Care and Maintanace of Wood Cabinetry
With proper care your wood cabinetry will provide a lifetime of use and satisfaction. Propper care includes providing a wood friendly environment. Controlled temperature and humidity with minimal changes from day to day and season to season will ensure the stability and life of your wood cabinetry.
Repeated short term exposure to excessive moisture such as splashing of surfaces from a sink or even a single longer term event like flooding, WILL result in irreversible damage to wood cabinetry. Steam from cooktops, crock pots and improperly sealed dishwasher doors, can cause problems as well. Moisture should be wiped from surfaces immediately. Avoid high heat, use fans and dehumidifiers, moisture absorbing clot hand compounds. Immediate attention reduces the amount of damage and also reduces the likelihood of mold and mildew.
Wood expands as humidity increases and shrinks as humidity decreases. Solid wood will dimensionally change more across the grain than with the grain.
As wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity , the finish at the joints will crack. This cracking is universal, but is much more evident on light colored paint than on stains or dark paints.
Regardless, this is the nature of wood product and not a reason for replacement.
When humidity exposure is uneven, pieces might warp, cup or bow.
Often if the humidity level is returned to a normal level and maintained for a period of time , these issues will disappear.
Extremely dry conditions can result in wood parts splitting and/or crackingin addition to shrinkages described above.
The optimal humidity level is 40% to 55%relative humidity.
Under dry conditions , the insert panel will in doors will will shrink and the panel edge s will be exposed. This is not a reason for replacement but an indication that humidity level are too low and need to be remedied.
Temperature variation can cause some of the same problems as humidity variations and the two are often interrelated. Temperature increases , cause materials to expand. Temperature decreases cause material to contract or shrink. Sudden temperature changes cause more dramatic material changes. Mpore likely to lead to cracking and splittingin solid wood.
Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners in summer to control excess humidity. Use a humidifier to keep the air from become too dry in the winter. Maintain climate control during the off season of vacation homes to reduce the risk of damage.
Prior to installation do not store your cabinets in a garage, basement or other unheated or unconditioned space.
Treat your cabinetry like any other fine piece of wood furniture and you will enjoy the beauty and natural look for many years.