Residential Shrink Wrap for Winter

Why Is Residential Shrink Wrap Especially Important in Winter?

Fall is here and that means it’s time to start preparing for the harsh weather conditions that will soon be upon us. Don’t allow your patio furniture to rust and wear down. Unlimited Shrinkwrap can help you protect your investments and keep your outdoor furniture and many other pieces of outdoor equipment looking as fresh as the year before with residential shrink wrap.

Shrink wrap can protect against things such as UV light, wind, rain, snow, ice, and animals. Zippered doors are also available in case you may require inside access during the off season. From smaller objects like tables and chairs to bigger items like gazebos and greenhouses, we have you covered!

Residential shrink wrap can help preserve the quality of many things on your property. Here are a few examples.

Valuable Vehicles

Infographic illustrating uses for residential shrink wrap.
Click for full size infographic.
  • Automobiles – Perhaps you have a car that holds great value to you. Like a classic old Chevy. These cars are great to take out for a spin when the weather is right but you certainly wouldn’t use it in harsh conditions, would you? Many people like to throw a simple tarp cover over it and call it a day. But this certainly doesn’t give your prized possession the total protection that it needs. Shrink wrap will protect your Chevy from anything it may encounter during the holiday months.
  • BoatsBoats have it the worst when it comes to vehicles during the winter. They are certainly not going to fit in the garage. They’ll remain exposed to the elements. It is especially important to prepare and shrink wrap your boat before winter. Otherwise you will be paying for it once spring arrives.
  • Motorcycles – Similarly to cars, motorcycles are often not given the proper protection during the winter and it can cause issues later down the road. Residential shrink wrap will give you the ultimate protection for your bike.

Patio Furniture

  • Tables and Chairs – Leave them out on the porch, or in the yard, and tables and chairs will end up buried in the snow. This will cause external rusting and an overall damaged appearance. Save yourself the money of having to purchase a new table set every spring and think about our residential shrink wrap service.
  • GazebosIf anything can really make the yard look top notch, it’s a gazebo. Especially when all of the plants are in full bloom. But what about during the winter? It is too big to bring inside and taking it apart is quite the hassle. Shrink wrap is the perfect solution to preserving the quality and keep it as fresh as new. If it is made of wood it will most likely wear down and even become warped due to the snow. Don’t forget to ask for the zipper allowing you access throughout the winter.

Greenhouses

Shrink wrap tightened around the outside of the greenhouse will reduce heat loss and cut heating costs down by about 15% to 20%. Not to mention you will better protect any delicate plants held within. You can then remove and recycle the shrink wrap when spring arrives.

Outdoor Equipment

  • Trampolines – Trampolines are held together by metal springs. Those springs corrode when exposed to the freezing and wet conditions of winter. Rust will weaken the springs and eventually cause it to snap. And given the nature of a trampoline, it would be extremely dangerous if anyone should want to jump on it when the weather warms up.
  • Swimming PoolsPools are something you probably cover every winter. Unfortunately many basic pool covers can’t handle the strong wind that we tend to get during the winter season. Shrink wrap is the solution for this as it is shrunk to fit the pool tightly without any wear and tear.

Unlimited Shrinkwrap’s residential shrink wrap offers weatherized covers for all of your personal assets to be stored outside or in bad weather conditions. We believe that each asset is important no matter how big or small. Call Unlimited Shrinkwrap today to learn more about our residential shrink wrap in McHenry, IL and the greater Chicago area!

This post was originally published in January 2017, and has been updated for thoroughness and accuracy.

Why You Should Consider Shrink Wrapping Your Patio Furniture

Shrink Wrapping Patio Furniture Will Protect It From Snow, Pests, and More

Photo of patio furniture.
Are you shrink wrapping your patio furniture to keep it in good shape?

When the weather’s warm, we love to spend time relaxing outside on our patio furniture. You can just sit outside, read a book, enjoy the breeze, and have a bonfire when it starts to get dark. However, if you invested in a nice arrangement of patio furniture, you should take steps to protect that investment. Have you considered shrink wrapping your patio furniture when it’s not in use?

Shrink wrapping patio furniture is the most effective way to store your patio furniture during winter, moves, and other times when you’re not using it. Here’s a breakdown of why you might want to shrink wrap your outdoor furniture, and how it’s done.

How Does Shrink Wrapping Patio Furniture Protect It?

There are two primary times when you should consider using shrink wrap on your patio furniture: winter and moving. The elements can degrade the condition of your furniture in both these scenarios. Shrink wrap will seal those elements out. That’ll protect the quality of your tables, chairs, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, and other outdoor furniture.

Shrink Wrapping Outdoor Furniture for Winter

Photo of outdoor furniture covered in snow, which can be prevented with shrink wrapping.
All that snow on your furniture will deteriorate the wood. Prevent that by shrink wrapping it!

Winter brings all sorts of weather conditions that can damage unprotected furniture. Snow, hail, and freezing rain can all collect on your furniture, and then melt. The weight, moisture, and extreme temperature changes from these weather conditions can be damaging to your patio furniture.

This is especially true if your outdoor furniture contains fabric upholstery, cushions, pillows, and other soft materials. However, it also applies to wicker, plastic, wood, and metal. The moisture, temperature changes, and dirt from snowfall, melting ice, etc. will warp those materials.

Wind is also an issue. If left outside, a particularly bad snowstorm can knock your furniture over and damage it.

So, what do you do?

