On 20 January 2020, a catastrophic storm lasting about ten minutes sent huge hailstones smashing into thousands of vehicles and buildings across Canberra. Insurance claims have since topped $500M.
The hailstorm inflicted terrible damage on many iconic institutions. For example, thousands of holes were punched in the roofs of the National Library of Australia, the Australian Academy of Science’s Shine Dome, multiple ANU buildings (including the Coombs Building, University House and Ian Potter House), the Papua New Guinea High Commission, and the National Film and Sound Archive’s heritage-listed residence.
Irreplaceable treasures and archives of national importance were exposed to the elements. The wide extent of the damage meant permanent repairs would take a long time. Temporary weather protection was needed on a massive scale, fast.
Flapping, leaking, fly-away tarpaulins were definitely not up to the task. As insurance builders know, despite their best efforts to secure tarps with ropes and sandbags, over the life of an insurance claim, tarps will slip or blow off six times on average. With each tarp failure, further damage occurs to the building and contents, escalating insurance costs. Canberra’s major facility managers needed a superior solution, fast.
Aussie innovation Stormseal was the answer. Several trained crews of Stormseal installers came swiftly to the rescue from interstate. Over the next weeks, hundreds of thousands of square metres of the patented, robust and recyclable polyethylene film were snugly fitted through heat-shrinking to the roofs of Canberra’s institutions. This epic achievement made national news.
Stormseal can stay put for over a year, securing our national heritage from further weather damage and preventing even greater insurance claims, until permanent repairs are made. Stormseal has already kept all the buildings listed above, and their precious contents, safe through several subsequent storms.