How do you repair a damaged plastic barrel?


A plastic barrel is one of the most durable, long-lasting and versatile industrial storage containers you can purchase. But at some point, even a trusty blue drum can be damaged or broken.

However, damaged plastic barrels aren’t necessarily going to be a total write-off. Far from it in fact, because there are plenty of quick fixes to help you seal up leaks or repair cracks in a plastic drum. Damaged plastic drums can still have a long lifespan. Even if a repair job seems too difficult, they can be fully repurposed and recycled by professionals.

In today’s article, we take a look at how a damaged plastic barrel can be repaired.


Plastic barrels are robust and long lasting, but at the end of the day they can still sustain damage. Damage can occur if barrels are stored, handled or transported improperly. A collision can cause cracks or dents, barrels can fall from forklifts, or they can tumble from heights.

Accidents happen, but more common are problems with wear and tear. Over a barrel’s lifespan, the integrity of the plastic can be compromised by a number of things. Weather conditions (rapid heat or cooling, for instance) can cause cracks, while over long periods of time the plastic can degrade and become weaker.


Before throwing the barrel away, see if it’s possible to be fixed and made good for storage and transport purposes again.

It’s important to note that if you intend to use your plastic barrel for industrial purposes, you need to ensure your fix is robust and safe. It’s worth getting it checked over and fixed by a professional, especially if you need to store chemicals or hazardous substances in the plastic barrel.


There are dedicated plastic sealants on the market, specifically designed to fix all sorts of plastic barrel damage.

A sealant can shore up small holes in the barrel (large holes need a more robust fix), providing a new, waterproofed layer that allows the drum to keep its integrity. No more holes, no more leaks!


If your barrel is cracked, the lid or any other components have fallen off, or if the handles are hanging loose, then the best fix is often the simplest.

Industrial strength glue can help keep the barrel together, and it’s surprisingly effective. You can glue cracks shut, glue nozzles or taps back in place, and more.

Plastic glue is a cheap and effective repair, but it’s not always the best long-term solution for industrial needs.


Plastic barrels are made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene), and they are cast into shape using moulds. If your barrel gets dented or becomes misshapen, you can remould it back into its original form.

You can get a professional to do this (recommended if using the barrel in an industrial capacity), or with the correct application of heat (usually hot water) you can try it yourself.


If your barrel looks unrepairable, try not to give up on it too soon. Barrels have an impressively long lifespan, and if simple fixes haven’t done the job you could look at having the barrel recycled and repurposed.

Damaged barrels can be repaired, remoulded and resealed by professionals, to give them a longer lease of life. Reconditioned barrels can be purchased from suppliers for a more cost-effective industrial storage solution. In most cases, there’s no difference between an old and a new barrel if it’s been repurposed correctly.

Sometimes though, you might have to give up on a plastic barrel if the damage is too much. Then you can pick up old repurposed barrels or brand new ones, as your budget allows.


Remember that if you are having your barrels repurposed or recycled, they need to be thoroughly decontaminated, especially if you’re going to start using them for food or water or different sorts of chemicals.


At ITP Packaging, we stock a wide range of containers to meet industrial storage needs. We stock plastic barrels in a range of designs and capacities to fulfil a variety of functions, and are happy to advise on new purchases vs. reconditioned options.

Our team are on hand to help you with your industrial packaging needs, and to answer any further questions you might have about plastic drums. Contact ITP Packaging today to find out more.

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