Tarpaulin, also known as a tarp, is a material that is heavily water-resistant and is made from materials such as polyethylene, polyester, or vinyl-coated polyester or cotton. Its main purposes are to help shed water and protect items from rain, dust, or sunlight. Canvas Tarpaulin is highly versatile and widely used in construction, agriculture, event planning, and more.
Some key benefits of using tarpaulin include:
Tarps are heavily water-repellent, perfect for shedding rain and keeping items dry.
When made from quality materials like polyethylene, tarps can withstand various weather elements and last for years with proper care.
Tarps are lightweight and compact, making them portable and easy to transport compared to other shelter materials.
Tarps are available in various sizes and most can be secured in different configurations using ties and accessories to fully or partially cover an area.
Tarps provide shelter and protection at an affordable price point compared to permanent structures.
Tarpaulin is a versatile material that can withstand water, sunlight, and weather elements when properly secured and maintained. Its many uses make it a worthwhile investment, especially when the right accessories are utilized to get the most out of your Heavy Duty Tarpaulin.
Essential tarpaulin accessories
Ropes and straps for securing your tarpaulin
Ropes and straps are essential for anchoring tarpaulin sheets to the ground and securing them in place during inclement weather. The ideal material will depend on the tarp’s intended use:
Nylon rope is a versatile option that is durable yet flexible. It is UV-resistant and withstands moisture well. For most temporary tarp setups, nylon rope between 1/4″ to 3/8″ diameter works well. Polypropylene rope is a good affordable choice, but it is not as strong as nylon. It will still work for lighter-duty tarping jobs.
Tarpaulin comes in various material types to suit different use cases and budget levels. Polyethylene tarps are a popular basic option as they are extremely water resistant and affordably priced, making them suitable for light-duty tasks. However, polyethylene can be damaged by abrasion, chemicals, and prolonged sun exposure.
Polyester tarps offer improved durability over polyethylene as the material is more puncture and abrasion-resistant while remaining waterproof. This makes polyester tarps a good choice for applications with regular use and potential for tearing or wear-and-tear. However, polyester does retain more heat than polyethylene.
Nylon webbing straps are great for tying down lightweight tarps since they won’t cut or pinch like rope. Ratchet straps give the added advantage of easy adjustment. Regardless of material, at least fifteen feet of rope or strap per anchor point is recommended for most standard 10’x12′ tarps. Using proper knots like the taut-line hitch or bowline knot is important to keep tension on ropes over time. Replace ropes or straps that show signs of deterioration.
Grommets for ventilating and reinforcing your tarpaulin
Grommets along tarp edges reinforce tearing while also creating attachment points for ropes. They are especially useful. Along upper edges to allow heat/moisture to escape, preventing condensation buildup underneath. In tarp corners which experience high stress from wind/shifting materials. Tarps used for livestock shelters benefit from grommets every few feet to permit airflow.
Pegs for tarpaulin ground anchoring
Pegs are essential for securely anchoring tarps to the ground in outdoor applications. The right peg choice depends on the tarp location and soil/surface type:
Steel tent stakes have a sharpened point and hold strongly in most soil but can snap if hammered at an angle. They are quite durable overall.
Plastic/fiberglass stakes provide good anchoring in lighter soils while being more flexible for easier driving/removal. However, they may bend or break in sandy or rocky soils.
Wooden legs are a natural option that won’t damage surfaces like asphalt or concrete and can be pounded flush. But they will eventually rot away in wet conditions.
As a general rule, use 8-10 pegs around the perimeter of a 10×12 tarp, with additional pegs depending on weather conditions. Stake tarps down at the corners, then midway between each corner and the grommet.
A hammer is best for driving stakes into most ground surfaces, though a mallet is safer for hard/irregular surfaces to avoid ricochets. Replace any pegs that become too damaged to secure the tarp properly.
Proper peg selection and spacing are key to keeping tarps anchored and tensioned in place through strong winds and rainfall without damage to the tarp itself.
When driving pegs into soil, it’s important to avoid direct hits to the peg head, as this can cause premature cracking. Instead, place the peg point-first on the ground and use the hammer to drive the shaft down steadily.
For temporary applications where peg removal is frequent, consider biodegradable plastic stakes. These will break down over time without leaving pieces in the ground. However, they have less durability than other options.
In very rocky, hard, or densely compacted soils where traditional pegs won’t penetrate, consider using sandbags, concrete blocks, or earth screws (large lag screws) as anchors instead. The screws thread directly into the soil layer.
The ideal peg length matches the substrate without much excess above ground. Too long and they bend, too short and the tarp pulls out. For most domestic tarps, 8-12-inch pegs strike the right balance.
Pro tips – try pounding pegs at an angle rather than straight down to start, ease them in part by part. Consider using a taping square to precisely mark equal spacing around the tarp perimeter for peg placement.
Patches for repairing tears or holes
Tarps are durable but still susceptible to accidental punctures from brush or other hazards over time. Keeping waterproof tarp repair patches on hand allows minor damages to be addressed immediately before they enlarge:
- Vinyl patches are ideal for most common tarp materials like polyethylene and polyester.
- Make sure to apply seam sealant tape or liquid sealant around patch edges for a waterproof repair.
- Cut patches larger than the hole and trim the excess for a professional-looking fix.
Tarp ties for joining multiple tarps
For large coverage needs, tarps can be joined end-to-end or side-by-side. Plastic tarp ties make this easy by:
- Snapping multiple tarps together along seams.
- Withstanding weathering is much longer than zip ties or rope.
- Allowing adjusted overlaps with slack as conditions change.
Storage bags protect tarps and accessories when not in use. Look for bags with:
- Padded or reinforced bottom panels to avoid punctures.
- Drawstring or buckle closures to keep contents secure.
- Shoulder straps for easy portability between job sites.
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