My Terrace Before and During the Monsoon

by Sharell शारेल on August 4, 2010

in Daily Life in India

Post image for My Terrace Before and During the Monsoon

Many of you will remember the day I was jubilant about having painted and decorated the terrace…. all by myself! Many people (including myself) also doubted that the beautiful red colour would last through the monsoon season.

The doubts were well founded. Two months into the monsoon and just about all the colour has been washed off. Not surprising, as it has been raining heavily every day in Mumbai. But what’s even worse is that the paint has been replaced by a layer of dirt and slime. Yuk! I do love the refreshing monsoon rain, but it requires a lot of restoration work afterward.

Just in case anyone needs a reminder, here is a “before the monsoon” photo of the terrace. Ahhh, it looks so pristine!

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© Copyright 2010 Sharell शारेल, Diary of a White Indian Housewife 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

naomi August 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

oh no!! Is there some sort of a lacquer that could be applied over the paint??

are you going to re-do the project? loved that red floor!

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Sharell August 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I have a spare tin of paint, so I think I will re-do it. I just have to figure out how to remove all the slime and dirt first… I guess it will dry out. Then perhaps I can pay my maid to clean it.

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Shivani February 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Hi ,

Do you still live in Grace dieu . I also live at Grace dieu

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Sharell February 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Yes! Amazingly I do! A meet up may be in order when I get back to Mumbai. :-)

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FrancesC August 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

If you were in Delhi, you’d need to wait until October before trying to repaint – that’s when the humidity will go away and everything will dry out completely. I guess that’s why people traditionally paint their houses just in time for Diwali. Does Mumbai weather work that way? That red was gorgeous – I would definitely want to repaint it myself!

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Sharell August 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Thanks FrancesC! Yes, it’s the same in Mumbai too… although the humidity never completely goes away. It’s humid all year round. :-( I think we’ll be having a huge clean up for Diwali this year. Living in a bungalow isn’t too good during the monsoon. Mould everywhere and all sorts of pest invasions!! :-P

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Molshree August 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm

i chanced upon your blog a few weeks ago and since then in my free time i have been reading ur blog as well as ur blog roll..which means i have a lot of free time!
i feel really good when i hear some foreigner say good things about India..patriotic i know :) after reading the book Holy Cow (again accidently) and ur blog…i was just wondering – Is it a thing with Australian women and our desi men?! Not complaining though :)
like ur header image and other pictures as well..would also like to hear u talk in hindi..haha
this is the first time i am commenting on someones blog so its a little long for a comment i guess. As a favour….(sorry!) could i ask u to take a look at my blog too??have started recently..with the best friend as co-blogger :)
drop in sometime..thanks :) and keep posting the good stuff..
http://chilicheesetoast.wordpress.com/

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Sharell August 5, 2010 at 10:00 am

Ah, found the other comment Molshree! It was in the spam folder. :-(

Is it a thing with Australian women and our desi men?! Not complaining though

Hmmm…. perhaps…we actually don’t hate Indians like the media says we do! ;-)

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Molshree August 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm

and i love the idea of painting the floor! Never thought of it.. will do it sometime in life :)

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Sharell August 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Hi Molshree, you definitely should! 8) It looks so much better. I can’t understand why more people don’t do it here…

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Abdullah K. August 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I think people in India don’t paint their terraces because they’re too tired of seeing rains spoil their artwork. Sort of like how people don’t bother washing their cars in the winters and springs in my country.

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Sharell August 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I think people in India don’t paint their terraces because they’re too tired of seeing rains spoil their artwork.

Probably just like how I’ll become after a couple of years… :-(

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Molshree August 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

hey i had 2 comments…the longer one dint get posted?? :(
and the mail?? there is nothing more irritating than a slow internet…sorry to bother you :’(

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Sharell August 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Sorry Molshree, only one comment was received. I’m not sure what happened to the other one. I also got your mail. Unfortunately, I have two weeks mail unanswered already. I just don’t have the time to reply to much mail lately. I will get around to it, but it may take a while.

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Bejuwala August 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm

DEFINITELY wait for less humidity. Then power wash (if possible), everything that needs to be repainted; allow to dry again completely. Then prime, paint, AND SEAL. Sealing is paramount! (Yes, I’ve had too many bad experiences with ruined paint jobs!)

