How Humidity Affects Your Cabinetry: Info About Custom Cabinets in Midland, MI

February 15, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the best ways to ensure your wooden cabinetry lasts a lifetime is to make sure your home has a wood-friendly environment. Many of the most common environmental issues that affect human health also affect wood health. For example, you want to avoid high levels of humidity in your home.

Here are some issues you should consider relating to moisture and humidity with regard to your custom cabinets in Midland, MI:

  • Wood will expand as humidity increases and shrink as it decreases. This makes it important for you to keep your humidity levels in the same general range so as not to allow the wood to expand and contract, causing it to severely warp and crack.
  • Unfinished wood is much more likely to see dramatic changes over time due to humidity. Even finished wood, however, will eventually see its properties change and shift if it’s subjected to large changes in humidity levels over a long period of time.
  • Repeated short-term exposure to too much moisture (splashing from sinks, for example) will eventually cause irreversible damage to wood. This damage is unavoidable if you do not find a way to prevent the splashes from occurring.
  • Steam from cooktops, crock pots and dishwasher doors with bad seals can cause long-term moisture and humidity problems. It can help to have vents in your kitchen, but you should also try to place crock pots in open areas, and make sure your dishwasher doors seal tightly.
  • As wood expands and contracts with frequent large humidity changes, the finish at its joints will crack. While this cracking is universal, it is especially noticeable on light-colored paint, especially as compared to dark paints and stains. This is not necessarily a reason for replacement, but it is something to consider when using wood in your kitchen and bathroom.
  • Where humidity exposure is uneven, you are more likely to see wood that cups, warps or bows. However, if the humidity levels are returned to normal and maintained for a long period of time, these issues will go away.
  • Lack of sufficient humidity can also be a problem. Extremely dry air conditions can lead to splits in the wood or cracks due to shrinkage. The optimal humidity level for a home is between 35 and 50 percent relative humidity. You should pay particular attention to avoiding extremes, such as lower than 20 percent or higher than 80 percent.
  • Temperature and humidity are not necessarily related, but temperature variations can cause some of the same problems as humidity variations. Increased temperatures can lead to expanding materials, and decreasing temperatures can cause contracting or shrinking materials. Drastic, sudden changes in temperature will make the material changes in the wood correspondingly drastic as well.

These are just a few of the most common issues you need to be worried about when it comes to wooden cabinetry and humidity. For more information, contact the team at Nowak Cabinets of Midland today about your custom cabinetry in Midland, MI.

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