Cabinetry plays a starring role in the kitchens and bathrooms of nearly every home around the country. And the most essential cabinet in either type of room is the humble under-sink cabinet. It’s where we like to put everything we’d rather not see, from the waste bin to the water pipes.
Unfortunately, these cabinets are most at risk for water leaks and damage, especially if your plumbing is older. Follow these tips to keep your cabinets protected and avoid a plumbing problem later down the road.
Check for Leaks and Resolve Them Right Away
Many people think under-sink water drips and leaks are a normal fact of life. But if left alone, they’ll likely persist and worsen over time. This can lead to:
● Costly damage to your cabinet’s wood and finish
● Mold and mildew (which can be dangerous)
● Increased utility bills
So check your cabinets for signs of leaking anywhere water gets used — and don’t forget the bathrooms!
How to Check Your Cabinets for Water Leaks
Check under-sink cabinets for leaks every few months. Remove any items stored, then:
● Let the sink run for a minute and watch underneath for any drips
● Look inside and note any drips, puddles, stains, or warping
● Smell inside to see if it’s musty, moldy, or humid
● Feel any surfaces and plumbing for wetness
If you notice any signs of dripping, leaking, or mold, it’s probably time to call the plumber. If not, give your cabinet a wipe-down with furniture polish to keep it fresh and help repel moisture.
What You Can Do to Protect Against Future Water Leaks
If you don’t have any current water leaks or damage, great! Here are some easy ways to protect against any future leaks.
Use an Under-Sink Tray or Mat
Under-sink trays and mats are an easy, fast, affordable way to protect your cabinets in case a leak does occur.
Trays made of hard plastic are convenient and easy to clean. These work best for cabinets that don’t have a pipe coming up through the floor, which would prevent the tray from sliding into place. Remember to measure the inside of your cabinet to ensure it will fit.
Mats are made of flexible rubber or plastic and are usually trimmable, so you can customize them to your cabinet size. These are ideal for cabinets that have plumbing through the floor because you can cut the mat to fit around the pipe in a few easy steps:
1. Measure the length and width of your cabinet, cut the mat to fit inside
2. Then measure…
- From the left wall of the cabinet to the floor pipe
- From the right wall of the cabinet to the pipe
- From the back wall of the cabinet to the pipe
- From the front of the cabinet to the pipe
3. Use these measurements to mark the location of the pipe on your mat
4. Carefully cut from the “back wall” of the mat to the point where the pipe will be
5. Place the mat in the cabinet, fitting it around the pipe
Consider an Over-the-Sink Backsplash
While backsplashes are generally seen as a simple feature, they actually have a purpose. The name gives it away, as a backsplash helps keep water from getting on the walls, in the cracks, and — from there — into the cabinets below.
If your sink area doesn’t have a backsplash, consider adding one. They can protect your walls and cabinets from water, and they’re a fun accent to add to any room.
If your sink area has a backsplash, check for any cracks where water could seep through. If you see significant cracks, call a professional right away. One small repair can prevent expensive water damage later on.
Get an Under-the-Sink Leak Detector
An under-sink leak detector is one of the easiest ways to protect your cabinets from water leaks. Install it in the cabinet under your sink, and it will alert you of any leaks before they cause big problems.
Upgrade Your Cabinets with Our Custom Cabinet Company in Perry, NY
Preventing water from leaking into cabinets and causing mold or damage is one of the most important things you can do to save yourself from expensive future clean-up and repairs. If you love the look and functionality of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, make sure to check them for leaks, and address any right away so you can preserve your cabinetry.
To learn more, give us a call today at (585) 237-3733 or fill out a form to get a free estimate. Our custom cabinets are available to those in Perry, NY and the surrounding communities.