Home repair is one of the most painful things, ever, and especially so if one happens to live in an old building. And even more so, if it is an apartment building. That’s what I’ve been caught up with the past couple of weeks.
While apartment living has a whole lot of advantages, there’s always the risk of a neighbor’s home repair issue affecting others, and turning into a saga of arguments, and hopefully at some point, constructive action. Ah, there’s a pun: constructive.
For months, now, the seepage from our upstairs neighbors has become a bone of contention between us. The fact remains that it has to be repaired—no two ways about that—however, months have gone by, with nothing happening.
No, wait, what am I saying? Of course, something is happening: the dreaded seepage spreading slowly and surely. The apartments are almost identical in layout and thanks to the seepage from their bathroom upstairs, flanked by two bedrooms, our bathroom below, and our own two bedrooms, are witnessing dark patches.
Bad enough that we’re dreading the appearance of mold on the damp walls—but I am personally furious that our blemish-less walls are beginning to look as though they’ll flake off any moment. I’m so upset.
The irony here is, the person who owns the apartment is ready to get the repairs done, but the tenant who lives there has been dodging it, either disappearing for days, or citing unavailability. I mean, what can the workers do when a house is locked?
Very annoying, indeed.
And unless they finish the repair work, I can’t get started with my own. I mean, who paints a wet wall, eh?
As if on cue, I got an invitation to the Acetech Exhibition three weeks ago.
With my penchant for DIY, I enjoy carrying out minor home repairs. After all, I grew up with my grandma who thought nothing of building an extra room or carrying out structural repairs when required, on her own. And yes, I do know a thing or two about home maintenance as her eager apprentice.
I loved the exhibition. I spent a lot of time at the Pidilite stall, with Dr.Fixit and Roff India, mainly because I already use many Roff products, and was eager to find out what was new.
I am glad I did—because I came back home, inspired and full of ideas. They seemed to have the answers to all my current repair problems. Energized, I made up a to-do list to get started with, while my neighbors got on with the repairs upstairs.
- Fix grouting in bathroom tiles. I have two bathrooms that were tiled four years ago and needed minor repairs, waterproofing and painting.
- Some of the plastered surface from repairs carried out last year when we had to replace the plumbing in one of the bathrooms had developed cracks that needed to be filled before we could paint.
- Part of our kitchen wall was all puffed up from the seepage upstairs. We had to have that scraped, patched up and cemented before we could think of painting and tiling.
When we had the tiles fixed years ago, our plumber used Roff waterproofing products, to mix with the cement. Little did I know that Roff India had a full range of products that could add value to our home, including grouting solutions, tile solutions, crackfill and many more.
I saw a demo of Roff products along with video presentations at the exhibition and it was quite fascinating.
As a homeowner, I naturally had several questions, and we had a lively discussion. I am guessing you’d find the answers relevant, too.
How to prevent seepage in tile joints
Tiles have a tendency to move through constant usage and change in temperature. While fixing them, a little space is left between the tiles. The joints are then filled to prevent seepage and dirt accumulation. I remember the joints were filled with white cement, but this results in cracking, leading to water seepage. And of course it changes color. It is important to use a ready to use non-shrinking tile joint filler like Roff’s Rainbow Tile Mate that solves this problem. It is suitable for ceramic and vitrified tiles, both for external and internal use and available in different shades to match your décor.
How to deal with stained tiles
Usually, detergent should do the trick. But for stubborn stains, I know my fellas use acid, which of course damages the tile surface. Roff’s Cera Clean is a special mix that cleans tiles without etching the surface. Another visitor at the exhibition endorsed this product with enthusiasm!
How to protect wall tiles from cracks?
Whether it is floor or wall tiles, the expansion and contraction from temperature changes is a fact of life. The cement beneath the tiles is rigid, so you can imagine what will happen to the tile—it just cracks. Roff New Construction Tile Adhesive, which is a blend of cement, graded sand and advanced polymers offers the tiles a flexible base, letting them expand and contract without cracking. Their bonding strength is higher than cement.
For existing static cracks of 3-5 mm on plastered as well as unplastered surfaces, Roff Crackfill, a polymer-modified crack filler can be used. It is also useful to level uneven walls before painting.
How to prevent fungus in the tile joints?
Tile joints are prone to dirt collection, seepage, and naturally, fungus. This is because cement-based grout used to fill the joints is not resistant to water, chemicals or high temperature. Roff Rainbow Tile Mate epoxy is a bacteria resistant, water resistant and acid resistant epoxy grout keeps tiles safe from fungus.
I am thinking of having my kitchen renovated and one of the things that’s worrying me is this: will they have to break the existing tiles? It will mean a lot of noise, dust, mess and damage to the structure.
Roff Non Skid Adhesive solves this problem, making tile on tile application possible. I am also told that the tiles are ready to use in 24 hours.
By the way, one thing I really liked at the exhibition was the Dr.Fixit app – lots of information in there along with FAQs and a solid knowledge base.
Do check it out. I enjoy playing with it!
It is good to know that there is a range of products to make my renovation work at home safe and hassle-free. It will also mean easier maintenance without having to fret over cracks and stains, because moisture is a no-no in any building structure. Dampness invites mold, which is a major health hazard.
Maintaining a healthy home is an ongoing affair, and it is good to know there are reliable products out there to help me do it.
Signing off with the hope that I’ll reach the end of my repair woes before this year ends!
And yes, I got a “selfie” of sorts with my screen idol at the exhibition! Ah well, that’s the closest I’ll get, for now!