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February 28, 2009

Building damage can wreck an office move


by Kay Borden

Moving is disruptive enough without damage to building surfaces left behind by your tenant's mover. Accidental damage, a marred appearance, and repair costs can be avoided by recommending a moving company trained in best-practice methods for protecting your building.

“Ask tenants to ask movers on their bid list how they plan to protect floors, walls, doors, door jambs, and elevators. It will help differentiate potential service providers while making tenants aware of the problems building managers often face after a move,” said Ed Katz, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®), which has developed techniques to minimize the risk of damage to buildings and trains moving companies in these best practices.

According to Katz, IOMI® Certified Office Movers® and IOMI® Certified Project Managers® learn techniques in extensive building protection,
and suggests that companies planning a move pay particular attention to how potential movers plan to protect vulnerable areas on move day.

Floors along the route items will travel should be guarded against stains and torn carpet caused by wheels on moving equipment. To prevent accidental gouges, main hallway walls need to be covered with lightweight, rippled or fluted cardboard.

“Caution tenants to make sure their mover doesn’t prop up the cardboard by taping it directly to walls,” said Katz. “When pulled off, even the popular masking tape used by painters can damage wall coverings or plasterboard.”

Furniture often accidentally comes in contact with doors or door jambs, causing damage to both. Tenants should expect their mover to protect doorjambs with quilted pads or plastic covers that run the length of the jambs. IOMI®-trained movers shield glass entrance doors, office doors, and elevator lobby jambs with Mat-A-Doors®, an elevator pad of heavy-duty vinyl, plastic, and high density foam that repels blunt force.

Since Mat-A-Door® elevator pads are reusable and continued use causes no long-term harm to the planet, tenants with green initiative programs will appreciate the positive environmental effect.
The device also receives high marks for sustainable building operation. Mat-A-Doors® qualify as best-practice preventative maintenance equipment credit toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building certification.

Protecting the building is an essential role of the mover your tenants hire, and Katz warns that current economic pressures make screening moving companies even more important.

“More and more residential movers are jumping into office moving just to survive. They can’t protect buildings because they have no experience, equipment, or training," said Katz. "
The damage left behind will be a painful reminder.”


Kay Borden kay@franklin-sarrett.com is a freelance business writer and co-author of Move Your Business (Without Becoming A Moving Target).