Kitchen leaks are a major cause of water waste every year in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says household pipe leaks cause more than one trillion gallons of water waste every single year. From toilet and shower head leaks to faucets indoors or outdoors, leaks are a major problem that can run up a homeowner’s utility bill. Worse, these leaks, if undetected, can ruin the inner foundations of the home, along with floors, ceilings, drywall, and cupboards. In some ways, it’s almost better to have a major explosive leak; it’s the slow, hidden water that can build up and ruin a home.
The after effects go beyond water damage, too, to include mould and a variety of plumbing issues that require repair. Here is a solution that will help protect a home from even the most undetectable leaks: Waterproof the areas where the leak may happen.
See below seven ways to waterproof your kitchen which is one of the most leak-prone areas in the entire home.
Lucky Seven: Creative Ways to Waterproof
Checking the exposed piping in a home is one of those spring and fall clean-up kinds of projects that homeowners should be doing. Taking the time to check plumbing inside and outside the home will save a lot of pain and suffering later. If a leak is found, call a plumber or DIY; don’t delay because a leak can increase in size, water utility costs, and the likelihood of damage to the home.
Click here for a good spring checklist for waterproofing the home. While working on the spring plumbing checklist, consider these helpful suggestions for waterproofing the kitchen area.
1. Waterproofing Under The Sink Cabinets With Vinyl Tile
If a kitchen pipe blows a gasket, the first thing to get damaged is going to be the inside of the kitchen cabinets under the sink. This video has a good tutorial on how to use a 12×12 vinyl tile with a sticker backing to line the bottom of the cabinet under the sink. This is a low-cost but slightly tedious way to help with small leaks. Scissors can hand-cut the vinyl tile to fit around the pipes under the kitchen sink. Then use DAP Kwik Seal to caulk around the pipes and seal the gaps between the tile.
2. Waterproofing Under The Kitchen Sink With WeatherTech
If waterproofing under the kitchen sink with stick on tile and caulk seems a tad bit tedious, there is another, simpler way to have the same effect.
WeatherTech is a company that specializes in protecting our homes and automobiles against the damaging effects of moisture. This wetness can cause mold and mildew, ruining any surface it touches. So WeatherTech manufactures a set of customized floor mats for vehicles.
Because of the propensity of sinks to leak, this smart company has also created a sink mat designed to protect cabinets from spills or leaks. It fits most standard cabinets, however, it can also be hand-trimmed to fit non-standard sizes.
While these mats retail around $50.00, consider the time spent going to the store to get tile and caulk, cutting, laying, and sealing in the example we listed in #1, above. Also, smart shoppers can save some cash by checking for WeatherTech promo codes or other discounts before purchasing.
3. Waterproof Wood Surfaces
Waterproofing old, outdated kitchen countertops are one way to give a kitchen a makeover without spending a lot of cash. The Spruce has some cool ideas for painting cracked and ageing wood or linoleum countertops. It’s a process of sanding the surface, so the old countertop material will hold the primer paint. Then finish the project off with a good coat of paint. To waterproof, add a clear coat varnish. The article recommends using a six-inch dense foam roller instead of a brush, covering the finished surface with several coats of polyurethane. The polyurethane will keep the counter safe from spills or leaks. Here’s another step-by-step tutorial that may be helpful.
4. Replace Your Faucet And Pipes
One of the biggest leaks that can happen, whether it is slow or explosive, is from a faucet or pipes under the kitchen sink. Acting proactively to replace the plumbing in a kitchen is a relatively low-cost security blanket — especially when the potential cost of replacing damaged cabinets and floors is weighed in. Family Handymanhas a step-by-step tutorial for replacing a kitchen faucet. While many people will opt to hire a plumber, they are an expensive resource.
5. Waterproof kitchen floors
If a kitchen has older wood floors, like countertops, it might be time to replace or refinish them with polyurethane. There are also seamless vinyl products perfect for use in places where wetness might be a problem, such as a kitchen or bathroom. For example, the Bolon collection, which is manufactured in Sweden, offers recycled waterproof vinyl materials in a seamless product that is designed specifically to prevent water damage. Or, Cali Bamboo, that has the look of bamboo but the waterproof nature that is common with vinyl flooring (plus, they offer promo codes here and here).
6. Seal EVERYTHING
There are patented systems that help homeowners apply a coating on vulnerable areas in the kitchen, bath, or even on the roof. One such system is Maris Polymers, a liquid application of polyurethane to “provide a complete waterproofing solution for wet areas. This waterproofing process could even be applied to walls or other vertical surfaces.
7. Don’t Neglect The Kitchen Backsplash — waterproof it with this low-cost option
There is a reason why the word “splash” is in the kitchen backsplash. Think about the spray that comes out of a faucet, and the risks of getting the wall or tile or another surface behind the scene is very high. This is always a problem area for mold and mildew. If there are cracks in the caulking around the sink or backsplash, water can and will ooze in. If these materials include pressboard and not granite, the seepage could go under countertops or into the wall itself. That’s why it’s a good idea to periodically look at the caulking under the sink and around the backsplash. If there are cracks, it takes about 15 minutes and a less-than $5 tube of caulk to fix the problem before big water damage occurs. Click here for a decent article that shows how to fix this problem.
Staying Dry in the Kitchen
The kitchen can be a great joy for a family or a great hassle. When water leaks occur, as they do frequently in the average home, it’s important to react quickly whether the leak is small or large. The potential for long-term damage is high.
Do you take care of your kitchen? What do you do to have your kitchen waterproof? Were these tips good? Have you done any of these before?
*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post
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