so on. The defeat of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga signifying the win of good over evil is your reason for celebration. When Navratri / Durga Puja is so near, can Diwali be much far? Ayodhya decked up itself with hundreds and thousands of diyas when Sri Ram returned after defeating Ravana. Keeping the tradition alive, Indian homes are also waiting to get lit up. This particular year, amidst the pandemic situation, we Indians are wholeheartedly waiting for the festive season to make its grand entrance in our lives, right?

We get it that you are ready to embrace the festivals around the corner. But is your house ready? Looking for ideas where to start from? Scroll down to get a picturesque idea of deep cleaning for your house this festive season.

1. Monsoon is retreating! Start with the most important: Damp Removal

The first ‘evil’ that you should get rid of is the damn damp. However sunny and cheery the weather may seem now, it has been drizzling for days just before it. This surely has elevated the damp condition. So what are your plans? Putting up new wallpaper? – Wrong decision, let us tell you. It will come off any day and only add to your embarrassment. Better, you remove dampness from the walls first and then revive its decor. This will not only benefit the interiors but also your family’s health. In fact, you can consult a professional and try to find out the real cause behind the damp so that a permanent solution can be reached at. This will be your most important step of home cleaning before the festivals set in.

2. Take care of your Kitchen

When we say kitchen, we mean every nook and corner of it. Kitchen safety and sanitation1 is important at any point in time. So, Clean the kitchen cupboards, the containers, utensils- everything. The biggest evil in the kitchen is grease and oil. This cleaning season calls for attention to all those difficult-to-reach areas including the ceiling borders, junctions of walls, behind the shelves, etc. Dirt and cobwebs accumulate behind the appliances also. Move them from their position and clean those areas thoroughly. The insides of appliances can also be equally dirty. Wash them and if required, get them serviced as well.

3. Planning to Paint?

If you are buying new clothes for yourself why not give the house a fresh coat of paint? You may give only the exteriors a weather-proof coat or give the inside walls a much-needed makeover. But whatever you do, analyse the condition of the walls first. Is it only a case of fading paint due to a long time gap or is it a result of painting defects in your home? Or, is there something more significant behind the flakiness? Know the actual cause behind the problem and then go for a repaint. Take proper precautions, choose the right paint and shade and make your home ready to welcome Lord Ram and the Goddess Durga this festive season.

4. Do not let plumbing create panic

If your finicky fufaji decides to give you a visit this Diwali and a leaky pipe in the bathroom suddenly decides to give way right when he is using the facilities- can you imagine what a nightmare it would be! So before the festive season settles in, completely take care of the plumbing issues in your house. Mend the leaks on pipes, taps etc. Check the cistern once again. At the same time, do a thorough cleaning of the whole bathroom.

5. The dread of drain

You will be fasting during the Navratri days. You will break your fast on a ninth day with delicacies. More sweets and savouries will give off aroma during Diwali and fill the room. But the mood will completely spoil if the stench from the drainage system outside your house invades. Who would want that? So, check all the outlets for any blockages and remove them so that the wastes can be washed away easily.

6. Get rid of wiring worries

When it is the festivals, you are surely going for “let there be light.” There are going to be electrical diyas this year along with LED lights and other decorative lights. So, make sure the wiring system and the electrical set up is in good condition in your house, the circuit breakers are working fine and eliminate any chance of short circuit2 or other electrical hazards.

7. Closet Cleaning

You do need to make space for the new clothes you are buying, right? Trust us, once you decide to give your closet a cleaning, you will be amazed how many items are there in dire need of being discarded. Pull everything down. It is your best scope to dust the entire inside. Make a pile for the ones you decide to give away. For the rest, fold them and stack them in a neat manner.

8. Pooja Room Cleaning

It might be a small corner of your home or an entire room. The place of worship needs to be cleaned up too, especially when it is time to welcome the heavenly deities at your doorstep. Clean out the shelves, wipe the various sized containers clean, dust the places where needed, look for cobwebs behind the photographs or the idols, clean the ashes from incense stick holder-in short, deck up your puja room.

9. Clean the furniture

Regular dusting is not all. See if the wooden pieces need new polish. Change the upholstery, curtains, cushion covers, bed sheets and other furnishings. It is time to push the vacuum cleaner nozzle behind the sofa set. Clean thoroughly, not superficially.

10. Basic Cleaning

Have the doors been making noise? Is there rust on the grills and need a coat? What about the ceiling fan and bookshelf? Well, clean them up. Do away with the unwanted items and organise these parts. Deep clean the mattresses also. Take care of all these and your basic cleaning is done. Do you know what works best? – A room-wise cleaning approach3. Start with the exteriors (if needed and doable) and then move inside – from the living room to each bedroom and so on.

