The lifespan of your SoulPad is very much dependent upon the camping conditions and the way in which you care for and maintain your SoulPad. Air pollution, ultraviolet radiation, natural dirt (bird droppings, sand, salt and water) and domestic dirt (cooking stains, wine and sun cream) all limit the lifespan of your cotton canvas SoulPad tent, as will the level of care and maintenance that you choose to apply. Any problem areas should be dealt with immediately.
Brand new canvas tents can often leak on their first few wets, with the leaks becoming less and less with each wetting and drying process. This doesn’t always happen, but some new canvas tents may need to go through a process called weathering. Weathering is the wetting and drying of a canvas tent.
Some water droplets may penetrate the canvas to begin with, but the cotton fibres in the weave will eventually swell and nestle into each other. The result is a water resistant tent and one that will give years and years of good service if it is looked after properly. Some SoulPad tents will need weathering two, three or even more times before every last water inlet is eliminated. With patience, those last few drips will eventually cease. This process can be accelerated artificially using a fine spray on a hose pipe if preferred. For the weathering process to be completed (either artificially or naturally), it is important that the tent dries thoroughly in-between wets.
Commonly water will accumulate on the labels inside the SoulPad tent during the weathering process, or where the vertical walls are attached to the sloping roof. This falsely gives the impression that these are problem areas. This is not the case. Again, this will eventually cease.
If the ground is too wet or soft (such as with sandy soil), pegs may become loose and pop out of the ground more easily in a small breeze. In this instance it is advisable to switch to wooden pegs as these purchase the ground better in such conditions.
If there is not enough tension on the poles they will move. Please check the pitching instructions and follow them carefully.
The slides on your SoulPad tent will need to have tension re-applied to them following heavy rain, or wind. Check them over periodically. If you plan to use your SoulPad tent in particularly adverse weather conditions (especially windy conditions) it is advisable to switch the standard slides to locking slides. Always close all windows and entrances before adjusting the slides.
Correct Placing of Items Inside The SoulPad Tent:
Do not place items too close to the canvas. During windy and/or wet conditions these may harm the canvas or cause it to let in water.
Do not hang objects from any of the fixings inside the tent intended for the inners. This will cause undue stress on the canvas and may cause distortion. The objects you hang may also cause damage to the canvas during windy conditions.
Ultraviolet radiation can affect the SoulPad tent’s canvas performance and its water resistant capabilities. When re-waterproofing your SoulPad tent, look for products that also include UV protection.
Immediate effects of UV can be ‘bleaching’ – a change in colour of the canvas to lighter shades. Compare your SoulPad canvas fly sheet with the canvas bag it came in. They are made of the same material but it is likely that the canvas bag has been less exposed to UV. Is there a marked difference in colour? If so, it may be time to treat your canvas fly sheet. UV can also lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of the waterproofing and anti-fungal treatments.
All of the components used to produce SoulPads tents have anti-UV treatments and properties but will need to be monitored carefully and replaced at the first sign of degradation. All the canvas used to produce SoulPad tents is treated to be water, UV and mould resistant to protect it from dirt, ultraviolet radiation and fungus. SoulPads can be used straight out of the bag, without any need for treatments prior to use. However, the treatments will not last forever. Your SoulPads lifespan will depend largely on how well you replenish these treatments.
Guy lines and slides will eventually need replacing and a common cause for accelerated wear can be due to UV exposure.
SoulPads are not winterised tents and as such they are not intended for use in snowy conditions. If for any reason your SoulPad does find itself in these conditions you must regularly remove the snow from the canvas surface. The SoulPad tents are not designed to withstand heavy payloads of snow.
Zips sometimes endure extreme tensions. These can be caused by wind gusts, improper erections and adverse pressures caused by people or objects leaning against your SoulPad. Close all zips before erecting, adjusting or taking down your SoulPad. Handle the zips with care. To protect the zips treat them with silicones once in a while. If a zip on your erected SoulPad seems strained, play with the tension on the guy lines or adjust the positioning of the wall loops to find out which adjustment helps the zip to function better. When a SoulPad is erected incorrectly it can cause the zips to fail.
This is the process of replenishing the treatments already applied at the point of manufacture. Spotting when it is time to re-proof can be difficult. A SoulPad tent that has enough proofing agents present will cause the water on the surface to ‘bead’ after a downpour.
The tent will dry quickly in a breeze or sunlight and it will not fade rapidly when exposed to UV. You will literally see beads of water forming on the outer surface of the canvas. When it is time to re-proof your SoulPad, you will notice that the water no longer beads, and that the SoulPad retains the moisture in the canvas for longer, taking longer to dry out than before. The colour of the canvas may also have faded. In the worst cases, mildew will start to appear in the form of small irremovable specs.
Reproofing is simple. SoulPad recommends the use of Granger’s Fabsil with UV. A 5 litre container of this product is enough to treat even the largest of SoulPads. Please follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using this product. In simple terms: add the liquid to a pressurised container and spray onto the outer surface of the dry SoulPad tent (in fine weather) and allow it to dry. A fine coating is sufficient.
Fungus and Mildew:
One of the most common problems to occur in canvas is mildew. This is easily preventable.
The onset of fungus or mildew is a sure sign that your SoulPad is past needing a treatment with a cleaner and waterproofing agent, or that it has been stored incorrectly.
There are a number of reasons why mildew develops in canvas (exposure to dust and/or bacteria for example). It is most commonly formed when exposed to certain conditions of humidity and temperature.
Even if the canvas is mildew resistant, mildew will form if left damp. The best way to dry your SoulPad tent is for it to be fully pitched and allowed to dry naturally in fair weather. It should not be hung to dry as fungus and mildew could form in the folds and creases of a hung SoulPad tent.
Mildew is very destructive to cotton fabrics as well as other materials. Mildew most commonly forms when tents are put into storage when damp. However, depending on the environment mildew can start while the tent is set up also. Under certain conditions of humidity and temperature it’s on-set can be very fast indeed. If mildew has started to grow, it can be stopped from spreading by thoroughly drying the tent (preferably in the hot sun) and applying a cleaner, followed by the re-waterproofing of any areas cleaned.
When dealing with fungus use a soft brush or sponge and a lot of fresh water to remove as much as you can and to stop the fungus from spreading. Only use specialised canvas tent cleaning products for this purpose. Other domestic, chemical products can be too harsh and cause the canvas structure to breakdown and leak.
Be sure to air your tent from time-to-time. Condensation levels should be kept to a minimum by regular airing (open the windows and entrances regularly to allow air to circulate inside the tent too.
Keeping grass and weeds trimmed around the bottom of the tent is also important since dampness clings to foliage and does not allow air to get to the fabric.