Many of the tanks we sell at BARR are UV-resistant, to avoid premature degradation of polymer and extend the life of your tank, but there are still things you can do to either add to the protection or to help preserve an existing tank. UV-rays are harmful to the wall of a plastic tank itself, as well as the contents inside. This is true for any plastic tank, and some deterioration/aging is inevitable, but protective measures can be taken that can add many, many years of life to a poly tank.
So how does UV damage happen, and what can you do about it?
UV damage slowly breaks down the surface of a tank, making it more brittle over time. Certain spots can be impacted more than others, depending on the way the tank is positioned, which can put strain on a particular section of the tank and make it more vulnerable. This happens as a result of photo-oxidation, which is the degradation of a polymer surface when exposed to oxygen; the effect is expedited by UV rays from the sun.
There are several ways to help extend the life of your tank and keep the stored contents safe and secure, beyond just buying a great tank that already has a protective UV coating. Some of these entail additional costs, but can save you money in the long run by planning ahead and making sure that you take all the steps to protect your tank before or during installation. Here are a few considerations for keeping your tank safe from UV damage:
(1) Paint your tank.
This is a more cost-effective way to ward off UV rays, and something that can be done relatively quickly depending on the size of your tank. Acrylic paint can be used for this application. We do recommend getting the opinion of a professional before taking this step on yourself; because it's always best to take a look at what you're working with before spending money.
(2) Insulate your tank.
Insulation is a great tool for protecting your tank from UV damage, and it doubles as a great way to protect the tank during temperature fluctuations that can cause issues inside the tank as well. Insulation is long-lasting and keep you worry-free for many years to come.
(3) Keep tank covered/build a shelter
This option does require the space to build a shelter and of course the time and money for building. However, if you're planning ahead, this long-term solution might be for you. If you have several tanks that will be placed close together, this might end up being the most economical option.
(4) Store tanks indoors when possible.
This isn't always an option, of course, but when it is there should be a strong consideration made for keeping your tank indoors. This won't require you to purchase additional shelter materials or add-ons like paint and insulation to fend off UV rays. If this isn't an option for the space you have, consider one of the above suggestions.
Have questions about any of this? Give us a call or email us for a prompt reply and expert advice.