Early failure of cabinetry: Is it always the user's fault?
By Warren Sanhye Jr. Eng., M.A.Sc.,
Whether it is kitchens or bathrooms, we have all experienced or heard of damages to cabinets linked to humidity. As an example, let's just consider cabinet panels that swell or coating shell (veneer or thermoplastic) that delaminates. This type of degradation usually occurs as a result of long term usage, when the cabinetry components "get old". However, there are many cases where this type of millwork suffers from premature degradation. For instance, when similar damages are visible over multiple units of a building/condominium, it seems obvious that they are not independent and isolated cases.
Based on experience, we have developed at CEP an expertise for this type of failure investigation. For instance, this would include experimental setups to test moisture resistance of panels. In addition, in-house chemical analysis is readily available. These comprise interpretations of the chemical results as well as establishing the link with the root cause of a loss.