Using Marquees and Gazebos in Bad Weather

Whistling winds, relentless torrential rain and heavy snow loading, due to climate change we are undoubtedly facing the most extreme weather conditions ever in the UK. One day you can be sitting outside, basking in the sunshine in the pub garden, the next you’re being pelted with a severe downpour of a biblical nature. If you own a marquee or gazebo, then you'll be aware that it doesn't matter how strong they are, if they aren't used with due care and attention, then they can be destroyed by adverse weather conditions. This short guide is intended to provide you with some answers about using your marquee or gazebo in bad weather.

Gala Tent are specialist marquee and gazebo tent manufacturers with over 20 years experience, and over this time period we have seen just about every weather condition that our tents could have faced. We understand the engineering and science of our structures and how to maintain them during weather warnings.

Marquees and Gazebos in wind

Marquees and gazebos come in all shapes and sizes, from an easy to dismantle 3m x 3m lightweight pop-up gazebo, up to a huge 9m x 30 modular structure with industrial framework. Whilst they might have different levels of difficulty in protecting from wind, the general rules of thumb would be the same. If there's a storm of anything over 25mph winds predicted, we offer this advice:

  • If you have not yet erected the tent, then if at all possible then simply do not erect it until the storm has passed

  • If you MUST erect it before the storm, then at least try to remove the covers to avoid causing a wind-sail effect. The fewest possible points of resistance will protect your property

  • Ensure it is ANCHORED WELL. There's no such thing as too much anchorage - storm straps and heavy duty pegs on soft ground, 50kg water weights or concrete blocks on hard ground. if you have a marquee then use ground bars and then stake it to the ground using heavy duty pegs. If you have any fixed anchor points available then use them.

  • DO NOT try to erect your tent in the middle of high winds

Marquees and Gazebos in rain

Good quality marquees and gazebo, such as the comprehensive range available to buy from Gala Tent, will have water-resistant covers and fully protect you and your event from the rain. The 240gsm of the Original PE marquees is double-coated to ensure no rain gets through, the 650gsm PVC is completely watertight. The 600 denier PVC coated polyester covers of the gazebos come with a hydrostatic head of 6000, which means that it would need a tube that's 6m long, full of water, before there's any resistance.

However, each of the canopies of a marquee or gazebo is stitched together, which means the mostly likely point that water would get into your tent is through the stitch points. Equally, if you do use due care and attention with your covers then holes can be caused in other ways. You can protect from this by taking exceptional care of your covers.

  • Ensure you unclip the gazebo canopy and remove the peak-pole sock before you take down your gazebo to avoid unnecessary stretching of the material and the stitching

  • Remove the gazebo canopy from your frame when you close it down. This will help to avoid the metal of the framework nicking your canopy and causing pin-prick holes

  • Apply seam sealant to your stitched seams every now and then to plug any potential future problems

  • If there's water collecting on the roof of your marquee in a storm, then gently push it up and away from the inside of the tent, otherwise it will collect more and more, stretching your covers to tearing point

Marquees and Gazebos in snow

We all love a little snow; it can be very pretty; however, it can also be very destructive. Snow loads take down trees, cave in roofs on homes, pull down scaffold on building sites and will efficiently destroy your tent.

Snow is heavy; try to pick up a snowman! On average, a cubic meter of freshly fallen snow has an average weight mass of about 55 kilograms. Snow that has been compacted by its own weight over a few days can weight 3 to 4 time more on average, which means that your tent can sit with upwards of 200kg of weight on its roof.

A pop-up gazebo, with its roof sections’ smaller surface areas, will be less susceptible to snow collection on the canopy, and therefore will be less likely to receive damage through heavy weight on the top. A roof section of a marquee, however, has a much larger surface area. In some cases such as a Fusion Marquee, the surface area can be as wide as 3m x 4.5m.

  • If there's heavy snow fall, be sure to visit your marquee to brush as much snow from the canopy as possible. Ideally do this every hour or so to keep your job simple

  • If it's not possible to do this or heavy snow is predicted to fall overnight then remove the canopy altogether

Marquee and Gazebo warranties in case of bad weather

At Gala Tent, we pride ourselves on market leading warranties on our products. However, Gala Tent has no authority or control when it comes to the weather, and it would be down to the owner to take precautions to ensure the safety of the tent and the people around it.

We cannot cover damage that has been caused by adverse weather. As you will read above, there are many preventative things that you can do to maintain your product in the best possible condition. If you have purchased a marquee for personal use like a garden party you may be covered on your home insurance policy and in some cases, we have seen the insurance company fund a replacement tent. If you are a hire business, then you should have insurance in place so chat to your broker and get some cover in place.

Spare parts

We do know that accidental damage can and does happen, and therefore we have a full range of spare parts for our marquees and gazebos available with next working day delivery. These parts range from nuts and bolts to replacement legs and beams, to full sets of covers. In fact, from the spare part range available from Gala Tent, you could easily build an entire new pop-up gazebo or party tent marquee.

If your tent has been damaged by the weather, then explore our range of spares by the link below and if you need any guidance from our team then they can be reached on 01709 242454, by starting a Live Chat, or by requesting a call back via the form.

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