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Frequently Asked Canopy, Tent, and Shelter Questions

FAQ

What is the difference between a frame tent and a pole tent?

In the simplest terms, a frame tent has a fabric top that rests on a complete metal framework, which a pole tent is created by inserting side and center poles into a top and using the anchoring system to pull the top tight. Visit our Pole Tents vs. Frame Tents page for a video and an in-depth explanation.

 

What is the life expectancy of a commercial grade tent?

A seasonal use tent that is properly cared for can last up to 10 years with no major issues. We define "seasonal" as only being used during the summer months. Tents that are set up for only a few months out of the year will have a longer life expectancy than a tent that is used year round, or set up and torn down every weekend.

Tent fabric is most prone to damage during handling, transportation, setup and tear down. Proper handling combined with good practices such as using a drop cloth, minimizing wind whip with proper tension, and taking the tent down prior to severe weather will all prolong the tent's life.

Tents may lose their luster or accumulate staining after a few years; these tents can still provide shelter from the elements. Cleaning aids such Celina Citrus Cleaner and Mold Prevention Treatment help to maintain the look of the tent fabric. The fabric and frame systems that support the tent will not withstand the forces of inclement weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or heavy snow storms. When possible, tents or shelters should be taken down prior to severe weather.

 

What is the difference between a tent and a canopy?

The terms tent, canopy, marquee, pavilion, and shelter are used interchangeably by end users throughout the world.

We refer to a canopy as a small structure comprised of a fabric top and lightweight support system. Canopies usually do not have sidewalls. Most tops have one-piece construction and are not expandable. A basic canopy is designed to shelter against the sun or light rain only.

A tent is a temporary structure composed of a covering made of a pliable membrane or fabric and supported by poles, metal frames, beams, columns, arches, ropes and/or cables. At Celina Tent, the term tent is used to define a product made to withstand a moderate amount of use and weather (rain, moderate wind load).

  

What type of materials are used to create tents from Celina Tent?

Fabric materials used in manufacturing vary between tent series and brands. For most party tents, vinyl (PVC coated polyester scrim) is used to make all of the fabric top and sidewalls, with the addition of webbing, rope, and brass grommets. Tents for military or specialty hospital shelters require materials that meet requires for government specs, or use materials that have special coatings and treatments.

To identify the material used to construct a specific tent, navigate to that tent's product page.

 

What should be done if a tent is up and a storm is coming?

The #1 concern in that situation is safety. IMMEDIATELY evacuate the tent site at the first sign of harsh weather.

If bad weather is anticipated, striking the tent completely is the best course of action. In the event that the tent cannot be completely taken down, try and remove as much fabric from the tent (sidewalls and tent top) as possible to reduce wind loading. Click Here to see our page on Severe Weather Safety.

 

What is wrong with using water barrels to anchor a tent?

The average water barrel doesn't have nearly enough weight to offset the forces required to keep a tent installed and in place. Visit Water Barrels & Deadweights for detailed information on anchoring a tent using various methods.

 

How is a tent cleaned?

Manual tent cleaning is performed by laying the tent fabric on a solid surface swept free of debris. A drop cloth must always be used between the tent fabric and the surface to reduce the risk of sharp objects that could puncture holes or damage the fabric while the tent is being walked on during the cleaning process. The tent is then cleaned by hand using tent cleaner or warm soapy water. Clean rags or soft bristled brushes are used to loosen dirt and debris, after which the tent top is rinsed with clean water. Visit our Tent Care, Cleaning, and Storage page for more information. Click here to see all of Celina Tent's cleaning products. 

 

Do you sell used tents?

No. Celina Tent only sells new tents and canopies. This way we can be sure that the products we sell start out with the highest quality when shipped to the customer.

 

Does Celina Tent import or manufacture its tents?

