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Shipping Antique Wooden Furniture In Humid Climates

Posted in Blog on May 29, 2015, tagged with furniture, special care

When shipping furniture; especially antique wooden furniture, you need think about changes in humidity. Shipping from or through dry and humid climates can cause your precious furniture to become damaged or warped.

But fear not! Shipping wooden antique furniture can be a safe and stress-free process for you and your things. Follow the tips below to learn how to make this an easy process for you.  

Tips for Keeping Wood Furniture Safe

In no particular order, here are some pro tips to remember when shipping old wooden furniture.  

1. Humidity Warping vs. Forced Damage

There are different types of damage when it comes to wooden antiques. A stress fracture is different than warping. You should make sure you know how to tell the difference.

  • If you notice peeling, lumpiness, brittleness or small splintering, this is most likely due to warping, which is caused by changes in humidity.
  • On the other hand, if you see cracks, looseness, broken wood or indentations, these are probably signs of forced damage; which means your furniture fell over or was banging around in the moving truck.

2. The Three Hour Rule

You understand that prolonged exposure to hot, humid, sticky air can damage wood, but you may not know that this can happen in as little as three to four hours. The key here is to take extra precautions when your move is going to last more than three hours.

  • If you’re moving from one side of the city to the other, and your antique furniture will only be in transit for an hour, don’t worry too much about damage from humidity.
  • If you’re shipping across the country, you should definitely take humidity changes into consideration!

3. Going From Humid to Dry Is Bad

Moving your old wooden furniture from a humid location to a very dry one (or through a dry climate) is the worst-case scenario.This is because wood is like a sponge. When it absorbs moisture it swells up, and then it shrinks back down when it dries out. So if your furniture has been in a humid climate for a long time, it’s probably holding a lot of moisture. The sudden move to a dry atmosphere will be stressful on the wood, as it will shrink rapidly and potentially become warped or damaged. To prevent warping and other damage, you can do the following:

  • Use a climate controlled truck to ship your furniture.
  • Treat your Antique Wood To Help Prevent Humidity Damage.

One of the best and easiest ways to protect your antique wooden furniture from humidity changes is to treat it with furniture polish or oil before the move. This will do two things:

  • This keeps it moisturized and prevents it from drying out too quickly, especially if you’re moving to a dryer location.
  • It’s just like moisturizing your skin before going on a hike in the desert!

Best Way to Ship Antique Wooden Furniture

You’re pretty much an expert at moving and shipping wooden furniture now, but if you want to avoid the hassle and ensure your furniture arrives unharmed, your best bet is to hire professional movers. Why? because:

  1. Long distance moving companies have climate-controlled trucks that prevent warping and damage from humidity and temperature changes.
  2. Furniture shipping companies have commercial grade moving blankets, and they know how to pack a truck the right way to prevent banging and scratching.

  You want peace of mind, right? Sit back and let the pros handle your wooden furniture! Click here for a custom quote that meets your individual moving needs, or call us at 1-800-626-1257.

"How Do I Ship Antiques?"

Read our complete guide to shipping antiques, including step-by-step packing instructions.

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