Tarps are a multipurpose covering solution to protecting your investments, whether you're using a tarp cover for as an RV or boat cover or need a hay tarp to cover hay or other farm equipment. Tarps are used for shelter as camping tarps and are often a sturdy cover for transporting materials, such as with truck tarps or flatbed lumber tarps. One tarp, however, can't do all these things, as a tarp, much like a piece of fabric, can be made from different materials and with different grades of durability. Heavy duty tarps, with silver poly tarps being the most popular, are used for more strenuous situations requiring cover, such as a truck tarp, and, while polyethylene tarps are fairly popular, other types of tarps include mesh tarps, plastic tarps, and canvas tarps, all of which can be medium duty or heavy duty tarps.
A heavy-duty poly tarp has a high dernier count, which makes it more durable than a simple plastic tarp. A polyethylene tarp is used for the strongest protection, as a poly tarp is strong enough to last outdoors. A typical heavy duty poly tarp is still breathable, allowing air to circulate to prevent mildew and dry rot forming, which is particularly important when used as a boat tarp, baseball tarp, hay tarp, or lumber tarp. These poly tarps, for additional protective properties, are often UV treated. While a silver poly tarp is the most common type of heavy-duty tarp, other types of heavy-duty tarps include white polyethylene tarps.
Sometimes, however, a heavy duty or poly tarp isn't necessary for protection, and a medium duty plastic tarp will suffice. These types of tarps, with blue tarps being the most common medium duty tarps available, are used as roof tarps or for tarp shelters, including use as a camping tarp. As a roof tarp, this type of plastic tarp will keep out water and prevent mildew and mold from forming inside of a house temporarily until a contractor can fix the damaged roof. These blue roof tarps come particularly useful in case of a hurricane for temporary roofing. In addition, these plastic tarps are useful for a camping trip in case of rain, as a tarp shelter can be built from two tarps to protect the tent, the area in front of the tent, and the ground below the tent to prevent camping supplies from getting wet. In the case of creating a tarp shelter from a camping tarp, additional ropes and stakes are needed to set up the tarps.
Aside from poly tarps and medium and heavy duty tarps, other types of tarps include mesh and canvas tarps. Mesh tarps are typically used as outdoor screens or as a dump truck tarp to protect a load from flying out of the truck during transport. While a mesh tarp is best for transporting most materials as a dump truck or flatbed lumber tarp, a mesh tarp won't sufficiently protect materials that cannot be exposed to water; in this case, a vinyl or poly tarp would work better as a truck tarp. Canvas tarps, in addition, are an environmentally-friendly alternative for protecting outdoor investments like hay and farm equipment and is often used best as a drop cloth for painting.