Why You Should Shrink Wrap Your Construction Site

Shrink Wrap and Construction is a Great Fit—Drum-Tight, Even!

Other people go to the same workplace every day—they sit at the same desk, in the same office, day after day and year after year. But in construction, your workplace is always changing. You go to one site for one project, and then when that’s done your workplace moves somewhere else.

What this means is that your work space is always unfinished and unenclosed—and if the weather gets bad, you might not be able to do what you need to do.

In those situations, you need to insulate your site somehow to keep the elements from damaging your work. And when it comes to that, there’s no better solution than industrial shrink wrap.

Shrink wrap is superior to your traditional scaffold sheeting not only at insulating your work area from the weather, but also at keeping in any waste or hazardous materials that you don’t want escaping the site.

Here’s more about why shrink wrap may be the insulation solution your construction site needs.

Shrink Wrap for Weather Protection

Construction projects are one big time crunch—get the project done on time and get it done under budget. Most contractors plan construction out to the day, with set completion deadlines. But there’s always that unpredictable variable to consider: what if the weather turns bad and work has to stop?

If the weather turns too bad, it can become too dangerous or unrealistic to continue work. For example, masonry material including cement doesn’t set as well once it’s below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so cold weather can make masonry work difficult to complete. But if you stop work, you lose time and money.

That’s why a lot of projects start to get a lot more frantic later in the year—when winter comes, you’ll have to suspend construction for the season. That’s months of inactivity where there’s no completed structure producing any value.

Not only that, but the structure that’s already in place has to withstand the elements unprotected during that time, which could set you back even further if there’s damage. In fact, water damage is the second biggest cause of loss during construction.

Luckily, there’s a solution that can help you avoid these issues—wrapping your construction site in a protective layer to insulate it from the elements.

When you do this though, you have a couple of options. The one you’re probably more familiar with is traditional scaffold sheeting. These tarps are attached to a scaffolding structure with elastic bungee cables and then overlapped and tied together.

While that does provide some protection from the elements, it isn’t the most effective way to do the job. It may seem like a tight fit at first, but high winds can stretch the bungee cords over time so they lose their elasticity. Then the sheeting is loose and flaps around in the wind, potentially leading to the cables detaching or the tarp blowing away altogether.

Shrink wrap avoids these potential issues and does the job better.

Rather than being attached with bungee cords, shrink wrap is heat sealed or “welded” at the seams with a heat gun. Then heat is applied across the entire surface, giving it a “drum tight” seal. This not only means there are no bungees to get pulled out but also means that the wind won’t be rippling and pulling on the shrink wrap and making it flap around and get damaged or blown away.

The security of shrink wrap isn’t the only advantage, though. The improved tightness of the seal and the tougher, more weather-resistant material of shrink wrap also offers better insulation and protects better against the elements.

Because shrink wrap resists all the elements which otherwise might interfere with your work space like wind, rain, sleet, snow, you can continue work and not worry about rain and snow on your equipment.

Weather and season changes are also recognized as a prominent factor in lost profits not only through delays but also how it affects worker productivity, increasing absenteeism and turnover. Shrink wrap insulates the workplace from the outside elements and so results in far better conditions for your workers, keeping their productivity high.

On top of that, you also save on heating costs, as the shrink wrap will keep heat from escaping the work area.

Shrink Wrap Contains Dust and Waste

Heat isn’t the only thing that shrink wrap can keep contained in a construction site, though. It can also hold in all of the dust or other contaminants that you don’t want escaping the site.

For example, when large bridges need shot blasting and re-painting, it creates a lot of hazardous blast residue. If not properly contained, this can leak into the surrounding area, not only damaging the environment but also incurring you fines related to environmental contamination.

This is just one example, and for these sorts of projects, shrink wrap is important for containing those materials which otherwise might pose a health hazard.

We know that shrink wrap can handle this just by looking at other applications where its proven to have the qualities desirable for doing this job. Take the energy sector, for one: when power plants, whether nuclear or coal, decommission equipment full of contaminants that need to be contained, they often shrink wrap it before transport.

It works because of the same factors that keep the elements out. The seamless seal with the edges welded together, and the tight fit created when heat is applied, together create an impenetrable barrier for any waste created while you work.

Erecting Shrink Wrap at Your Site

There are plenty of ways to put up shrink wrap at your construction site.

If you already have scaffolding in place, that can be used as the support structure for the shrink wrap. If not, shrink wrap can be used with temporary walls in partially-completed buildings. Or, if you have the exterior completed and are only working on the interior, you can even shrink wrap an entire building, to create a totally enclosed workplace.

If your interest is piqued and you think shrink wrap might be right for your project, you need experts to get the job done right—otherwise, the shrink wrap could fail. That’s why you should contract certified experts. We at Unlimited Shrinkwrap have been applying shrink wrap in McHenry, IL and the greater Chicago area for years, and have tackled projects large and small.

Give us a call at 1-815-759-8944, and we can discuss whether shrink wrap fits your needs as well as it’ll fit to your site.