Tension and tensile buildings are both used to protect other structures and work areas from environmental conditions like direct heat and rain. They’re also a popular and cheaper alternative to traditional buildings, which take more time and materials to erect. Despite their similarities, these structures aren’t interchangeable, nor are they suitable for every application. If you want to choose the best fabric structure for your application, let’s take a look at the differences between tension and tensile fabric buildings.

What Is a Tension Fabric Building?

Tension fabric buildings are relatively straightforward and include two main components: a simple steel framework and a fabric membrane. The steel framework provides all the structural support, dispersing force and pressure throughout the cords and posts of the structure. The cables pulled taught create tension, rather than the fabric creating the tension itself, which allows the weight and force of building loads to put less stress on the fabric membrane. Tension fabric buildings are often used for warehouses, livestock, and agricultural buildings or even as event structures.

What Is a Tensile Fabric Building?

Tensile buildings are visually complex and are typically used to make stunning pieces of architecture with their dramatic curves and tall, sharp points. However, unlike tension-fabric buildings, the fabric of a tensile building is pulled and manipulated, becoming incredibly stiff. In this way, the fabric itself takes the full force and pressure of building loads rather than the framework itself. Where tension fabric buildings are considered more permanent, tensile fabric buildings are not. These structures are commonly used as walkway shelters, open-air canopies, and atrium roofing.

What’s Best for Your Application?

To put it simply, the main difference between tension and tensile buildings is that tensile buildings are used for aesthetic purposes, while tension buildings need to be durable for more industrial applications. Tension buildings are mostly used to protect jobsites, so they have to be sturdy, weather resistant, and flame retardant. If you’re looking for a fabric structure that’s made to withstand the elements and will last you for years to come, tension buildings are your best bet.

If you’re in the market for a custom, high-tension fabric structure, Big Top Manufacturing has you and your jobsite covered. We’re long-time experts in the field, and we can design our fabric structures to meet a variety of needs and applications, from event structures to military hangars and beyond.

Various industries use fabric coverall buildings, and all of these industries require strength and durability in every aspect of the job. Whether military, aerospace, or automotive industries, they need reliable temporary structures that can withstand environmental pressures and structural loads. With our rust-resistant galvanized steel frames and our rip-resistant PVC-vinyl, that’s exactly what Big Top’s structures are built to do.

However, no matter how resilient and sturdy a building is, nothing is indestructible. Nevertheless, with the right knowledge and the right set of tools, you can extend the lifespan of your fabric building. To help you get more out of your investment and your structure, let’s take a close look at five preventative maintenance tips for fabric coverall buildings.

Why Preventative Maintenance Is Important

In the right conditions, a small perforation can lead to leaks, and even galvanized steel will rust over time. Sooner or later, that small hole will lead to a structural problem. The best-case scenario is you only have to replace a few parts; worst-case scenario is the entire frame needs to be redone. Either way, the bigger the problem becomes, the more time and money you’ll have to spend, which is never good for business. Additionally, if your warranty requires you to conduct specific maintenance measures, you’ll safeguard your warranty and avoid unnecessary costs if your structure ever needs repair.

We understand that a fabric coverall building of any size is no small investment, so it’s understandable that you’d want your structure to last you as long as possible. Preventive maintenance can help you do just that. When you follow the tips below, you’ll be able to pinpoint any issues before they have the chance to become bigger problems.

Conduct Regular Maintenance Checks

Now that you know why preventative maintenance is important, let’s get into the details of how to do it. Fortunately, coverall storage buildings and structures are relatively simple and have two main components: the metal framework and the fabric membrane. When you first install and erect your fabric structure, take pictures of as much of the structure as you can. It’s likely that you won’t be observing the outside very often, so having pictures of it is a great way to have a frame of reference during inspections.

What counts as regular maintenance checks depends on the typical loads your structure experiences and the typical environment inside of the structure itself. This means that you may want to conduct an inspection anywhere from once a month to about once every three months. If you aren’t sure, you can always look at the OEM instructions for further clarification. However, no matter how often you conduct your inspections, there are a few things you should always look for.

First, if your structure is near a public or populated area, you should always inspect it for signs of vandalism. It’s unfortunate, but people are people, so look for graffiti, trash, cigarette burn holes, or punctures. Next, check the fabric for stains, thinning, or sagging. While the fabric is considerably difficult to rip, it’s not indestructible, especially if it’s located in a particularly harsh environment.