Typically, homeowners will place their outdoor furniture into storage, put it in a shed or garage, or throw a tarp over it. Shrink wrapping it instead is superior to all three of those options, though.

You won’t have to pay for long-term storage and transport. You won’t have the furniture inconveniently taking up space in your garage or basement. Shrink wrap even protects your furniture better than a tarp.

Shrink wrapping your patio furniture will provide a thick layer of durable material that keeps out the wind, rain, snow, sleet, and whatever other elements come your way. With shrink wrap, you can leave your furniture shrink wrapped on your patio or deck, and not have to worry about it again until spring. Come spring, you just cut away the wrapping material and enjoy your furniture in the same condition it was before!

Shrink Wrapping Outdoor Furniture for Storage

Photo of deck furniture.
Your patio furniture looks clean and comfy. Don’t let it get covered in spider webs and chewed up by mice while in storage.

There are times when you have to place some of your possessions into storage. Maybe you’re moving, or maybe you’re doing home renovations. Whatever the case, you want your things to be safe and secure until you’re ready to use them again.

When you place furniture into long-term storage, it’s vulnerable to moisture, pests, dust, and more. To keep your patio furniture safe while it’s in storage, why not shrink wrap it?

You never know how the conditions in the storage facility may fluctuate while you’re away. The air can get dusty or humid, and bugs or rodents could get in. Those elements can ruin fabric and cause wood to warp, swell, crack, or even rot.

The last thing you want is to open up your storage unit and find your couch or chairs covered in bedbugs, gnaw marks, spider eggs, or webs. You also don’t want your wood furniture and seat cushions to get chewed up by termites or mice.

Shrink wrapping your outdoor furniture will prevent that and preserve its condition. Shrink wrapping your patio furniture while in storage will seal out mice, termites, moisture, dust, and whatever else your furniture might come into contact with.

That way, your furniture will be clean and ready to use once you bring it out of storage.

How Do You Shrink Wrap Patio Furniture?

Photo of deck furniture covered in shrink wrapping material.
Unlimited Shrinkwrap applied shrink wrap to this deck furniture. Now it’s safe to leave it outdoors in most weather conditions.

Shrink wrapping outdoor furniture is mostly the same as shrink wrapping anything else. As with any shrink wrap operations, there’s some prep work that needs to be done.

  1. First, make sure there’s plenty of room to move around the furniture.
  2. Next, you want to assemble your furniture into a cluster. If your patio furniture consists of a table and chairs, you can drape a layer of shrink wrap material over the table. Then, stack the chairs onto the table upside-down. This will make it easier to wrap as one unit, while preventing the furniture from rubbing together and creating scratches.
  3. The pieces should then be tied together, and any sharp corners or edges covered in padding. This will keep the contents secure and prevent corners from piercing the wrap.
  4. Roll the shrink wrap material off of the rack directly over the furniture. It’s important to avoid letting the material touch the ground so it doesn’t pick up dirt and debris.
  5. Cut off the excess material at the corners so that seams line up. These corners can then be taped to hold them in place.
  6. Next, secure the base with a perimeter band, tightened with a buckle and strap tensioning tool.
  7. We then weld the base and seams with the heat gun we use for shrink wrapping.
  8. Once the seams are sealed, we shrink the remaining material.
  9. Finally, we install a vent to maintain consistent air quality inside the shrink wrap, and patch up any holes that occurred.

Sounds complicated? In that case, let the professionals make it easier for you! Unlimited Shrinkwrap has performed numerous residential shrink wrapping operations over the years. Check out our portfolio to see examples of professional shrink wrapping in McHenry, IL and the greater Chicago area!

Do I Need PVC, Polyolefin, or Polyethylene Shrink Film?

Learn Which Shrink Film Is Right for the Job

Photo of raw meat packaged in polyolefin shrink film.
Is food-safe polyolefin the shrink film you need?

With any project, you need the right tools for the job. With shrink wrap, you need the right shrink film for what you’re trying to accomplish. There are three main types of plastic that are used as shrink wrap material: PVC, polyolefin, and polyethylene. So, which one is the right fit for your project?

Let’s explore the differences between PVC, polyolefin, and polyethylene for shrink wrap.

PVC

This was once the most commonly used shrink film. It has applications in packaging for CDs/DVDs, boxes for software and video games, and other non-edible objects.

PVC is more tear-resistant than polyolefin, but sensitive to temperature changes. Cold makes it brittle and heat makes it wrinkle. This makes it less useful for preserving items that may face those conditions.

It also releases harmful fumes during sealing and heating. As a result, using PVC shrink wrap requires ventilation and other precautions during application and disposal.

Polyolefin

An infographic illustrating the different types of shrink film.
Click for full-size infographic.

This shrink film is considered a premium replacement for PVC. It’s often used to bundle consumer products like toys, candies, foods, games, tissue boxes, and other retail items. That’s because it’s great for consumer products, due to its glossy high-clarity appearance, low cost, and versatility. It’s also FDA-approved for contact with food.

Polyolefin shrink wrap is more expensive than PVC, but more puncture-resistant and temperature-resistant. This makes it better for binding multiple items.

Polyethylene

This heavier-duty shrink film is used for larger commercial items like beverage multipacks, as well as for industrial applications. Whereas PVC and polyolefin are limited to thicknesses around 100-gauge, polyethylene comes in up to 1200-gauge. This allows it to be used for larger-scale projects like shrink wrap for boats.

