How to Mitigate the Risk of Transporting Furniture

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Packing and transporting furniture can be a complicated puzzle of maximising the amount of furniture that can be hauled within a given space while minimising the potential for damage.

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Packing and transporting furniture can be a complicated puzzle of maximising the amount of furniture that can be hauled within a given space while minimising the potential for damage.

The best way to move large pieces such as hardwood tables or soft sided chairs and sofas may be very different than the ideal way to transport antiques or small delicate items. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and much of what you’ll need to know is learned though on the job experience. However, following these tips can help you get your furniture moved with minimal risk and hopefully no damage.

Shipping delicate objects: three protective packing layers

For smaller pieces or especially delicate items, every piece should be protected with an inner wrap, a layer to mitigate shock and vibrations, and an outer protective shell. This is the method recommended by the Smithsonian, and if they use it to ship their priceless artefacts, it should be successful for your items. By always including these three layers, you’ll minimise the chances of any piece being broken and also prevent potential damage from objects colliding with one another.

Inner wrap

This layer is the one that actually touches the item. It will keep the piece clean and protect it from scratches or other damage. Because this layer is in direct contact with the object, its material will vary depending on the item. If the piece is exceptionally fragile, a typical material such as flannel or soft cotton may wear away details or otherwise damage the surface. For most pieces though — depending on the material and the condition of the furniture piece being transported — paper, plastic sheeting, or cloth will work well.

Shock layer

The middle layer provides extra padding for the furniture piece to protect it from any small impacts received during loading or transport. Foam cushioning works well for this layer and can absorb any vibrations and bumps experienced during the drive. Rubber is also a good natural shock absorber.

Protective outer shell

This outer layer is often made of tougher material than the other two layers and should be puncture resistant. This layer is vital to preventing damage if furniture pieces come into contact with each other during transport or are handled roughly during loading or unloading.

For transporting certain delicate objects, such as pieces with antique fabrics, this protective shell might be a sealed case designed to regulate temperature and keep environmental changes to a minimum. For items that don’t require such delicate treatment, this layer is often plywood. Cheap and tough, plywood is easy to handle and can be braced for added strength.

Shipping large items

For larger and awkwardly shaped items such as sofas and appliances, the approach is similar, but fewer layers of padding are used. The goal is still to provide all around protection, but in this case a buffer is created with moving pads and wrap. The furniture piece should be thoroughly surrounded with moving pads and blankets, which are then strapped in place with tape or large bands. Once the blankets are in place, the entire item is wrapped in stretch wrap to make sure that the padding does not slip or shift during transportation.

By packing properly and treating every piece as if it were incredibly valuable, you should be able to safely load, move, and unload any piece of furniture. Upon reaching the new destination, walk through the new area and plan how the move should take place before unloading the first item. This preparation and advance planning will guarantee success with your furniture move.

For more information on how to secure your goods through transportation, get in touch today by calling 0113 277 5518 or contact us online.

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