Tarpaulins have a very large number of uses, many of them extremely critical. In addition to the many standard versions, tarps with special performance properties are also available for diverse special applications. With proper care, you can keep tarps in good condition so that they can deliver years of service. This is a very good thing because special purpose heavy-duty tarpaulins are usually very costly. Some tips for taking care of your tarpaulins:
Use the Tarp for What It Was Made
While there are some general-purpose tarpaulins you should ideally buy one for your specific need and not use them arbitrarily. For example, a tarpaulin meant for covering a swimming pool is unlikely to be suitable for covering a flatbed transporting steel products. According to https://www.energy.gov, a good swimming pool tarp prevents water evaporation and reduces the cost of heating the water. A canvas tarp treated with special waxes or oil to make it water-resistant may end up contaminating the pool water while an untreated tarp may develop mold and mildew that re acknowledged health hazards.
Clean the Tarp Periodically
While a 20×20 tarp that is used in challenging conditions like heavy rain, floods, snow, etc. are liable to get very dirty quickly, it is important not to leave them in that condition once the use is over. Even though most of the modern tarpaulins, regardless of the material from which they are made, are built to resist some amount of dirt and grime, continued exposure to it will shorten its life because of the corrosive action of the dirt and the extra weight that can make it less pliable and prone to cracking and tearing.
Store in a Clean Dry Place
It is generally sufficient to clean tarps at intervals of three to six months with running water. It is better not to use harsh cleaning agents as they might damage the surface coatings on the tarp. After cleaning, the tarp should be allowed to dry in the sun and folded away for storage in a dry place. Remember insufficiently-dried tarps or tarps kept in damp conditions may develop mold and mildew. Keeping them on wooden pallets rather than directly on the floor is a good way of keeping them dry. If it is possible keeping the tarp in a sealed container can help it to avoid damage by rodents and small animals.
Ensure Repairs Are Done Promptly
Tarps that are used regularly will undergo normal wear and tear. It is common for the material to tear or rip due to snagging on sharp objects or the grommets and D-Rings to become corroded and break. Straps and tie-downs can also tear off. By persisting with the use of tarps that are already damaged, it is quite likely that the damage will be further exacerbated making repairs more expensive or even requiring the trap to be discarded. To prevent this, it is important to inspect the tarp after every use and fix even the smallest of problems immediately.
Paying attention to the care and maintenance of the tarpaulin can ensure that you can extend the life of your tarps significantly and save on the money required to replace them periodically.