The first thing to consider when buying a protective case is the application. Tarps come in a variety of weights, thicknesses, and materials. Most people are very familiar with the popular blue polyester tarps that can be found at most discount stores. These “blues” are on the lower end of the quality spectrum and are not meant to last long or withstand a lot of stress or strain. At the same time, blue tricks are inexpensive, convenient, and very useful for temporary cover. If more than that is needed, there are several other varieties to choose from in the polyvinyl and vinyl categories.

Generally speaking, vinyl is stronger than poly and more expensive. If you need something that won’t break or shatter, vinyl is a better option. At the same time, there are many times when inexpensive polyethylene will do the job perfectly and for a lot less money. Understanding the various types of polyethylene and vinyl tarps that are available on the market today will help you select the best product for your needs.

Poly White Canvas

The most common use for a white tarp is to provide long-term protection for boats, cars, and RVs. They are also used in landscaping, roofing, to cover piles of lumber, and even skating rinks. Unlike a lightweight blue tarp, a white tarp is a tough tarp designed to last longer and withstand the effects of the sun, wind, and rain. A white tarp is resistant to water, mold, rot, tear and acid, and can withstand freezing temperatures. They are also UV treated to protect them from sunlight and ensure a longer life. A quality white canvas offers heat-sealed edges and the hems are reinforced with rope. The corners are reinforced with a solid plastic bar, which adds strength and stability. The material is 11-12 mils thick, making it durable and tear resistant.

Poly Silver Canvas

A silver tarp is another variety of high-strength polyethylene tarp. At 12 mils thick, they are highly tear resistant. They are also treated to be resistant to water, rot and mold, and can be used in freezing temperatures. Silver tarps are frequently used for roofs, trailer and trailer covers, firewood stacks, and landscaping. Like the white tarp, a silver tarp offers UV protection and heat-sealed seams reinforced with rust-resistant rope at the hems and eyelets.

Clear vinyl tarps

Clear vinyl tarps are a great choice for patio and porch enclosures, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without getting wet. They can also turn your RV awning into an instant porch with a view. Unlike many others, clear tarps come in polyvinyl and vinyl material. Clear vinyl tarps are available in sizes 18 oz to 20 mil and 27 oz to 30 mil. This means they have 18 to 20 ounces of material per square yard and are 20 to 30 mil thick. This makes them some of the strongest tarps available on the market. Clear vinyl tarps are highly waterproof, tear resistant, as well as acid, oil, grease, and fungus.

Transparent polyethylene tarps

Clear poly tarps are lighter, less expensive, and provide less protection than their vinyl cousins. If you are painting your house and want to protect furniture or shrubs, polyethylene is a great option. In those situations, you can save a lot of money by using polyethylene instead of vinyl. In situations where strength and durability are important, vinyl will give you all the protection you need.

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