OTW Safety

Plastic Barricade repair

Water-filled plastic barricades are generally very durable. Once they have been set in place and ballasted there is not much maintenance required unless a barricade is damaged and can no longer hold water. If you find a crack or puncture, it doesn’t mean you have to march straight to the recycling plant, you can repair the damage with a few tools and special supplies.

Water-Filled Barrier Repair Overview

Barricades are made from a type of plastic called polyethylene (PE). There is a range of plastics within this category but because of the chemical characteristics of all PE-type plastics, fractures are difficult to seal without the right tools and materials.

The only effective way to patch and repair cracks and fractures is to weld the damaged area closed with filler PE plastic. If done correctly, filling and welding the damaged areas with a similar and homogenous material (without resins or other adhesives) will create a successful repair and maximize the product’s useful life. The area repaired will often become the most robust and durable part of the barricade.

We’ve created a guide to assist you in taking on these repairs. Below is a step-by-step tutorial for how to repair a plastic water-filled barrier.

How To Repair A Plastic Barricade

Materials Needed

plastic weld repair 1
  • Heavy duty welding iron (200 watt) and stand
  • Brass spade soldering head
  • Polyethylene plastic rods/filler material
  • Stainless steel wire mesh
  • Scissors

Step 1) Clean plastic area to be repaired

plastic wel repair
  • Plug in your welding iron and allow 5-10 minutes for the tool to become hot enough for proper use
  • Remove all dirt, oil, water, and other foreign debris from the surface to be repaired. It’s best to use an off-the-shelf solvent like rubbing alcohol or acetone
  • Make sure to let the area dry completely
  • Cut a piece of wire mesh large enough to cover and extend past the damaged area by about 3/8 of an inch

Step 2) Fill hole/crack and melt wire mesh into surface

plastic weld repair 3
  • Using the welding iron, melt PE filler plastic into the damaged area until it is filled
  • Take a pre-cut wire mesh piece and place it onto the surface, covering the damaged area completely
  • Melt the wire mesh into the surface of the damaged area  

*IMPORTANT – Be careful not to melt through the plastic causing the crack to become larger. The mesh just needs to slightly sink into the plastic surface.

Step 3) Melt filler PE plastic over mesh

plastic weld repair 4
  • Grab the filler PE plastic again and begin to melt into and around the wire mesh and repair area
  • Continue to melt plastic over the mesh until it is completely covered along with the surrounding area
  • Smooth over the repair area so that it is uniform with the surrounding perimeter.

*Again, be careful not to apply too much pressure and heat so that you melt through the barricade and create a larger crack.