Leaky Roof

Feb 15th, 2012, in News, by

Leaky RoofIt’s the wet season, and not just outdoors.

Around this time of year, many people discover that their homes aren’t as impervious to water as they thought. Or, in layman’s terms, their roof leaks.

Afternoon thunderstorm in Jakarta
Typical afternoon thunderstorm in Jakarta

The wet season is not a new occurrence; it happens every year between November and April. Necessity is usually the mother of invention.

Leaks and Buckets

Leaks and buckets, and mushrooms

However, many Indonesian homes are incapable of withholding the daily deluge that descends upon them; water falls either down the wall or directly through the ceiling onto the floor. Every time it rains, residents need to run around the house and strategically position buckets, rags or whatever else they can find to prevent their house turning into a lake or (if they are unlucky and the ceiling collapses under the excessive weight of accumulated water) a swamp. Water running down the walls leaves stains and eventually causes the paint to blister and peel. Leaks can also stain and ruin furniture, electrical appliances, etc; it can be necessary to de-decorate the house or “redistribute” items of sentimental value.

Indonesian hotels may be of variable quality in some parts of the country, but like the plethora of shopping malls they don’t have leaks because the management knows that would appear unprofessional and be bad for business. It is also very dangerous because any water is next to electrical cables, although for many fatalistic Indonesians this is less of a concern.

So why do many have lower expectations of their houses? Even newer homes often have leaks that the local tukang (handyman) cannot fix, or can only fix temporarily.

Leaky School Roof in Pesawaran Regency, Lampung

And lower expectations of their schools?

To put it another way, if leak-free homes are possible in other countries with tropical weather, is an Indonesian house without a leaky roof too much to hope for?

Or is it better to remember there is still a significant level of poverty in Indonesia and adjust my expectations accordingly?

Opinions, advice and personal experiences welcome.

31 Comments on “Leaky Roof”

  1. Abisma K says:

    Rising damp and efflorescence – very few houses have a DPC.

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