When water from the runoff held back by an ice dam, trickles down into a home and across the carpet or flooring, particle board or “pressed wood” furniture is especially vulnerable. Those types of wood pull water up into themselves, then swell, crack and even expand like a dry sponge that has come into contact with moisture.
Particle board is composed of sawdust or wood chips and glue. When it gets wet, it tends to return to its original components and may even disintegrate.
To illustrate, if you set a tumbler filled with a cold drink on a night stand, cabinet or bookcase made from particle board, and in an hour or two the furniture “bubbles” or becomes deformed by the condensation, then water flowing across a floor or through a carpet for hours or even days, can wreak havoc on those items and they will be beyond simple restoration.
That being said, many contents valet will successfully restore minor water damage in particle board by drying the wet spot(s) thoroughly with a heat gun, then sanding down the affected area so it is once again flush with the remainder of the unit. And there are laminates that can then be used to match the original surface and cover the repaired area.
It is a quick, low cost technique that can restore otherwise unsalvageable furnishings.
A similar method for more extensively damaged particle board furniture involves cutting away cracks and holes in the piece, then replacing them with wood putty and sanding these areas smooth with various grades of sand paper.
Contents valet improve the adjuster’s bottom line with virtually every item they restore.