Fast Fix For Punctured Ag-Bags

When a hailstorm punched hundreds of tiny holes in a neighbor's Ag-Bags, Adam Mueller was asked if he could seal them back up with insulating foam since he was in the foam insulation business.  
"The foam didn't stick well enough to seal the bags, but I checked with my supplier, Oak Ridge Foam and Coating Systems, and they had another product," says Mueller. "We did a trial, and it worked very well on small holes."
Mueller knew one guy who had tried spraying acrylic paint as a patch for holes. However, the paint took 5 hrs. to dry, limiting when it could be applied and how.
Oak Ridge's coating went on fast, dried instantly, had no bleed-through, and didn't require unsealing the bag. 
"We can start as soon as the bag dries off and work until the dew appears or there is rain," says Mueller. "We had one site that was level with poor drainage with water between the bags. We would do one side, drag the hoses across it, do the top and then drag them across it to do the other side. We couldn"t have done more than one side with paint."
Mueller notes that the material, which is applied at 160F, eliminates another problem. Simply walking on an Ag-Bag can cause the plastic to stretch. However, applying the hot spray causes it to shrink right back.
Mueller has found that larger holes and tears can also be repaired. "We had some holes from really big hail," he explains. "We taped them and then sprayed over the tape. We found that we didn't need special tape, just a smooth surface."
As word got around, Agri-Seal, Mueller's new business, started expanding. Last year he traveled up to 3 hrs. from his southwestern Wisconsin farm. He now has a patent pending on the process and the specialized use of his foaming equipment. 
"Not every spray foam machine works with the coating, but many can," says Mueller. 
Pricing varies based on the area to be covered and what insurance companies will agree to cover. "The cost can also vary by the material stored in the Ag-Bag," notes Mueller. "Bags filled with wet, lumpy materials can be more wrinkled and require more coating than a bag filled with corn silage," he says. 
Mueller believes demand will grow as word spreads. He is exploring franchising Agri-Seal and would like to hear from interested FARM SHOW readers.