Celina Tent, Inc. is a manufacturer of tents and many other types of industrial fabric products. With the primary manufacturing and printing facility located in Celina, Ohio USA, Celina Tent also operates a second wholly owned facility located in Taicang, China. Having our own dedicated manufacturing facilities allow us to tightly monitor all aspects of production, such as design, raw materials, scheduling, and inspection.

The US-based manufacturing allows us to be a recognized shelter, tent, and fabric products supplier to the US government, U.S. Department of Defense, FEMA and the Government of Israel.

While some of our ancillary products or accessories may be purchased and 'imported,' our fabric products are manufactured by Celina Tent in a Celina facility. By melding the two operations Celina Tent is able to provide an array of quality products to serve customers globally.

 

What are Pin Holes? What is Scrim Mold? How do they occur?

A pin hole is a small puncture or abrasion that penetrates through any number of PVC layers. Pin holes may cause fabric discoloration due to scrim mold in translucent fabrics or allow excess light to pass through the fabric in blockout fabrics, creating the appearance of 'stars in the night sky'.

Scrim mold is mold or mildew that grows inside the tent, canopy, shelter, or structure fabric. This occurs when moisture penetrates the scrim through small abrasions or pin holes in the PVC film layer. Scrim mold will cause discoloration in translucent fabric as light passes through. There is no way to remove scrim discoloration once it has occurred. Blockout fabrics are less likely to show scrim mold, and are recommended for all tents, canopies, shelters, and fabric structures.

Our page on Drop Cloths, Pin Holes, and Scrim Mold has more videos and information.

 

What does it mean to 'Square a Tent'?

'Squaring a tent' is the process of laying out the perimeter and stake or anchor locations prior to laying out the tent fabric. This lets you make sure that all of the tent hardware will be installed so that all of the tension makes for the best, safest, and most visually pleasing tent.

Tent squaring is the critical first step in the installation of most any pole tents, tension tents, or clear span fabric structures. Our page on Tent Squaring/Staking Procedures has a downloadable PDF and instructional video. 

 

What is a Job Site Inspection/Pre-Installation Survey?

When scouting a location for a tent, a job site inspection/pre-installation survey reviews the area prior to setup to ensure safety and efficiency. Job site inspections review location, underground obstructions, overhead obstructions, and surface conditions. For detailed information and the PDF, visit our Job Site Inspections/Pre-Installation Survey Page.

 

Can Celina manufacture custom size tents?

Yes. Celina manufactures various types, styles and sizes of custom tents. Unfortunately, each new tent design requires our engineering team to create new drawings, bill of materials, and work instructions, which is a time consuming process. Unless 5 or more tents are required, it is usually cost prohibitive for Celina to manufacture custom size tents. If you have a specific need for tent industrial textile products contact us.

 

Does Celina manufacture tables, chairs, and related accessories?

Items such as tables, chairs, flooring and other accessories are sourced from one of our numerous suppliers. All items that Celina Tent sources are tested for durability and safety at our Quality Assurance Lab located at our main Celina, Ohio facility to ensure that each and every product meets the quality standards we require.

 

Does Celina Tent have a sales rep network?

No, Celina Tent has opted not to establish a traditional 'outside sales network'. With today's technology, we feel that we can provide a better customer experience focusing on tools that will provide information on demand, when you want it. Our website allows you to find comprehensive information such as training videos, manuals, care instructions, and chat support. All of the information normally channeled through a sales network can be found on our website, cutting out the middleman.

 

What is the difference between Anodized Aluminum and Galvanized Steel? Which is the tent better option?

While both materials are corrosion resistant and exhibit sufficient strength for the task, the biggest differences are weight, price, and corrosion.

Aluminum hardware is very strong, and are found to be more aesthetically pleasing. Most choose aluminum over steel as a weight saving measure, though the weight difference is not that great. Aluminum components need to be made thicker than comparable steel for a given capacity. All aluminum components used by Celina Tent are anodized; anodizing is the process when aluminum poles and tubing are treated to form a hard, protective coating to improve outdoor performance.

