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.