An Australian firm’s plastic shrink wrap film that protects storm-damaged buildings is soon to expand its business overseas.
‘Stormseal’ is made by Stormseal Industries of Sydney, Australia and uses a polyethylene film to cover damaged roofs, walls and other objects before they are heat shrunk to protect it from further damage from the elements before permanent repairs are made.
The shrink wrap film can be in place for up to one year and needs no further adjustment or upkeep during its use, in comparison to the traditional method of using tarpaulins as cover which needs re-securing and replacement after just a couple of months.
It’s already being used by one of Australia’s largest insurance companies as a viable way to protect their customers’ property from further damage until their inspectors and repair staff can get on to the scene. They are now negotiating with American insurance companies to release the product to the American market, where they experience a wide range of weather such as blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.
Stormseal Industries managing director Matthew Lennox came up with the idea to shrink wrap damaged property after hail storms hit Sydney, with some hailstones reaching the size of tennis balls and causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage. A former insurance repair contractor, Lennox was unable to keep up with the demand during this time as he ran out of tarpaulin and was having to revisit many sites after wind dislodged the tarpaulins or water seeped through, saying:
“It was running up costs and sometimes causing as much damage as the initial storm, I knew there had to be a better, more efficient and cost-effective way.”
He first began looking into suitable resins and, with the help of a polymer expert, eventually settled on a method similar to how food manufacturers wrap and seal their products.
Lennox said “Stormseal shrink wrap film is faster, cheaper and easier to install than tarps. The LDPE sheets are cut and tailored at the worksite and heat cured to increase strength. They fit snugly to the structure without damaging underlying materials.”
The 16.5-foot-wide wrap is pulled like household cling wrap from a metal box on a truck’s rear platform and installed by two operators with each vehicle carrying a box containing 34,500 square feet of product, heat sealing guns and ladders.
Mr Lennox added why he thinks his shrink wrap film method of protecting buildings is working, adding:
“Insurers like it because it eliminates … costs like additional damage when rain leaks through and sending people out to re-secure tarps.
Homeowners like it too because it is drum-tight and lasts up to 12 months. People can stay in their homes while they wait for repairs, rather than look for temporary accommodation.”
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