Every homeowner hopes that their cabinetry will have a very long lifespan. Many people have adopted a wide variety of care tips for their cabinetry. Some of these maintenance tips can be beneficial or more harmful to your kitchen cabinet doors. However, when one combines the best care and maintenance routine for their cabinetry, then they are guaranteed many years of efficient use and durability. What exactly involves the best care for your kitchen cabinet doors? When talking about the best care, you simply have to provide the best environment that is wood friendly.
Surprisingly many of us don’t know that the same issues that affect our comfortability when considering the internal environment are the same issues play an important role in determining the friendliness of the environment with regards to your wood cabinets. This means that humidity and temperature variations affect the health and durability of your kitchen cabinets. To create the optimal environment for your cabinetry, then you need to have controlled temperature levels and humidity. Changes should be made to these levels depending on the season and time of the day. The primary objective of this is to make sure that your wood cabinetry enjoys a stable environment hence have a longer lifespan.
Humidity & Temperature
So why do you need to protect your cabinetry from moisture, humidity and temperature levels? In this article, we are going to look at the effects of these three when it comes to affecting the health of wooden cabinetry.
Most people have a habit of always splashing water on their wooden kitchen cabinet doors when cleaning. Well, it’s not always intentional, but then the effect of this repetitive exposure to water has long-term damage to your wooden cabinetry. To protect your wooden kitchen cabinet doors from moisture, its best to make sure the doors are wiped clean immediately after the exposure since wood has a high absorption rate when it comes to water. Failure to wipe dry your cabinetry will result into continuous absorption of moisture and ultimately create a favorable environment for the growth of molds. When drying the wood do not use direct heat. Instead, other options of drying like using a fan have proven to be more reliable. Other drying methods include using moisture absorbing clothes/ fabrics or dehumidifiers. Exposure to moisture should be dealt with immediately to minimize the chances of your wooden cabinetry being damaged and growth of mildew and molds on your cabinet doors.
When it comes to humidity the story is a little different. If you are very observant, wooden cabinetry tends to suffer from expansion when the humidity levels start to rise. When the humidity levels begin to drop then the wooden cabinetry will begin to shrink. More expansion and shrinking is experienced by any wood that is exposed or unfinished. The effect of humidity is not limited to only unfinished wood, even the finished wood experiences the expansion and contraction when exposed to humidity levels for a long time. Some coatings and finishes can be sued to minimize the effect of humidity on your wooden cabinetry. These coatings include foil temper and laminate. The impact on humidity is more extreme when dealing with solid wood compared to other types of wood like plywood, fiberboard or particleboard. However, fiberboard and particleboard are known to have a higher expansion rate when exposed to water or moisture. The expansion and contraction experienced when humidity level change, causes the joints on your kitchen cabinet doors to crack. If your kitchen cabinet doors have dark coloring, then you might easily notice the cracks unlike the cabinet doors with bright colors. When you see these cracks, it doesn’t mean that you need to replace your kitchen cabinet doors, this is a natural reaction of wood to changes in humidity. Uneven exposure to humidity will definitely cause curling, bowing or warping of the wood. The best way to deal with this is to make sure the humidity levels are regulated. The recommended humidity level ranges from 35% to 50%.
What about low humidity levels? The effects of having deficient humidity levels include: shrinking, splitting and cracking. Low humidity means that the environment is arid. This, in turn, causes the inserted panels in the cabinet doors to shrink. This will leave the panel edges exposed. This will cause an uneven look since the exposed edges will not match with other panel edges. When you notice this, it simply means the environment is too dry, and the best option is not to replace the wooden cabinet doors instead it is to adjust the humidity levels in the house.
Humidity levels lower than 20% should be avoided, same to humidity levels higher than 80%.
When it comes to the effect of temperature variations on your cabinet doors, they are pretty similar to those caused by the changes in humidity levels. Simple high school physics state that an increase in temperature causes expansion and a decrease in temperature causes contraction of solids. However, when an object is subjected to sudden temperature change, then the contraction and expansion will be extreme. Sudden temperature changes will likely result in curling, cracking, splitting, bowing and cupping of wood.
Equipping yourself with the best tricks on how to deal with changes in humidity, moisture and temperature will be more beneficial to your kitchen cabinet doors. During summer have dehumidifiers and air conditioners to help you in regulating the humidity levels of your home. While in the cold winter season a humidifier will help in making sure that the air is not too dry. Before the installation process, avoid storing your kitchen cabinet doors in places that have an unconditioned temperature like the garage and the basement. Also, before installation, it is best that the kitchen cabinet doors are acclimated in the room where they will be installed or a room with similar temperature and humidity levels. Other factors that can cause variations in humidity and temperature are outside drainage, insulation, vapor barriers, and the ventilation system. The primary goal is to make sure that the humidity and temperature levels are properly controlled, this will prove to very beneficial to your cabinetry and also the inhabitants of your home.