Decoration - Scents of Home

Add an Ocean fragrance to your beachside home in Andalucia. © Michelle Chaplow
Add an Ocean fragrance to your beachside home in Andalucia.

Scents of Home

Orange blossoms in spring and the pungent scent of jasmine floating in evening breezes are two of the most aromatic descriptions southern Spain could have. And you can perfume your home with these scents via your garden, thanks to the fact that it is warm enough to open the house during much of the year.

Spanish homes are easy to keep fresh if you are willing to live like the Spaniards. This includes sticking with hard, cold, easy to clean tile instead of investing in wall to wall carpeting. Spaniards do typically dress their homes in throw carpets during the winter months, but these are beaten and aired frequently and then removed and sent in for cleaning as soon as spring arrives.

Spanish housewives are also fanatical about airing their houses at least once a day. And this is good advice especially in homes with damp problems.

Damp is a very common problem in local buildings. This is because the vast majority of homes are built strictly to keep out heat, with little thought given to the rains that come every year in late fall and early winter. From here, it is really the luck of the draw. If a home happens to be built in the right conditions - away from drainage areas or on a hill, for example - damp may not be a problem.

Homes near the sea, or built in a hollow, or simply built in rain water's natural path are not so fortunate. Damp in these homes can become continual problem - with the damage and terrible odours it involves.

Unfortunately, correcting the root problems in a damp home is usually too expensive once a home has been built. However, there are many measures you can take to effectively treat the symptoms and have your home smelling fresh once again:

Reduce Humidity
There are a variety of ways to reduce the amount of humidity in your home. Start by sealing cracks and directing drainage waters away from your home. If that is not sufficient - in the case of ground water soaked up brick walls as if by a sponge, for example - then you might need the help of a dehumidifier or an air conditioning system that regulates humidity. Kitchen and bathroom fans that properly evacuate moisture play an important role as well. Local hardware stores also sell mineral crystals that remove moisture from the air.

Fight Mould
Once mould spores have entered your home and infested your walls, closets, clothing, curtains and furniture you must often take aggressive measures to win back the fresh scents of home. Your battle will have the following objectives: kill mould spores and create conditions that discourage their growth.

Use a sponge to soak mouldy patches on walls with bleach to kill all spores before painting over the dried surface with anti-mould paint. Thoroughly clean all the contents of your closets and wash surfaces with bleach before installing fans to keep air circulating, thus reducing the likelihood of mould taking over again. In extreme circumstances you might even try installing a weak light - taking special care to avoid risk of fire - or you might try removing the closet doors, and replacing any inner-closet drawers with the handy wire basket systems sold in all major home improvement outlets.

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