Polyethylene shrink wrap is more expensive than PVC or polyolefin, but thicker, tougher, and more stretchable. This is why it’s used in those heavy-duty industrial shrink wrap jobs. However, polyethylene is also harder to shrink out completely and requires more cooling space. It should come as no surprise that the shrink film used for larger industrial-scale projects requires more skill and space to apply.

This is also the only one of these three types of shrink wrap that’s recyclable. So, if you’re trying to be environmentally conscious, this may be an option worth looking into.

Our Shrink Film

So, what kind of shrink film does Unlimited Shrinkwrap use for our projects?

We use 100% virgin resin shrink wrap with maximum UV inhibitors. This high-quality polyethylene shrink wrap is the best-suited to those projects where you need professional help, such as shrink wrapping your boat, car, plane, or other large heavy objects.

Installing thick polyethylene shrink film for a large project isn’t easy, and if it isn’t done right then there can be fire hazards or the seal could be broken. That’s why you want someone experienced to do it for you. For expert application of high-quality shrink film in McHenry, IL and the Chicago area, call Unlimited Shrinkwrap today!

Unlimited Shrinkwrap’s Definitive Boat Shrink Wrap Guide

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Boat Shrink Wrap

Photo of a row of boats with boat shrink wrap on them.
Boat shrink wrap can be applied to any size or shape of boat.

If you own a boat, you know it’s an investment. You do whatever you can to prevent buckling, scratches, and other damage, to avoid having to shell out for repairs. One of the best ways to keep out the elements and preserve your vessel is with boat shrink wrap.

Unlimited Shrinkwrap provides shrink wrap services for a wide variety of items, including many large machines and vehicles. Since we’re located on the Chain O’Lakes, our most frequent type of project is boat shrink wrap. We wrap all kinds of boats, from personal watercrafts, to private yachts, to commercial vessels.

Boat shrink wrap involves covering the entire boat with shrink film, then applying heat to create a drum-tight seal that keeps it safe the elements. Let’s go into further detail about why boat shrink wrap is beneficial, when it’s appropriate, and how it’s applied and removed.

What Does Shrink Wrap Protect My Boat From?

Shrink wrap effectively shields your boat from a range of different elements. Normally, that includes things like sunlight, moisture, dust, dirt, rain, and pests. Winter creates additional conditions that can degrade the condition of your boat, especially here in the Midwest.

A graphic showing the elements that boat shrink wrap protects against.
Boat shrink wrap protects your vessel from sun, rain, snow, and pests.

A properly shrink wrapped boat will be protected against those conditions far better and last significantly longer than a boat that’s uncovered or just covered with a tarp or blanket. When your boat is sealed tight in a thick and durable layer of shrink wrap, you won’t have to worry about tears and openings letting in the elements.

Let’s take a closer look at some of those elements that boat shrink wrap keeps out.

Heavy Rain, Flooding, and Blizzards

When blizzards sweep through in the winter, they deposit snow on everything in sight—including your boat. When spring comes, this snow melts and seeps into your boat, creating a foul mildew smell. More importantly, it can damage your electrical systems, requiring you to spend money on repairs. At other times of year, heavy rains can cause similar problems with flooding and water damage.

Boat shrink wrap provides a waterproof and airtight seal that will keep out all precipitation. This way, your boat stays clean and dry inside year-round.

Mold

Since your boat has so much contact with water, it can easily trap moisture. When that happens, there’s a good chance that you might uncover it in the spring only to find it full of mold. Not only does this mold look and smell unpleasant, but it can also release toxic spores. Breathing in those spores can result in throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, stuffy nose, eye irritation, or skin irritation. People who are allergic or more sensitive to the spores can even develop infections or lung disease.

Boat shrink wrap minimizes those health risks by establishing a waterproof and airtight seal that keeps out moisture and prevents mold from forming.

Photo of a boat with boat shrink wrap on it.
Unlimited Shrinkwrap wrapped this boat and can wrap yours, too!

Find more information about how mold damages your boat and how shrink wrap prevents that here.

Wind, Dust, Debris, and Pests

Strong winds will blow dust, dirt, debris, and small pests in from neighboring areas. The last thing you want is to climb into your boat only to discover it full of freshly-hatched spiders, mites, centipedes, or some other nuisance. Even worse is the possibility of rats and other rodents taking shelter in your boat and forming nests in any openings or interior spaces they can reach.

Covering your boat in shrink wrap is a surefire way to keep out dust, dirt, debris, bugs, and rodents. The extra-thick industrial-grade shrink wrap material we use is extremely tough, and can withstand those pests trying to get through.

For more about the elements shrink wrap shields your boat from, see this infographic we made.

When Should I Shrink Wrap My Boat?

So, boat shrink wrap certainly provides a valuable degree of protection for the investment you’ve made in your boat. However, you can’t just keep your boat shrink wrapped all year when you’re trying to use it. When is it a good idea to shrink wrap your boat?

There are two main reasons you might want to apply boat shrink wrap: transporting your boat, and storing it for winter.

Transportation

If you’re putting your boat on a trailer and driving it to a storage unit, or even driving it to warmer waters for the winter, you want it to get there safe and sound. However, traveling across the country on an open trailer speeding down the highway isn’t the best of conditions for your boat. Wind and debris can cause you to lose or break pieces, and places with damp, salty air can cause corrosion if you don’t prepare.

Shrink wrapping your boat for transport will help ensure that your boat reaches its destination in the same condition it was in when you first left.

