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Tarps and Their Uses

Different Types of Tarps and Their Uses

A tarpaulin is a large sheet of robust, water-resistant, flexible material, usually made from canvas or polyester coated with polyurethane or plastics. A tarp is considered a valuable and innovative invention because of its versatility; the material has countless applications. Commonly, tarps create temporary shelters, such as tents and pet housing Learn about Tarps and Their Uses. The numerous application of tarps has resulted in many different types designed for various purposes.

What to Consider When Choosing Tarps

Water Resistance

Multipurpose tarps made from nylon and polyethylene often have lower resilience with water than poly tarps but are water-resistant. Water-resistant and waterproof tarps are ideal for shelter use because they offer complete protection from water entry into the fabric. The degree of water resistance varies from one type to another.

Strength and Quality

Tarps are often used outdoors, explaining the need for quality and strength. A good tarp should be light and durable to withstand ever-changing outdoor weather conditions. For example, a tarp with thickness exceeding five mil is ideal for general use, such as covering items. On the other hand, strength refers to the ability to hold together under force, which entirely depends on the quality of material and weaving method.

Corrosion and Abrasion Resistance

Corrosion- and chemical-resistant tarps have an advanced coating that makes them utterly resistant to certain acids, grease, solvents, and corrosive liquids. Also, nylon tarps coated with neoprene offer protection against UV.

Corrosion resistance tarps are recommended for use in an environment with foreign materials like acids and UV light. An abrasion-resistant tarp translates to durability because of the ability to resist splitting and tearing, and vinyl and canvas tarps offer better abrasion resistance than polyethylene tarps.


The versatility of a tarp depends on the material, size, quality, and construction features, such as special coatings, accessories, grommets, and rope construction. In addition, tarps equipped with ropes at the edges improve functionality, especially when creating shelters or covering items. Custom round tarps are made from high-quality materials, such as nylon, poly, canvas, and vinyl, and are available to protect round objects and spaces. In addition, a good tarp should have grommets for easy tie-down and coatings like corrosion-resistant materials and flame retardants.

Types of Tarps and Their Uses

Mesh Tarps

Mesh tarps allow passage of moisture, air, and sunlight and are designed for constructing long-lasting shade canopies, shade for patios, and sidewalls for canopy tents. Unique construction features in mesh tarps are the grommets and double-stitched hems.

Polyethylene mesh tarps are suitable for shading because they block sun rays. The application of mesh tarps extends to containing debris, covering trucks carrying lightweight materials, covering pools, and protecting plants in a nursery.

Canvas Tarps

Canvas is a robust and heavy material ideal for making solid and durable tarps. Canvas tarps are made from breathable materials that allow air passage and coated wax to improve water resistance Tarps and Their Uses. Because of resistance to UV rays, mildew, and water, canvas tarps are suitable for outdoor use.

Canvas tarps can be used to protect furniture and carpets during indoor painting, cover flatbed loads, and because of resistance to high temperatures, they can be used as tarmacadam cover. The application of canvas tarps also extends to the agricultural and construction industry because of their versatility.

Poly Tarps

Poly tarps are made from high-density and low-density forms of polyethylene, a plastic material. A light-duty poly tarp is light and has a lower poly coating, whereas a high-duty one is heavier with more coating. Since polyethylene can withstand high temperatures, poly tarps are suitable for covering outdoor materials.

In addition, because the material allows air passage, poly tarps can be used to cover materials that require breathing. For example, poly tarps are commonly used as truck bed liners, making temporary shelter, protecting wood flooring in gyms, and sealing leaks on roofs.

 Vinyl Tarps

Vinyl tarps are poly tarps coated, laminated, or tempered with vinyl to improve strength and abrasion resistance. High abrasion resistance and strength made vinyl tarps suitable for industrial use because they can withstand extreme conditions.

Because of the additional coating, vinyl tarps are heavier and thicker than other types of tarps. Vinyl tarps are used as salvage covers, truck bed covers, roof leak diverters, and anti-scratch material. In the industrial sector, clear vinyl tarps are used for making marine windscreens.

Heavy-Duty Tarps

Heavy-duty tarps are lightweight but provide superior strength, waterproofness, and durability. The XF film integrated into the high-grade materials, particularly high-density polyethylene, makes heavy-duty tarps complete waterproof and suitable for long-lasting uses.

Unlike other tarps, heavy-duty tarps are designed for agricultural and industrial use because they can withstand harsh conditions. The benefits of heavy-duty tarps include but are not limited to protecting roofs, boats and vehicles, outdoor equipment, heavy-duty cargo, and construction site.

Tarps are valuable materials for protecting objects from rain, sunlight, harsh conditions, and wind Tarps and Their Uses. However, different types of tarps are designed for other uses because of the difference in the quality of materials. To get the best results based on your needs, consider the applications of different types of tarps, their strength, quality, water resistance, and construction features.