Jeff Flowers on February 9, 2018 0 Comments 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 a plan 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 the appliance quickly and efficiently. Be Prepared With A Plan Before you even gather your tools and equipment, it would be wise to come up with a solid plan. Take Measurements: 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 some other 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 the moving process. Empty Contents & Secure Doors: Another part of being prepared is getting the items ready to be moved. If you’re transporting a large refrigerator, for example, 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 in place. The last thing you want to happen is the doors of the appliance 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 should be to clean the floors. Cleaner surfaces will be much easier to slide across as you’re lugging the bulky item to its new location. The removal of dirt from hardwood and tile will also minimize the risk of scratches. Small rocks or large clumps of dirt can be accidentally drug across the floor by your feet or the hefty appliance and, depending on the surface, could leave unsightly marks behind. Gather Your Moving Equipment & Tools Depending on the appliance you’re moving, there are certain tools that can be quite helpful. Below is a list of moving equipment that you may find helpful when you are trying to transport large bulky items. All of these will help prevent scratches on the floor. 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. While every homeowner should consider having one near by, these can be rented at your local u-haul, storage units, or home improvement store. Stair-Climbing Cart & Hand Truck: If you are moving a heavy appliance up or down a set of stairs, then you should absolutely consider using a hand-truck / dolly designed for stairs. These devices are so helpful. They make climbing up or down stairs with your refrigerator (or a piano) seem like no problem. And, most importantly, they’ll help keep you safe. These go by many names, but can be found pretty much anywhere that sells dolly’s. (Here’s a few options on Amazon.) 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. Air Sled: 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. Upgrade Your Appliances Whether you’re looking to upgrade your fridge or a dishwasher, we have the one you’re looking for. Shop Here Clean the Floors (Under the Appliance) 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. It’s probably been awhile since you have, and there’s no sense in putting a new appliance into a spot that is dirty. Sweep & Mop: Grab your broom and sweep up all the dust, dirt and grime that has gathered. Then, mop the area and let it dry. If you have a steam cleaner, this would be even better! Vacuum: 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. Enlist Help 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 to mention maneuvering them around corners. You might also want to consider hiring a professional mover if you can’t find help or you’re 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 local 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. Not to mention less of a hassle. Final Thoughts Moving your washers, dryers, ovens, refrigerators, and other large appliances can be a daunting job. However, if done carefully and thoughtfully, it 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.