In today’s blog, we’re going to look at one add on for shrink wrapped items: vents. Vents on shrink wrapped items are essential for moisture control as they allow air to flow both in and out from under the cover. This helps prevent a buildup of moisture and mildew, as shrink wrap doesn’t “breathe” on its own.
The most commonly used vents are stick-on plastic vents. Before attaching these, we will shrink wrap the object like normal and then remove a precisely sized cut-out from the wrap. Once that’s done, the vent is simply “stuck” over the hole using its sticky back adhesive.
Another type of vent typically used, called a “stealth vent”, is not attached using an adhesive and does not require a pre-cut hole. Instead, stealth vents pierce through the wrap with a pointed end, and slide into/over the wrap at once. Then, they are secured with tape around the outside.
The number and type of vents you will need for a project depends greatly on what you are covering. There are solar vents, wind vents, and passive vents, and all serve a different purpose.
All solar vents are made of sturdy polyethylene with maximum UV inhibitors and screened bases. Solar powered versions specifically have two vents with large solar panels and twin fans capable of exhausting over 300 cubic feet of air per hour.
Wind vents can be quite unique looking, seeing as they utilize anemometer cups to spin the blades and actively move the air into and out of the wrap. The best feature of wind vents is the fact that they work 24 hours a day, unlike solar vents which require sunlight. The cups can be rotated to either deliver the air or remove it, so you can specify their exact function depending on where on the wrap they’re placed.
Passive vents are, as the name implies, not actively working like a solar or wind vent. Instead, they simply provide a place for the air to travel in and out. These are the most basic vents available, usually used in tandem with the other varieties.
There are also other tools that can be used in conjunction with vents to help stop moisture buildup besides vents. Mildew and desiccant bags are available, and they’re even simpler than vents to use! Simply take a moisture control bag and place it inside the wrapped item to absorb moisture for up to 6 months.
There are lots of choices and options that come into play when choosing how to best ventilate your wrap job and prevent moisture buildup, and the experts here at ZAP are ready to help in any way we can.