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Jennifer August 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm

That’s so sad.. I always worried about paint jobs in India. they never last. Is your terrace on the top of the building? That is probably a dumb question. I guess I still have yet to figure out where the slime comes from that high up… down on the ground I can understand…

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Sharell August 4, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Is your terrace on the top of the building?

Hi Jennifer, we live in a bungalow, so the terrace is our rooftop! Regarding the slime, the dirt gets wet, then with all the humidity and constant rain it starts to grow…. well… slimy!! It’s horrible. I was slipping over as I was walking on it. :-(

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Mohit Gupta August 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Bechari sharell !! :)
btw what is that mettalic thing.looks beautifull..

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Sharell August 4, 2010 at 11:22 pm

btw what is that mettalic thing.looks beautifull..

They’re lanterns. You put candles in them and they glow. :-) They are really beautiful at night.

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Mohit Gupta August 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm

@sharell

but i think , those are meant to hang on the cieling or something..
first time , i m seeing them put up on ground.but its looking great…
You know , I used to tie them to kites with thread and that really looked like stars in the sky.

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Sharell August 5, 2010 at 12:01 am

Oh, there are some that hang on the ceiling, and some that sit on the ground. ;-) Tying them to kites sounds like a wonderful idea. It brings back memories of my childhood when my dad and I used to make kites together and fly them!

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Christine August 5, 2010 at 12:22 am

Oh that’s a shame! Surely do paint it again, but first you can scrub off the mould/slime with a hard brush (kind of a nail brush, you know?) or a hard broom. Do it while you still have the strength and motivation to do it or as you said after a few years you will get tired of re-painting every year!

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surya August 5, 2010 at 12:43 am

after a few years of repainting, I would go for resurfacing with coloured tiles, stone or other.

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Sharell August 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

after a few years of repainting, I would go for resurfacing with coloured tiles, stone or other.

Coloured tiles or stone sounds really nice! 8)

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botham August 5, 2010 at 12:58 am

Just curious about these bungalows in hiranandhani gardens are in powai. They look like they are of a completely different architecture compared to the hiranandani construction, plus they are bungalows, unheard of in that area. Are they by chance the bungalows built by paniker society ? If so, that would be kind of funny because we had invested in panikar society bungalows in that area many decades ao, and the society got caught in some delay and never got started for year, finally we had to withdraw our money (my fathers money) and run. But, last I heard those bungalows were bult in the end. So, some of the original investers are owning bungalws in that area of powai which in my estimate might be worth 5 crores or such (1 million dollars!)..to think we could have had these bungalows for less than 10000 dollars in lates 1980s.

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Sharell August 5, 2010 at 1:06 am

Botham, these bungalows are one of the few structures that weren’t built by Hiranandani! Actually, according to residents, Hiranandani Constructions want to buy the bungalows and redevelop them but people don’t want to sell them. The bungalows are in Powai Park/Grace Dieu society. I’m not sure who constructed them but they were built way before Hiranandani Constructions arrived on the scene (I think one neighbour has been living in his bungalow for over 10 years). They could very well be the ones you’re talking about. To my best knowledge they’re the only bungalows in Hiranandani Gardens, apart from Eden Bungalows which I think were built by Hiranandani. Like you, I just wish we owned one!!!

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Mohit Gupta August 5, 2010 at 2:01 am

@ Sharell

There is a look -out circular for Hiranandani Brothers for PF scam of 90 crores.
Before that they have been accused of making luxury appartement on the Land which was given to them for LIG(lower income grroup) Flats.

For this , a case was registered against them and they were found guilty by court and were find Rs 2,000 Crore. But beeing close to chief Minister of Maharashtra , the fine was reduced to Rs 200 Crore. They paid that happily and carried on usual business…

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Sharell August 5, 2010 at 9:55 am

@ Sharell

There is a look -out circular for Hiranandani Brothers for PF scam of 90 crores.

Yeah, I heard all about this, and it was in the media again lately. Don’t even want to think about it… I’m still coming to terms with the Commonwealth Games debacle!!

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andrea August 5, 2010 at 2:08 am

You need special concrete paint, a type that will withstand intense weather (sun and rain).

