Graebel Van Lines was first to offer standard building protection nationwide. Click here for more about Graebel Commercial Workplace Services.

“Asking movers on your bid list how they plan to protect floors, walls, doors, door jambs, and elevators will help differentiate potential service providers,” 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 your building’s most vulnerable areas on move day. Ask about the route items in transit will travel. Material for floors should guard 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, which comes in big rolls.

“Make sure your mover doesn’t prop up the cardboard by taping it directly to walls,” cautions 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. To reduce the chances of such blemishes, expect your mover to protect doorjambs with quilted pads or plastic covers that run the length of the jambs. IOMI®-training service providers shield glass entrance doors, office doors, and elevator lobby jambs with Mat-A-Doors®, a device of heavy-duty vinyl, plastic, and high density foam that repels blunt force.

Companies with green initiative programs can appreciate the positive environmental effect. Mat-A-Doors® door pads and elevator mats are reusable and since their continued use causes no long-term harm to the planet, it receives high marks for sustainability.

“Using Mat-A-Doors® means less cardboard and tape needed to hold it in place winds up in the dumpster after the move. And since Mat-A-Doors® do not require tape, there’s no sticky residue left behind,” said Katz. “Graebel Van Lines, an IOMI® Certified Office Mover®, is the only company to offer Mat-A-Door® protection nationwide.”

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

“More and more residential movers are jumping into office moving just to survive. They can’t protect your building because they have no experience, equipment, or training. The damage left behind will be a painful reminder if they won the job because of the lowest bid.”

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

Moving is stressful enough without the ordeal of dealing with damage to building surfaces left behind by your mover. Accidental damage, a marred appearance, and repair costs can be avoided by hiring a moving company trained in best-practice methods for protecting your building.