If you’re shopping for tarpaulin for a tent, canopy, van cover or any other outdoor use, it is important that you choose the highest quality tarpaulins. The value and quality of tarpaulin can be measured by several metrics, including the weave of the tarpaulin, its thickness, and what sort of UV protection it has.
Most tarps are made with polyethylene string, and are then coated in a film which is, again, made of polyethylene. They are then treated to protect them from UV light, locking in color and stopping the material from degrading.
Tarps can be designed for several different uses. There are clear industrial tarpaulins, standard industrial tarpaulins, heavy-duty ones, and all-purpose ones. When you buy a tarpaulin you will be shown its weight and strength, and you should take these into account when deciding whether the material is suitable for the purpose you plan to use it for.
The weight of a tarpaulin includes both the weave and its poly coating, and the strength is a measure of how resilient the tarp is, and whether it will tear under load. Tarpaulins with thick poly coatings will be heavier, but they will also last longer, and will not deteriorate as quickly when exposed to sunlight. In general, white tarps seem to last longer than darker tarps.
Quality tarpaulins have heat-treated seams that make them waterproof. If your tarp will be used extensively outdoors then this is something that you should definitely pay attention to.
- Different Types of Tarp
Australian Made Quality Tarpaulins
All-purpose tarpaulins are good for camping, storage, temporary roofing and covering materials at a job site. They are quite rugged and are also affordable, which means that they are a good choice if you expect to use the tarp for more than one job. They tend to cost significantly less per square meter than more specialist tarps.
Heavy duty tarpaulin is used in the construction industry. It is usually waterproof, thick and very heavy, and has good UV protection, but costs a lot more than more basic types.
Clear industrial tarps are popular for use as greenhouse roofing. They have high UV protection, are waterproof and tear-proof, and are quite heavy.
General industrial tarp is very heavy and hardwearing, and has a good waterproof coating. It is designed for use in areas where there is a lot of rainfall and strong winds.
- Why Pay More For Heavy Tarp?
It makes sense to pay a little extra for heavyweight tarpaulins, because they will last a lot longer, and they are far more hardwearing. If you are storing equipment under your tarpaulin, then it makes sense to ensure that it is properly protected. If you are not storing equipment, but you are using the tarp for a tent or a canopy, then again you should be mindful of the quality ñ after all, you will be spending time in that tent ñ do you really want to get wet or have the tarp rip if it gets windy?
Tarpaulin isn’t the most glamorous of purchases, but it is something that will last for many years if you make the right decision when you buy it. Choose the right type for the job, and pay extra for weatherproofing and UV proofing, and you will have something that you only need to buy once, and can enjoy for season after season. Cut corners and buy a cheap tarp, and you will quickly realise that you wasted your money. If you need to re-buy a new tarp every year, then over the lifetime of a good tarp you will end up wasting money.
There may be safety standards that you need to be aware of if you are using tarp to secure items on a truck, or you are hosting an event, too. It is your responsibility to make sure that the people around you do not get injured by your equipment ñ and a flimsy tarp could easily blow away or come loose.
- Saving Money on Tarpaulin
If you are planning on buying tarpaulin, be sure to shop around. Get several quotes, and try to find the best possible deal. Note that not all manufacturers use the same standards for their tarp, so you will have to confirm that things like heat-treated seams will be offered, and check the weight and UV protection, rather than just looking at the type of tarp listed on each website.
Usually, buying large amounts of tarp will get you a discount, but take care if you are thinking of cutting tarp down to size. Remember that the manufacturer will weave the tarp and provide fixings, complete with metal rings to protect the seams. Trying to do this yourself is not always a good idea. Cut the tarp in the wrong way and you will make it more susceptible to ripping. Trying to stitch tarpaulin is not easy, either, and you could end up doing some very expensive damage in the long run.
It makes more sense to measure the tarpaulin you need carefully, and order the right size of quality tarpaulins. However, if you need more than one piece, buy them both at the same time to save on shipping costs, and possibly get a discount for a larger order. This is especially true if you want something printed on the tarp, as it takes time to configure the printers, and you could be getting charged for that with each job.