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Sharell August 5, 2010 at 9:53 am

You need special concrete paint, a type that will withstand intense weather (sun and rain).

Exactly!! I’d successfully painted some concrete in my back yard with this kind of paint in Australia. I specifically asked for it at the paint shop here… and came away with what I later realised was some interior water based paint!!! Was not happy. But it was one of those India moments when things are just too confusing! :-( I don’t think the paint shop had even heard of concrete paint. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time.

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Mohit Gupta August 5, 2010 at 2:19 am

@ andrea

good solution.

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Ramit August 5, 2010 at 11:53 am

Why didn’t you use water proof paint in the first place? Or cement paint. They call it Samosam in Hindi in Delhi. Ask around.

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Sharell August 5, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Unfortunately, some things require more than one attempt for a hapless foreigner in India. ;-) I’m still foolish enough to believe some things I get told “yes, madam, paint concrete, no problem!”.

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Amit August 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Red was looking very nice. Agreed with the idea of colored tiles. It will be a bit expensive but will save you from a lot of hassles in next monsoons.

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Ramit August 5, 2010 at 7:00 pm

If you’re thinking tiles, make sure they are not the slippery floor tiles thar are normally sold in India. Besides, it’s a rented house, make sure the owners are alright with the alterations.

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O2L2 August 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Sharrel, just looking to the recent picture (from an artist eye), terrace floor looks very designer ;-) no pun intended but seriously, floor looks very designer and stylish, but I am sure would not be so in reality.
There are waterproof paints available (not sure if available there or not) but I am sure you might find somewhere. Probably that can help or at least increase the life from one season to more seasons.

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nickki18229 August 10, 2010 at 11:30 pm

WOW I would have thought that the red paint would have lasted I thought it was water proff. I can’t get over at how well you plants are hold up that is great. I hope that when the mansoon is all done that you get it all cleaned up and nice looking again.

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Tina August 12, 2010 at 4:10 am

Hi Sharell! I can see what you mean about the slime (I can see some of that), but actually, for those of us just looking at the after-photo, your terrace looks kind of…marble-like now. It’s kind of interesting.

Would a more heavy duty paint do the trick for next time? Or is this just a reality of monsoon season meeting ANY kind of paint job?

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Sharell August 12, 2010 at 11:20 am

Hi Tina, heavy duty paint is definitely in order. The main cause of the problem was the water based paint the shop assistant sold me, despite me asking for heavy duty concrete paint. :-(

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Madhu August 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm

“I don’t think the paint shop had even heard of concrete paint. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time.”
“shop assistant sold me, despite me asking for heavy duty concrete paint.”

I am mildly offended and also feel sorry for you were misguided by a salesperson who thinks he knows it all(make a post of your experience). I did have a little contempt on looking at your work but i appreciate it. I am son of man who runs hardware store for about 25 yrs. You gotta ask for “epoxy floor paint” and thats the right term,as there are a lot of other paints that are applied on concrete. There are plethora of grades within this epoxy paint, depending on how glossy,even and lasting(britleness) you want. In Australia you might see these floors in garages,driveways,godowns,etc. Although not all of the varieties are available here. Alas, there is no Bunnings or Mitre 10 here.
It is pretty hard to educate every salesperson with overwhelming technicalities in every product. Also, if you want look at whats available go to a decent wholesaler(who is also a retailer) rather than a small retailer. You may even approach the manager who’d have better insight in paints.
And one more thing, although finding a painter for a small job is harder, i am sure it is not too expensive. I hope i have helped you for your next endeavour.
PS : I saw your front portico picture in another post, there is a lot of mud splashed on the wall due to watering the plants you can minimise this by lining the wall/floor edge with pebbles/marble chips and bluestone chips. Wood chips are not available here.
More tips : This applies only to marble/granite floors. Is your bathroom floor calcified due to hard water(especially in the corners due to poorly placed drain holes)? of course you can’t use bleach or abrasive chemicals on stone floors. Solution : use ultra fine sand paper(cami 1000) and sand your floor it’ll shine like new. It is tedious but do it little by little,consider it as your workout. Do not to this on vitreous/ceramic tiles.
I will put links to photos of my house with all the above examples tomorrow morning.

