Top 3 Tips to Make Your Vinyl Tarps Last Longer

Tarps are the perfect solution to cover items that need temporary protection, or for outdoor use. However, just like any other product in your home, it will wear out over time.

Here are some tips on how you can extend its life by protecting it from ultraviolet rays and harsh weather conditions.

1) Depth of Shade

As much as possible, especially during summer days when the sun is at its fiercest (10am until 2pm), make sure to put up your vinyl tarps in an area where they get only partial shade. If possible, position them against buildings or trees so that they receive minimal direct sunlight exposure. This means about 80 percent shade or less. The reason you want to do this is because the light passing through the tarps will cause it to fade faster. And just like your favorite pair of denim jeans that turn into blue jeans, your tarps will develop a gray color and quickly crack.

2) How to Clean Your Tarps?

Using vinyl tarps can be an easy and quick way to cover items for outdoor use. But it gets dirty and needs frequent cleaning. To keep them clean, you can sweep or hose down dirt and debris regularly so that they do not stay on the tarps for too long – especially during rainy days. You can also place tarp covers with prints facing downward because contrary to popular belief, rain does not fade printed tarps as much as bleached printed tarps.

3) How Not to Clean Your Tarps?

Whatever you do, never use water or soap to clean tarps. This is because tarps are not meant to be soaked in water. The sun will cause it to wear out faster once submerged in water. If possible, avoid using tarps during the rainy season if you intend on washing tarps regularly because they will get dirty quicker due to continuous exposure to moisture and rainwater.

Dealing with Rips and Tears

Once your tarps get rips and tears, make sure that you repair them immediately. When this happens, check the type of damage done by removing loose dirt and debris carefully around the ripped area before fixing the tear. Then find out how much material is needed for proper repairs through overlapping slightly wider tarps on top of the tear or rip. After that, secure it using tarps tape and then place a weight, such as a sandbag to prevent it from blowing away in the wind when in use.

Next time you toss your tarps aside for being too damaged from wear and tear, think again because there are simple tips you can follow to extend their lifespan so that you will not have to buy replacements often.


What is a tarp?

Tarps are a sheet of waterproof material that can be easily folded and unfolded. It is normally made from plastic or coated fabric. A typical size would measure at about 12 feet by 10 feet, with grommets located on each corner so it can be attached easily to posts, trees, hooks or nails.

How do you fold a tarp?

Fold tarps in half lengthwise and then fold it width-wise two times before securing the folds using tarps tape to prevent the wind from blowing it away when used outdoors. After securing the folds using tarps tape, place a weight such as sandbags on top of it to keep it from getting blown away by strong winds especially during the summer season.

What is a tarps tape?

A tarps tape is a special type of adhesive that allows tarps to stick tightly together even when exposed to harsh elements such as rain, snow or other weather conditions. It can be easily removed by peeling off, unlike regular tapes which leave residues behind when peeled off.

How do you remove tarps tape?

In cases where tarps get stuck together or when tarps tape gets stuck on tarps, use scissors to cut the tarps tape at the edge of the undesired tarps then place small amounts of baby powder, petroleum jelly or cooking oil on top of it before peeling. By doing so, both tarps will be separated easily without any sticky residue left behind.


Vinyl tarps are very useful during bad weather because they help keep your outdoor items dry and protected from moisture, rainwater and other elements. But once these vinyl tarps get ripped, torn or become too dirty over time, they need proper care to maintain them so they will not wear out quickly.

To keep tarps clean and lasting longer, you can sweep or hose them down regularly so they do not stay dirty for a long time. Avoid using tarps during the rainy season if you intend on washing tarps regularly because they will get dirty quicker due to exposure to moisture and rainwater.


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