Monday, July 21, 2014

Know Your Home, Story Continues....

“Home is everything you can talk to.”….Jerry Spinelli.

Jerry Spinelli is an American writer of children's novels & coming to second part of our topic of knowing the home, I think this is the best quote to describe what I want to share. As once we have accepted rather understood our home as a person then it’s the best thing you can talk too. Recently I have seen advertise of a paint company & the tag line is “Diware boal uthegi”, i.e. the wall will start speaking with the application of this particular paint! Well whether the paint can make it or not I don’t know but it’s wonderful concept that, the speaking walls! And then there was another good advertise, I forgot the product but related to home, with punch line “har ghar kuch kahata hai”, i.e. every home has something to say! What the trend shows is, no more the home which you are buying is just another product but it’s been acknowledged as a living object just like you & me! And this means event the manufacturers have accepted that a home is something with which people can relate their emotions. Especially in country like us, home has very high regards even spiritual for most of the clients. For no other product we look for “muhurta”, i.e. auspicious time or date to book a home & to enter in, this itself speaks our feelings for the home!

In continuation of the theme from our topic knowing the home you live in, let’s see further how much we know about this person named home, which actually can speak with us. Like the language of animals & trees, one has to feel language of the home as unless you start knowing your home as a person you won’t be able to understand what it’s saying to you! Many a people complaints after starting to live with their home that it’s giving them problems but as I said if you know about the making of this home rather upbringing is proper word then you won’t be bothered much with these things. As like any other engineering the home is also outcome of good workmanship & most of the problems can be taken care in making level. And then whatever remains can be cleared by our proper understanding about the home. Like we discussed about leakages, seepage's & crack in walls; then come flooring.  

There have been complaints about color shade difference in floor tiles. Let’s understand a home is assembled body where all the spare parts have come from different manufacturers. Many a time’s tiles from the same batch & manufacturer may have slight different properties & color difference is one such. When we use natural stones like marble or kotta then there is natural variation in the shade as well pattern but we accept it. In mechanized product like porcelain or vitrified tiles this percentage of variation is much less yet slight shade difference can be there & it’s difficult to find it during time of fixing as at that time light is poor as well individual tiles looks alike its only when they are set in together & floor is cleaned & full day light you can notice the variation if any. Here one can take care of selection tiles from same manufacturing batch of production to avoid shade difference. Yet there have been incidences where the shade difference has occurred few months after the fixing. It’s mainly because the absorption capacity of individual tiles varies. And the problem can’t be solved by replacing one tile & to replace entire floor is impossible job. Best is to accept if slight variation is there & to visit the site while flooring of your flat is going on so you can dictate the major color difference if any immediately after fixing. But if the shade difference is minor then just let it go as after some time it won’t be that noticeable & especially with furniture filling the room!

Another myth about the flooring is it needed to be washed daily; here people literally flood water on the rooms floors & try to clean it! Well, the modern days flooring like vitrified or porcelain don’t need such type of cleaning. All you are required to do is just clean it dry first & then wipe the floor with wet cloth that’s all. Even with natural stones like marble which has very high water absorption capacity this won’t do any good as the shade of the stone like marble changes with excessive water on its surface! Another major threat is except wet areas like toilet, bath, wc & dry balconies, all other rooms don’t have water proofing treatment to their floors & pouring of water can lead leakage in flats below you. And if you don’t care for your neighbor below then do remember person above you also may not be caring for your decorated false ceiling!  Also unlike the floors of wet areas the other rooms flooring don’t have any slope given to drain out the water on floors so if you pour water on the floor then it won’t drain away but will get accumulated at one place leading a sure water leakage below.

From the slope part I remembered one more thing, many a people complaint that the water doesn’t get drain off from the floors of their bathrooms. Remember keeping your own safety in mind the slope to bath floor isn’t steep like a slide, but it’s very gentle, just to ensure the water flows towards the drain i.e. nahani trap on the floor. And as the bath floor is usually antiskid type i.e. a bit rough, some water may remain in these roughness of the surface, just in the form of a thin film. All you have to do is waiting a bit & just push it towards the nahaini trap which is kept to drain the water. Too much of slope to floor of bathrooms can make you skid while moving on that wet floor.

Similar issues have been observed about kitchen otta, as no need here too for pouring the water & flood the otta. Its waste of water as well again there are chances of leakage of this water from the joints of otta & the wall which isn’t water proof. Now a day’s maximum otta tops are of granite or artificial marble which are non porous & just wiping them with wet cloth can keep them clean. Yet a gentle slope is usually given to the otta top towards the sink to drain of any water spilled on it during cooking.

After flooring & such issues there is another fear about the home & it’s for top floored flats. The roof leaks & the top floor flats get hotter in compare with the flats on floor below. As we have discussed earlier the proper slope & draining out of rain water takes care of the leakage of the roof slab. About heating , yes there are chances of getting the roof slab heated up especially in summer when the mercury sours up to 42 degrees now a days in Pune! Here do ask your builder about the thickness of the slab as normal residential floor slabs are 4”-5” thick, but if we increase thickness of roof slab even by half inch then it helps in absorbing the heat. Also full layer of clay bricks above the slab thickness & then metal (khadi) water proofing makes total thickness of the roof nearly 9” thick which is very much heat absorbent media. And then heat repellent paint on the roof slab surface is very helpful in reflecting the heat from sun-rays, helping in keeping the temperature in rooms below normal. Another aspect one should look is cross ventilation as stagnant air gets heated up faster. If every room has cross ventilation then there is good circulation of air which obviously is more at top floor thus the flat remains cool.

Like human body a home is also made up of hundreds of ingredients & the more we will know about it the better we will understand it. Most of the families buy home once in a life & the four walls become part of us. So many emotions they see & share with us then only it become a home. Actually it’s very difficult to define a home; by me it’s a feeling to experience & not just a term to define an object! How we communicate with a person< it’s by knowing about things about him. What he likes, what he dislikes, what can harm it & things like that! Then only we can share our heart out to a person & vice versa. Same way if we want a home to become part of our family it’s important to know what a home likes & dislikes.

So go ahead & know your home better so as it will also know you better & serve you in the best way it can! What more a home can do as a family member than see the generations grow & prosper within the expand of those walls & being called as “Our Home” by its occupants!! And all this with just little care & understanding, that’s what the home expects from us in return!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

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