Water damage in the kitchen is an ever-present threat and headache to homeowners. Water can rot away your kitchen’s beautiful wooden cabinets, walls, and floors, causing irreparable damage that necessitates costly and untimely kitchen renovations. Not only that, but wooden cabinets and materials soaked in water promote the growth of unsightly moulds that can also have adverse effects to your family’s health when inhaled — with mould exposure triggering asthma as well as uncomfortable allergy-like symptoms such as sneezing, sore/itchy throat, and headache.
As such, it’s only prudent for homeowners to take precautionary measures to prevent costly and stressful water damage from affecting the kitchen and your family’s health:
#1 Regular Plumbing Maintenance
Leaky faucets and pipes, as well as clogged drains, should be repaired as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the problem to worsen before you decide to bring out your tools or call in a plumber. Having a well-maintained drain and faucet in your kitchen can effectively prevent water damage and also help you save money by avoiding water wastage due to leaking taps.
#2 Drain Etiquette
One of the most common causes of water damage is drain clogging. When your drains are clogged, they result in overflowing sinks or even leaky pipes due to pressure buildup and stress. It’s not enough for you to use drain cleaners and unclogging agents, or have your drain undergo regular inspection and maintenance. You also have to do your part by making sure that your pipes don’t get clogged in the first place.
That said, you need to ensure that your drains always have strainers that prevent food particles, hair, and any other materials from clogging your kitchen drain. More importantly, you should NEVER pour grease, oils, and fat into your drain as they are the major causes of clogging in both residential and commercial kitchens. Instead, collect these liquids in a jar and dispose of them in the trash.
#3 Using Water-Resistant Materials
Another way you can prevent water damage is by utilizing materials that are resilient against it. Consider using PVC or stainless steel for your kitchen cabinets and have walls adjacent to sinks adequately sealed or covered with water-resistant building materials. If you’re keen on using wood for your kitchen, make sure to choose only marine plywood from your trusted supplier in NZ; marine plywood is specifically designed to be water-resistant and is even used in boat building and marine cabinets.
#4 Mind the Fridge and Dishwashers
It’s not only your sink that can cause water damage, but also other kitchen appliances that utilize or produce water or condensate such as your dishwasher and refrigerator. Your dishwashers should always undergo regular cleaning and annual maintenance to prevent it from being blocked. Likewise, your fridge should also be checked for leaks (especially the models with ice makers) as condensate and leaks can lead to water damage on the floor and could even cause slipping accidents.
Proactively cleaning and drying wet surfaces, regular plumbing maintenance, proper kitchen waste disposal, and choosing more water-resilient building materials are vital in ensuring the structural integrity and beauty of your kitchen. So do yourself a favour, write down these essential tips and hang them on the fridge as a constant reminder for everyone at home to prevent water damage.