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Can the material of the shelter get mildewed if it’s ‘put away’ and wet?

Hi Robert,
Thanks for the info! I have one more question. Can the material of the shelter get mildewed if it’s ‘put away’ and wet? We are planning to use these for a Sunday School classroom and during the winter if it’s raining, the material will be wet. This would be set up outside at an Elementary school, so it would need to be taken down after at a certain time regardless of whether it’s wet or dry. The concern is that if it’s put away while it’s wet and stays like that until the next week, that it might get a mildew smell. Would this be the case?
Tami Norris

The covering itself will not mildew but any dirt that gets on the covering will. If the dome is put away wet, when you open it up later, it is may smell. I suggest taking it dome into a room that is dry and warm with at least one big fan blowing and unrolling it. Drying can happen with out the heat or fan but is delayed. Crack a window to let the warm most air out and leave the door ajar if possible. Go into the room several times a day and move the covering about so that other parts of the wet covering are exposed to the moving warm air. If possible pull the dome’s covering over chairs or tables so that the air can get under it. You can also hang the dome’s cover from the top Grip Clip that is at the top of the dome and pull this clip up to a height so that the cover is not touching the ground but you will need a high ceiling to do this. You should dry it out completely before storage unless you plan to put it up the next day. It is better to leave it up in the rain then put it away wet.

I purchased a 32 ft dome last year and would like to know how to clean the outside. What can I use as it is black from the trees? What do you recommend and how should I go about cleaning it?

I suggest using a sponge mop with a strong cleaner and a handle extension so you can reach the top of the dome. Rinse with a hose.

I’ve been using it as a church and am very pleased with it so far. When it rains hard there are some puddles inside. I haven’t figured out where it is coming in from yet.

Perhaps while you are cleaning you can locate the leak by shooting a fine rain like spray up and have it fall back down on the top of your dome. Have some one inside at the same time to locate the leak.

Do you have any suggestions on how to stop the rain from coming in? Some of the overlapping flaps seem loose, is this normal?

No loose shingling is not normal. Some times in assembly one of the layers may be twisted and cause this.

How do I tighten them?

The best way: is to remove the poles from one of the clips that is on one side of the loose flaps. Take up the slack and re clip it. This will require some practice at “clipping”.

Another simpler way is clean and dry the area were there is leakage and then apply a bead of 100% “Silicon Rubber” caulking between the two shingles at their overlap; along the overlaps full length and then press them together. This should glue the shingling in place. After the silicon cures test again for leakage with your hose as described above.

Would love a photo of your church with members inside and or outside.

Thank you for your help. Pastor Jim – j.h.jasinski

I have an 18 foot and a 20 foot dome.  I recently took both domes to Burning Man and had the unfortunate experience of both domes collapsing in a major wind event on Monday of Burning Man week.  The domes were totally exposed to the wind since they were located in the walk-in camping area and no structures were located around them.  One pole basically shatered in one of the domes and a number of poles got bent in both domes.  Both domes where correctly staked (rebar around the domes and guy ropes to the pole connectors on the first level from the ground.  I replaced all damaged poles and the domes held up the rest of the week. I have a few questions regarding this event.

1 In guying the domes, is it bettter to tie the guy rope around the pole connectors (I know you are not suppossed to tie it to the poles) or is it better to tie to the rope that is attached to the pole connectors?  Is there a particular way to put these guy ropes (distance from dome, angles, anything else) that would put less stress on the domes, specially the vertical poles taht are closest to the ground surface?

It should not matter if you tie the guy lines to the connectors or the clip cords. And you are quite right about Not tying to the poles as this will pull the pole out of the connectors.

In setting a guy Always include a strong section of “bun-gee” (the black strong type) into the line so that there is some give and take. Domes have failed due to the fact that the guy lines are too stiff and this prevents the dome from flexing with the wind. (my guess is this is why your domes lower poles failed)

Set guy lines as long as possible since a short line put more downward compression stress on the poles.

Always set as many guy lines as possible.

It is often best not to set guy lines as dome clips have be ripped out by guy lines and guy lines can prevent a dome from responding flexibly to wind loads.

2 It seems like the row of poles that are closest to the ground surface and are vertical receive the most tension in heavy wind conditions.  Are these the most likely to give way first in heavy wind conditions?  If so, would heavier poles (Schedule 40) help in heavy wind conditions?

Where you able to watch the dome in the wind? Do you have photos of the dome in wind or after the wind damage? If so please send them. Did you notice any difference between the performance of the two domes? I have not tried Schedule 40 side-wall poles on the dome and am unsure if it would strengthen the dome. If you try it let me know if it helps.

3 Do you have any suggestions to customized the domes to make them more resistant to heavier wind conditions?

You can put a second set of (slightly longer) poles on the dome by tying a second set of connectors on the out side of the existing connectors.

Thanks and I appreciate any information that you can give me on this.  Carlos