Keeping Up With Tent Upkeep

When we create instructional materials to accompany our tents, we tend to focus on the more strenuous phases of the tent’s event timeline. Installing and striking the shelter are involved and sometimes complicated processes, but what about all that time in between?

There are so many different things that can happen between the tent going up and the event ending. Weather, crowds, rampaging circus animals – all can drastically change the amount of work needed to make sure your tent survives to shade another day.

Soil Conditions

Not every piece of ground offers the same characteristics; from differences in makeup like soil, sand, clay, and other normal ground composition to the amount of water retention (and most recent change in the water level), even walking across a street can yield vastly different results. Gauging the style and amount of staking your tent will need can become complicated very quickly.

This changeability extends past single inspection – rains especially can cause shifts in the holding power of the soil. Time and tension also change the anchoring. Continued pulling from the stakes or heavy traffic can, under difference circumstances, compact soil and allow the staking locations to loosen when it begins to give way. Occasionally testing the tension on anchoring lines can alert you to tent issues before they get out of hand.

Reactions to Weather/Stress

Not every hiccup in an event can be predicted. If a strong storm blows up in the middle of a scheduled installation, there may be some pocketing in the tent top or snapped anchor lines that need immediate attention before they begin to compromise the tent’s stability or damage the hardware.

This makes the ongoing inspection especially necessary – it gives the installer the time to really assess the tent for safety. Retightening anchoring lines, ridding the tent of standing water, and making sure the staking is still adequate can prevent a massive amount of tent hardware wear and possible dangerous situations for your guests.


Strong weather, accidents, and children – like it or not, most chance encounters with any of these is going to result in damage in one form or another. The most obvious and common damage is in the form of scrapes and cuts in the fabric, which on their own can worsen but probably not lead to tent failure. The main issue with breakage in the tent fabric is scrim mold. Due to the vinyl’s inner scrim construction, breaks in the PVC coating and allow moisture and mildew to penetrate into the fibers of the fabric. Since there is no way to stop or remove mold that has traveled into the fabric in this manner, repairing damage should be untaken as soon as it is noticed.

Light scrapes and pin holes can be dealt with easily enough if the support structure is still intact. While common glue may hold, it won’t look as nice as applying a pinhole patch designed for that specific purpose. Cuts and tears can be mended with PVC glue and a repair piece, or can be patched with a repair piece and heat gun if the fabric can be easily dropped for the repair.

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Outdoor events are most enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about your structures. With occasional inspection and detailed checkups after damage-prone events, there’s no reason why the space between setup and teardown can’t be the easiest part of the journey. Informational videos are available on Celina Tent’s YouTube page, with instructions and helpful guides located in our online Knowledge Center.

Questions? Give us a shout at [email protected]!