Drop Cloths, Pin Holes & Scrim Mold
Protecting your tent fabric can be as easy as one additional step in the installation process - the use of drop cloths.
Drop cloths are any fabric sheets that are placed on the ground prior to unfolding a tent top. This additional layer may not seem like much, but offers the best protection against any incidental punctures from small rocks, sticks, or debris that may be lying in the tent installation footprint. Since most vinyl will react to random chemicals, especially oils, protecting your tent fabric in areas like parking lots and yards where chemicals may be present is a major concern.
Cloths are laid out over the tent footprint, at which point the fabric is rolled out, connected (if dealing with sectional tents), and attached to the tent support system.
Pin Holes are tiny holes that occur when vinyl encounters sharp objects. In most cases, tents experience pin holes when they are placed or dragged on rough surfaces, creating the tiny tears and punctures. When installed, pinpoints of lights will show through because of these holes. This is especially noticeable on 16 ounce blockout vinyls which, due to their construction, block most light in the first place.
The use of drop cloths allows you to prevent the majority of pin holes, which occur during the installation process.
Scrim is the coarse, woven polyester material used as reinforcement in both laminated and coated PVC vinyl. The flexible weave is integrated into the PVC during the manufacturing process, and adds the majority of the tensile strength exhibited by the material.
Scrim Mold occurs when moisture penetrates the scrim through small abrasions or pin holes in the outer PVC film layer. Mold can begin to grow along the woven polyester causing discoloration in the fabric, and can begin to block out patches of light in translucent vinyls. There is no way to remove scrim mold and discoloration once it has occurred.