Seepage scare: How we fixed a seepage on the terrace

Monsoon ~ romantic.

Petrichor ~ the distinctive, fresh, earthy scent announcing the oncoming rain is romantic.

The first deluge of the season after the sweltering heat and the pleasant evening breeze is more welcoming than any other, especially after the summer this year in Bangalore.

This year, Bangalore has received sporadic cloudbursts. One such arrived on the evening of July 28th, 2016. The morning after, it felt good to step out, to breathe in a whiff of fresh air (literally), enjoy the clear skies for a change, and look around and feel the greenery after the layer of dust was washed away by the rain the previous night. It felt good to be alive in the city one has grown to increasingly dread for its traffic, pollution, and uncharacteristically changing weather.

On 29th July, as romantic as it sounds, a nightmare was unfolding in many parts of the city as houses got submerged from overflowing lakes. For the rest like us, who are always on the lookout for seepage issues, what we dreaded came true. It has been six months since we moved into this new house. During the first few untimely rains in January and April, we discovered a number of issues like water stagnation in the balcony, water dripping from the overhead glass in the utility etc. These were easy to fix with a sealant.

What happened in the aftermath of the rain two weeks ago was serious. There is a double height wall in the living room. My son noticed vertical streaks of white lines running all the way along this 20-foot wall from the ceiling to the ground as if someone had neatly poured water. Worried, we got waterproofing experts to inspect; after doing a recce of the living room and the Roof, they found there was a hair crack along the skirting tiles on the Roof through which water had seeped in to the living room.

water proofing

How we are addressing this seepage:

  1. The skirting tiles along the length of the wall have been broken and removed.
  2. The area is plastered again to seal the cracks and left to cure for 4 days.
  3. Yesterday, it was waterproofed. Instead of using a conventional solution like Brickbat Coba that is inelastic, they used waterproofing materials such as Dr.Fixit Newcoat.
  4. As you can see, the tiles are yet to be replaced.

terrace

Well, it’s not always the rains to be blamed. Over the years, because of the callousness of neighbors, we have seen issues ranging from water dripping from ceiling and peeling paint to damp walls and flooded closets.

Why seepage occurs:
Are rains to blame always? The answer is no. Often, you can address seepage by taking care of the root cause:

  1. Poor construction: In an apartment I lived before, I have seen water dripping through the ceiling and closets. No exaggeration. This happens because the construction was poor as the builder might have used porous concrete, the structural joints were not strong enough, cracks in floor tiles, or the flooring was not laid properly. Water travels across the floor from the wet areas in the floor above yours and seeps through the first opening it finds. It could be any one or a combination of these reasons. The basement of the building was always damp as water dripped from the ground floor houses. This is where it becomes important to analyze the cause on a case by case basis. For new home buyers, analyze a house for seepage with eagle’s eye before buy make the decision.
  2. No grouting: Bathroom ceilings in an apartment are often the first places where you will see dampness. These are often caused when the grouting in the bathroom in the flat above yours has come off. Often, re-grouting fixes the problem, but it resurfaces when the bathroom is cleaned with undiluted acid repeatedly and fresh grouting is not done. So speak to your neighbors. I have seen cases where we have been asked to pay for getting grouting in their bathrooms done.

How I mitigate seepage:
Here are some of my everyday choices to mitigate seepage and these are habits I have inculcated over the years:

  1. I have always been interested in using products found at home for cleaning that are not harsh. So, acid is a big NO. I noticed that one of the firms I hired for deep cleaning used Roff Ceraclean to clean the fixtures and tiles. It was non-abrasive and I have been using it ever since along with lemons on a regular basis.
  2. Grouting: I use an epoxy grouting mixture such as Roff Rainbow Tile Mate to seal the gaps between tiles when the grout comes off. I ensure that there are no gaps and even if it comes off, I do the grouting myself.
  3. Wooden cabinets in bathrooms are minimum so that there is no scope for mold build up. The wood used to cover the area under the wash basin is 100% waterproof.
  4. We wipe away the tiles and the glass partitions with a wiper every time after we shower. This ensures there are no water marks and no need to use any cleaner in the future to get rid of them.

It is time for us to get educated, make a choice to waterproof our homes, stop blaming the rains and start enjoying the monsoon!

Watch this video to see how to get started with waterproofing your home.

It’s time one need to keep their free from any leakages/dampness and healthy. Do check out home décor trends and tips here.

Image source: taken by me at my home.

 

 

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