It’s difficult to carry out interior-works execution during the monsoons……A myth!
How many times have you heard yourself or your friends/family say? “It’s monsoon, so let’s decide to wait till post monsoon to get interiors for our house/office/commercial space done.” Sounds fair, but in today’s date, do we really to avoid the execution completely? Not necessarily!
Come! Let me give you some tips & guidelines on how to do the interiors of your space safely during the rainy seasons.
1) Rains are without doubt, the best season to understand where the water leakages, seepage, dampness etc. are taking place in your space. In Mumbai, rains mostly begin by the second week of June. So, after the first downpour of continuous heavy rains; say in 1st-2nd week of July; one can inspect the house thoroughly for above mentioned defects and accordingly plan for carrying out waterproofing treatment, tiles repairs, pipes repairs etc.
2) These repairs come under civil & plumbing aspect, so we can safely say that including the repair-works the interior execution can be easily be started by 3rd-4th Week of July. This is assuming that your design and respective budget along with the choice of contractor has been finalized.
3) The process of choosing your interior designer, shortlisting & getting designs, budget and cost estimate finalized and finally choosing the right contractor/set of contractors for your space can take as good as 1.5-2 months. Kindly ensure that these stages are finalized by the month of May-June, so as to be able to start executing by 2nd-3rd week of July.
4) Hiring labour is the easiest (not cheapest) at this time, since all have mostly returned from their summer stays in their villages and you have a better chance of getting a greater number of skilled labourers ready to work on your project than in any other seasons.
5) Due to heavy downpour of rains, there might be some absenteeism. But generally, such a situation arises not more than 2-3 times in any rainy season. Keep in mind to hire labour on daily wages basis OR on per Sq. Ft. basis (Ad-measuring the quantity of work executed). This will ensure, that it will not affect your budget even on days on heavy downpour, when the labour is unable to reach your site due to water-logging, heavy traffic etc.
6) Since continuous downpour of heavy rains do not happen more 2-3 times (each, collectively 3-4 days in a go) in Mumbai/Palghar, rest of the season is fairly conducive to carry the works out and hence it is unreasonable to delay the entire execution stage by 2-3 months.
7) Most families ideally like their houses to be ready by Diwali, so this is also an ideal time to get interiors executed to avoid any last-minute hassles and chaos to chase the contractors/vendors to get the work finished on time.
Tips for certain aspects of execution that need special attention
Delivery of Materials: Do ensure that all the materials/raw materials needed for execution are getting delivered in proper waterproof packaging. Special care needs to be taken for items involving wood, plywood, foam, fabric etc. Nowadays most vendors are professionals and highly experienced in delivering materials in monsoon, so this aspect doesn’t need much to worry about. But a precautionary word from your end, will help them keep a double check on the packaging of all the items deliverable. Since plastic bubble wraps are not good for the environment, you may discuss for Eco-friendly packaging materials with your vendors such as biodegradable bubble wrap, recycled corrugated paper, honeycomb meshed paper etc.
For woodwork, especially in wooden wall-panelling, it is important to apply a good quality lacquer /varnish like Japan Black etc. which is used for many substrates. Its high bitumen content provides a protective finish that is durable and dries quickly, does avoiding contact with any moisture/dampness if any on the walls. This does not discount need for waterproofing treatment on the walls.
Applying Laminates– While applying white glue (Fevicol is one of the most popular brands) on the wooden and under the laminate surfaces, make sure to dilute the glue with water and apply a thinner version, so as to ease up the drying process. This will also avoid presence of random bubbles, undulated laminate surfaces etc.
POP Works, Primer/Putty & Painting - These three applications need special care during monsoons, as they need sufficient drying time. During the rains, the time needed might be 30-40% more than that required time needed during the drier seasons. If your project manager foresees this and plans efficiently to carry out other activities (such as woodwork for furniture, tiling etc.) then this waiting period can be utilized very productively.
Cement based putty is known to dry more quickly than the conventional/ lime-based putty. If you do not want to use the former one, then normal or lime-based putty will also do, but as mentioned earlier, it may take 30-40% extra time to dry. So, if one has enough time in hand to finish the project, the second option is a better option. Also, since painting is normally done towards the last stage of the project, this activity can be planned to be executed towards the end of monsoon or first month of the post monsoon season.
Plaster Works - As far as plastering is concerned, monsoon is good time for carrying out this activity. The probability of the cement-based plaster getting properly cured is more at this time as the hydration process of cement/concrete will is enhanced. This is because the water within the plaster, would be retained for a longer period (won’t evaporate, due to hot weather) thus enabling hydration of maximum quantity of cement incorporated in plaster mix. More the percentage of cement that gets to react, more the strength of the plaster is attained. Also, the plaster surface will have refined and less pores, making structure more durable too. Due to better hydration properties, same stands true for lime/clay plasters as well.
Hope I have addressed most of your concerns. If you have further observations/questions please mention them in the comments section and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.
So? What keeps you waiting? If you too had decided to wait till the monsoons get over, now is the time to change your decision and GET SET GO!
Acknowledgements: Heartfelt thanks to my contractors, Mr. Brijlal, Mr. Vinod, and our firm’s ex-employee, Mr. Nilesh Gosavi for giving valuable inputs based on their experiences as well.