If you notice your cabinets warping or splitting, the weather may be taking a toll on them. Nature's activity outside your home seeps inside to change the environmental conditions and comfort levels for you and your cabinets. How does weather affect your cabinets, and what can you do to prevent it? Read on to find out.
Wood, particleboard and fiberboard all soak up water vapor and expand with it. When humidity levels exceed 50 percent, you may notice that your cabinet doors won't close all the way or seem a little misaligned. Although a good finish slows the swelling, nothing can prevent it altogether. Fortunately, when humidity levels drop, the wood and engineered boards shrink back to shape. Keep in mind — humidity can come from more than just the weather. Cooking and bathing all add substantial amounts of vapor to the air.
Extremely dry air stresses your cabinets just as much as humidity. During the more arid months, your cabinets may lose all the normal moisture within and begin to shrink and distort. As the fittings pull away from each other, the edges of one panel where it fits into another may become exposed. These edges will have no stain or laminate.
We all know that heat and cold causes everything to expand or contract. Your cabinets will do the same even if the humidity levels are perfect. Metal cabinets may see the worst of extreme changes in the temperature.
The ultimate solution would be to control the weather. If you can do that, please contact us immediately as we have some special requests to make! If not, then the best you can do is control the conditions within your home.
Regulate Humidity. Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity. Central air conditioning is the best dehumidifier, and fortunately, our most muggy days usually come in the summer when you'll run it anyway. Avoid using swamp coolers because they add more moisture to the air. In the winter when the air can become too dry, use a whole house humidifier attached to your forced-air furnace or several table-top units placed throughout the house. However, keep the setting at between 35 and 50 percent so you don't over-steam your house and strain your cabinets. Bathroom ceiling fans will help control moisture while bathing.
Maintain Even Temperatures. Naturally, you prefer even temperatures too, so conditioning the air in your home is something of a foregone conclusion. But if you plan to take an extended leave from your home in winter, be sure to leave the furnace and humidifier on at a lower setting. Conversely, in summer, be sure to keep the air conditioner running on a higher setting. Have someone you trust make frequent checks on your house while you're away.
If the weather or interior climate conditions already ruined your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, please contact us at Kitchen Tune-Up. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you can reface or redoor your cabinets rather than totally replace them. It's a great time to give your kitchen or bath the inexpensive makeover you've been yearning for!