Most people expect their kitchen sink to keep all the water in the sink. This is the general design, usually with two basins and a faucet that can swivel between the two. Being deep enough to place multiple pans and dishes, as well as fill up to some depth, kitchen sinks have for years been usable as a temporary water container and washer system with everything being contained and not spilling everywhere else.
The Hidden Risk Network Under a Sink
However, underneath the typical sink is a connection of pipes that makes everything possible. Add in a dishwasher system, and additional plumbing is added to the same network. At the end of the day, drainage from all the basins and dishwashers will flow through the same network and ultimately to the main drain out of the home or office, or kitchen facility. What makes all of this work so well involves the plumbing and joints that keep everything connected and sealed. And therein lies the problem.
Over time, the joints will begin to form leaks. Water is incredibly persistent at trying to find ways to break through barriers, especially when corrosion is involved. Even plastic gets old over time and can be “eaten” away, especially if an area normally deals with “hard” water, rich in minerals. Additionally, folks tend to store all sorts of kitchen chemicals underneath the sink as well, taking advantage of the storage. All of the above creates the risk of leaks and spills that, if not cleaned up right away, ultimately soak into the material used to make the sink cabinet. And that can turn into dry rot over time, damaging the structure and creating unsightly warping. Because it is not usually seen right away, the leak discovery can be a bit alarming after a number of years.
Water Doesn’t Have to be an Inevitable Problem
Fortunately, preventing all the damage noted above is actually quite easy. One of the most effective barriers to moisture spreading and being absorbed by materials is rubber. It doesn’t deteriorate from water exposure, the liquid gets captured or evaporates without damage, and the underlying material layer, usually wood, is preserved without inherent dry rot kicking in. In particular, an under sink mat specifically designed for spill capture and moisture retention is the perfect proactive tool to have, probably saving its cost ten times over in avoided damage.
A Great Way to Stop Mold in its Tracks
Additional benefits involve avoiding stains, scratching, chemical damage from spills, and mold avoidance as well. Mold is probably the second biggest problem, especially if a leak is recurring. As long as there is a steady source of moisture and organic material to grow on, such as wood, mold will find a footing and establish itself. Once in, the spores are practically impossible to just wipe off, and some types can create breathing hazards. Many remediation methods involve outright removal of the contaminated surfaces and rebuilding. With an under sink mat, the mold is stopped before it even gets started. Without direct contact to wood or similar, the moisture and mold spores can’t establish on rubber and the problem doesn’t occur in the first place.
Design Makes a Difference
A professionally designed under sink mat is ideal. With a molded, continuous rim on all edges, it can retain a water spill, in some cases up to as much as 3 gallons before the spread goes further. Additionally, many quality mats today are produced without any off-gassing or VOCs common with lower quality rubber production. They are easy to place, install, and clean as well with regular maintenance. Better yet, under sink mats can be placed wherever there is a water leak risk, including kitchens, bathrooms, work sinks, and even in garage/mechanic applications as well. Once placed, most folks tend to ask themselves why they didn’t think of using an under sink mat sooner. That’s okay; the real benefit is putting one in before a big problem starts. Mats don’t work so well for damage control after the fact.