Protecting Your Investment: Understanding How Humidity Affects Your Real Wood Cabinets

The relationship between humidity and cabinets is a delicate one. If the humidity gets too high, it can cause the cabinets to bow and warp. If there’s not enough humidity, your cabinets may split and crack.

If you want to protect your real wood cabinets to ensure they can survive in high humidity, you have to understand what to do. Keep reading to learn more.

The Effects of Humidity 

As humidity levels increase, natural wood cabinets can expand. This occurs because of the natural characteristics of the wood. When it’s humid, the wood is going to absorb the moisture around it. By having finished cabinets, ones that are stained or painted, you can reduce this problem. However, they can’t stop it completely. If you have unfinished cabinets, you are going to notice the most dramatic changes. Since there is no finish on the wood, they are going to absorb the moisture faster.

The changes are going to be seen against the wood grain, compared to with the wood grain. You are also going to notice cracks in the finish, as well as the joints. As the wood begins to expand, it is going to pull the finish away from the joints. These cracks are going to be most noticeable on lighter colored paints. To fix this crack, you only need a wax fill stick.

Protecting Your Real Wood Cabinet Investment

According to experts, the relative humidity in your home should be between 35 and 50 percent. If wood cabinets are exposed to high humidity for long periods of time, it can ruin the cabinets. High humidity is considered anything that’s over 80 percent. Long exposure to this may cause bowing and warping of the cabinet drawers and doors.

This may also damage the finish on your cabinet. It is a good idea to catch these problems in the earliest stages. The best way to regulate humidity is to use your air conditioning, and if necessary, a dehumidifier. After the humidity level has returned to normal levels, and it’s maintained, you can see a change. Remember, these changes may take several days, or even weeks to occur.

If you are having new cabinets installed, you need to get them acclimated to the new space. If you can’t store them in the space, then store them in a room that’s nearby. Make sure the relative humidity is the same or very close. Don’t ever store them in the basement, garage, or any other unconditioned space, as these are breeding grounds for humid and moisture.

The Bottom Line

Make sure you check your cabinets, as well as your humidity levels when the seasons change. You may also want to purchase a digital thermometer-hygrometer combo unit. This can measure the relative humidity in the house and ensure your cabinets aren’t affected or damaged in any way. In fact, when you follow all these precautions and tips, your cabinets are going to last forever.

Schedule a Consultation

Call (913) 208-9797