Simple fixes – resealing around a kitchen sink

A key aspect of the kitchen is hygiene – you do not want any nasties breeding where you can’t see them and potentially releasing harmful spores into the atmosphere. Quite apart from anything else, when food particles and nefarious nasties get together in a warm, moist environment, you could soon start to smell a bit of a pong.

The solution is to ensure proper sealing around the rim of a kitchen sink. Quite apart from anything else, even if you have a marble countertop, water seeping through to the cupboards below will cause problems by damaging the materials and resulting in contaminated fluids dripping into and on to containers stored in the cupboards…

In addition, if the countertop is melamine, as in this case, it is chipboard, and water seeping into it will cause the glue to break down. It begins to swell and will need replacement. Hence the need to ensure no water or moisture seeps under the sink rim.

Materials:
Mould-resistant sealer; marking tape, kitchen sink attachment clips.

Method:

  1. First lay masking tape around the rim of the sink so that clean-up is reduced. In passing, we didn’t mask off the sink rim itself as well… a rookie mistake – as a result of which we had to clean excess sealant off the metal. For your information, we make these mistakes so you don’t have to… so, mask off EVERY surface on which sealant could land, and from which you will have to remove it afterwards. At the end of the day it was not difficult to do, but we could have saved ourselves some trouble. We then loosened the securing clips under the sink and used a couple of clothes-pegs to prop up the end of the sink. We did not have to reseal the entire circumference of the sink… that around the draining board was still sound… only the sink end had to be resealed.
  1. In order to get the sealant well under the rim, and even into the area that was sound, we attached a short length of tube (150mm or so) to the end of the nozzle so that we could apply the new sealant well beyond where the nozzle itself could reach.
  1. Like so…
  1. Having applied the new sealant, we removed the clothes-peg spacers and allowed the sink to settle in position. We wiped away sealant that oozed out from under the rim and then removed the masking tape, cursed ourself for not masking off the sink rim itself, and cleaned up all the surfaces.
  1. Removing the tape on the side closest to the wall.
  1. To ensure that the sink was seated properly, put a bit of weight on to it –  and what better than filling each sink with water… so that’s about 15-20ℓ (15-20kg) or more per sink, and for good measure put a bucketful of water on top as well (that’s another 10ℓ – or 10kg). This all kept the sink firmly seated while we sorted out the clips – and incidentally made it much easier to fix the clips in position and secure them.
  1. The edges finally cleaned up and looking rather neat… but what’s more important… waterproof.
  1. Trying to attach clips to the underside of a sink is enough to make even a vicar swear because in most areas there is room for no more than one hand… if that! However, a good way to position the screws is to use a short piece of suitably sized plastic tube to hold the screw head on the screwdriver tip and then guide the tip into the hole in the nylon securing bar on the clip. Then you position the barbed section of the clip (shown here) under the countertop, and tighten the screw. That pulls the sink rim very firmly down onto the countertop, securing it in position and also compressing the sealant for a completely waterproof seal.
  1. And there we have it… the complete job. A very neat finish and waterproof.

Project guide

Skill level: 1

Estimated time: 2 hours or so, depending on how stubborn the kitchen sink clips are.

Cost: R40-50… depending on the cost of a tube of sealant, clips at your local Mica.

Assistant: No

Tools required:

Utility knife, masking tape, needle-nose pliers, tweezers, soapy water.

Panel:

These materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to www.mica.co.za, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.