It has been raining in Bangalore, perhaps not as much as one would like, given the looming drought situation, but most afternoons one can look forward to some showers. There is something about rain and the accompanying sweet smell of earth that rises during the first few showers is a fragrance that everyone enjoys and evokes childhood memories.
However, as much as we enjoy monsoon, the dampness and moisture in the air can give rise to several problems. It is not only rainwater which causes issues, but also the presence of moisture in the air which tends to build up. On cloudy and humid days, even when it is not raining, the evaporation of moisture is prevented. All of this combined creates an environment which is perfect for mold to grow. Unsightly dark green and black spots on walls, tiles, wood and furnishings in your home are signs of mold growing and multiplying. Look for damp patches on surfaces, which can give rise to mold and fungus.
Mold can grow inside closets, on clothes, shoes and any other surface that harbours persistent dampness, a conductive breeding environment.
Essentially, mold growth is due to high humidity during the rains, condensation happening from air conditioning systems and water dripping from a leaking pipe. It is important to identify the cause of the dampness and address it appropriately for treatment.
- Since moisture is the culprit, it is important to keep moisture content low and have good cross ventilation in your home.
- Make sure there are no leakages anywhere. Fix all broken and leaky pipes and taps, check tile joints on floors and see that none of the drains are clogged.
- The next step is to check if any waterproofing needs to be reinforced and ensure there is adequate waterproofing on walls, bathrooms and kitchens. Always select the right waterproofing product, which is specific for that surface, material and function.
- Use a sealant wherever required to seal cracks, crevices and holes, for instance, Dr. Fixit Blueseal provides seamless protection to stop leaks, as it adheres well to concrete, masonry and a variety of other substrates. Moreover, it offers an additional advantage that it does not harbour mold growth.
- Check all exterior walls, since these can allow water to percolate through. Ideally, all exterior walls should be painted before the monsoons with a water repellent paint that provides enhanced protection. However waterproofing of the wall must be done prior to painting.
- Check basements for poor drainage or any flooding possibility, which can lead to the growth of mold.
- Make sure all clothes and shoes are properly aired and dry before you store them. Also leave cupboards and cabinets open periodically to allow ventilation.
- In case you notice any mold on a surface, clean it completely with vinegar while taking precautions to not spread it around and to not inhale the spores inadvertently.