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Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Tarps: Which one is right for you?


When it comes to choosing a tarp for outdoor use, there are two main options: waterproof and water-resistant. While these terms may seem interchangeable, there are some key differences between the two.

Waterproof Tarps

waterproof tarps

Waterproof tarps are made from materials that do not allow water to pass through, such as vinyl or heavy-duty polyethylene. These tarps are designed to keep water out completely, making them ideal for use in rainy or snowy weather.

Common Waterproof Tarps

Vinyl Tarps

Vinyl is a commonly used waterproof tarp material due to its durability and water-resistant properties. Vinyl is available in different thicknesses, ranging from 10oz to 40oz, which affects the weight and cost of the tarp.

Vinyl tarps are one of the most heavy-duty and long-lasting options on the market. They can withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and wind. Vinyl tarps are also resistant to UV rays, which can cause other materials to degrade and fade over time. While they are heavier and more expensive than other types of tarps, their durability makes them a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Poly Tarps

Poly tarps are another option for waterproof tarps. Polyethylene is a lightweight and affordable material that can also withstand water. Poly tarps are available in different thicknesses,Tarp Supply Inc. carries poly material  ranging from 5mil to 20mil. While these tarps are not as durable as vinyl tarps, they are still able to keep water out effectively. Light-duty poly tarps are a good choice for general use,  or in less extreme weather conditions.

Common Application of Waterproof Tarps

Common Application of Waterproof Tarps

In today's world, waterproof tarps have become an indispensable tool for various applications. Whether it's protecting your outdoor furniture, covering construction materials, or providing temporary shelter, these versatile tarps offer exceptional durability and protection against the elements. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the common applications of waterproof tarps, highlighting their benefits and providing practical tips for maximizing their effectiveness.

Outdoor Protection for Furniture and Equipment

Outdoor furniture and equipment are constantly exposed to weather elements, which can cause damage and deterioration. Waterproof tarps provide an excellent solution by effectively shielding these items from rain, snow, UV rays, and other environmental factors. By covering your patio furniture, BBQ grills, bicycles, and other outdoor equipment, you can extend their lifespan and maintain their pristine condition.

Construction Sites and Building Projects

Construction sites often face unpredictable weather conditions that can hinder progress and damage materials. Waterproof tarps offer invaluable protection for construction projects by covering exposed areas, preventing water seepage, and shielding construction materials from rain, dust, and debris. Whether it's covering scaffolding, lumber, or machinery, these tarps help maintain a safe and productive work environment.

Camping and Outdoor Adventures

For outdoor enthusiasts, camping trips and adventures are a way of life. Waterproof tarps are a must-have camping accessory as they serve multiple purposes. They can be used as ground covers to prevent moisture from seeping into tents, as improvised shelters during sudden rainstorms, or as protective covers for camping gear and firewood. Their lightweight and portable nature make them an essential item for any camping or outdoor adventure.

Agricultural and Farming Applications

Agricultural and farming operations often require protection against unpredictable weather patterns. Waterproof tarps play a crucial role in safeguarding crops, equipment, and livestock. They can be used to cover hay bales, protect sensitive plants from frost, create temporary animal shelters, or shield farming equipment from rain and UV exposure. By utilizing waterproof tarps, farmers can mitigate potential damage and ensure the overall success of their operations.

Pool and Pond Covers

Maintaining the cleanliness and safety of swimming pools and ponds is a top priority for any pool owner. Waterproof tarps designed specifically for pool covers offer an effective solution. These tarps prevent debris, leaves, and other unwanted contaminants from entering the water, reducing maintenance efforts and ensuring a hygienic swimming environment. Additionally, they aid in heat retention, minimizing evaporation, and conserving energy.

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

During emergencies or natural disasters, waterproof tarps become essential tools for providing temporary shelter and protection. They can be used to create makeshift roofs, cover damaged areas, or serve as ground covers in emergency relief camps. The waterproof and durable properties of these tarps help safeguard individuals and belongings during challenging times, making them a critical component of disaster relief efforts.

Automotive and Marine Applications

Automotive and marine enthusiasts understand the importance of protecting their vehicles and boats from harsh weather conditions. Waterproof tarps designed specifically for automobiles and boats provide excellent coverage and safeguard against rain, snow, UV rays, and dirt. Whether you need to protect your classic car, RV, or boat, these tarps offer reliable protection and help maintain the longevity and value of your investment.

Waterproof tarps have revolutionized various industries and applications with their versatility and exceptional protective properties. From outdoor furniture and construction sites to camping adventures and emergency situations, these tarps have proven to be reliable companions. By understanding their applications and utilizing them effectively, you can ensure the longevity, safety, and protection of your assets.

Water-Resistant Tarps

water-resistant tarps

Water-resistant tarps are specifically designed to repel water and prevent it from penetrating through the fabric. These tarps are typically made from synthetic and natural materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester and duck cotton which are treated with special coatings to enhance their water-repelling properties. It is important to note that water-resistant tarps are not completely waterproof but can withstand light to moderate rain and moisture.

Common Water-Resistant Tarp

Canvas Tarps

Treated Canvas tarps are not waterproof but are water-resistant. They are made from cotton or polyester canvas that has been treated with a waterproofing agent, such as silicon. Canvas tarps are designed to repel water but are not completely impermeable. They are a good choice for use in light rain or for protecting items from moisture in storage. Polyester canvas tarps are another another type of cloth that is twice as strong as standard duck cotton,  and they are also resistant to water.