Finally, take the time to inspect the posts and the joints of the metal framework for rust, degradation, or loose parts. Depending on the size of your structure, you may need a crane to do so; you should consider doing that part of the inspection in phases if it’s large enough. The last thing you want to do is overlook a structural issue because of eye fatigue.

Inspect Your Structure After Inclement Weather

Inclement weather is simply a formal way of describing a weather event that makes outdoor conditions undesirable or unsafe, such as rain, snow, hail, and tornadoes. Depending on the quality of your manufacturer, it’s likely that they built your structure with the local climate in mind. Therefore, it should be able to withstand the average weather in your area. Despite this, you should always check to asses if any damage has occurred, especially after severe weather.

Not only should you follow your regular inspection protocols, but you should also observe the overall tension and connection points of your structure. During weather events like storms and blizzards, a strong-enough wind could comprise the fabric. So inspection after inclement weather will safeguard the structure and your jobsite from dangerous structural damages.

Routinely Clean Your Fabric Coverall Building

Routinely cleaning your structure doesn’t just improve the way it looks; it protects the fabric from degradation and helps you catch smaller problems that you may not notice during inspection. If you don’t particularly care about the overall aesthetics of your structure, you don’t have to clean as often. However, if there are any corrosive spills or stains, such as corrosive chemicals or excessive bird droppings, you should clean them off as soon as possible.

Fortunately, cleaning your fabric structure is relatively easy and only involves a few simple steps. The specifics of what you need depend on your OEM instructions, and you should never use harsh chemicals like bleach before contacting your manufacturer. In general, however, cleaning requires gentle soap, a soft-bristled brush, and a low-pressure power sprayer. You can easily clean off surface dirt with a decent hose job, but you’ll need to put some elbow grease into any tough stains you’re looking to get rid of. Cleaning is as easy as applying the soap, dampening your soft bristle brush, and lathering it up. Once it’s to your liking, all you have to do is rinse it off and let the sun and air do the rest!

Consider Your Location

If you haven’t yet installed your fabric structure, you may want to consider where it will be located before installation. Remember, the environment can significantly impact the building’s overall structural integrity. Consider erecting the structure near other buildings, trees, or shrubbery if you can.

While it may not seem like much, this can take some of the stress off the coverall building by allowing another object to take the brunt of the weather’s impact. If your structure isn’t too tall and will be there for quite some time, think about adding some preventative landscaping if trees and shrubs aren’t already around. Just makes sure there aren’t any branches that will continuously poke or scrape at the fabric.

Store Structure When Not in Use

Fabric coverall structures are easily reusable, and you can move them to future job sites at your discretion. However, when your structure isn’t in use, you don’t want to leave it sitting out and exposed to the elements at an old job site. The less load and impact your structure has to withstand, the longer it will last, so the best thing you can do is store it when not in use.

The ideal storage space is cool and dry without exposure to things like sun or rain. If you’re unsure how to disassemble your structure, the original installer company should be able to send out a team to do it for you.

With these five preventative maintenance tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of your fabric coverall building. If you’re looking for a fabric building manufacturer, contact Big Top Manufacturing today—we’re just as reliable as our structures. We’ll work with you to ensure that your fabric coverall storage building meets your specific needs and lasts you for years to come.

5 Preventative Maintenance Tips for Fabric Coverall Buildings

Custom Fabric Buildings to Suit Your Needs

Are you looking for a custom fabric building solution to fit your unique needs? Look no further than Big Top Manufacturing. As the leading provider of fabric shelters and other fabric structures, Big Top has been helping customers all over the world create custom fabric buildings since 1979. With extensive experience and expertise, our team here at Big Top is the perfect partner for finding a custom fabric building that works for you. Whether you’re looking for a temporary shelter, a permanent structure, or something in between, Big Top has the perfect fabric building for you. Read on to learn more about how Big Top fabric buildings can meet your needs.

What are fabric structures?

Fabric structures are large, custom-built buildings made of fabric and other durable materials. Unlike traditional construction methods, fabric structures are designed to be flexible, lightweight, and strong. They are quickly becoming popular in a wide range of applications including agriculture, sports facilities, storage facilities, and even homes.

Fabric structures can be temporary or permanent. In most cases, they are created using high-grade synthetic fabrics that have been treated to withstand outdoor elements such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. These fabrics are coated with a protective layer, making them stronger and longer lasting.

