How to Dry Soaked Wet Kitchen & Bathroom Cabinets

Many CA homes have wood, composite, or plywood cabinetry. Some have them at the floor level, others at mid-wall height, others at ceiling height. When these cabinets get wet due to a flood, broken pipe, water line burst, etc it can be very, very costly if they need replaced. We have a process that can save them by drying them in-place instead of removing them.

The first step with most flooding in Encinitas homes is to turn the water off. A main shut-off valve is usually located in a garage, near a hot water heater, or at a street curb where the City has the other main valve shutoff in the ground. If you can’t locate it or are unable to, we can assist on the phone or have a technician on-site immediately, 24/7.

Depending on the type of water loss (i.e. clean water category 1 water (CAT 1), black water sewage water category 3 water (CAT 3), or category 2 grey water (CAT 3), the remediation process will be different. So that is the next step – to determine the remediation plan before proceeding. Let’s assume this is a clean water CAT 1 loss occurring from a broken supply line in the wall behind the kitchen cabinets that you as the homeowner have noticed shortly after the water line burst occurred.

The moisture content and extent of the damage needs to then be assessed to determine if the cabinets can be saved by drying them in place. In many cases they can use one of our processes for quick drying and extraction. See the photos below.

One option is to injection dry the cabinets. This is the least damaging process and one that other companies do not use. Hot, dehumidified air is pushed below and into the cabinets to dry them from the inside out. We would remove the bottom place or facing and drill holes for the injection tubes to be placed. Later the skin will be replaced and restained or repainted, depending on the type of cabinetry. This is a very non-invasive process and huge money saver.

Another option is the tent or contain the cabinets to form a very warm, very dry environment for them to be in so that they will release the trapped water within them. With this process it is very important to monitor the drying process so that the cabinets are not dried out too much, causing warping.

One more option to save the cabinets when the insides are too damaged (i.e. the shelves within the cabinets) is to support the countertops in the case of the lower cabinets, remove the expensive wood faces for later resetting, and demo the much lesser costly inside shelves for later rebuild. Nearly all cabinetry has lesser expensive plywood type shelving on the outside and nicer, more expensive, usually varnished or stained wood on the outside. Other times the outside wood faces have a veneer on top of them to make them appear more like real wood. In nearly all cases the inside shelving will warp and bloat much quicker than the faces since they are more porous and prone to water standing on them than the vertical pieces.

The next step is to monitor the moisture content of the drying process and pull the equipment off site when the drying reached normal levels.

All of these processes can save thousands of dollars by drying soaked, wet, flooded cabinets. If you have a flooded kitchen, soaked cabinets, web kitchen shelves, etc and need to dry, repair, and clean up your cabinets, give us a call 24/7 for emergency services. We can be on-site immediately and less than an hour in nearly all the county. Our services include water, fire, and mold remediation and associated reconstruction services. 619.597.2003 is our phone number.

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