Common Applications of Canvas Tarps

Common Applications of Canvas Tarps

Canvas tarps have long been recognized as a reliable and versatile solution for various applications. Their durable and flexible nature, combined with their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, make them an ideal choice for a wide range of tasks. In this article, we will explore the common applications of canvas tarps, highlighting their practical uses in different industries and everyday scenarios. From construction sites to camping adventures, canvas tarps have proven to be indispensable in protecting, covering, and securing items. Let's delve into the world of canvas tarps and discover their myriad applications.

Construction Sites 

Canvas tarps play a crucial role in the construction industry, providing protection and coverage for projects and equipment. They are often utilized to shield building materials, machinery, and tools from the elements. Whether it's rain, snow, or excessive sunlight, canvas tarps act as a barrier against moisture, UV rays, and debris. They help to prevent damage, rust, and corrosion, ensuring that construction sites remain efficient and well-maintained throughout the project's duration.


Canvas tarps find extensive use in the transportation sector, particularly in the trucking and logistics industry. Flatbed trucks and trailers sometimes employ canvas tarps to secure and protect cargo during transit. These tarps are designed to withstand wind, dust, and other environmental factors while ensuring that the goods are securely covered and shielded from potential damage. Canvas tarps with reinforced grommets and tie-down points offer a reliable solution for keeping the cargo intact and safeguarded during long-haul journeys.


In the agricultural sector, canvas tarps prove their worth by providing protection to crops, equipment, and livestock. They offer an effective solution for covering haystacks, protecting them from moisture and pests. Canvas tarps can also be used as ground cover to suppress weed growth and preserve soil moisture. Additionally, farmers utilize canvas tarps to shield farm machinery and equipment, preventing rust and extending their lifespan. The versatility and durability of canvas tarps make them an essential asset for agricultural operations.

Outdoor Events  

Canvas tarps play a significant role in outdoor events, such as festivals, fairs, and markets. They are used to create temporary structures, including canopies, tents, and shade covers. These versatile tarps provide shelter from rain, sun, and wind, ensuring the comfort and safety of event attendees. With their customizable sizes and easy setup, canvas tarps offer a practical solution for event organizers, allowing them to transform open spaces into functional and inviting environments.

Camping and Recreation

Canvas tarps are a staple in the camping and recreational world, offering protection and convenience during outdoor adventures. Whether it's setting up a makeshift shelter, creating a shaded area, or providing ground cover, canvas tarps prove invaluable in various camping scenarios. They can shield campers from rain, serve as windbreakers, and provide privacy in campsite setups. Additionally, canvas tarps are commonly used as picnic mats, beach mats, or even as a makeshift hammock in the wilderness.

Household and DIY Projects 

Canvas tarps find their place in numerous household and DIY projects, both indoors and outdoors. They are often employed as drop cloths to protect floors, furniture, and other surfaces during painting or renovation tasks. Canvas tarps can also serve as temporary covers for outdoor furniture, grills, and garden equipment, shielding them from weather damage when not in use. Their sturdy construction and durability make them a reliable choice for protecting valuable items during home improvement projects. Additionally, canvas tarps can be used for creating impromptu shelters, covering firewood stacks, or as ground covers for gardening and landscaping activities.

Canvas tarps are undoubtedly a versatile and practical solution for a wide range of applications. Their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, protect against moisture and debris, and provide reliable coverage makes them indispensable in various industries and everyday scenarios. From construction sites to transportation, agriculture, outdoor events, camping, and household projects, canvas tarps continue to prove their worth. With their durability, flexibility, and ease of use, canvas tarps offer a cost-effective and sustainable option for safeguarding and securing items. So, whether you're a construction professional, a truck driver, a farmer, an event organizer, an outdoor enthusiast, or a DIY enthusiast, consider harnessing the power of canvas tarps for your specific needs. Embrace the versatility and reliability they offer, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your belongings are well-protected and secure, no matter the situation.


When choosing a tarp, it is important to consider the specific needs of your application. If you need a tarp that will withstand extreme weather conditions and last for a long time, a vinyl tarp is the best option. If you need a more affordable option for short-term use, a poly tarp may be the way to go. And if you need a tarp for light rain or moisture protection, that is also breathable, a canvas tarp will work well for the  job.

When installing a tarp,  you will need to consider the grommets and tie-downs on the tarp. Grommets are the metal rings on the edge of the tarp that allow it to be tied down or secured in place. Make sure the tarp you choose has enough grommets for your needs and that they are spaced evenly.

Choosing the right tarp for your needs depends on the specific application and environmental conditions. Waterproof and water-resistant tarps each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to consider factors such as material and size when making your selection.

Whether you're looking for a heavy-duty vinyl tarp to protect against extreme weather or a lightweight poly tarp for short-term use, has everything you need. Our wide selection of tarps in various sizes, materials, and colors ensures that you can find the perfect tarp for your specific needs. With our years of experience, you can trust that we have everything you need to get the job done.

So why wait? Visit today and browse our extensive selection of tarps to find the perfect solution for your needs. With our high-quality products and unbeatable customer service, you can trust that you're getting the best of the best. And remember: choose Tarp Supply  "For All Your Tarp Needs"

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