28 June 2024

Fabric Building Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid: Costly Consequences and Solutions

Maintain Fabric Buildings

As a durable and long-lasting solution for any space, fabric buildings, by far, are ideal for agricultural, industrial, governmental, and other uses. Yet, they are buildings exposed to the environment, which means they do require some maintenance and upkeep over time to keep them functioning at their best (and to extend their already long lifespan). The problem is that it’s easy to make some building maintenance mistakes that could end up costing you money later. 

Simple Building Maintenance Tips Make All of the Difference

As you consider the fabric building maintenance mistakes listed here, keep in mind that proper installation is the first step in avoiding these errors. Before you even start, minimize the risk of any construction mistakes by ensuring a licensed and authorized dealer installs the fabric building properly. This ensures that the work is done properly from the start, making ongoing maintenance easier to manage. 

Consider these fabric-building tips to avoid common mistakes:

Mistake #1: Not Ensuring Tensioned Covers Are In Place Properly

Ensure the proper tension is present on the fabric building. The tension of the covers helps to keep the membrane structure in place properly, which can prove to be a critical factor in protecting what’s in your building and extending its lifespan. 

High-quality HDPE covers will not stretch much over time, but they must be kept taut in every direction. When they are, there is less risk of damage. It’s not uncommon for fabrics to become somewhat loose during seasonal changes or significant changes in temperature. Tightening them up should be a maintenance priority. Inspect the cables thoroughly. If they are loose, contact an Authorized Britespan Dealer to determine the cause and properly re-tension them for the correct tautness.

Mistake #2: Lacking Consistent Inspections

You should visually inspect the fabric building and covers on a consistent basis. Do so whenever there is a significant weather event, especially high winds or significant snow accumulation. However, it is also important to invest in routine inspections even when conditions are good. Look for:

  • Burn holes 
  • Punctures in the fabric 
  • Joint health (look for rust or degradation of any type) 
  • Loose components on posts 
  • Material buildup, such as leaves or debris from surrounding buildings piling up nearby

Fabric building maintenance service is often a worthy investment at least one time a year for a thorough evaluation of the structure. This process will involve using a crane to ensure all components of the building are in good condition. Then, you can make building maintenance priority-based decisions, such as if there is a need to tackle repairs immediately. 

Mistake #3: Not Considering Metal Component Maintenance

It’s easy enough to take a look at the fabric of the building. It’s certainly the most impressive component. Yet, you also need to consider a few metal building maintenance tips, too. That is, take a close look at the metal components of the structure carefully. Look for any signs of corrosion present, as that will directly impact the longevity of the metal itself. 

If you operate your buildings within an area where salt is applied to surfaces during the winter months or near a coastal area, ensure you monitor metal structures for salt-related buildup and damage. This can minimize the lifespan of the equipment considerably. If you have notable corrosion, request a fabric building repair service that can tackle the damage and repair the underlying cause of any structural failures.

Mistake #4: Not Cleaning the Fabric

Another building maintenance priority that’s often overlooked is cleaning the fabric material. This is another potential task to hire a professional service to help with (read our Fabric Building Maintenance FAQ if you plan to do the work yourself). 

In all situations, fabric building covers will have grime, dust, and other residue buildup on them over time. When this happens, the quality of the fabric can wear down if not properly addressed, cleaned, and maintained overall. Don’t make the mistake of simply using a pressure washer on these surfaces, though. Instead, it’s best to minimize any use of pressure that could damage the fabric at a range that is too close.

Mistake #5: Not Getting It Recovered Soon Enough

Fabric building recover services are necessary for all buildings over the long term. They minimize damage to the structure and preserve the overall integrity of the building. The easiest explanation is that if there’s damage to the cover that cannot be easily repaired, a fabric building recover is the route to take.

If you have an older structure (especially one that was installed years ago by a non-Britespan company), recovering your structure could be critically important to minimizing the risk of total replacement. Older materials used in some of the first fabric structures cannot offer the same durability as today’s can. Replacing them can be critical to minimize further risks to your structure. 

Turn to a Professional for Ongoing Support and Maintenance 

At Britespan, you’re not alone in this process. We provide you with all of the resources and tools you need to keep your fabric building operating at the best possible level. If you’re not sure where to start with updating the maintenance to an existing structure, or you know it’s time to consider a new fabric building, contact Britespan Building Systems Inc. for immediate help and guidance.