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How To Prevent Water Damage In Your Cabinets

How To Prevent Water Damage In Your Cabinets

Whether it's your bathroom or kitchen, water damage can cause various problems. The biggest issue is mildew, which is not only annoying but can cause health problems. Because of the lack of ventilation combined with water, cabinets - especially below your sinks - are prone to mildew. Instead of trying to get rid of mildew, here’s how to prevent water damage in your cabinets.

Checking And Identifying Leaks

Before you get started on sealing your cabinets, you need to check if you have any existing leaks. Pipes and plumbing can easily get damaged causing water to drip into your cabinets.

How To Find Leaks

There are various ways to check for leaks. They include the following:

  • Leaking sink rim - Check for a leaking sink rim by dribbling water around the sink rim and faucet base with a sponge. Immediately afterward, look for leaks below the sink using a flashlight.
  • Leaking pipes - To check the pipes for leaks use dry tissue and wipe each connection. If there are wet spots on the tissue then you have a leak.

Once a leak has been identified, remove any mildew before taking steps to prevent water damage. Once you've done that you’ll need to either fix the water damage yourself or call in a plumber. 

A leaking sink.

Preventing Leaks With A Seal

Whether you have fixed an existing leak or are trying to prevent one from happening, you need to seal it. There are two areas that need constant attention when it comes to leaks. They are the following:

  • Your sink and work surface - You need to ensure that the seal around your sink and work surface is in good condition. After a while gaps start appearing in the seals, so you'll need to regularly replace them. This helps prevent water from seeping into your cabinets through gaps in the seals.
  • Underneath your sink - If you have a pipe leak, you’ll need to fix it before taking preventive measures to avoid water damage. Once you’ve fixed existing leaks, you need to constantly check for leaks with a dry tissue. Make sure that you repair or replace any damage as quickly as possible to reduce water coming through. If a leak is caught early, damage can be avoided.

If you have wooden work surfaces or sink surround, we recommend that you apply a varnish to protect the wood. This will prevent long-term damage that has the potential to cause cracks and water leaks. 

A sink cabinet with the doors open showing the plumbing.

Preventing Mildew

Even though you’ve taken the above steps to prevent water damage, mildew can still sneak into your cabinets. Due to the amount of water around your sink, there is a chance that your cabinets will get wet. When this happens, it is best to be prepared. To ensure minimum damage and reduce the risk of the appearance of mildew, you can do the following:

  • If your cabinets do get wet, immediately dry them. Be sure to dry thoroughly, because any moisture left behind can cause additional damage.
  • Protect the wood around your sink with a waterproof varnish and waterproof tiles. Waterproof vanish and tiles act as a seal that prevents water from getting into the wood of your cabinets.
  • Try to keep your cabinets as ventilated as possible. This will reduce the risk of condensation and mildew formation.
  • With cabinets that already have mildew, replace them as the problem can get worse.

Overall, water damage to your cabinets is caused when something is not right. When you discover water damage, it is important to check your plumbing, sink, or work surface. By knowing where, when, and how to look for damage, and by taking preventive measures, you should not have water damage in your cabinets. 

A person looking under a sink.

Cleaning Up

Water damage can happen quickly and be expensive to fix. So, it is important to keep your spaces clean and mildew free. This can be done by regularly cleaning and upkeep, as well as occasionally inspecting your sink areas. If your cabinets are far beyond repair, you can find a selection of beautiful cabinets to replace your damaged ones with CabinetNow.