Pad Marks as Transit Damage
Moving transit damage includes pad marks from packing blankets, sometimes from vibration and others from preexisting poor finish condition.
For a move, the typical dining table top is removed from its legs, is wrapped in packing blankets, is placed in the moving van upside down to protect its good face, and it is then further top loaded with cartons and other items that add weight to the pressure on the good face.
Pad marks appear as an imprinting of the fabric of the packing blankets into the finish and look like small disruptions of the finish. While usually found on dining tables, pad marks could also be found on the top of smaller tables, chests and desks.
When found after a move they are usually on a surface that has a heavy build-up of wax or polish, or on a usually varnish finish that is chemically deteriorated from age and soft. They more likely show on any smooth grain or paste filled and/or high gloss sheen than on a coarser grained wood or lower sheen finish.
- For these reasons claim policies of many moving companies do not cover such damages under the exclusion that pad marks are a result of a pre-existing condition waiting to happen as an inherent vice.
- On the same basis the claimant usually feels that such damages should be covered because the move was during the summer and the van sat out in 100-degree temperatures or the storage facility was not as “air temperature controlled” as promised. It is also on this basis that claim policies do not usually covered pad marks because they can not be held liable for climatic conditions of heat, cold or humidity unless they have shown negligence.
Based on the above it would typically be expected that the table is older, likely has its original varnish finish, has routinely been polished or waxed with a build-up and was moved during heat of the summer.
If pad marks as transit damage are covered by the claim policies of the moving company involved, there is a series of steps that can be tried toward their removal.
- Clean the table top surface with special solvents and soft non-abrasive rags to remove any build-up of polish, wax and other household ventilation contaminates. Observe if the pad marks lessen or go away.
- Apply a coat of top quality furniture polish to a test area. Observe if the pad marks lessen or go away. If they lessen, apply a full coat of polish to cosmetically treat the minor disruptions in the finish and make it look fine.
- If the pad marks remain they are in the finish itself. The finish must be rubbed with fine abrasives to cut down through the pad marks and in the process the sheen is lessened. The total table top and leaves must be done even though the leaves might not demonstrate any pad marks.
- Once the pad marks are gone, then the sheen or shine level of the tabletop must be re-established using fine abrasives and polishing compounds to bring the sheen back up to the original level. This frequently will result in the same sheen level as originally found, but the sheen will appear more hand rubbed than sprayed.
- The claimant must have the sheen level adjustment and results clearly explained before any part of the process is started.
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