21 Jul 3 Tips To Minimise Your Scaffold Shrink Wrapping Cost
Helping scaffolders and contractors minimise scaffold shrink wrapping cost is something I work to achieve through the improvement of training and education resources which we freely publish for anyone to use (whether a customer of ours or not). This article is written for those scaffolders and contractors who buy scaffold shrink wrap materials to install using your own ‘in house’ labour force (as opposed to sub contracting the work to a specialist shrink wrap installation company).
Installing Shrink Wrapping for Scaffolding – How To Reduce Cost
Installing traditional style scaffold sheeting such as Monarflex is pretty straightforward. As every roll is typically supplied to fit a single lift of scaffolding and simply overlaps the sheeting installed on the lifts above and below, the installer simply works around the scaffolding, bungee tying the sheeting to the scaffolding until the entire area is covered.
The benefit (and sometimes the challenge) of using a shrink to fit sheeting for scaffolding is that it can be installed in a variety of ways depending on what is required by the project. For example, it can be installed in different drop lengths, it can be fitted vertically or horizontally or even incorporating a temporary roof. This means that planning and preparation is really important to complete a shrink wrap sheeting job efficiently and with the minimum of cost.
One of the most important way to reduce the cost of scaffold shrink wrapping is to plan ahead to get the most coverage out of every roll of shrink wrap with the minimum of off cuts.
The first stage of planning the shrink wrap installation takes place in the office. Ideally you will be able to look at the scaffold drawings and calculate the total are of sheeting required. Although a 7m x 15m roll of shrink wrap will cover a theoretical 105 square metres we normally advise that you divide the area to be shrink wrapped by 90 square meters, to allow for overlaps and joins, in order to calculate the total number of rolls that you are going to need.
Recently I worked alongside one of our installation team supervisors, Adam. We were encapsulating a small scaffolding around a large yacht to enable temperature and dust control during the painting of the yacht’s hull. I was impressed with how Adam was constantly planning ahead in order to get the most from each and every roll of shrink wrap. The old adage measure twice and cut once seems to apply to scaffold shrink wrapping.
Particularly when encapsulating smaller areas of scaffolding, perhaps just 1-2 lifts, rather than hang the entire roll of shrink wrap and then trim off the excess, sometimes it was much easier to unroll the scaffold sheeting at ground level, measure, cut and carry the sections of sheeting ready cut into position. Where the scaffolding was an awkward shape, Adam completed the encapsulation of the main scaffolding and then filled any ‘gaps’ with offcuts from elsewhere. The result was that despite the entire area of scaffolding being nearly 500 square metres, the job required just 5 rolls of shrink wrap with virtually zero waste.
Use shrink wrap materials efficiently
Kris Martin, Installation Manager for Rhino shrink wrap adds;
“It might seem like a trivial thing but just taking one roll of shrink wrap patch tape at a time from a box and not taking another can save significant costs on larger jobs. I have seen it many times where installers keep on taking a roll, putting it down and taking another and before you know it, a whole box has been used. In the same way, using a gas bottle until it is completely empty sounds like a small thing but it is surprising how many installers don’t do this and the costs do mount up over time.”
Don’t tape every weld
I have explored the question of taping welds previously. However, by using a decent quality shrink wrap film you should not have to tape any welds (apart from when shrink wrapping a temporary roof).
Choose the right weather conditions
If you try and attempt hanging and shrinking sheet in wet & windy weather conditions you can and up wasting sheet. For example, if you leave a sheet hanging and it has not been heat shrunk ‘drum tight’ it might flap and chafe all night. When you come to weld / join it to another sheet in the morning, it may be damaged beyond practical use.
In final analysis reducing the costs of scaffold shrink wrapping comes down to using a good quality shrink wrap film and having the correct shrink wrap training. It is particularly important that when you get training for the installation of shrink wrap sheeting it is not just for the basic skills, but that the training also includes some training / support on a live job so that your team learn how to deal with real life problems. In the last year, we have sent up to two of our installation team supervisors to work alongside customer teams on their first job and the results have been much better than letting them go it alone immediately.
Once again, I hope you found this article useful and if you did, please share it! If you need any help or advice connected with scaffold shrink wrapping, call me or my team on 01477 532222 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.