Formica countertop seam leak solution


Old 02-07-20, 12:53 AM
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Question Formica countertop seam leak solution

Hello. Been in rental for 3 months and notice a that the counter is taking on water inside.
Photo 1 shows the diagonal seam.
Photo 2 shows where most of the 'bulge' is happening.
We use a dish drying mat in that corner, and don't let it sit there wet afterwards. We use a dry mat for each dishwashing. Even with all that care, the seam is wicking water, apparently. I don't believe it was like this when we moved in. REALLY don't want to change sides of the sink for air drying -- would really mess with kitchen flow (very small kitchen). If sealing the seam won't work, we'll just get tubs to put the dowel racks in.

Interested in any thoughts on sealing the seam, and also need to be directed to the product to use. Thank you and God Bless!!
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Old 02-07-20, 04:00 AM
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You should use contact cement. Make certain what you get can be used on laminate and that everything is dry so let the area dry out for a few days before repairing. Try to lift a bit to get the adhesive into the area.

Finally, the laminate sections don't seem to fit properly based on the photo. Before you start make certain the laminate will fit the way you want it because it's called contact cement for a reason.
Old 02-07-20, 06:35 AM
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To a certain degree the damage is already there and can not be fixed.

Water has gotten into the substrate, particle board and has swelled so getting it glued back down is probably not going to happen.

With the gap there it's going to allow more water in which will make the situation worse.
Old 02-07-20, 08:35 AM
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It is a rental so I would call the landlord.

The laminate can usually be lifted by applying heat.
But too much heat will will destroy the laminate.
Then you would have to get in there and sand down the particle board as it looks like one side has swelled more than the other.
And then re-glue it.

The problem is fairly common and a royal pain to fix so usually ends up with replacing the counter top.

Old 02-07-20, 11:02 AM
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The least expensive fix is to replace. Unfortunately like "Marq1" said , the damage is done. It is too late to patch or seal. At this point the best option is going to be an inexpensive laminate counter top from a local big box store like home depot or lowes. As far as liability look at your lease and see if you can find any pictures that shows there may have been some small damage that has only gotten worse, because the landlord may try to say you caused it. Best wishes.
Old 02-08-20, 01:47 PM
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Well thanks to all who responded. However, (I guess I wasn't clear enough), I am not looking to repair, but to prevent further damage AND still use the corner for dish drying. It's a very old, very funky condo and the landlord gets upset if she has to put money in her place -- I will ask her permission to put a sealant over the seam but I wanted to get my facts straight before contacting her. Right now, we have moved the dish drying to the other side of the sink, but as I mentioned, it interferes with kitchen business...

So, to restate my query: is there a clear sealant I can use on the seams in the counter to prevent further moisture from entering the particleboard? Thank you so very very much.
Old 02-08-20, 02:39 PM
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Unlike others, I don't think it's an impossible repair. But, if your goal is simply to protect the area from further damage, I'd get a waterproof dish mat.

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