When you purchase plastic sheeting in advance for your building project, it may be sitting around for a while before it is used for the purpose it was intended for. A lot can happen to construction plastic sheeting when you aren’t paying attention, which can render it unusable before it is time to install it.
“Taking a few simple steps can ensure that products remain in a similar condition as the day you purchased them,” says Jason Trieger, Americover Account Manager with over 28 years of experience in plastic sheeting products and applications. The experienced professionals here at Americover, put together some tips to help ensure those rolls don’t get damaged before you can use them.
Contact our plastic sheeting experts at 760-388-6294 or start a direct chat.
What is the Shelf Life of Building Plastic Sheeting?
Plastic sheeting shelf life varies by product based on the engineering, formulation, and storage conditions. If you will be storing the plastic for an extended length of time, you should check with your manufacturer or supplier for specific shelf life expectations and storage requirements.
Exposure to the following conditions can shorten the life of your plastic sheeting:
- Direct Sunlight
- Improper handling
- Weather Damage
- Extreme hot and cold temperatures
- Chemical exposure
How Should You Store Your Building Plastic Sheeting?
Temperature – Keep It Cool
Keep plastic sheeting rolls stored somewhere cool. Some plastic sheeting is susceptible to cold cracking when the temperatures are below freezing. Some sheeting options have low melting points, meaning sheeting may melt when exposed to sunlight or when placed next to something that is too hot.
Any product with an adhesive-backing should also be kept out of direct sunlight and at a cool temperature. “As most adhesives are a semi-liquid based, high and low-temperature exposure can change the desired performance of self-adhesive film,” says Jason Trieger. “When tapes get very hot (above 150F), the adhesive will flow and may thin out or ooze beyond the liner. When tapes get very cold (below 20F), the adhesive will harden. If the tape is applied before it is restored to room temperature, it may not adhere well.”
Lighting – Keep it Dark
UV exposure degrades plastic sheeting, especially direct sunlight. Even if a plastic sheeting product has UV blockers it will still age when exposed to direct sunlight, albeit at a much slower rate.
Humidity Control – Keep it Dry
Standing water tends to be contaminated and creates a breeding ground for mold. When mold has the right conditions it can grow on pretty much anything, including plastic sheeting. This is particularly hazardous if your sheeting is a vapor barrier meant to prevent mold from entering your home.
Handling – Keep it Safe
Accidents happen, but more frequently when your roll of plastic sheeting is next to sharp objects like protruding nails and screws or stored around equipment. Clear the area you mean to keep your sheeting in before storing it away.
What’s the Best Way to Safely Store Your Construction Plastic Sheeting?
Ultimately, Jason Trieger and the other experienced professionals at Americover recommend keeping construction plastic sheeting stored in these conditions:
- Temperatures between 68 – 72° F / 20 – 22° C
- 50% relative humidity
He also has the following tips:
- Store plastic sheeting rolls flat in their original packaging
- Spools should be stored with the arrows on the box in the correct position
If you are concerned about meeting the ideal storage conditions, then give us a call. At Americover, we stock a wide range of plastic sheeting products that are in stock and ready to ship. Take the stress out of keeping it safe, and order when you are ready to use it. We have quick turn-around times, and inventory in multiple warehouses across the US to deliver it when you need it, where you need it.
Trusted by Growers, Builders, and Distributors
Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across the construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation.
As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us by completing this form.