Winter

If you don’t properly winterize your boat, then come spring you may discover leaks, corrosion, fuel degradation, and damage to the piping and interior. These issues are typically not covered by your insurance policy because they’re considered a result of “lack of maintenance.”

Photo of a boat with shrink wrap on it in winter.
The support structure helps the shrink wrap create a contoured surface for snow to slide off.

To avoid those problems, you need to winterize your boat and make sure it’s protected from the effects of cold weather. That means changing the filter and water separator, filling and stabilizing your fuel tank, flushing and cleaning your outboard engine, holding tank, and bilges, and clearing valuables and fire extinguishers out of your interior.

After that, most boat owners typically throw a tarp over their boat and store it in an expensive storage facility. Instead, we recommend shrink wrap as a superior way to protect your boat. That way, you can even keep the vessel on your property all winter. Boat shrink wrap provides maximum protection all winter long while saving you money and labor getting your boat in and out of storage.

If you’re still considering putting your boat into storage, check out our guide to boat storage facilities and why you should still shrink wrap.

How Do I Shrink Wrap My Boat?

Every shrink wrap project is a bit different, depending on the dimensions of the boat and the space you’re working in. Boat shrink wrap can be applied indoors or outdoors, and typically requires a roll of shrink film, a heat gun, and posts for preparing a support structure, as well as a fire extinguisher in case of emergency.

A graphic showing safety precautions you should take while applying boat shrink wrap.
When applying boat shrink wrap, always keep a fire extinguisher on hand and never wrap outdoors in winds above 10mph.

Here are the basic steps to shrink wrapping a boat:

  • Follow Safety Precautions: Before you start shrink wrapping, you should make sure your boat doesn’t have a type of paint like IMRON or AWLGRIP which can potentially be damaged by the process. You should also make sure to keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and never shrink wrap in winds faster than 10mph, in case of burning material getting blown downwind.
  • Prepare a Support Structure: Depending on the shape of your boat, you’ll need to design and create a substructure to hold up the shrink wrap. Place support posts on the deck, then thread straps through the top caps. The straps should extend from the front to the back, with additional side straps attaching to the side rails or cleats. Once these are tightened, you have a structure for the shrink wrap to sit on top of, contoured to allow rain and snow to slide off.
  • Apply and Heat the Shrink Wrap: Finally, pull the shrink film over the boat directly off of the roll. Tuck add an additional 6” of material up under the perimeter band and trim away excess. Apply heat to weld the perimeter band and pleats, then heat the rest of the material in sweeping motions starting from the bottom.
  • Allow Cooling and Install Vents: Let the material cool down, then tape up any holes you might’ve burned through the wrap. Finally, you can install vents and a zipper if necessary.

This is only a general summary, though. Every boat will require a different design for its support structure, and may require additional measures such as securing with twine. Not only that, but the heat guns and other equipment for a shrink wrap project can be expensive. That’s why we always recommend you get experts to do the job safely and professionally.

Here’s a more detailed guide to the shrink wrap process and why you should enlist an experienced contractor.

How Do I Remove Boat Shrink Wrap?

Once spring arrives, you’ll want to access the boat and get out on the water. Don’t rush this though—there’s plenty you should do before you launch your boat for the first time this spring. First, you’ll have to remove the shrink wrap so you can perform maintenance and get the boat ready.

Luckily, removing shrink wrap is a fairly easy process when you know what you’re doing. Simply pierce the wrap at the stern of the cockpit with a marlin spike, then cut from rear to front with a rigger’s knife. From there, place the rigger’s knife with the unsharpened back against the boat, and cut off one section of wrap at a time. Stay patient and be careful not to nick the boat’s finish.

Once that’s done, you’ll have plenty of other maintenance checks to run through before you can get you boat back on the water. Those include checking your electrical systems, your fuel system, your belts, hoses, and cables, and more.

For a more detailed review of how to remove shrink wrap and dewinterize your boat, read our guide here.

Contact Unlimited Shrinkwrap for All Your Boat Shrink Wrap Needs

If you’re considering using boat shrink wrap this year, it pays to have an experienced contractor on hand to make sure everything goes smoothly. Unlimited Shrinkwrap’s team of professionals has been shrink wrapping boats, cars, and other large objects for many years, and has the training and equipment to get your boat wrapped on-site within a couple hours.

For high-quality boat shrink wrap in McHenry, IL or elsewhere in northern Illinois, give Unlimited Shrinkwrap a call at 815-759-8944. We’ll make the process quick and painless for you, and keep your boat protected so that you can get on the water worry-free come springtime!

How to Use Shrink Wrap to Ship and Store Artwork

Shrink Wrap Will Protect Your Art Pieces from Dust and MoisturePhoto of pictures in frames.

When you go to an art museum or gallery, you know you’re not allowed to touch the paintings. This is because paintings can be delicate. Depending on the types of paint, paper, canvas, etc., the oils on your fingers can degrade and distort the image. That’s why art pieces need to be treated with care when being stored or transported. One solution that many artists, dealers, and galleries use is shrink wrap.

There are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re shrink wrapping an art piece. What materials is the piece made of? What grade of shrink wrap is appropriate? What application method will you use?

Here’s Unlimited Shrinkwrap’s handy guide to using shrink wrap for preserving paintings and prints during storage and shipping.

Why Shrink Wrap a Work of Art?

Before we get into the details of how to shrink wrap a painting, you might be wondering why you would want to do this in the first place. When storing or shipping an art piece, there are three main goals that shrink wrap helps you achieve: preservation, presentation, and efficiency.

