Skip to main content

Don’t let damp ruin your move

Don’t let damp ruin your move
Click to enlarge

What steps can you take to prevent mould and damp damage during your move overseas?

A damp or leaky shipping container is a disaster for your household goods. Many domestic items can be replaced easily enough but you may end up having to throw away irreplaceable possessions with sentimental value. And even a minor case of damp can leave your goods smelling musty and unpleasant: not a great start to your new life.

Why is mould a problem on domestic goods?

Mould and mildew can stain fabrics and papers with little black dots that do not come off, even with careful cleaning. Mould spreads to other items, and will also break down textiles and paper. And it produces dusty spores that can make you ill or set allergies off. This is particularly a problem for upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding. Finally, moulds have a characteristic musty smell.

What causes mould and mildew in a shipping container?

Mould and mildew are terms used to describe a large number of fungus species that grow on natural materials, and even some plastics. They thrive in damp conditions, and if infestations of mould or mildew are not treated promptly, they can spread quickly. But if you avoid subjecting your goods to damp conditions, you can avoid a mould infestation.

So let’s go through some of the causes of damp in a shipping container.

Older shipping containers, particularly those that have been repaired, are prone to leaks. They shouldn’t be – but it happens.

The interiors of shipping containers are vulnerable to condensation. Warm air tends to hold a lot of evaporated water. But when it cools rapidly – for example, when it comes into contact with metal surface inside a shipping container that is cooling as the weather changes – the water turns to liquid and falls out of the air. In a shipping container it tends to cling to the cooler metal surfaces and may run down the walls.

Finally, damp can be introduced during loading. If your container is loaded out in the open and it is raining, you can guess what will happen next.

And of course, if you load goods that are already damp or mouldy, the problem will almost certainly get worse during your goods’ journey.

How can I protect my goods from mould during my move?

Reputable removals and shipping companies will check the containers they use for damage and damp, and will load up under cover. The way a container is packed can make a difference to the conditions inside. A really excellent removals company will know how to pack efficiently using the best materials to improve insulation and maximise ventilation, reducing the chances of a damp problem. When you are getting removals quotes it’s always worth asking about the company’s packing arrangements to ensure that they meet your standards. If not, find another removals company.

When you prepare your domestic goods for your move make sure all items are clean and dry. Clothes, linens, bedding and upholstery need airing – in the sun if possible. Crockery and cutlery should be free from food residue. And if you find a mouldy item that cannot be cleaned, throw it away rather than trying to bring it with you.

You can buy various desiccant products that will absorb damp from your shipping container during sea transit. These include bags, blankets and pads. Once such range of desiccants, which is especially designed for removals, is Britwrap. Your removals company will advise you on the most suitable products for your move.

Does my removals insurance cover mould damage?

Most removals insurance policies will not cover damage caused by climactic conditions. With Insure Your Move, mould and mildew damage is not covered for more than 25% of the insured value. So you will want to do everything in your power to protect your goods from mould and mildew during your move.

Removals insurance will protect you in case the worst happens during your move, so get a quote from Insure Your Move today.