The rainfall received so far by Kerala during this northeast monsoon season is a new record for the State. Kerala has logged 833.8 mm rainfall during October 1-November 15, which is a record for the State’s northeast monsoon season which lasts from October 1 to December 31.

Cyclonic storms have increased over the Arabian Sea in recent years bringing more cloudbursts. The long period average for the 46-day period till November 15 is 407.2 mm, and for the entire northeast monsoon season, 491.6 mm.

October 2021 has turned out to be the rainiest for the state of Kerala. Between 01st and 18th October, the state has recorded 445mm of rainfall against the normal of 183.5mm. The revised monthly normal of October for the state stands at 303.4mm.

Following small steps can go a long way and help you sail through monsoons with ease. 

1.  How To Keep Rats Away From Your Home

Rats come looking for shelter in our homes primarily during cold or rainy periods, as well as when more suitable nesting locations can’t be found, often due to overpopulation. It’s a fact. Rainy weather brings pests like rats and mice indoors. Along with the rain and the cold, rodent season is upon us.  Rats and mice can be a year-round pest problem, but when the wet and chilly weather arrives it sends the critters looking for a warm dry place to call home for the monsoon. They can damage your home, car etc very badly.

What You Can Do

There are plenty of preventative measures that you can take around your home to make sure that rodents have a hard time making it inside. Before the rain comes, you should make sure to take the following actions in and around your home:

·         Examine your home. Look around for cracks, crevices, or faults where rats or mice could possibly make their way in. Check your foundation, and block any holes with wire mesh or foam. Entry points in your home, like doors and windows, should be able to be sealed properly.

·         Set humane traps. Catch and release traps are available, and are the best choice for most homes. Wire traps or poisons can lead to dead rodents ending up in your walls or inaccessible places. When they start to decompose, it can cause quite an unpleasant odor in your home, as well as a sanitation issue. Poisonous traps can cause sickness in children and pets who may come into contact with it.

·         Seal up any trash outdoors. If rats are passing by, they will surely be attracted to a big pile of trash that you may have outside. Be sure to seal up any bags or barrels you have so they are less likely to mistake it for a tasty treat.

·         Avoid clutter in your home. Clutter makes a cozy nest for rodents. This is especially important for basements or attics – the most likely areas for mice and rats to sneak in. If the clutter is significant enough that you don’t notice right away, you could have a nest in your home in no time.

·         Check your roof. As the rain accumulates in puddles on the ground, rodents may go up to avoid it. It’s important to keep an eye on the condition of your roof to make sure that there are no spaces or holes for them to make their way through.

·         Stop feeding birds for a while. Rats and mice can quickly intercept bird feed.

2.           Check for any cracks in the walls and seal them

Over time, the walls of your house can develop weather cracks, which typically start near the door and window frames. These cracks allow moisture to get into the structure of your building and cause damp patches. All these gaps need to be filled with crack fill putty. Once the gaps and cracks are filled, all the loose plaster is removed, crack filled with crack filling materials, and the wall is then repainted. Just make sure you do this before the monsoon starts.

3.           Keep the drains unclogged and vicinity clean

With rain gushing into the drains from every corner, there are high chances of debris accumulating and clogging the drains. It would be wise to keep an eye out for the drainage system. Make sure you unclog and clean the drains. This not only keeps away foul odor but also prevents insects from breeding and spreading diseases. Sprinkle bleaching agents to keep away rodents and other small animals that may try to seek shelter from the rain.

4.           Ensure Proper Water Drainage

Improper functioning of the drainage system in your house can also lead to dampness on the walls. Check for leakage in drainage pipes and water tanks placed on the roof. These drainage pipes get overfilled with rainwater during this season. Hence if you notice any broken pipe or leakages, seal it immediately. To avoid the accumulation of water, regularly clean the drain holes that may get clogged with leaves and other debris.

5.  Ensure the PVC pipes side sealing are proper

Over the tile the PVC pipes fitted for water drainage and plastering around it break as the properties of both are different. Need to fix the cracks with cement or crack fillers periodically every 2 years.

6.  Silicon sealant on the polycarbonate pergola or glass.

The life span of the sealant needs to be checked and fixed every two years. If your pergola has windows, make sure there are no gaps where drafts can get in. If it’s an open-air pergola, seal the doors and windows opening onto it from the house with caulking or weather strips.

7.  The water table everywhere is raised high due to the heavy/continuous rains

So need to revisit the drainage system urgently and ensure the drainage is corrected properly before rains. Otherwise, the chances of capillary rise will be very high in the rainy season.

8 . Avoid wall paneling

should avoid all kinds of wall paneling on external walls.If so, need to keep a plastic layer or gap between the wall and paneling to avoid moisture-based issues.

9.     Clean Your Wooden Furniture 

Due to moisture in the house, the wooden furniture can become wet and leave molds on upholstery. Since it is not possible to wash it, or keep it in the sun during monsoon, try to prevent the situation in the first place. Clean it with a dry cloth. However, if you are already facing this problem, then take 2-3 tablespoons of salt. Keep it in a cotton pouch and place it between the linings of the sofa. Change the salt every two days, once it absorbs all the moisture and becomes damp.

10.           Foul Smelling Rugs and Carpets

Carpets can pick up the dampness in the weather very soon and they start smelling foul. This is why a renewed sense of interest should be shown in vacuum cleaning the carpets and rugs on a daily basis. This act would prevent the accumulation of dust and moisture in them. A handy tip in this respect would be to wrap the carpets or rugs with polythene sheets to prevent water damage as well as insect infestation.

11.           Choose the Right Window Dressings

It is a good idea to use heavy fabric for your curtains in the summer – like blackout drapes so that you keep out the excess heat and light. However, these curtains are impractical for the monsoon.

You need light to enter, and you need curtains that you can wash and dry easily. Make sure you have another set of curtains that are lightweight.

12.           Keep Humidity Absorbing Plants

While you definitely want to keep plants that need too much water away during the monsoon, you must bring home shrubs that remove moisture from the air. Some of these plants are Boston ferns, peace lily, areca palm, English ivy, and spider plant. 

13.           Roof tiles Cleaning

Roof tiles get the most affected during the season and should be treated with a solution to close gaps and prevent leaks. Tiles can also be protected with a coat of active water repellent technology. Such agents form a thin but continuous layer that does not allow water to permeate the paint film. Water repellency with antifungal and anti-algal formula must be used to resist black spots on tiles.

The monsoon season, however heavenly and peaceful, brings with it some drawbacks- water through cracks, clogged drains, fungus and mould and all sorts of bugs and insects. But you can still enjoy the splendid season by following some simple hacks. So, now just enjoy the exhilarating joy the rain brings with it.