  • Preservation—When you’re selling or shipping art, one of the worst things that can happen is the piece arriving damaged. Whether you’re an independent artist or a professional art dealer, it’s important to make sure the art is protected from dirt, moisture, scratches, smudges, and other things that can affect the quality of the image. Otherwise, the collector who receives the work will be upset, and you’ll have a customer service headache to deal with. Shrink wrap is perfect for protecting against those elements, and archival shrink wrap is especially good for long-term storage of high-value pieces.
  • Presentation—How do you put a price tag on art? A lot of it is subjective. That’s why if you’re in the business of selling art, a big part of it is creating perceived value. The way you handle and package your piece says a lot about the value you place on it. It’s almost like a form of performance art in and of itself. Everything you do that physically relates to the piece should communicate to the collector that this is a masterpiece worth paying money for. When it shows up in their gallery or on their doorstep, the packaging should reflect that this is a valuable work of art from a professional, not something pulled from a messy attic. Shrink wrap is perfect for giving your art piece that professional presentation.
  • Efficiency—Of course, those other two considerations have to be weighed against what’s realistic. There are only so many resources available to you for packaging your art. Taking a lot of time or spending a lot of money will eat into your profit margins and might not be practical for the amount of artwork you deal with on a regular basis. Different grades of shrink wrap give you options for how much you want to spend depending on how much protection you need, and shrink wrap makes the process simple and efficient to operate.Photo of an art gallery.

When Wouldn’t I Want to Use Shrink Wrap?

However, as you might imagine, it isn’t always a good idea to apply plastic and heat to an object made of paper and pigment. There are a variety of ways things can go wrong. For example, if you spray a lacquer or polymer coating over an acrylic painting, you have to be careful that the shrink film doesn’t bind to the surface of the piece when your heat gun rehydrates the water-based coating. Before you wrap, make extra sure that the medium isn’t at risk of a chemical reaction that can ruin the piece.

What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?

So, what kind of shrink wrap setup is appropriate for this kind of operation? There are many types of shrink wrap machine on the market. However, many of these are for industrial-scale operations that package hundreds of objects every day. If you’re only packaging a couple thousand pieces a year or less, you need something more hands-on. An industrial shrink wrap machine would unnecessarily cost you thousands of dollars and probably wouldn’t work well for smaller art prints and photographs.

Luckily, you can find a shrink wrap kit at many art supply retailers. A typical kit includes a film dispenser, a sealer, and a heat gun.

How Do I Use a Shrink Wrap Kit?

Here’s a simple step-by-step for using these sorts of kits to shrink wrap a print or painting:

  1. Lay out enough film for both sides as well as a 6” overlap at the edges.
  2. Place the piece and backing face down on the film.
  3. Fold the film over the piece so the edges line up.
  4. Seal the edges with a sealer.
  5. Use your heat gun with gentle sweeping motions to shrink the backside, then the frontside.

What Kind of Shrink Film Should I Use?

For the application of shrink wrapping art pieces, there are generally two grades of film to choose from—archival shrink wrap and economy shrink wrap. This begs the question: which one is right for me? That depends on how you’re using it.

Archival shrink film can sometimes be a good idea for long-term storage and preservation. If you’re dealing paper-based art pieces, such as photographs or paintings, an individual work of art might sit on the rack at a gallery for months or even years before someone buys it. Then, they might keep it in the shrink wrap for years before they decide to bring it out for display. Archival shrink wrap is good for keeping the artwork in good condition for longer, up until that point.

If you’re looking for a cheaper shrink film that only needs to stay on for a short time, like when it’s in transit, then economy shrink wrap is a more economical choice. However, you should still make sure the shrink film is acid-free so that it doesn’t negatively react with the paper and/or dyes, and instruct the buyer to remove it as soon as possible. This grade of shrink wrap can also be useful for non-paper art such as that made from fabrics and beads.

Finally, there are also shrink wrap kits that can use kitchen plastic wrap and plastic bags. Those materials can be useful in other applications, but they contain plasticizers that’ll react negatively with the art piece and damage it. Avoid using them for shrink wrapping art.

Shrink wrap can be valuable for preserving art, but it’s also good for preserving almost anything else, including boats, cars, furniture, industrial components, and more. That kind of heavy-duty shrink wrap job is best left to professionals. The crew at Unlimited Shrinkwrap are the go-to experts for shrink wrap in McHenry, IL and the Chicago area. If you’re looking to preserve any of your belongings from the elements during storage or transit, give Unlimited Shrinkwrap a call at 815-759-8944 today!

How Does Shrink Film Aid in Disaster Relief Efforts?

Shrink Film Plays a Key Role in the Aftermath of Natural DisastersPhoto of shrink film on the roof of a damaged house.

When your home has been devastated by a fire, hurricane, earthquake, or other disaster, you naturally have a lot of things on your mind—should shrink film be one of them?

Shrink film shields your belongings from wind, moisture, and other elements year-round. You can shrink wrap your boat or classic car for winter storage, your furniture and other belongings during a move, or your company’s heavy machinery for transport. However, did you know shrink film also plays an important role in disaster relief efforts?

Here’s a breakdown of the role shrink film plays after a natural disaster.

A Rising Tide of Weather Disasters

You may be lucky enough to never have had to deal with a disaster damaging your home. Unfortunately, though, weather disasters have been hitting more and more frequently over the years—and hitting harder, too. The possibility that our homes might someday be damaged is a reality we have to face head-on and prepare for.

