When your humidor leaks, you need to get it fixed. Leaks can be caused by a lack of humidity, over humidification, or poor construction.

Regardless, you have to fix the issue before your cigars suffer from an unexpected trip into the harsh real world. Fixing a humidor that has developed a leak is not difficult; however, there are several factors that go into repairing your humidor.

What Is a Leaky Humidor?

A leaky cigar humidor is a humidor that is allowing the humidity to escape from inside. This causes a buildup of moisture outside of your humidor’s walls and can cause mold or mildew growth as well as rusting.

How Does a Leaky Humidor Affect Cigars?

A leaking humidor can cause damage to your cigars in two ways:

  • The cigars get wet
  • The cigars dry out

Both of these problems will ruin your cigars and can cause additional health concerns.

Why Does a Humidor Leak?

There are several reasons why your humidor may begin to leak. Here is the most likely reason: Excess humidity.

When your cigar humidifier is over-humidified, the humidity begins to seep through the walls of your humidor and evaporates into the room.

Water damage can cause a leak in your humidor, whether it is through swelling, warping, or cracks in the glass and metal.

Your humidor can also leak from poor construction.

While this is less common, it can be an issue with lower-priced or beginner humidors.

How Do I Know if My Humidor is Leaking?   

If your humidor is not holding the proper humidity level, there is a good chance that it is leaking.

This can be as simple as being unable to achieve the desired humidity level, or by checking the hygrometer reading and finding that it has changed dramatically from its last reading.

In addition to measuring the humidity through a test device, you can simply place a piece of paper inside your humidor with a drop of water on it. If the paper is wet after 24 hours, you have a leaky humidor.

How To Test Your Humidor For a Leak

When you find that your humidor is not holding the proper humidity level, the first thing to do is inspect it for potential leaks.

Look at where there might be a crack or hole; go over every seam and joint with a fine-tooth comb. If you don’t see any cracks or holes, check inside the lid of the humidor, as that is often where a leak will occur.

You can also run one of the following tests:

  • Dollar Bil Test
  • Whoosh Test
  • Flashlight Test

The Dollar Bill Test

The dollar bill test is by far our favorite method of leak detection. To do the test, simply place a dollar bill inside your humidor and seal it shut for 24 hours.

If you come back to find that the dollar has changed colors or sustained damage, there is a good chance you have found your leak.

Another version of this test is to place the dollar bill inside the box with a small part of the bill sticking outside of the box. Then, close the box. Tug on the dollar bill to see how easy it is to slide it out of the box.

The more resistance the better.

If you don’t feel much resistance, the seal of the humidor is probably damaged.

The Whoosh Test

You should feel and hear a slight “whoosh” of air when you close the lid. Raise the lid and then allow it to drop. When you do this, there should be a whoosh of air that will absorb some of the momentum of the lid so it gently closes.

If there is no “whoosh,” the lid will drop hard and fast to a closed position.

The Whoosh test is great for detecting leaks, but can also indicate problems with the seal.

The Flashlight Test

You can also perform the flashlight test.

In this test, you place a small flashlight into the box, close the lid, and turn out the lights in the room. If you see a lot of light “leaking” out of the humidor, you probably have a leak in the box.

Here’s How To Fix a Leaky Humidor

Once you have found your leak, feel free to fill it with some silicone or putty.

You can buy these materials at your local hardware store for next to nothing.

Spread the patching material over the crack or flat surface of your leaky humidor.

This should fix the problem immediately, but if it doesn’t, you can run a bead of silicone along any seams or joints in your humidor that you feel might be causing the leak.

Another option is to use a product like Sugru, which looks and acts like Play-Doh and can be molded around your humidor’s seams to stop your humidor from leaking.

Don’t be tempted to use toothpaste, Elmer’s glue, or tacky wax to fix your humidor. Any of these solutions will eventually clog up your humidor’s airway, causing it to perform poorly.

If you are unable to fix the issue yourself, contact a cigar humidor repair shop immediately. If you chose not to use a professional, make sure that nothing is permanently damaged before making repairs.

This includes wood fibers and the adhesive holding your hinges together.

It may take some time to stop the leak, but it is vital that you do so in order to maintain your humidor’s integrity.

Repair Vs. Replace Your Humidor: What Should You Do?

If your humidor suffers from a small leak, it might make sense to get it repaired.

However, if you find that your humidor is damaged beyond repair, buying a new one can be an expense. But it is also the best option for preserving your cigars.

Replace your humidor when:

  • You have already tried to repair it yourself.
  • The leak has caused irreversible damage.
  • Your humidor is not the proper size for the number of cigars you plan to keep in your collection.
  • Your humidor no longer meets your needs, whether due to shape, size, color, etc.
  • Your leaky humidor is a cheaper model

Whatever you do, take action quickly to save your cigars.