Canvas tents have many advantages, but their propensity to mould is not one of them. Tents that are put away damp or get water leaked on them can easily mould, creating permanent damage to the canvas.
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Mold discolours canvas with dark green or black spots. A mildew odour is also present. While the tent can be treated, the stain and smell cannot always be completely removed. Mildew also removes the water-shedding properties of the cotton in the affected areas.
Canvas tents with mould damage release mould spores into the air. Besides smelling bad, these can cause allergies in many individuals. Treating the tent will remove much of the problem, but sensitive individuals may still react to the remaining airborne particles.
Preventing and Treating Mold
To keep mould from forming, always completely dry canvas tents before storing, and keep them in an area free of dampness, humidity or dripping water. Mold that is beginning to develop can be arrested by laying the canvas tent in the sun. Once mould has formed, it can be treated with a bleach mixture thorough drying.
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