A tiny drip under your kitchen or bathroom sink might not seem like a big deal, especially if it's coming from a drain that leaks only while the faucet is on. But whether the problem is an occasional leak from a drain or a slow but steady drip coming from a water supply line, the end result is dampness under the sink.
If the cabinet under your sink is full of cleaning supplies, there may not be enough air circulation to dry out the wood completely. Wet or damp wood can potentially cause big problems. Here are three big reasons you don't want to put off plumbing repairs under your sink, even if the leak seems minor.
Damp Wood Encourages Mold Growth
Mold spores float through your home all the time. They usually cause no damage, but when they land on damp wood, they begin to thrive and multiply. You'll probably notice a musty odor before you see the mold. In fact, you may never actually notice the mold when you look under the sink.
Mold can grow under the cabinet, behind the wall, and under the flooring. Besides giving your home an unpleasant odor, mold may irritate your respiratory system, especially if you have allergies.
Not all mold is dangerous black mold, but if you're unlucky enough to have that under your sink, you may need to bring in a professional for mold remediation. Cleaning up mold could end up costing you many times more than a simple plumbing repair.
Insects Are Attracted to Damp Conditions
You know you have to keep crumbs cleaned up and not leave food out to attract bugs, but you may not know that roaches are also attracted to water and damp conditions. If you've ever pulled up a clump of wet leaves in the yard and seen roaches scurry out, you've seen evidence of that.
When the wood under your sink stays damp, it becomes a paradise for roaches. All it takes is for a couple of bugs to slide under your door or crawl into your home, and before you know it, you'll have roaches in your house.
But while roaches are an embarrassing nuisance, they don't do nearly as much damage as carpenter ants and termites. These insects actually destroy your house when they move in. They also love damp and decaying wood. If you attract them to your kitchen and they become established in your home, you could be looking at some expensive pest-control treatments and home repairs.
Damp Wood Slowly Deteriorates
If the plumbing leak goes on for long enough, the wood under your sink could begin to sag, break apart, and decay. You might have to replace part of the cabinet—or even worse, part of your flooring or subfloor. Water leaks are an enemy to your house. Even an innocent little drip can cause a lot of damage if it goes on long enough and keeps the cabinet under your sink damp for an extended time.
What's worse, the drip could turn into a plumbing emergency if the drip suddenly blossoms into a big leak in a pipe or supply line.
Wood is difficult to dry out when it is in an enclosed cabinet. You'll have to actively dry the wood out by stopping the leak and airing out the cabinet with a fan or other means. If you don't check inside the cabinet very often, there could be damaged wood in there you don't even know about. Needless to say, replacing rotted wood may cost much more than replacing a water supply line under the sink.The good news is, you can prevent expensive damage by repairing leaks before they've had time to do much harm. The wood will dry out eventually once you stop the water leak. If you have a drip under your kitchen sink, call Coastal Plumbing for quick repairs.