What to Expect from Inclement Weather Conditions on Move Day
Posted Mar 9th 2022
How to Recover and Adapt from Inclement Weather on Your Move Day
Bad weather can put a damper on any big plans, especially if they’re made far in advance. Moving is no exception to this rule and anticipating the potential for bad weather can only get you so far. Sometimes inclement weather can seriously derail your moving plans. So, understanding what qualifies as inclement weather and what may happen will better prepare you for potential future events.
To be clear, we’re using “inclement weather” to refer to torrential weather conditions that make transport or physical labor difficult to nearly impossible. Though sunny conditions can lead to dehydration and exhaustion, they’re typically conducive for all types of moves. “Inclement weather” covers situations of heavy snow, nonvisible driving conditions (such as substantial fog), and severe rainstorms.
If You’re Using a Moving Company
Depending on the severity of the weather conditions, your moving company may delay or cancel your upcoming move. This is especially true for long-distance moves; interstate road conditions will impact the safety of not only the drivers, but also your household items.
Moving during light rain will cause little to no problems for your movers. The main concern of your moving crew is making sure your items don’t get wet, so they’ll likely take extra time to carefully transport your things from your home to the truck and vice versa. The crew will also put down blankets or moving pads to prevent slipping while they’re carrying your items. Their goal is to be efficient but also keep everything dry and free of any damage.
But when dealing with heavy rain, there are issues that arise for moving companies. If your moving timeline and the mover’s availability allows it, your moving company may choose to postpone your move a day or two until the weather clears. But if either your or the mover’s timeline don’t have any wiggle room, make sure to moisture-proof your belongings and walkways as much as possible. You can discuss the possibilities with your move coordinator beforehand, so you know the best approach to take on the actual move day.
During transit, your driver may make stops or take alternate routes to avoid heavy rain. Light rain doesn’t cause many issues, but torrential downpours hinder visibility and can cause safety concerns for drivers. Once again, the focus is on safety here, so any delays are meant to ensure the truck and your things arrive securely. If there are delays to your delivery spread, your move coordinator will contact you to discuss any changes.
Snowy circumstances can quickly become dangerous, so more precautions are typically taken during snowstorms and icy conditions than with rain or fog. If your move is taking place during a record-breaking snowstorm, anticipate that your move will be delayed or (in rare cases) cancelled.
Your moving crew will do everything they can to preserve the condition of the items they’re hauling. It’s the same deal with snow as it is with rain: they’ll avoid heavy storm conditions while they’re loading or unloading, and they’ll put down blankets and mats to prevent slipping.
If you’re moving with a reputable moving company, you’re going to get updates on road conditions, where your crew is at, and what’ll happen with your move in the event it’s been cancelled. In your moving paperwork is contact information for your move coordinator and your delivery spread – so you’ll know when your items are supposed to be delivered and who you’ll be checking in with in the event of inclement weather.
Expect to be up to date on any changes or developments as conditions progress.
If You’re Going with the DIY Method
There are definite pros and cons to moving your household goods yourself. The closer your destination is to your origin location, the more advantageous a DIY move can be. But for a long-distance move, there are a lot more factors you must juggle, making it a very difficult process to undertake alone.
One key factor that’ll have a large impact on your move is the weather. If you encounter rough weather on your journey, you’ll have to think quick and adapt to the conditions. It may end up costing you more time and money, but DIY moves can still be accomplished during inclement weather.
Unlike with moving companies, DIY moves are entirely orchestrated and carried out by you and your chosen crew. If you encounter rainy conditions during your move, you’re both the safety officer and supervisor. You’re in charge of calling it if the rain becomes too much for you to handle.
When it comes to personal safety in rainy conditions, know that you can always delay things. Loading and unloading can be delayed, and driving can always wait until the storm passes. Never be afraid to take longer for the sake of your personal safety. You’re not only transporting all your things, but you’re also transporting yourself (and probably your family).
If you’re moving in the rain, take extra care to keep everything as dry as you can. Cover the ground in pads and blankets to prevent slipping and invest in tarps to shield boxes and furniture from the watery onslaught. Once you’ve arrived at your new location, inspect everything well and make sure to dry out anything that may have gotten wet.
While rain can vary widely in its clear and present danger to your safety, snowy conditions are always going to make moving more precarious.
Roads become extremely slick once wet snow freezes into sheets of ice, and even the most careful of drivers are susceptible to hydroplaning or skidding.
If you’re moving during heavy snow, you should really consider either delaying your move or extending your moving timeline to account for slower-moving traffic. And if you aren’t comfortable driving in snow, try to find alternatives like hiring a moving company or hiring an independent crew/driver. If you can shift your move to after the snow has settled, you should definitely do so. The last thing you want is to get into an accident on a snowy interstate with all your home goods exposed to the elements.
If You’ve Rented Equipment for a DIY Move in Inclement Weather
A key factor to DIY move timelines is whether you’ve rented moving equipment like moving trucks, portable storage containers, or others.
Signing agreements and paying for rentals puts more definitive pressure on you to move. However, always keep in mind that safety should be above all, including truck rental agreements and dolly renting.
If you’re heading into inclement weather with rented equipment in tow, you should first give a call to the company you’re renting from to see if they can reschedule or extend your rental terms. Most companies are willing to accommodate for unsafe conditions, so your best bet is to communicate with them and see what your options are.
If you’re in the planning phase of your move, it would be best to ask what the terms are for inclement weather and renting equipment beforehand. That way both you and the company you’re renting from can be aware of next steps in the case of a storm.
After You Move, Double and Triple Check Your Household Goods
Bad weather isn’t only unsafe, it also increases the potential for damages to your home goods. Rain can seep into cracks in unsteady boxes and trucks, and slippery roads can cause items to move as the vehicle slides or skids.
As soon as you are able, evaluate everything you moved. Check furniture for any dampness or wear, look inside boxes, and test electronics for water damage.
If you’ve moved with a moving company, your selected valuation coverage will determine how you’ll be compensated for any damaged items. Your moving company will do everything they can to preserve the condition of your items while they’re in transit. Your valuation coverage, depending on the valuation you’ve selected, will cover the full value of any damages your items may sustain while they’re on their journey to your new home.
On the other hand, if you’ve moved everything yourself, consider budgeting for replacement items or making minor repairs. You can also invest in third-party cargo liability coverage for your high-value items.
This Too Shall Pass
As the age-old saying goes, nothing is forever. This is especially true of unsafe road and weather conditions. If you’re going to be moving during a time where snow and rain are frequent, make sure you plan for delays. Being flexible in your moving timeline is your number one key to still having a safe, successful move.