First, I need to distract G because the main part of this post is likely to make her confiscate my pavilion for mistreatment. So here are some photos from my garden at the moment (click the picture to load a larger version).
.. and here are some photos of the mildew/mold/something nasty chewing damage to our double bell wedge pavilion.*
Before any treatment:
This is the back center panel, in the lower right as you’re facing the tent. This is the smallest of the actual holes and is surrounded by some canvas that while not actually torn is structurally weak.
This one’s the other side of the back center panel. The damage is much worse here and this is actually the most badly damaged place. The seam that runs through this patch is seamed around a piece of canvas strap which has also deteriorated in at least one place. You can still see the duct tape we used to patch the hole this past weekend in this shot.
This spot lines up with the spot that’s the most damaged on the back when the pavilion is folded and in storage, but it’s in the door flap, so it’s somewhat less critical. Still, the entire bottom of that panel will need to be patched.
And after some scrubbing with a 1:8 mixture of chlorine bleach and water (as recommended here, from a referral from G), rinsed and left to dry overnight:
The scrubbing opened up the hole a bit, which I expected given how deteriorated the canvas was, but the stain is significantly reduced and I’m pretty sure that anything that might have still been living in the canvas eating away at it is now dead.
The canvas on the front right and back left appears to be fully sound, but the holes in the back center left and right and in the door will need to be patched. The smaller patch is only about 10 inches square, but the two larger patches (the back center left and the door) will require a patch about 18 inches wide by about 40 or so inches tall. The back center left is complicated by the fact that it spans one of the seams of the pavilion (but fortunately not the seam that bears the bulk of the stress from the ridgepole) and I don’t think I’m brave enough to try that one on my own, but we’ll see how I feel after doing the others.
*We discovered the damage last weekend when we went to load the car to attend our first camping event of the year. It’s entirely our own fault – we have a hard-packed dirt garage floor and left the canvas bag the pavilion was stored in sit directly on the floor over the winter and spring. something decided to eat it. The pavilion is structurally sound (we used it last week with just some duct tape to seal the holes in case of rain), but that’s mostly because the rot missed the four main seams that bear the most of the stress. It also helps that we use a swingset pole arrangement (I’ll likely post some pictures of that in a few days) so unlike a normal bell wedge, the stakes don’t have to put the canvas under as much stress for the tent to be stable. Yes, if we leave the stakes loose at the points of wear, the tent sags a bit there, but I’ll deal with a little sag to not have to replace the entire pavilion!