How to Move Large Appliances Without Damaging the Floors
Whether it’s for spring cleaning purposes or a big move, it’s important to be very careful when moving large appliances. You run the risk of ruining your floors, hurting your back, or even damaging your unit. Depending on the model, the appliances in your home can weigh from 100 to 300 pounds or more, so having a plan of action is crucial.
Whether you have hardwood floors, laminate, carpeting, or tile, you can protect them from dings, dents, and rips if you approach your appliance-relocation challenge armed with knowledge and the right tools. Here are a few tricks of the trade that, when followed, will help you avoid potential damage to your floors and move your unit quickly and efficiently.
Be Prepared With a Plan
Before you even gather your tools and equipment, you’re going to want to make a solid plan.
It’s important to measure both the appliance and the pathways you’ll be passing through. If you have a narrow hallway or entry door, you might find that your unit simply won’t fit. Sliding patio doors or an alternate passageway in your home might need to be utilized to accommodate the size of your appliance.
Also, if you are buying a new fridge or washing machine, make sure the space you’re planning to put it in is large enough before you move out your existing appliance. Taking measurements and making a firm plan will save you plenty of headaches during your moving process.
Another part of being prepared is getting the items ready to be moved. If you’re transporting a large refrigerator, simply move the food and beverages to a portable freezer or ice chest, and then use packing tape or shrink wrap to secure the doors. You don’t want the doors to fly open while you’re trying to maneuver around corners. No matter the appliance you are moving, be sure to remove contents and secure the doors, lids and shelves so that they don’t come flying open in the middle of your move.
Clean the Floors:
Because dirt and gritty surfaces will create more friction on the floors during the moving process, part of your prep job is to clean the floors. Cleaner surfaces will be much easier to slide across as you’re lugging the item to its alternative location. The removal of dirt from hardwood and tile will also minimize the risk of scratches. Small rocks or large dirt clumps can be accidentally drug across the floor by your feet or the appliance and, depending on the surface, could leave unsightly marks behind.
Gather Equipment and Tools
Depending on the appliance you’re moving, there are tools that can help you. Specific equipment has been designed to transport large bulky items without scratching floors, including:
Dollies and Hand Carts:
It is very helpful to have carts-on-wheels that are especially designed to transport large, heavy appliances. Dollies come with handles and supportive backs so that heavy items can be leaned back. Each cart or dolly can handle a specific amount of weight; some can handle up to several-hundred pounds. These can be rented at your local u-haul or home improvement store or purchased outright if you’re planning to move heavy goods in the future.
Plastic Floor Guides:
You can purchase protective plastic floor guides that are especially designed for moving heavy objects while protecting flooring. With these guides, you simply lift the appliance up enough to slip in the protective device, and then you pull the guide along with the fridge or washer on top of it.
Plywood and Carpet Squares:
With a similar technique that is used with the plastic floor guides, a do-it-yourselfer can use pieces of plywood and carpet remnants to drag the appliance along the floor. With this technique, the soft side of the carpet faces the floor and the plywood goes on top, and then the weighty stove or refrigerator is placed on the wood.
An amazing device that makes moving appliances seem like a snap is called an Air Sled. This tool is slipped beneath the appliance, and then the Air Sled is plugged in and filled with air from a pumping mechanism. This technique allows the cumbersome item to be lifted and transported with zero risk of chips or rips in the flooring.
Broom, Dustpan & Mop:
While you’ve gotten the large machines out of their existing spaces, it’s a good idea to seize the opportunity to clean the floor beneath them. Grab your broom and sweep up, and then mop the area and let it dry. If it’s carpeted, vacuum it thoroughly. You may not see that area again until the next time you move or buy a new model stove or fridge, so this is the perfect time to tidy it up.
If you have stairs, you can use a stair-rolling contraption to make climbing up or down stairs with your refrigerator seem like no problem. These devices are so helpful; they can even lug something as heavy as a piano up or down a flight of stairs.
The single most important piece of advice you can receive is to enlist help. Having a friend or family member help can make moving large household goods much easier and much, much safer. A second set of hands and eyes will go a long way in balancing the bulky items, not mention maneuvering them around corners.
You might also want to consider hiring a professional mover if you can’t find help or not physically capable of doing the job. If you are someone who has had back problems in the past, you should probably think twice before attempting to move heavy appliances around the house. If you are on a tight budget and don’t want to spend a lot of money to have professional movers come over to do the job, consider hiring a muscular college student who is looking for part-time work or a mover who moonlights after hours. Even if you do end up paying full-price for the services of a moving company, it will probably be less expensive than repairing or replacing your beautiful flooring or shiny, stainless steel appliances if damage should occur.
Moving your washers, dryers, ovens, refrigerators, and other large appliances can be a daunting job but, if done carefully and thoughtfully, can be done without throwing your back out or ruining your floors. All you need to remember is to measure everything first, tape lids and doors closed, gather the right tools and equipment, and enlist the help of a friend, family member, or professional.