A new patented Australian invention, Stormseal – that super seals buildings and roofs damaged by storms or left open during construction – will soon come to the aid of extreme weather victims, their insurers and builders, thanks to a federal government commercialisation grant of a little over $450,000.
Stormseal’s Founder and MD Matthew Lennox said the funding would allow his company to fully commericalise the product which is a unique patented polyethylene film that heat shrinks to cover damaged roofs or walls, providing strong, secure, cost effective and lasting weather protection, unlike tarpaulins – the traditional alternative.
“Severe storms are now more frequent world-wide, damaging property, traumatising residents, stretching emergency resources and costing insurance companies billions. In the 2007 Australian storm hailstones as big as cricket balls hit Sydney, causing insured losses of A$486million. Stormseal can make a big difference in such an aftermath, especially damages take time to be fixed due to big insurance demands,” said Matthew.
The funding was announced by the Mr Wyatt Roy, Assistant Minister for Innovation, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science under the Federal Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Program.
Matthew Lennox is a 36 year old builder from Cronulla, NSW who has worked in various roles within the construction industry. The idea for Stormseal came to him when he was overseeing repairs and reconstruction on behalf of several insurance companies following storm episodes and during continual wet and windy conditions where he saw the damages claims multiply fourfold due to failing tarpaulins.
“Seeing how ongoing bad weather can make problems event worse following a storm event, it sparked the idea to develop the shrinking resin in the Stormseal film which can wrap tightly to any roofline to resist wind, rain and hail until permanent repairs can be made.”
“Unlike flapping, leaking tarps – which usually require multiple reattachments, using ropes and sandbags – Stormseal stays put, significantly reducing expenses for insurers and minimising stress on householders,” he explained.
“Our tests have found our product to be faster, cheaper and easier to install than a tarpaulin and can be cut and tailored at the worksite. It is currently available for use with training needed for installation but the funding will now allow us to increase production and meet demand,” Matthew says.
“Other major benefits are that Stormseal weighs less than one-third as much and requires less than one-eighth of the storage space compared to tarpaulin. Also, heat curing changes the chemical structure of the Stormseal film, enhancing its strength.
Matthew told Anthill that his company’s milestones so far include developing a national logistics network, developing and implementing a national training and installation system, developing a quality assurance plan, developing international sales opportunities and implementing an IP protection strategy.
”Two patents have been granted for our Stormseal film and application method together with trademarks”, which we believe have the potential to take global markets by storm!” he remarked.
“The Federal Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation Grant has provided enormous opportunity for Stormseal. Our grant related milestones are on track, actually a little ahead of time, and we are now installing Stormseal in VIC, NSW and QLD as part of a licence agreement with Suncorp Insurance,” Matthew added.
“The insurers and builders who have witnessed the potential of our versatile product know that it will cut their costs significantly, while keeping policyholders property safe. Stormseal is an ideal solution for rapid response and cost-effective resilience in the face of natural disasters.” Craig White, National Manager of Events Response, Suncorp says. “I definitely see a place for Stormseal in our National Hazards Strategy.”