How Do You Fix a Swollen Countertop?
Our countertops endure a lot of abuse over the years: hot pans on the surface, water/ liquid spills, food, equipment, makeup, etc. We hope the material is up for the challenge, but unfortunately, sometimes water gets underneath the counter and causes it to swell up.
A swollen countertop is unsightly and unhygienic. It causes the counter to be unlevel, so it’s harder to rest things on top.
You can’t let the counter stay swollen, so how do you fix it? Learn the causes and follow this step-by-step guide. Or save yourself the hassle and call All Dry USA.
What Causes Damage to Countertops?
Countertop swelling can result from multiple issues, including leaks, standing water, and the material itself.
If a water fixture is leaky, it can cause water to seep into the seams and edges of laminate, tile, or whatever material comprises your counter. Leaky faucets and sinks will cause a slow water drain, leading to water collecting on the countertop. Water from a spill or wet dishes sitting out too long can also lead to water damage.
When water sits on the countertop for an extended period and gets through these cracks, it soaks into the material and causes the material to swell. Because the water doesn’t have an easy escape route, it doesn’t evaporate away quickly, causing the countertop to swell and become malformed.
It’s also the case that material is a substantial factor. Laminate is a common material used for kitchen countertops, floors, furniture, and more. If your countertop is laminate, it’s at higher risk of swelling.
Laminate is attached to its substrate by a strong adhesive. Exposing the laminate to heat by setting a hot plate, pan, or tea kettle directly on the surface will heat the adhesive and cause it to deteriorate. The laminate no longer adheres, letting space open up underneath the surface. A small air pocket is all it takes for water to get under the laminate.
How to Fix Laminate Countertop Water Damage
While laminate might be more vulnerable to swelling than other materials, it’s also easier to fix. Follow these steps to repair your laminate countertop and correct the water damage.
1. Lift the Edges of the Laminate
Lift the edges of the damaged laminate to expose the area you need to repair. You may need a putty knife to remove any residual sealant or debris.
2. Apply Heat
You’ll want to use heat to break down the bond between the laminate and the particle board underneath. A hairdryer will do. Softening the glue may allow it to re-harden and re-adhere to the particle board underneath more strongly.
3. Relay Laminate
If the water damage is too severe, you may have to lift off the old laminate and relay it. Once you apply the adhesive and replace the laminate, you’ll want to set heavy books or heavy flat items onto the laminate to allow the glue to harden between the layers.
If the laminate is still loose, you’ll have to lift it back up, add adhesive again, and lay heavy books on it again.
4. Rolling Pin
Use a rolling pin to roll out any air bubbles that may have gotten trapped between the laminate and substrate. Press firmly all over the portion of the laminate you’re repairing. Then, replace the books or heavy items on the laminate for another 60 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Reseal Laminate Countertops?
Luckily, laminate countertops are easy to refinish and repair. Over time, you can wear down the protective coating on the countertop while washing off food and grime daily. It’s normal to need to refinish the surface after some time.
When resealing a laminate countertop, you’ll want to test several protective finishes to find the one you like the best. Then, you’ll need to sand down the laminate surface with fine grit and apply the protective finish. It can be arduous, but it’s more affordable and effective than replacing your entire countertop.
Dealing With the Effects of Water Damage? Call Us for Help
Not only is damage annoying, inconvenient, and unsightly, it can cause long-term damage to your countertops. Damaged countertops lower resell value if you ever choose to sell your home. Water damage can be unsanitary and makes it harder to rest things on the surface because it will be uneven.
Water damage is not something you want to leave unattended. You can, of course, try to tackle the project yourself. But if you don’t want to spend time and money, and have the headache of figuring out how to resolve the issue yourself, let All Dry USA help you! We have trained professionals on staff who are ready to make easy work of whatever water damage you have in your home, countertops included!