Most people are preoccupied with many things when moving to a new country. Visas, housing, schooling, what to leave, what to take, understanding a new culture or a new language are just a few things on the list.
Mold and mildew prevention usually isn’t one of them. But it should be.
Household items are transported across the sea in containers, a moisture-rich environment. The temperature inside the shipping container (really just a metal can) is often much warmer than it is outside. Temperature and humidity levels can be unpredictable and can contribute to creating an environment for mold to grow. Two key items to keep in mind:
- Make sure items are clean and dry
- Check items for signs of mold or mildew beforehand; don’t ship damaged items
- Air out items kept in moist areas, like basements and bathrooms, beforehand
- Make sure dish and clothes washers, fridges and freezers are completely clean, dry and at room temperature before packing
- Do not dry clean area rugs less than 2 weeks prior to packing
- Do not clean upholstered items at least 1 month before packing
- Wash and thoroughly dry all clothing before packing
- Make sure garden furniture is clean and dry
- Use an experienced international moving company to pack your items
- Experienced international moving companies use paper blankets. Cardboard and paper will naturally pull moisture away from items, so the more layers, the better. Paper blankets, cardboard boxes and paper also help absorb the moisture in the air; they not only protect fragile items from breakage but from mold and mildew as well.
- Companies that use only corrugated cardboard sheets only probably do not move many families internationally.
In addition to the above precautions, it is highly recommended that you purchase mold and mildew protection. Even if you are very careful, if the conditions are right, mold and mildew will grow. Most international moving companies offer this coverage as an addition to standard transit protection.