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Should you take the sides off a marquee in strong winds?

Demystifying Marquee Wind Resistance: Sides On vs. Sides Off

Contrary to a prevailing misconception, a marquee stands more resilient against the wind when its sides are firmly in place rather than left off. The notion that removing the sides allows wind to harmlessly pass through doesn’t hold water, and I’ll elucidate why.

Wind Dynamics: The illustrative diagram depicts how wind interacts with a marquee, revealing that wind entering the marquee accumulates and lifts the roof. The most effective strategy to counter this phenomenon is to position the sides facing the wind and secure the marquee steadfastly.

It’s crucial to note that this discussion pertains to strong winds, not extreme weather conditions. Marquees should never be left standing in conditions of an extreme nature.

Debunking the Myth: Some advocate for side removal in strong winds, believing it alleviates the situation. However, this approach introduces two critical factors.

i. Wind Buildup Under the Roof: Even with one side off, wind still accumulates beneath the marquee roof. Visualize walking across a windy field with an umbrella – removing the sides turns your marquee into a vast, wind-catching umbrella.

ii. Lift Creation by Wind Passing Through: Wind passing through the open side creates lift as it travels over or through the marquee roof. The wind’s increased speed over the roof mirrors the principles behind lift generation, akin to an airplane wing.

This revelation is not intended to instil fear but to dispel a prevailing myth. At Portland Marquees, we advocate best practices for marquee hire companies:

  1. Ensure robust anchoring using tie-down kits at a minimum.
  2. Keep walls on sides likely to face strong winds, positioning the entrance on a different side.
  3. Never remove all sides in strong winds.
  4. Understand the marquee’s limitations – in rare instances of extreme weather warnings, prioritize dismantling.

Thank you for delving into this clarification. We value and welcome your feedback.