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Water Damaged Cabinets: Can They be Repaired?


1 in 50 homeowners is affected by water damage each year which is why water damage claims are the second largest frequent insurance claim after wind and hail, according to the III.

We asked Dovi Hirsch from Barney and Carey Co Inc, one of our itel Wood Restoration Network firms, to answer some questions about water-damaged cabinets and the process involved in restoring them. 

Are there different levels of water damage that determine if your cabinets can be saved or not?

It depends on how you look at it. When we look at a claim, we look at the kitchen being repairable not the cabinets. If every base cabinet is damaged but not the uppers, then that will make a difference if we are going to repair the cabinets or not. When looking at the cabinets and making the determination if they can be repaired, if there was just water on the floor, chances are the boxes will need to be remade and we can use them to reuse the cabinet drawers, doors, and face frames.

How does water damage affect wooden cabinets?

Water absorbs into the unfinished cracks of the cabinets, not the finished parts and when that happens the wood will expand, and you will get mold.

What steps do you take to restore water-damaged items?

The first step is to remove the damaged boxes and then take face frames and drawers off the cabinets.

We then make a new cabinet box and reattach the face frames and drawers. If the fame frames and drawers were damaged, we would sand and finish them with a custom stain to create a uniform appearance with the rest of the kitchen.

What are some tips for a homeowner to help prevent water damage?

  • Avoid having to bury water lines. When installing a fridge, install the shut-off for the ice maker in the basement instead of behind your cabinets
  • Always hire a plumber
  • When replacing dishwashers and sinks make sure that you are only using high-quality lines

Unfortunately, no matter how prepared you are, tragedy can and will strike. Renovar and our Master Craftsmen will be here.

What is some advice and/or important for a homeowner to know if they have water damage?

Get mitigation in as quickly as possible to dry everything out.

We never re-install damaged or wet wood in your home. We are not repairing your damaged items; we are placing them in a new cabinet box. If there is any visible evidence of damage, we are not putting it back.

About Barney and Carey Co Inc.

“The first of our specialty lumber yards was founded on the edge of the Neponset River in Milton, MA in 1922, and since then our company has flourished. With a few moves between the 1920’s and now, we are proud to now call Avon, MA our home.

In 2016, our specialty lumber yards and woodworking shop merged with one of the top woodworking companies in the state, DBI Woodworks. Today, our shop boasts a 10,000 square foot custom woodworking shop. It’s complete with a state-of-the-art CNC routing machine, a moulder with over 250 profiles, and a team of highly-skilled craftsmen and woodworkers who we are truly proud to call part of our company.”