Whether you need to pack up your moving truck rental in drizzling rain or blowing snow, wet conditions can complicate any move. Not only does precipitation make it more difficult to keep your belongings dry and undamaged but moisture can also create hazardous driving conditions.
If your moving day forecast predicts rain, sleet, or snow, use these eight tips for loading and driving your moving truck in inclement weather.
1. Mark the Most Vulnerable Containers
As you pack, think about which items are most vulnerable to water damage. Label your boxes containing important documents, books, and electronics with “keep dry” the same way you’d label a box “heavy” or “fragile.”
You’ll want to take these containers out to the truck when the precipitation is lightest. You may also want to put these boxes on top of other items in case there’s water on the floor of the truck.
2. Wear Warm, Water-Resistant Clothes
Loading a moving truck can take a significant amount of time, especially if you’re working with a small group of friends and family rather than with professional movers. Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. If it’s cold, wear a jacket or coat that doesn’t restrict your movement. You will also want to wear winter or work gloves.
If you expect rain or snowfall on moving day, wear a raincoat or poncho over your clothes. This ensemble ensures that you stay warm and dry on your trips out to the truck.
3. Choose Shoes With Good Traction
Wet conditions can make your outdoor stairs, walkways, and driveway slick. Once you stack a couple boxes in your arms, the dampness could make a walk outside even more hazardous. Choose shoes with thick soles and tread to give yourself as much traction as possible.
If it’s going to snow or if temperatures will drop below freezing, be sure to clear a path to the truck and keep the area salted or sanded to minimize the risk of ice development.
4. Line Your Entryway
If it’s wet outside, it’s likely that at least some moisture will get tracked into your home. Before you carry your first load out to the truck, put down a lining in your entryway. You can use a tarp or plastic drop cloth for optimal protection or towels if you don’t have a plastic liner on hand.
Have everyone wipe their shoes when they come into the house from the outside to protect the flooring throughout your home. This step can minimize the work you have to do to leave your home clean and get your security deposit back if you rent.
5. Cover the Truck Bed
As people climb into the truck to load your belongings, moisture can also get tracked into the truck bed. Lay down a moving blanket across the back end of the truck bed to soak up some of this moisture.
Consider putting down plastic or stacking your boxes on wooden pallets to reduce the amount of moisture that the bottom boxes come in contact with.
6. Cover Your Belongings
If active rain or snow is in the forecast, provide a way to cover your belongings while they’re being carried from the front door to the truck so no one has to run to beat the moisture. You can place a tarp, drop cloth, or garbage bag over your boxes or waterproof your boxes as you pack.
Take particular care with cardboard boxes because even small amounts of water damage can affect the boxes’ contents and increase the risk of the bottom falling out.
7. Know Your Driving Route
Before you bring your truck to your old home, make sure you know how to get to your final destination. If the majority of your drive will take you through rainy or snowy conditions, stick to main roads that are more likely to be professionally maintained.
Know your driving route in advance so you feel comfortable taking your time.
8. Give Yourself Extra Driving Time
Driving in inclement conditions automatically takes longer than when the sun is shining and the roads are clear. Specifically, plan more travel time to ensure that common precipitation-related road hazards don’t affect your overall schedule.
Plan for regular breaks, preferably at rest areas so you can plot your exact route including the breaks you’ll take. Drive more slowly and give yourself more space to stop, especially if you’ve never driven this type of vehicle before. If possible, you may even want to give yourself a short amount of time to adjust to driving the loaded truck before you officially start your trip. This practice route could just be a drive around your neighborhood or a lunch stop before you hit the road.
Follow these guidelines to ensure that your moving truck and everything inside it arrives at your new home without any water damage, no matter the weather.