Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Dave1, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    I am looking at and considering the purchase of a 1996 International park model 36' trailer. I noticed some of the kitchen cabinet framework is swelling and becoming somewhat distorted. It appears the cabinets are not made of wood or particle board but is made of some kind of compressed synthetic material that is covered with wood grain tape and made to look like wood. The problem is this material is swelling like a sponge in water on one of the cabinet frames at the bottom. I have seen this same problem on other Florida TTs also and may be a problem because of the high humidity in Florida.

    Anyone know what this material is? Is this unusual? Will all the cabinets made from same material do the same thing over time? How is the best way to repair and prevent future damage? Any opinions of the International brand of TTs/park models??

    Thanks, Dave
    davisalf@aol.com
     
  2. BobW

    BobW New Member

    Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

    This is compress cardboard. To me it looks like it got wet and swelled up. Cheep construction. I worked for a RV rental outfit and saw it many times. All you can do is buy new cabinets.
     
  3. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

    I bought the trailer and am now fixing up all the little things you find wrong. The swelling cabinet material issue is one that I have no experience with. To replace all of the cabinets is out of the question so I am hoping to replace only the effected pieces.

    I haven't looked closely at every piece of cabinet work in the trailer but I have seen several verticle pieces (approx 1"x2" trim boards, door mounts, etc.) on different cabinets that are starting to swell at the bottom as I described. Hopefully I can make repairs by replacing just the effected piece without having to replace the entire cabinet. I hope the entire cabinet is not made of this stuff. This is my first experience with the compressed material. Doesn't look too good for the humid Florida climate.

    Thanks for any info about material and repairs.

    Dave1
    davisalf@aol.com
     
  4. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

    Dave,
    replacing the pieces might be fine, but you still need to make sure the cause of the swelling (water) is corrected also, or you gonna have the same problem later on. Check your roof seams, etc. It's fun working on these things, but frustrating at times. :dead: :)
     
  5. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

    The pieces that are swelling are on the front or face of the cabinets down close to floor level and are at several different locations in the trailer. The swelling is only for about 1"-3" above the floor. I have seen no evidense of water damage in the floor in this trailer but have seen the same swelling/damage in other trailers that we have looked at recently. Of course you don't know what happened before we bought it but there appears to be no floor or wall water damage that may have started the swelling. I guess a water spill, leak, or sloppy mopping could have splashed water up onto the cabinets and started the problem but because I have seen the same exact swelling on other trailers here, I am suspecting it is a result of cheap materials and the Florida 100% humidity.

    Still wondering how best to repair. Hopefully the pieces can be removed and replaced with similar appearing so it will look nice.

    Dave1
    davisalf@aol.com
     
  6. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

    Dave, might still be a leak, but not the roof. Maybe it is from the plumbing (under the sink?). Worth checking. It doesn't take much moisture to make fiber board swell.
    Sounds like you could fix it yourself. Pick your wood to match, then go for it.
    good luck
     
  7. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

    Dave, condensation is generally the problem when you see this on the cabinets. Is it the doors or moldings? Should not be to big a problem to fix but, I would go back with REAL wood although it is heavier.
     
  8. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    Cabinet Material Swelling Becoming Distorted??

    I have looked around the baseboards, under kitchen cabinets, sinks, frig, etc. and have seen no evidense of water leaks inside. The ceiling is pure white, no ripples, mold/mildew, etc. over the areas where the cabinets boards are swelling so I have to think the swelling is not caused by a leak. Condensation and high humidity may be the culprit.

    Down here in Fla. the humidity is frequently at or near 100%. After running the AC all day, if you turn it off for a while, some sweating can be seen.

    Florida is not a place to use fiber, particle, or compressed material board!

    The boards that are swelled are the facing and trim boards on the front of the cabinets. I hope the rest of the cabinets are not made of this stuff. I need to do a thorough inspection and try to determine how much of this stuff is in the trailer. I guess the only repair is to replace the boards with real wood. Hopefully I can find something that will match the color and grain of the rest of the wood and cabinets.

    Dave1
     

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