Water Can Damage Fine Wood Cabinets

Water can damage fine wood cabinets.  We know what can happen in a major flood and we hope we never have such a catastrophe in our home, even a smaller catastrophe such as a burst pipe.  But there are other ways your cabinets can become damaged from the water sources in your kitchen.

Take the cabinets below and around your sink.  It is easy for splashes to occur during every day activities like washing dishes.  Be sure to wipe up any water that gets on the cabinets quickly.  Those accidental spills will not harm your cabinets if taken care of quickly, but if water should sit on cabinetry for long periods of time, it can discolor the finish, damage the finish or cause warping.  If water does run down the face of the cabinets, and it gets into the door grooves where the wood is raw before it is wiped up, it can push the paint or finish off from the inside out.

Be mindful when mopping your floors.  Be careful not to use an excessive amount of water around cabinet bases and be sure to mop up the liquid used to make it as dry as possible around the base cabinetry as you complete the task. 

The dishwasher is another source of water and moisture in the form of steam that can harm surrounding cabinetry.  Make sure to let your dishwasher finish its cycle.  Resist opening the door during the cycle, even the drying cycle and releasing water, heat or steam.  Doing this often can cause damage to the surrounding wood.

Make it a habit to check your water sources in the kitchen and bathroom for leaks.  Refrigerators with built in ice and water, pipes under sinks and dishwashers, pipes and drains in the laundry area and fixtures in the bathroom should all be checked periodically.  A good rule of thumb is to do a quick check at the beginning of each season.  Remember it is the prolonged exposure to water that can be damaging and checking several times a year will keep any small leak from becoming a big problem.

Finally, if you are going away for a long weekend or a week’s vacation, it is a good policy to shut off your water at the shut off valve where your water line enters the house.  This is especially true in the winter months when there is the risk of frozen pipes, but it is a good policy any time of the year as it can help to prevent a major disaster should any leak develop while you are away.

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