10 things to know about car shelters

10 things to know about car shelters

With winter just around the corner, the time has come to install that temporary car shelter to protect your car from the elements. Here are 10 tips for optimal assembly.

1. What’s the word with your municipality?

Check if your municipality permits this type of temporary installation before diving into portable shelter setup.

If it does allow residents to install a temporary winter car shelter, check the following regulations:

  • Dates to put up the car shelter and take it down
  • Recommended materials
  • Distances from street and sidewalk to be respected

2. Foolproof anchors

Mission: securely anchor your shelter to the ground so it doesn’t fly off in blustery winter conditions.

It’s better to install permanent anchors, especially if you live in a windy area. Consult a professional to ensure it gets done right. You can then park with peace of mind.

Include anti-wind straps for even more stability and Bob’s your uncle!

And concrete blocks?

Although concrete blocks can be purchased at the hardware store, they can shift and are not recommended to safely secure a shelter.

Sandbags are often used as an added safety measure to complement anchors.

3. When to install the tarp?

The ideal time to set it up is just after the first snowfall.

You can clear and move snow around the base of the tarp. This extra weight will be your best protection against those frequent gusts of wind in the fall.

4. Nothing between the structure and tarp

There is a common belief that wood slats installed between the tarp and structure will better support the weight of snow throughout the winter.

However, this is not the case at all! No material should be placed between the tarp and the structure. It will do its job and support the weight, as long as you clear it after every snowfall.

5. Regular snow removal

You should clear any snow from the shelter roof after every storm to avoid weakening or damaging its structure.

Use a broom or ice scraper to push snow away from the shelter.

Keep in mind that using a shovel, rough movement and/or random objects could cause the tarp to rip during snow removal.

6. How is it holding up?

You have to regularly inspect the structure’s tarp tension, anchors and bolts over the course of the winter.

You may need to make adjustments to the structure as it bears the brunt of winter weather.

7. Blowin’ in the wind

Prevent your temporary shelter from being carried away like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz!

With the wind a-blowing, it’s always better to let air circulate through the structure by slightly opening its front and back flaps.

8. Beware of poisoning

Never ever start a vehicle and leave the engine running inside a temporary shelter.

Even if the air circulates better than in a closed space, there is always a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

9. The art of storing a temporary shelter

There are some steps to follow in the spring before saying goodbye to your shelter.

Examine the tarp for signs of wear and tear. See that it is repaired as required.

Also check if the structure has warped at all under the weight of the snow.

Clean the tarp with mild soap and leave plenty of time to fully dry before rolling it up. Then store it indoors away from moisture, its worst enemy.

As for the structure, store it in a place where it is protected from the elements.

10. Let’s talk insurance!

You will be compensated through your home insurance if your shelter is damaged by weather conditions like strong wind or freezing rain.

Your auto insurance also offers protection if your temporary shelter damages your vehicle.

And if your shelter injures someone or damages their property?

If someone is injured or incurs damage caused by your car shelter, they may be compensated through your civil liability coverage under your home insurance.

Proof would be required that you were negligent when installing or maintaining the shelter.