Why Poly Tarps Are Not All the Same

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When you need a tarp for covering over something on your property or protecting your home's floors while you paint, it's good to realize that not all tarps are the same. You may realize this once you go shopping and see a wide variety of tarps in various colors and thicknesses. Some tarps aren't even actually poly but are made from a thick canvas material. How do you know which is best for your job in particular? Note a few factors to consider so you know you get a tarp that will work for your needs.


Usually, silver tarps are reflective, meaning they bounce sunlight off their surface rather than allowing it to pass through the tarp itself. This can be good for outdoor use when you don't want something under the tarp to get overly warm or even overheated. As an example, you might cover a generator that you store outside with a tarp and, if it stays in direct sunlight, heat might get trapped under that covering. In turn, this might damage the electrical components inside the motor. If you're covering over a renovation project such as a half-finished retaining wall, you may not want the mortar or other such materials to get overly warm and soften. A reflective tarp is good in these cases.


A canvas tarp is not made of plastic but of a woven material which allows air, light, and some moisture to circulate. This might sound bad, but considering that morning dew can collect on things you have covered outside and without light and air, this moisture will simply sit and get worse over time. A canvas tarp can then be a good choice for covering firewood you have stacked outside or metal pieces that you don't want to get wet and then eventually rust. If you're looking for a canvas tarp for outdoor shelter such as when creating a makeshift tent, look for one with a very dense weave. This will allow some air through while keeping you protected from the elements.


You might notice poly tarps listed according to weight, and a thicker, heavier tarp is good for outdoor use when you don't want it to blow away or get caught in the wind. Even if you tie down a tarp over that half-finished roofing job, edges might get caught in the wind and then allow rain or other damage to settle onto your roof. A lightweight tarp might also get easily bunched up under your tools and ladder used for painting. Opt for a very heavy tarp for added protection in these cases.

For more information, contact Nans Tarps or a similar company.