2. July 2010 19:21
Irrespective or whether tent/marquee tops are washed manually or in a tent washer, such as a Teeco washing machine , it’s wise to take the time to consider the requirements to efficiently and effectively dry the vinyl material. It’s no secret as to the critical importance of ensuring that all tent material and webbing are thoroughly dry before placing back in inventory. However, some best practices with respect to the drying process may bear repeating.
Two key considerations in the drying of tents is first having a space available for tent drying and second to have a systematic approach to ensuring that all webbing and tent material is thoroughly dried at the end of the process. Many times a tent rental operator lacks sufficient floor space to be able to construct a proper rack system to properly and thoroughly dry tents. Ideally, the physical plant where the drying of tents will take place has tall ceilings, ideally 20 to 30 ft. in height. An effective approach to tent drying is to first make use of large capacity mops to remove as much water as possible from the surface of the tent. The next step is to make use of a rack system that will bear the weight of the heavy wet tent panels. Figure #1 provides a simple sketch of a drying rack that would accommodate up to a 40 ft. panel.
The drying rack structure as illustrated below is designed to allow the material to drape in an accordion fold fashion allowing water to drain off the surface of the tent material much like a series of gutters. Ideally such a rack design is supported by the floor and not suspended from the ceiling of the warehouse. If the rack is suspended from the ceiling, it is important to ensure that the system is structurally reinforced such that the ceiling will be able to sustain the weight of the heavy wet tent material. This is particularly important in climates where the winter brings considerable snowfall. Compounding the weight of wet tent material with the weight of the snow on a roof can create an unsafe situation by creating additional stress on the building structure. Materials for constructing such a rack should be highly rigid and able to sustain the considerable weight of the wet tent material. A rust-resistant metal pipe structure can be very effective. A key point to keep in mind when constructing the rack is to make sure to avoid structural support elements that would allow the wet material to gather pockets of water. Again the intent with the rack system is to allow the ambient air and gravity to work for you in drying the tent material.
Additional considerations in drying tent material is to make the necessary accommodations for the local climate. If the climate tends to have high humidity, the material will take much longer to dry. Many operators in this type of climate have found the addition of dehumidifiers and large fans that draw the air out of the building bringing in more dry outside air to be far more effective than solely blowing air over the material. Commercial de-humidistats are available that sense the zone humidity and trip on the dehumidifiers in the building and can help to bring about optimum drying conditions. In the winter months in northern climates it is best to utilize heaters in the warehouse and keep the temperature of the warehouse at 60O F/15O C or warmer. In addition to the use of large capacity exhaust fans that are momentarily activated by the dehumidistats to draw air through the building, the use of large ceiling fans can add the additional benefits of driving down the warmer air at the ceiling and creating additional air movement across the surface of the tent material.
Commercial Dryers If warehouse space is an issue, or a tent rental operator is interested in expanding the business without adding considerable square footage to the operations, a commercial tent dryer may be the answer. Over years of careful research and development, Teeco Solutions has developed a large capacity tent dryer that thoroughly dries large volumes of tent material without the risk of shrinkage to the webbing or damage to the tent material. To learn more about Teeco Solutions dryers, visit the web site at https://www.teecosolutions.com/tent-dryers/.
If you have a question, or comment based on your experience in managing the tent washing and drying process, we’d like to hear from you. Just respond to this blog post or visit the Teeco Solutions website.