InTents August/September 2020 - 34

business | safety

Disinfecting fabrics in
the age of COVID-19
Expert advice for eliminating a deadly virus while
keeping employees and end users safe.
by Pamela Mills-Senn

rior to the COVID-19 pandemic,
manufacturers of textile-based
products like event tents, gym mats
and pads, soft seating and bounce
houses faced the usual questions
from their customers about how to
clean and disinfect these items. But
there is nothing routine in the age of
coronavirus. Fabric products used in
high-trafϐic or high-touch environments
that previously seemed innocuous
are now considered a potential vector
for transmitting the virus, generating
alarm over the risk they might pose.
As a result, textile and fabric producers
are ϐielding calls from their customers
about the best way to protect the public,
particularly as the country begins to
open back up from quarantine.
Chuck Shipp, president of Shipp
Cleaning Systems, is also getting
these calls. Located in Conyers, Ga.,
the company manufactures cleaning
chemicals and partners with cleaning
equipment manufacturers to distribute
to the tent and special event industries,
as well as to the general tool and
equipment rental industry. Inquiries
have varied, he says.
"The challenge in the inϐlatable
industry is to ensure the safety of the
customers from cross-contamination
from all possible germs, including
COVID-19," Shipp says. "In the tent
industry, the primary focus has been

P
New opportunities
The pandemic has challenged many
end product manufacturers in the
specialty textile industry. James
Miller, sales representative for Snyder
Manufacturing Inc., a provider of
high-performance laminated fabrics,
coated mesh and extruded films
based in Dover, Ohio, suggests that
customers who are struggling pivot to
making devices like screens, curtains
and dividers. "I feel there's going to
be a large demand for separating
people as restrictions are eased,"
he says. "There's a whole new
market now for separation barriers
that didn't exist four months ago."

34 intents

0820IT_p34_CV4.indd 34

on cleaning contaminated tents that
were used for medical purposes and
ensuring the safety of employees who
take down a medical-purposed tent.
The constant question has been how to
prevent cross-contamination from the
employees to the customers and from
the customers to the employees."
Inquiries concerning compatibility
between cleaners/disinfectants and
the material are common, says James
Miller, sales representative for Snyder
Manufacturing Inc. Located in Dover,
Ohio, the company manufactures highquality standard and custom industrial
vinyl fabrics, mesh and ϐilm used for a
range of applications by its commercial,
industrial and government customers.
Like Shipp, Miller says the majority
of the questions have come from tent
rental companies whose tents are being
directly exposed to COVID-19 patients.
Miller and Shipp were among a
group that developed a list of COVID-19
cleaning and safety best practices for
the Tent Rental Division of IFAI. This
was an important effort, says Miller,
because although everyone in the tent
industry has particular expertise-
such as designing or constructing tents,
producing the material, or installing
and dismantling them-there was
no centralized source of information
about understanding the dynamics and
potential impacts of the virus.

aug-sept 2020

7/21/20 9:22 AM



InTents August/September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents August/September 2020

InTents August/September 2020 - Cover1
InTents August/September 2020 - Cover2
InTents August/September 2020 - 1
InTents August/September 2020 - 2
InTents August/September 2020 - 3
InTents August/September 2020 - 4
InTents August/September 2020 - 5
InTents August/September 2020 - 6
InTents August/September 2020 - 7
InTents August/September 2020 - 8
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