Once done with cleaning, sanitize and disinfect4 every corner your house. Look for the areas that require more attention. Though we may well expect to have a virtual family get together on Diwali this year, our family’s health will always be our priority; so, don’t skip sanitisation and disinfection. Make it a part of your festive home cleaning from now on.

With the pandemic looming large, we need more blessings ushered on us from the gods and the goddesses. It will be apt to welcome them in a clean abode. So, get on with the cleaning spree before the festivities get the better of you.

Have a safe and happy festive season!

Safety Checks Before, During & After Tile Work

Tiles are one of the most popular flooring options used these days. A tile is a thin object usually square or rectangular in shape. Tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, vitrified, stone, clay etc., generally used for covering roofs, floors & walls.

In addition to the main purpose of strength and durability, tiles also give home a good look. It is easy to maintain & clean, they come in a wide variety of colours & designs that easily intermix with the décor of your house.

Whether you are doing the installation of tiles for the first time or have done it before, installing tiles in your house is a job that needs to be done properly. Tile installation mistakes are hard to cover up and fixing them usually means to rework on it adding extra cost of replacement or repair apart from potential damage to the property.

So, we thought to tell you about the safety check to be kept in mind before, during and after tile work whether in your Home, Office or Shop or any other property.

A. Checks to consider before you start the tile work

  • The first step is to select the type of tile1 to be used in your home. Also choosing the laying type – paper or spacer joint.
  • Prepare the surface in such a way that it must be levelled, sound, clean, dry and free from grease or any other material. Also make sure for adequate slopes towards the drain outlets/ points in areas like kitchen, bathroom, toilet,terrace, roof, etc.
  • Brick masonry and plasterwork of all the room are complete.
  • It is important to make sure all the waterproofing work for wet areas is complete.
  • Check that the plaster is cut above the slab level for skirting.
  • Prepare mortar mix that can be used within 2hrs.
  • Different door material have different thicknesses. Make sure there is enough door clearance kept between the flooring and door bottom or-else the doors will rub against new flooring.
  • Mark the position of taps, bottle traps etc. in toilet before starting the installation tiles on walls.
  • The tiles should be soaked in water atleast for 2 hours before the tile installation.
  • It is better to do a dry layout of tiles, so that you can plan the position of any cut tiles at less noticeable place depending on the requirement.
  • Additionally, if you are renewing flooring, make sure that the previous flooring material is completely removed with no residue left behind. This process should be done carefully without causing any damage to waterproofing and other associated parts.

B. Things to consider during tile work

  • If you are using chemicals/ adhesive for tile installation then strictly follow tile manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Use tile spacers in spacer joint to keep tiles at equal distances.
  • Slope should be checked at the time of laying also, so that it can be corrected at that time depending on the requirement.
  • The mortar bedding should be compacted properly to avoid voids.
  • While installing tiles ensure they are well bonded with the substrata to avoid hollowness2.
  • Do not step over the flooring for at least 24 hours after laying.
  • Tiling work must be cured and fill the joints with grout and clean them properly.

C. Things to be inspected after tile installation

  • Hollowness: One of the important factors to be checked (be it vitrified, ceramic, and others) is hollowness checking to ensure tiles are properly laid. It is mainly an installation problem. But it is very important to check it even after tile installation. The tiles need to be randomly tapped using a tile hollow checker for hollowness. You can understand it more by reading significance for checking and its repair.
  • Grouting: Tile joints have to be properly filled with suitable grouts/ fillers, without any gaps. Always remember to check that the gaps are filled properly between floor and skirting tile. If gaps are not filled properly, then it will create a path for water to seep-in and create dampness/ seepage in associated areas.
  • Cut tiles: Tiles around the plumbing fixtures & electrical face-plates should be cut in proper shapes and the edges should not be visible after fixing of plumbing & electrical fixtures.
  • Damages, chip offs and shade variations: Damages & chip offs have to be checked along with any shade or colour variations. Damaged tiles (like cracked or broken tile) should be replaced to avoid further problems like moisture intrusion or deterioration and Chip off. Shade variation will create an aesthetic problem.

Apart from the above mentioned points, slopes also to be checked after tile installation. If any water pockets occurs in wet areas, then the slope of that area needs to be surely checked. There are various problems related to incorrect slope in wet areas like damp or seepage related issue, fungus issue, strength of flooring & wall surface will get decreased, etc. But, it is better advised to check and correct the slope before installation to avoid extra cost and time lag due to repair.

Conclusion

We hope knowing things to consider or look before, during and after tiling work will be helpful to you. This information will avoid several tiling defects like cracks in tiles, shade variation in tiles, etc. With these points, you are sure to have a quality tile installation that will last for years to come. And if you want advice from a professional, then you can contact home inspection services who can inspect each element of your property. With the help of this service, you will get information about issues and long term solutions for all types of issues or problems in your home/ property at any stage.