Kitchen cabinets can last for generations with little care and maintenance from time to time. But even the highest-quality cabinets may need minor upkeep on occasions, such as repairing scratches and loose hinges or patching and re-drilling screw holes. In many cases, cabinet repairs are simple enough to handle yourself, but for sagging shelves or problematic hinges, it may be time to call a cabinet repair professional.

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Warping And Water Damage

Since most kitchen cabinets are crafted from wood, water damage is a likely occurrence. Wood can easily be damaged by water, and in your kitchen, there is always a lot of water, especially if you leak somewhere.

In some minor instances, water-damaged cabinets can be fixed. Here are signs of more serious water damage if the:

  • Wood has started to warp.
  • Cabinets are bubbling up on the inside or outside.
  • Outsides are de-laminating.
  • Wood has started to blacken, or otherwise change colors.
  • Cabinets show signs of mold.
  • Cabinets do not open or close properly.

The first step is always to find and then stop the source of the water from getting into the wood. Next, you want to sufficiently dry out the cabinet. Once dry, the appropriate repairs can be made, if possible. This will include replacing certain parts and bleaching out stains, a process that can take some time and money. You want to be sure that it is possible to repair your cabinets before embarking on the task.

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Misaligned Cabinet Doors And Drawers

Cabinets with modern European hinges that attach inside the cabinet usually have screws that can be tightened or loosened to change the door alignment. If your cabinet doors no longer line up as they used to and all the hinge screws seem tight, the hinges may need adjustment.

The adjustment process varies from one brand and style to the next, as do the number of screws per hinge, but you can figure out the basic adjustments by tightening and loosening screws and noting the effect on the door’s alignment. Look for indentations near screw heads as an indication of what that screw adjusts. For instance, if the indentation is to the left or right of the screw, adjusting that screw moves the door left and right.

A groove or indentation above or below the screw head means the screw controls the height of the door. In some cases, you’ll have to loosen two screws and slide the door farther up or down and then tighten them once the door is in an ideal alignment. A screw-in area without an indentation usually controls how far in or out the door sits when the door is closed.

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Peeling, Scratches, And Nicks To The Cabinets

Solid wood cabinets are a luxury. Most modern kitchen cabinets are made from laminated plywood or particleboard, and the lamination has a nasty habit of peeling away when it gets wet or sometimes even when it’s dry. You can usually fix lifting laminate yourself, but if moisture was the cause of the peeling, you have to make sure everything dries out before you attempt the repair, and you have to do something about the source of the moisture. 

If the humidity in your kitchen is unusually high, consider opening windows or using fans to keep air circulating and to prevent condensation from settling. Once things have dried out, use a flat bar to gently pry back the lifting laminate far enough to get a paintbrush under it, and then use the brush to spread contact cement on the back of the laminate and the surface of the plywood or laminate. 

Damage Screw Holes And Bad Hinges

If the hinge screws spin in place when you try to tighten them, your cabinet repair project is simply a matter of filling and possibly re-drilling the screw holes. Particleboard and fiberboard cabinets are particularly prone to this problem because any force that yanks screws from their holes can pull some of the wood material out with it.

How We Can Help You

Before spending the money, time, and effort it takes to repair cabinets you want to be sure that you are making the right decision. Sometimes cabinets need to be replaced simply because they have gotten old and worn out. In other instances, cabinets prematurely wear out long before they should. In this instance, you will want to identify the reasons your cabinets have worn out beyond repair to make sure that the same problem does not happen again.

Even if you purchase all new cabinets you will not be able to stop the problem from happening again if you do not first solve the issue that caused your original cabinets to wear out. Check over your cabinets for any signs of warping or swelling, especially cabinets regularly exposed to humidity and water. If your cabinets are warping due to humidity, a humidifier can help slow down the damage.

We offer a free consultation for the best solutions to your damaged cabinets.