Important Considerations when Choosing a Tarp


Are you getting ready to a buy a stock sized or custom-made tarp for your home or business? There are a few things you should know before buying commercial tarps.

Regarding useful inventions, a simple tarp may be up there with sliced bread when it comes to all round usefulness.  Many people use them for safeguarding our automobiles, trucks and boats, as well as covering our woodpiles, patio furniture, grills and a wide range of outdoor machines and appliances. You’ll also see them used on driveways, floors, truck beds, for hauling and construction projects, and much more. Another option frequently found is the optional use of irregular sizes such as 5 sided objects, boxes or circular objects.  One such option would be that of the round tarp which is frequently used to cover trampolines and ground covering purposes.

In addition to these applications, a tarp is a preferred tool for survivalists. They can be used as a tent, ground covering, a hammock bed, an RV cover, and an emergency lean to shelter for emergency protection when it rains or snows.  They are even more useful in the context of disasters.  When tornados, storms, floods, hurricanes or even earthquakes stroke, a tarp is one of the most versatile objects you may keep in your home or vehicle for the protection of family, pets or valued necessities, like the roof of a home. One should always have a few high-quality tarps on hand as a form of insurance.

Have a greenhouse or landscaping project that needs a sturdy cover or a means to gather debris?  Your trusty tarp is the preferred tool to clean up debris and protect plants, livestock and more.  Alternatively, perhaps you’re thinking about purchasing a variety of tarps for your company to have on hand to cover up skids of products, containers filled with parts, machines exposed to the elements or items setting in your warehouse or dock.  In these cases, you’ll want to take care to purchase durable stock sized tarps or even custom tarps to meet all your protective needs and requirements.

So, with these thoughts in mind, if this is your first time buying a tarp, there are several things you should know before you pull out your credit card.   Take note of the following considerations any entrepreneur should make before making a single tarp purchase or a bulk order.

Quality: Various Tarp Grades

There are numerous grade categories of tarp products, each of which may or may not live up to the strength and longevity that you are looking for. By example, a lightweight tarp will only accommodate limited strain against tearing, while the other tarp grades can tolerate more severe environmental conditions. For instance, light-duty tarps are an excellent choice for use in camping as makeshift shelters, ground covering, hammocks, or lean to shelters. Hunters frequently order a Camouflage tarp or two, which is used to create a hunting blind on the fly. The lighter grades of tarp solutions offer remarkable ease of use, low costs, and a wide range of instant solution to problems encountered in camping or by homeowners. Examples include a leaking roof, broken windows, gaps in barn woods, or for use as vehicle or boat coverings.

In contrast, heavy-duty tarp grades are far more durable and feature a significant increase in overall weight. Because they may be used for longer than the average tarp, they are typically utilized for manufacturing, warehousing, industrial and commercial application uses. Such heavy-duty graded tarps can have a variety of features, such as high resistance to UV rays and chemical resistance, are exceptionally resistant to flex cracking, and or even have fire retardant surfaces. These qualities make heavy-duty tarps an excellent choice such options.

Tarp Types

Like most goods found on the market, tarps are available in a variety of grades, weights, sizes, colors and materials. If you want to get the most use out a tarp, its best to carefully consider your needs and select the type of tarp best suited to your requirements for the long term.  In other words, invest in quality and avoid the lower grade tarps typically offered in big box stores like Harbor Freight, Walmart, Menards, Lowes and Home Depot.  First, consider your tarp material selection:

  • Poly Tarps are the kind of tarp most frequently seen in retail department stores. The polyethylene (poly) tarp is a versatile product that can be deployed for a wide range of applications. Constructed from a durable type of plastic, poly tarps are an ideal solution for camping, home construction and remodeling (for example, using it as a temporary roof cover), and for using it as a temporary cover or shelter during an emergency. Poly Tarps are usually lightweight and water-repellent, making them ideal for use in the great outdoors.  The lighter weight and somewhat lower costs found in a Poly Tarp are their defining characteristic.
  • Canvas Tarps are often more expensive than poly tarps. Still, they endure much longer and are more capable of withstanding tearing and abrasions, making them ideal for more demanding applications such as long-haul trucking, construction or painting operations, as well as covering a roof or barn. Additionally, some canvas is resistant to heat.
  • Vinyl Tarps are manufactured from ethylene and more expensive than poly tarps. They are noticeably more durable than their poly counterparts. Trucks, recreational vehicles and trailers, equipment, furniture, and a variety of other things are frequently covered with them. A vinyl tarp can also provide an adequate cover for the roof in the long run.
  • PVC Tarps are a type of tarp that is highly durable and flexible, making it an ideal choice for industrial purposes such as welding curtains and floor coverings. PVC tarps are available in a variety of sizes.

Tarp Colors

Color in tarps is about more than just aesthetics and style. Moreover, they can sometimes be purchased in colors directly associated with the tarp’s quality, material, and durability so as to maximize the use of the tarp.  In all cases, tarps are available in a rainbow of hues for use in different applications.  By example, the heavy-duty white tarp is popular as it helps reflects intense sunlight, while a black or darker tarp can be used to store the heat from the sun.

It is common practice to utilize blue, green, and brown tarps for landscaping and basic building projects, whereas red, yellow, and orange tarps are reserved for situations where high visibility is essential.


Selecting the optimal tarp is crucial for achieving optimal results with your project. The key to successfully purchasing the best tarp available on the market is first to determine the application, then choose the grade, material, size, color and other specific characteristics needed to maximize value.  We hope this article help you do just that!

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