fire/heat damage to particleboard cabinets

We are having our home repaired after a dryer-fire. The fire was downstairs, so smoke and heat got thoughout the house. I have heard that particleboard can become weak after exposure to heat. I am concerned about our cabinets. The boxes are made from melamine or vinyl covered particleboard, with wood fronts. I don’t know how hot each area of the house got, but the laundry room was engulfed in flames, and heat came up the laundry chute onto the main floor kitchen. The house is 5 years old. It has been completely repainted, new carpet, hardwood refinished, the smoke smell is gone, but my wife can smell a “funky” odor in some cabinets. Could the particleboard in these cabinets breakdown over time? Is there any way to test them.

We are located in Washington state. Thanks for your help!


[FONT=Arial]Here is an inspector in your area. He might be able to help you in this matter. [/FONT]](

Kevin F. Pierce](
Tacoma Home Inspector
Certified Tacoma Home Inspector
Home Inspector in Tacoma
Seattle Bellevue Olympia Tacoma Home Inspector

Good Luck!:stuck_out_tongue:


Structural Resistance Testing (SRT) can be performed on almost any building material.

I have one and use it whenever applicable.

They’ll have to test in unseen areas or patch repair may be required, probe makes an indention hole about the size of 8d finish nail or will penetrate through soft or compromised materials.

You may have to contact an EIFS/Stucco inspector to locate someone in your area with this tool


Hi Frank and Barry,

Thanks for your replies. My local home inspector could not give me a definite “yes or no” answer as to the possible future structural integrity of the particleboard cabinets due to the heat from the fire.

So I was wondering if any members had experience with this particular situation.