EnCaPS has over 25 years of combined installation and management experience, providing our clients with the best methods to optimise scaffold structures alongside the most dependable and efficient shrink wrapping techniques to deliver fantastic results. We would like to share our experience and expertise in Shrink Wrap installations and highlight the challenges that are being faced by the construction industry nowadays.

A nice sunny day yesterday to finally take pictures of this monster!

Here we have Victoria Halls in Wembley: Initially a re-clad project but now a complete refurbishment including windows and internal fit out undertaken by Collins Construction Ltd.

Following closely behind GKR Scaffolding Ltd we managed to get this project completed progressively over a 3 month period from November to the end of February. These Wintery months were a huge challenge, especially given the scale and height of the building.

Additionally the West of the building backed onto a busy community school playground, and the North right onto Wembley Park railway lines: so safety was paramount.

Our largest project to date, totalling 11,000m2 of shrink wrap combining side sheeting with what seemed like an endless run of complex, curved, descending temporary roofs and tunnels to the entire scaffold. We also installed x 6 custom made PVC banners for Collins and GKR on the East, South and West Elevations.

This is the biggest shrink wrap project I've ever seen for one single freestanding building. A huge success for the EnCaPS team.

Many thanks to GKR Scaffolding Ltd for the opportunity, we look forward to working alongside you again in the future.


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Scaffold shrink wrap is one of those construction site services that are fully dependent on weather conditions. For achieving the best final results with optimal durability, the installation requires a dry and low wind environment.

Shrinkwrap is a very unique product. Some trades can carry on in most weather. In only very extreme circumstances will the weather prevent, for example, scaffolders from carrying out their job, especially if they have waterproof clothing on. For shrink wrap, it is simply that the product itself becomes unworkable above certain wind speeds or when it is raining.

On a weekly, sometimes daily basis, we are confronted with the never-ending challenge of the weather. Right now, for example, the UK is being battered with Atlantic winds up to 86mph with some unsettled conditions likely for the coming weeks.

Many companies will expect their shrink-wrap contractor to show up on-site despite any weather conditions, install the product very quickly and also achieve the perfect finish. This is just not realistic. Not only does this pressure installers into rushing the job to keep their client happy, but if/when the client is unhappy with the result, it often then backfires at the cost of the shrink wrap company.


Getting the shrink-wrap into position is one thing. It’s the welding and shrinking of the product that is severely impacted by the weather.

When shrink wrap is in its ‘mid state’, it has been heated up to a very vulnerable form similar to the texture of a loose balloon - very wobbly, thin and prone to stretching out rapid speeds. This state is very close to the product almost melting. When this cools after a minute or so, the product loses its overall size but becomes thicker and forms the tight drum skin finish that is desired.

The problem is if the weather is windy/gusty, the wind will easily blow out these vulnerable mid-state points almost like bubblegum. The sheet will be bouncing back and forth wildly, pulling and pushing any area you try to heat in a neat and tidy fashion. The finish will not be flat and may look crinkly, uneven and thin in some areas.

Additionally, if the weather is forecast to rain, this can be a huge problem for the installation of shrink wrap. When shrink wrap becomes wet/dirty, the sheets will not weld together properly.

Have you ever tried sticking tape onto something wet or dirty? It just does not work. Even if you think it may have stuck or bonded properly, it most likely has not.

Weather Limits

Our rule of thumb is anything above 20mph gusts becomes an issue for the installation. This can be a generalisation, other factors such as project location can also play a huge factor with wind speeds. For example, a forecast showing 20mph gusts in Brighton & Hove, you can be sure this wind speed will be slightly stronger due to its coastal location. A project above 10-15m in height will also experience the same kind of issue, the higher you go up the windier it will be.

One of the first questions I will ask someone asking for a shrink wrap quotation is ‘How exposed is this project?’

Are there trees or surrounding buildings?

Are you next to the sea or in a built-up area such as central London?

These are important questions because if the project is exposed… the customer must be aware that when the expected start date arrives, the weather forecast needs to be >20mph gusts. Perhaps even >15mph in very exposed locations. If the project is a temporary roof or quite large, this low wind will also be needed for several days if the installation is to be successful.

Which Weather Forecast to check?

Forget the BBC or Apple weather, they are very unreliable. Most importantly though the wind speed displayed does not show the maximum gusts, just a general wind speed and direction.

At EnCaPS we find MetOffice and XCWeather to be the most reliable weather forecasts. This shows more details of wind speeds at specific times of the day as well as the maximum gusts to be expected.

Utilising these weather apps whilst working with your shrink wrap contractor will help keep both parties synchronised with expected installation dates as well as a clear understanding of why there could be delays.

To learn how to set up the scaffold for shrink-wrap installation please follow:



#scaffoldshrinkwrap #scaffolding #encaps

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One of the key advantages of using shrink wrap is its ability to become drum-tight through heat application, meaning it fits perfectly around any structure tightly, not flapping around in the wind like cheaper alternatives. The shrink wrap is folded around scaffold tubes back onto itself and then welded together, forming a strong bond that will not come apart unless cut off.

How to set up a scaffold for shrink-wrap installation?

We must make sure that every scaffold we work on has been designed to the appropriate standard. There are wind loads to consider, all of which a qualified engineer will be able to take into account before a structure is built. Generally though, so long as a scaffold is weighed down and has sufficient ties and buttresses, adding shrink wrap will not increase wind loading any more than conventional sheeting.

As a separate trade to scaffolding, we would expect a structure to be safe to work on with adequate ladder access to all areas, boarded working lifts and handrails as standard.

An ideal scenario is to have a flush scaffolding that can make the daily installation much swifter and optimised for the desired finish. Not only will this look better, but it will increase the lifespan of the encapsulation due to very few weaknesses in the sheet.

Sheeting rails are not absolutely necessary for us to install our shrink wrap, they really can make the difference between a smart-looking job and an amazing looking centrepiece on site. We always recommend at least two sheeting rails, one at the bottom and one at the top of the desired area; these would be fixed to the external scaffold on single fittings.

When installing a shrink wrap temporary roof, a double handrail is mandatory to ensure the safety of our operatives and to maximise efficiency during the installation.

To find out more about temporary roof shrink-wrap, please visit www.encaps.co.uk

To discuss the project please contact us on info@encaps.co.uk

or call 01202 934933

#shrinkwrap #shrinkwrapencaps #scaffoldshrinkwrap #encaps

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