Infographic illustrating the role of shrink film in disaster relief efforts.
Click for full-size infographic.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tracks the annual number of weather events which cause over $1 billion of property damage. Between 1980 and 2016, there was an average of 5.5 of these billion-dollar weather disasters per year. However, between 2012 and 2016 there was an average of 10.6 such disasters per year, and in 2016 alone there were 15.

With the annual number of expensive weather disasters rising, it’s more important than ever to have a plan ready in case one strikes your region. Shrink film is an important part of that plan.

Shrink Film Prevents Further Damage

Shrink wrap is a tough, durable material used to keep out moisture, pests, and more. In the wake of a disaster, it can help protect your property from further damage by the elements. Situations where shrink film can come in handy include:

  • Roof damaged by wind, rain, or hail
  • Windows or doors broken by wind or debris
  • Flooded basement or other areas
  • Structural damage from a storm, quake, or fire

For example, shrink film can keep the elements (and debris) from entering through a crumbled roof or a broken window. It can also be used to contain leaks and flooding or to section off damaged or dangerous areas.

Is Shrink Film the Future of Disaster Relief?

Shrink film’s applications for disaster relief may be growing, too. In 2011, one company donated disaster shelters made from shrink wrap to Japanese tsunami and earthquake victims. The material’s durability and weather-resistance is the perfect fit for such a shelter. Will we see shrink film in more innovative solutions like this in the future?

Hopefully though, we won’t have to use shrink wrap to protect our homes anytime soon. In the meantime, shrink film is still a perfect way to safeguard your boat, car, furniture, or other property from the elements. The experts at Unlimited Shrinkwrap have been working with shrink film in northern Illinois for years, and can handle a variety of projects. Give us a call at 815-759-8944 today and schedule a consultation!

We Provide Shrink Wrap for Boats, Cars, Planes, and More

We Do So Much More than Just Shrink Wrap for Boats—Take a Look!

Photo of Unlimited Shrinkwrap staff shrink wrapping pipeline components.
Unlimited Shrinkwrap wraps pipeline components for an industrial shrink wrap project.

Here in the Chain O’Lakes region, shrink wrap for boats dominates as the most common type of project that we get. However, don’t think that’s the only type of job you can come to us for! Our portfolio is a lot more diverse than you might expect.

Unlimited Shrinkwrap has supplied the community with quality shrink wrap services for over a decade, including shrink wrap for boats, planes, cars, furniture, industrial machinery, and more. Here’s a rundown of many of the types of things we’ll gladly shrink wrap for you!

Vehicle Shrink Wrap

  • By Land, Sea, and Air: We shrink wrap any type of vehicle, including marine shrink wrap for boats, aviation shrink wrap for aircraft, and car shrink wrap for your classic hotrod! Shrink wrap creates a durable seal without extra space, helping protect any vehicle from corrosion, bugs, rats, mold, and more.
  • Winterization: Placing your boat or car into storage for the winter? Shrink wrap will keep it in top condition by blocking out moisture, dust, and pests. Shrink wrap for boats is the best way to ensure a painless start to the boating season the following spring!
  • Transportation Shrink Wrap: Sending a vehicle across the country on the back of a flatbed? Shrink wrap it first to protect it from high winds and inclement weather. The drum-tight seal means less wind resistance and less trapped dust and moisture compared to a regular tarp.

Industrial and Commercial Shrink Wrap

Infographic depicting the different types of shrink wrap projects Unlimited Shrinkwrap commonly accepts.
Click for full-size infographic.
  • Commercial and Industrial Equipment: No matter what kind of equipment you use on the job, whether you build pipelines or equip hospitals, we can weatherize it and keep it safe when it’s in transit or not in use. We can shrink wrap objects of nearly any size—even including power plant machinery or jet plane components!
  • Construction and Worksite Protection: We also shrink wrap entire job sites to create secure, temperature-controlled, and environmentally-friendly temporary work environments. Shrink wrap your work area and you can worry less about containing dust and sediment, maintaining stable temperatures, and preventing break-ins.

Residential Shrink Wrap

  • Furniture: If you’re placing furniture into storage, whether during a move or for any other reason, you’ll want to protect it from dust, moisture, and pests—so let us shrink wrap it! This is the best way to shield it from termites, rat droppings, swelling and warping, and more.
  • On-Site Construction: Are you building a greenhouse, in-ground pool, shed, or other structure on your property? We’ll shrink wrap it to create a weatherized and temperature-controlled environment. Just like for the construction shrink wrap, this is a great way to contain dust and sediment and maintain stable temperatures while working.

While boat shrink wrap in McHenry, IL and the Chain O’Lakes is our most common type of project, we do so much more than that. To ask about these and other shrink wrap projects, give Unlimited Shrinkwrap a call at 1-815-759-8944 today—we’re always excited to see what you’ll bring in for us next!

Why Should I Shrink Wrap My Belongings in Long-Term Storage?

Shrink Wrap Provides a Valuable Extra Layer of Protection for Items in Storage

Are you getting ready to move some of your belongings into storage? Do you have a boat, car, or motorcycle that you want to stow away for winter? Do you need to keep your furniture safe somewhere while you’re moving or renovating? When you’re considering the possibility of long-term storage, it’s the perfect time to also look into shrink wrap.

Photo of a row of units at a storage facility.