Steel hardware is extremely strong and durable, and on the whole cheaper than aluminum counterparts. It's major disadvantage is weight, as steel is heavier than aluminum which can cause issues when dealing with large amounts of product. Celina's steel pole and tube products are galvanized, a process in which steel poles and tubing receive a protective coating of zinc to prevent rust. Though the galvanizing process can stave off corrosion to some extend, items should be covered when not in use to prevent or minimize rust formation.

 

How long does it take to setup a tent?

Setup times vary greatly depending on the tent's type and size, the experience level of the installers, the installation site, weather conditions, and more. To give an idea of installation time, check out our Time Lapse Video Playlist.

 

How do sidewalls work?

Sidewalls come in three main classes specific to various types of tents: Pole and Frame, Pinnacle, and Fast Shade Pop Up Canopy.

Pole and Frame Tent Sidewalls

These sidewalls have three connection areas - snap hooks along the top, quick release buckles along the sides, and grommets along the bottom. Standard pole and frame tent tops have a rope line attached to the inside; the snap hooks along the top of the sidewall connect to this rope, hanging between the tent's legs or poles and the guy lines that extend to the anchoring. Each end of the sidewall is created with quick release buckles that attach to additional walls (to form complete wall units) or that wrap around the leg or pole at the end of the wall, attaching to itself for a clean look. The grommets along the bottom of the wall requires a rope line, fed through the grommets from end to end. This rope is then pinned to the ground to keep the sidewall bottom from moving in breezes.

Pinnacle Sidewalls

As the Pinnacle Series High Peak Frame Tent does not have a rope line on the top fabric, each sidewall is equipped with alligator clips along the top and sides for attachment. The straps at each clip location wrap around the perimeter (top of sidewall) or leg (side of sidewall) tubing, and then are fed through the alligator clip. The clip's teeth keep the straps from pulling out of the clip unless the thumb button is pressed. Also along the sides of the wall are lines of hook and loop fastener, which allow the sidewalls to connect to additional sidewalls and form a complete enclosure. The bottom of the wall has grommets for a rope line, allowing the bottoms to be staked similar to pole and frame tent sidewalls.

Fast Shade Pop Up Canopy Sidewalls

The simplest design for our mobile tents, Fast Shade sidewalls have a line of hook and loop fastener along the top that connects to the tent top's valance. Each side has both hook and loop straps and a zipper component; the straps wrap around the tent legs to attach the wall, while the zipper sections are used to connect adjacent walls to one another.

All sidewalls come in stock white, and can be custom printed to match your tent. For a more detailed look at sidewalls, check out our Sides: How Do Sidewalls / Curtains Work? video.

 

What is the difference between a sectional tent top and a one piece tent top?

A tent with a sectional top has multiple pieces of fabric that need to be connected prior to installation, while a single piece tent top is one fabricated unit. The reason for sectional style tops comes from the ability to use them in expanding or shrinking a tent's length - pieces can be removed or added to create a tent of nearly any desired size. This allows for maximum tent usage, as two ends and a few middle sections can be used for multiple sizes depending on the event. It also makes transporting larger tents easier, as the fabric is broken up into easier-to-handle portions.

 

Why is a tent called a "20' x 30'", and not a "30' x 20'"?

Tent names list the width, followed by the length. This common across all tent styles to keep from confusing complete tents with sectional tent pieces.

A sectional, say a 40' by 60', has three pieces: a 40' x 20' grommet end, a 40' by 20' mid, and a 40' x 20' lace end. If you wanted to replace the grommet end and swapped the measurements (ordering a 20' by 40' grommet end), you would receive a tent piece that would have grommets along the 20' side. You would not be able to create a tent top that stretched across the frame as it is only half the width you need.

Watch our video guide to tent naming here: A Guide To Naming Tents - Shelter, Canopy & Tent Naming System

 

 

 

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