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Sharell August 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Thank you so much for your insights, Madhu. :-) I really appreciate it…. yes, I tried to do the best job possible with what I was given. ;-) I went to one of those small, side of the road shops, so will know better next time and exactly what to ask for. Oh, how I miss Bunnings…. being able to browse through all those aisles, and examine the products myself without having to rely on anyone’s advice! I just love doings things myself… so don’t want a painter. It takes all the fun and satisfaction out of it. ;-)

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Madhu August 19, 2010 at 3:54 pm

@ sharell Pictures i promised:
http://yfrog.com/n4ncij
http://yfrog.com/fvq0yj
http://yfrog.com/jba8j
http://yfrog.com/jk6v4j
BTW, i revisited your old apartment photo post. I see you had fabric floor lamps and a pendant/chandlier(which wasn’t mostly not in the photo, please post if you have it), did you get those lamps at FabIndia? or somewhere else(where?)

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Sharell August 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Hi Madhu, I got the tall lamp from one of those small roadside shops, and the small coloured ones from Hypercity. The chetai (that’s what you call it I think?) came from Home Stop! I’ve never actually been to Fab India, although there’s one near where we live now. The chandelier was the landlord’s. :-)

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Madhu August 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm
GV September 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Hi Sharell / Madhu,

I’m in Chennai, and looking to paint my roof garden floor. One question to both of you.

I need a paint that is easily washable, and on which dust does not stick on. Is the Epoxy paint helpful or this. Also can I paint the parapet walls with some glossy emusion, on which water would drain smoothly.

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Elisabeth Khan August 7, 2011 at 7:47 am

Dear Sharell, I recently discovered your blog and became an instant fan. My Indian husband and I met over 35 years ago in Belgium, where I’m from, and have lived the past 21 years in the USA. Now that our kids are all grown up, we hope to retire in India in a couple of years. I’ve visited many times, and love the country and my in-laws. Right now, I’m trying to learn as much as possible about how to deal with practical problems (like monsoon flooding) that one puts up with on a visit but might be more trying when one is living there permanently. I read that green-roof technology in India is quite advanced and I would like to actually grow grass on our roof to cool the house. I wonder if you or your readers have seen something like that?

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Sharell August 7, 2011 at 9:51 am

Hi Elizabeth, welcome, and I’m glad you like the blog! :-) Growing grass on the roof is something new to me. I’ve never seen or heard of it here. I’m curious to know if anyone else has!

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Elisabeth Khan June 25, 2012 at 7:04 am

Hi Sharell! Too bad all your hard work was ruined. Meanwhile we did acquire a house (duplex) in my husband’s hometown and although we have not moved in yet, I continue to research the options for the roof terrace. I realized grass is not suitable because during dry spells it would need a lot of water and if it really took off (unlikely), it would need mowing. Now I am looking into creeping thyme and similar plants that are drought resistant and need only a thin layer of soil to thrive. Still wondering what is the right time of the year to plant and what would happen in case of torrential rain…I guess time will tell. Good luck with your search for a better housing solution!

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Sharell शारेल June 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Terrace gardens are tricky business in India unfortunately. Most people tend to keep all their plants in pots on their terraces. The monsoon is very problematic and the terrace needs to stay well drained, or it will flood during heavy rain. :-(

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sheetal July 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Aw. I’m so sorry, it looked so beautiful in the “before”. I’ve been meaning to leave a comment since we decided to move back to India. Me after 30 years in the States, husband after 16 years. I’m still getting my bearings, the rain makes negotating Bombay challanging..Any guidance?

Good luck househunting! I’ll be looking next year as well!

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Sharell शारेल July 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hi Sheetal, welcome back to India! I’m sure it must be a huge adjustment for you. To be honest, I really avoid going out in the monsoon. It makes traveling so unpredictable because you never know where there will be an accident or traffic jam. Evenings, from around 6-8 pm, are to be avoided most of all because of the traffic going home from work. There are certain places where traffic always banks up, so it’s worth researching the best routes to take (locals will be able to tell you). And, it’s really worth taking the Mumbai local to travel north-south or south-north. It typically reduces travel time by at least 50%. But again, do avoid travel during peak hours!

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