 

Applying shrink wrap to your belongings before you place them into a storage unit is an effective way to preserve their condition. Whether it’s a boat, a chair, or a trampoline, shrink wrap will protect your property from dust, moisture, pests, temperature changes, and more.

Here are some common things you might want to shrink wrap before long-term storage.

 

Shrink Wrap Your Furniture and Other Residential Possessions

Sometimes when you’re going through a change in living situations, such as during a move or extensive renovations, you need to find someplace to put some of the possessions in your home. Couches, televisions, it could be anything. As a result, you may be mulling whether or not to place those things in a secure unit at a storage facility. If you do pursue that option, you may want to consider applying shrink wrap before you store it away.

One big threat that shrink wrap will help you protect against is moisture. You never know how the conditions in a storage facility may change while you’re away—air can get humid, dusty, etc. Keeping out moisture is key to preserving the condition of many of your household items. Wood can warp or rot, and upholstery can deteriorate. Shrink wrap prevents that and preserves the condition of your furniture.

Shrink wrap will also keep out another major threat to your possessions: pests, both large and small. The last thing you want is for termites to eat at the wood, or for spiders or bedbugs or some other insect to infest your possessions with eggs, webs, etc. You also don’t want mice or other rodents chewing a hole through the upholstery on the back of your couch and making a home in the frame.

This applies to more than just furniture, too. If you’re storing appliances or large electronics such as sound systems, then you’ll want to keep small rodents like mice from crawling inside. Shrink wrap creates a secure seal with a tough plastic material that keeps out these unwanted pests.

Maintain the Condition of Your Vehicles with Shrink Wrap

Another time when you may want to store some of your possessions is winter. This includes patio furniture, as well as landscaping equipment that you won’t be needing. You may want to shrink wrap both those things for many of the same reasons already listed above.

However, have you thought about shrink wrapping your classic car? What about your boat or motorcycle?

For all such vehicles, there are extended periods of the year where you can’t get much use out of them and you’d rather put them somewhere safe until it’s time to bring them back out again. When you’re looking for a storage unit to resolve this issue, consider shrink wrap as well.

Many people just throw a tarp over their boat or car, but this isn’t an optimal way to maintain the condition of the vehicle. Shrink wrap creates a drum-tight seal that doesn’t leave space between the vehicle and the material. This means it keeps out moisture, dust, and pests, preventing corrosion, mold, and paint damage.

If you’re considering putting some of your possessions into long-term storage, give Unlimited Shrinkwrap a call at 815-759-8944. We’ve been applying quality shrink wrap in McHenry, IL and the surrounding Chicagoland area for over a decade, and our technicians have the expertise to wrap whatever comes their way. Call today, and make sure your belongings are stored safe and sound!

Equipment for Personal, Commercial, and Industrial Shrink Wrap

Personal, Commercial, and Industrial Shrink Wrap Applications Each Require Different Gear

Did you know you could shrink wrap your car? Your boat? Your… Nuclear reactor turbine? It seems like everything can be shrink wrapped. Wherever there’s an object of any size that needs to be protected from the elements, there’s an opportunity to apply this technique for keeping property safe. That’s not to say shrink wrapping is the same for each of these instances, though. Personal, commercial, and industrial shrink wrap require distinct processes and different sets of equipment to get the job done.

Unlimited Shrinkwrap hoists a large object for an industrial shrink wrap project.
Unlimited Shrinkwrap hoists a large object for an industrial shrink wrap project.

Here’s a rundown of the types of tools and application methods common in each of these areas.

Personal Shrink Wrap Equipment

That’s right, shrink wrap is available not just to businesses and industrial operations but to you as well. There are a few different application methods available to individuals who want to shrink wrap their own property.

The first is shrink tubing. Shrink tubing is shrink wrap that comes in the form of a continuous tube wrapped around a cardboard roll. To shrink wrap something with this method, you simply unwind some of the shrink tubing, slip the object inside, and cut that section of tubing off of the roll. You can then heat the object with a heat gun or oven to shrink the shrink wrap. There’s also electric shrink tubing—cut off a section, slip it around some loose wires, and apply heat to bind them together and insulate them.

A similar application method is single wound shrink wrap. This is the industry term for shrink wrap that’s just wound onto the roll flat instead of as a tube. This is often used in packaging machines—you may have seen it holding together cans of liquid or pieces of firewood. It’s also the variety of shrink wrap you would use to wrap larger objects, such as your car or boat.

Shrink bags are possibly the easiest method of applying personal shrink wrap. Simply place a product into the bag, seal the open end, and heat the wrap so it shrinks. This application is great for shrink wrapping and then shipping individual products if you run an ecommerce shop.

These methods are all great for personal use because they require so little equipment. A sealer lets you seal openings in the wrap to create an enclosed package. Then you can apply heat with a heat gun, which you can find for around as little as $50. Add a film dispenser to make the shrink wrap easy to pull off the roll, and packaging items becomes a breeze.

Commercial Shrink Wrap Equipment

The next step up is commercial shrink wrap. When you start moving up from low output to medium and high output operations, you’ll need new equipment to keep up.

One of the biggest ways to speed up your shrink wrap process is with a shrink tunnel. This device lets you place an item through a kiln that evenly heats the shrink wrap, removing time and inconsistency from the process. Shrink tunnels come in a wide variety of sizes. Some are small standalone units which a small business owner might use to quickly package products for shipments. Larger ones are often near the end of a product line in a factory, shrink wrapping the goods you see in stores.

