Maintaining your tent is certainly about checking and fixing obvious defects in the tent fabric and hardware as well as tent set up and take down. It also includes communicating with customers about where the tent will be set, potential obstructions like overhead wires as well as possible temperature changes. Even proper maintenance of your vehicles used to deliver and install the tent is important.
Following are helpful tips on how to care for your pole tent in order to achieve the longest life possible.
Tip #1 Don’t get it dirty
That is easier said than done but a good starting point. If possible, always have a drop cloth available and keep the vinyl dry. If you do get it dirty we recommend spreading the tent out on grass, get wide nylon bristle brooms, take your shoes off, spread non concentrated laundry detergent out, add water and get to work. That will take most of the dirt off. You can experiment with different spot cleaners for bad areas. Always test small area first. For other tough areas you can use 3 parts water 1 part Clorox to scrub with.
Do one panel at a time and then wash off immediately, otherwise it will take gloss off top of tent. You can use this same mix of Clorox and water on underside, where seat belts show, and actually let it dry without washing off. This will help fight mildew in the future.
Many larger rental companies will use industrial washing machines for their tents. This is a wonderful option for fast cleaning but use caution. This process is fast but can also wear the tent vinyl out faster. It can also cause lace lines to expand and cause the tent to not stretch out properly.
Tip #2 Check and repair obvious damage or defects
While taking your tent down it is critical to check for moisture. Water and wind are your worst enemies. Mold-resistant fabrics have helped reduce the concern of ruining your beautiful wedding quality event tent, but there are no guarantees with this technology. Over time, it is likely that some of your older tents may not be as “mold resistant”.
After every tent has been taken down and the tent top/sidewall vinyl has been inspected, it is important to check all of the poles/hardware as well. Patch rips, cuts and tears before they expand and cause further damage. With your hardware, especially hardware that touches the vinyl, wipe it clean before use to protect the vinyl from staining. All webbing, stitches, seams, steel rings & snap hooks should be checked to make sure they are in good working order. Stakes should be straight and ropes or truckers ratchets should be in good condition.
Tip #3 Proper storage
The best choice would be to have all of your tents placed on pallets and then up on some kind of “racking system”. This would allow air circulation between the tent bag and the floor and prevent moisture from getting into the your tent bag and tent. You do not want your tent vinyl on the floor. It is very easy to pick up moisture and cause staining on the product. If you don’t have a “racking system” you would need to use a waterproof tarp on the floor and put the tents on top of it. Any tent that is taken down wet has to be properly dried before storing. Also, it is important to not fold your sidewall in the same place every time. This will help extend their life.
Temperature also can affect tent storage. Miami Tent Company have shipped our pole tents to 143 different countries and possessions around the world. That covers about any climate you can imagine. If you are storing your tent over the winter, avoid moving if possible. Do not move them if your storage area is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius). Once you bring them out of storage, allow them to sit overnight in a warm room 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 degrees Celsius) before removing them from their storage bag.