Fabric structures come in all shapes and sizes, from large span tents to complex industrial warehouses. They provide an efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional building methods, allowing for quick and easy assembly without the need for extensive construction materials or labor. As well, fabric structures often offer superior levels of insulation, protecting the inside from outside weather conditions. With a variety of customization options available, fabric structures can be designed to suit any purpose.
Whether you’re looking for a temporary or permanent solution to your building needs, fabric structures could be the perfect option. At Big Top, we specialize in creating unique and durable fabric buildings that are built to last.

The benefits of fabric structures

Fabric structures offer many advantages over traditional building materials. They are lightweight and durable, so they are perfect for temporary or permanent use. Fabric structures can also be easily moved or disassembled when needed. They are also cost-effective, as they require fewer materials to build and maintain than other types of construction. Additionally, fabric structures are highly customizable and can be made to fit any size or shape. Fabric structures are also incredibly versatile. They can be used for a variety of purposes such as workshops, event space, warehouses, garages, greenhouses, and much more. Their flexibility makes them an ideal solution for many different applications. They can also be quickly and easily adapted for different climates and environments.
Fabric structures are also great for energy efficiency. They allow natural light to enter the structure and can be designed with insulation to help keep temperatures inside stable. This helps save money on energy costs and is better for the environment. Finally, fabric structures are also aesthetically pleasing. They provide a modern and stylish look that is sure to make a statement. Plus, their construction means that they are usually easy to assemble and can be built to fit your needs exactly.

The different types of fabric structures

Fabric structures are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. From clear-span buildings to temporary structures, there are several options to choose from.
Clear-Span Buildings: Clear-span buildings provide an open interior space that is free of any internal supports. They come in a variety of widths and lengths and can be customized to fit your exact needs. These buildings are perfect for storage, workshops, athletic centers, agricultural use, and more.

Temporary Structures: Temporary fabric structures are designed to be easy to set up and take down quickly. These structures are ideal for construction, sporting arenas, and data centers. The frames are usually made from steel or aluminum and are covered with Big Top’s high quality fabric material. They’re available in many different sizes and can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Relocatable Structures: Relocatable structures can be used as a temporary or permanent solution. They are lightweight and easy to transport and can often be configured in various ways. Some popular applications for relocatable structures include warehousing, retail shops, corporate offices, temporary shelters, and even military tents.

Tension Structures: Tension structures are made from a combination of fabric and cables that create a strong, lightweight structure that is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. This type of structure is ideal for outdoor sports arenas, pavilions, and other large-scale installations.

Fabric Structures for Industrial Use: Fabric structures for industrial use are designed to handle the toughest jobs. They are often made from fireproof, waterproof materials and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet your specific needs. Common uses include warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and garages.
No matter what type of fabric structure you need, Big Top has the perfect solution for you. Our experienced team can help you find the right fabric building for your application so you can get the job done right the first time!

How to choose the right fabric structure for your needs

When it comes to fabric structures, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs. The variety of sizes, materials, and applications available make it a challenge to find the perfect fit for your project. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision:
First, consider the size of your structure. Fabric structures come in all sizes, from smaller, personal tents to large, commercial-scale fabric buildings. Big Top offers fabric structures ranging a large range of sizes so you can be sure to find the right size for your project.

Next, consider the type of material you need. Fabric structures can be made from a variety of different materials, including PVC vinyl and polyethylene. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so think carefully about which material is best for your particular application.

Finally, think about the type of climate you need your fabric structure to withstand. If you live in a region with harsh winter weather, you may want to invest in a more durable fabric structure that can withstand high winds and heavy snowfall. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a structure for a mild climate, you may opt for a lighter weight material that’s easier to transport and install.

Big Top’s fabric structures

Big Top is a leading manufacturer of custom fabric structures. Our structures are designed and constructed to meet the highest standards of safety, durability, and quality. From large industrial applications to smaller storage or recreational uses, Big Top can create the perfect fabric structure for your needs.

Our fabric structures are made with a high-grade fabric that has been specially treated to be resistant to weather and other elements. This durable material is used in everything from industrial-sized buildings to backyard pavilions, giving you an efficient and reliable building for whatever project you have in mind.

We also offer a variety of customizations to ensure that your fabric structure fits your exact specifications. We offer a range of design options including multiple walls, window and door openings, as well as several different colors to choose from. Whether you are looking for a simple shed or a complex multi-level structure, Big Top can help you create the perfect solution for your project.