Similarly, you can also invest in a conveyor to optimize the process by combining it with a film dispenser, sealer, and shrink tunnel. This creates a complete commercial shrink wrap system, where you can efficiently wrap, seal, heat, and move an object into packaging.

Industrial Shrink Wrap Equipment

Then there’s industrial shrink wrap. This is quite a different sort of operation than anything we’ve described here, in that the object being wrapped is often much larger. Whether it’s a component of a power plant generator, a jet plane, or a wind turbine, industrial shrink wrap often deals with objects far too large to simply put through a shrink tunnel.

As a result, you have to go back to the heat gun. However, these projects typically use much thicker shrink wrap that requires more heat to shrink. The heat gun you got for personal use won’t cut it for industrial shrink wrap. Instead, you’d have to invest in a heat gun specifically produced for industrial shrink wrap, which costs hundreds of dollars.

Unlimited Shrinkwrap erects a wooden structure to provide a stable shape industrial shrink wrap.
Unlimited Shrinkwrap erects a wooden structure to provide a stable shape industrial shrink wrap.

The object has to be draped in large sheets of shrink wrap, with planning and consideration directed toward figuring out how it will hang on the object. The crew performing the industrial shrink wrap will have to decide beforehand how their whole operation will go, including:

  • What support structures they need to erect around the object before wrapping
  • Where they will cut and fold seams
  • Where they will start the heating process
  • In what directions and patterns they will move the heat guns to ensure even shrinking
  • What temperature settings they’ll use on their heat guns
  • Where they’ll install vents and other openings if necessary

This can be a very involved and dangerous process if undertaken by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. If it’s an outdoor project, using too high a heat setting can start a fire. On a windy day this can cause pieces of burning shrink wrap to blow away and spread the flames. If it’s an especially large and heavy object, it may need to be hoisted up with a crane.

That’s why, if you’re considering utilizing industrial shrink wrap, you want a team of experienced technicians with years of shrink wrap projects under their belts. Luckily for you, you’ve found just such a team.

Unlimited Shrinkwrap has been wrapping all manner of objects with personal, commercial, and industrial shrink wrap in McHenry, IL and the greater Chicago area for over a decade. Whether you want to wrap your personal boat or you’re searching for a contractor to help your company shrink wrap heavy machinery for transport, one thing’s for sure—Unlimited Shrinkwrap has all the equipment you could ever need to get the job done. That means you don’t have to sink thousands of dollars into getting it yourself. Give us a call at 815-759-8944 and explore your options today!

How Construction Shrink Wrap Promotes Workplace Safety

Protect Workers’ Health and Safety with Construction Shrink Wrap!

No matter what industry you’re in or what service your company provides, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of the people you work with. The construction industry is an especially dangerous line of work, with the highest number of annual fatal work injuries of any industry sector. With that in mind, workplace safety is particularly important for construction sites, and any method for improving it deserves to be pursued. Construction shrink wrap is just such a method.Silhouette of workers at a construction site.

Shrink wrap is a tough, durable material that, when heated, shrinks and conforms to any shape. It’s used across many industries for a wide range of purposes, from protecting boats in the winter to transporting aviation equipment to preserving historical structures and artifacts. However, it can also be used to wrap all or parts of a worksite. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways this can help protect worker health.

Construction Shrink Wrap Prevents Drops and Falls

One way to apply construction shrink wrap is wrapping the scaffolding around a structure. This enclosure cuts down on several potential causes of injury.

For one thing, it keeps out the elements. By preventing wind, snow, sleet, or rain from creating slippery or otherwise precarious conditions in dangerous areas, construction shrink wrap reduces the chances of slips, trips, and falls—a common threat on construction sites.

It also cuts down on dropped objects falling over the side of the scaffolding. Everyone at a construction site should be wearing a hardhat, of course. However, there’s a limit to what these can withstand when an object is dropped from multiple stories overhead. Falling objects are another common cause of workplace injuries that construction shrink wrap can help prevent.

Construction Shrink Wrap Contains Dust, Debris, and Other Contaminants

Shrink wrap is also useful for enclosing certain areas of a workplace to prevent the spread of contaminants that can be hazardous to workers’ health.

One example is if you have an area of the site where some workers are performing an activity like sand blasting, grinding, or cutting, which produces large amounts of dust and debris. These workers may be wearing proper respiratory protection, but those particles likely aren’t staying in place. They’re floating out and spreading throughout the site. Closing this area off with construction shrink wrap is a way of containing the issue.

Another instance where this is useful is preventing chemical exposure. If you’re renovating or expanding a facility that has asbestos in it, or if you’re using chemical agents that produce toxic fumes, you may want to put up construction shrink wrap so that rest of the workers don’t have to worry about it. Of course, you don’t want workers in an unventilated space with these contaminants. Construction shrink wrap allows for installation of vents, doors, and windows of any shape. This gives you full control over the flow of air in and out.

These are just some of the ways construction shrink wrap promotes health and safety in the workplace. If you’re interested in construction shrink wrap in McHenry, IL or the surrounding Chicago area, then Unlimited Shrinkwrap is the contractor for you. We’ve completed shrink wrap projects across a broad range of industries and applications. Our experienced professionals have the know-how to get your job done right. Give us a call at (815) 759-8944, and put safety first for the people you work with.

 

Unlimited Shrinkwrap
2350 W. Rte. 120
McHenry, Il 60051
(815) 759-8944