19 June 2024

Choosing the Right Fabric Material for Building Re-Cover

fabric covered magnum series building process

Fabric as a building material is highly desirable in many of today’s applications (from agriculture to industrial). Re-covers of fabric buildings happen over time due to wear and tear and damage to the structure. Yet, when the time comes to replace these fabric building materials, know that you have options. 

Those who own a fabric building will need to replace their fabric material every few decades. The type of material you select will ultimately play a role in the outcome you have and when you’ll need to replace your roofing material again. If the structure is made of cheap or inferior fabric it may need to be replaced every few years.

Fabric Building Materials Explained 

When it comes to fabricated building materials, the longevity and functionality of any product are dependent primarily on how well the material was selected. Consider the types of industrial fabric building materials we use and others on the market to help you determine which is the best overall option for your needs.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)



Perhaps the gold standard available today, if you need to buy fabric building material that is long-lasting and highly durable, HDPE is the route to take. This product is a polyolefin woven fabric which makes it highly resistant to rips and tears. It is designed specifically for structural applications and building performance, which gives it the added benefit of providing you with a far more durable structure. It’s used in other applications as well including as geomembranes. It is very waterproof and strong, which makes it ideal for nearly any need in fabric building material selection. It is available in fire-rated or non-fire-rated, depending on the model selected.

If you do not want to have to buy fabric building material again soon, invest in a quality product. Those that are 7 ounces can last up to 10 years, while those that have a 13.5 weight will last up to 25 years. Finally, HDPE is beneficial because of its high-density polyethylene material, which makes it resistant to ultraviolet radiation. 

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Perhaps one of the most notable of all types of building materials, PVC can be a beneficial fabric material for many types of buildings.  Fabric building styles with this material will have a significantly higher weight overall, and they may not offer any added protection or performance for that extra weight. Weights can range from 18 ounces up to 28 ounces, and this can be a factor when considering all of your options in pre-fabricated building materials. 

You may wish to use PVC as your building material of choice if the fabric envelope is not supported by a frame. For example, if it is a tensile cable construction or in an air pressure domed space. This will benefit from the higher weight overall. PVC is generally susceptible to being degraded by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.  The use of PVC covers for fabric structures in high-sun areas may be a concern. In addition, your frame for this material must be engineered to carry the additional cladding weight. Keep in mind, too, that the higher way of these building materials tends to make them more expensive.

If you are unsure what type of fabric structure building materials are best suited for your specific application, speak to a fabric structure contractor to go over your specific needs. This will give you more insight into which material selection fits your application the best taking into consideration location, size, and function. 

Other Factors to Consider with Fabric Structure Building Materials


There are numerous factors to think about when it comes to building material selection. Consider these applications and decisions for your re-covers as well:

  • Color: For some projects, color matters. It can be a factor in moving UV light away from the interior of the space, keeping it cooler.
  • Fabric upgrade options: Some products are a higher performance fabric. This means they can handle more UV light, provide better abrasion resistance, and minimize the risk of any cracking. Elite fabrics like this add to the cost but can be beneficial in various applications.
  • Fire rating: Not all building materials are fire retardant, but this is a careful consideration for any location in which there is a risk. 

Finding Building Materials Near Me: How We Can Help You with Fabricated Building Materials in Canada and Beyond

As you consider the options in fabric structure building materials for your re-covering project, give Britespan Building Systems Inc. a call. We can help you throughout the process including with the cost of fabric building recovers, the various material types available, and the overall installation. Note that we offer some of the best fabric building warranty options, giving you peace of mind for years to come. 

With customizable fabric covered structures to meet virtually any need, we strongly encourage you to give our team at Britespan a call for an estimate. No matter the condition of your current structure, our team can work with you to ensure the best possible outcome. We strongly encourage you to ask us about our fabric building warranty which can apply to the re-cover investment you make. 

To learn which fabric building material is best for you  fabric re-cover, contact Britespan Building Systems Inc. now. Let us help you determine what options could be a good fit for the specific application you have (as well as your budget and timeline goals). Contact us now for a consultation.