What Is the Best Glue for Tarps?

Tarps are used in so many situations. In winter, tarps cover outdoor pools, stacks of firewood, and patio furniture. They’re sun shades, temporary walls to cut wind or inclement weather from worksites or porches, and shelters when camping. By choosing the right tarp for the job, you get a tarp that’s going to last. What happens if it gets a rip or tear? Do you have to throw it out and buy new?

You may not have a damaged tarp. You’ve found a great deal on two small tarps and want to glue them together to create a larger tarp. You can join the tarps together using glue, but you should look into custom tarp sizes. You’ll get a stronger tarp this way.

Some glues repair torn and ripped tarps. You could use them to join tarps together, too. Choosing the best glue for tarps involves careful thought. You need to consider these questions.

What Kind of Tarp Do You Have?

What kind of tarp is ripped or needs a patch? The glue you’ll use to repair a canvas tarp isn’t going to be the same glue you’d use on a vinyl or PVC tarp. You have to know what material your tarp is made from. If you’re not certain, take the time to look at images of tarps online.

Canvas – Canvas tarps can be colored or the natural off-white color. They’re made from cotton and may have a coating to make it waterproof or fire retardant. These are the tarps commonly used for camping or cargo covers.

Iron Horse – Iron Horse polyester tarps are thick and durable. They’re stronger than canvas tarps. Plus, they’re waterproof. If you have a heavier tarp that water flows right off, it could well be an Iron Horse tarp.

Mesh – Mesh tarps are going to have small holes for the air to pass through. Think of these as the tarps that resemble window screens.

Poly  – Think of polyethylene tarps as the blue, green, or silver tarps you find in discount stores. They have that woven look and plastic-like feel. They do come in different weights, however, so some will be thicker than others.

PVC – PVC tarps are waterproof and clear. Think of them as a clear shower liner.

Vinyl – Vinyl tarps are strong. They stand up to acids and grease. They’re also unlikely to rip or tear as they’re designed for industrial use.

If you can identify your tarp, that will help you find the right glue. If you’re not sure, you may need to try tarp glues in a test patch. See which holds best before you commit to fixing the entire rip or tear or joining the tarps together.

What Are the Differences Between HH-66 Vinyl Cement and Tear Mender Fabric Cement?

Chicago Canvas & Supply sells two types of tarp glue. HH-66 vinyl cement is a very strong, waterproof glue that dries in less than five minutes. When dried, it flexes with the material and stands up to very hot, very cold, or other weather extremes. It’s a good glue to use when fixing or patching vinyl-coated or vinyl-laminated tarps.

If you have a canvas tarp that needs repairs, look at Bish’s Original Tear Mender fabric cement. This is a non-toxic latex-based glue that’s best for fabric tarps. It’s waterproof and dries within three minutes.

How Can You Extend Your Tarp’s Life?

Eliminate some risk of rips and tears by making sure you have the right tarp. If you’re covering firewood, you need a tarp that withstands winter’s wind, rain, and snow. A lightweight tarp that you’ll find in discount retailers is too light. By spring, you may find the weight of snow and ice and the sharp corners of the firewood have torn the material. Pick a heavy-duty tarp with UV protection that is waterproof and resists mildew.

When the tarp is not being used, prepare it for storage. Spray any dirt and residue off it and allow it to dry completely. If you have a clothesline, hang the tarp from the clothesline to keep it off the ground. Canvas tarps may benefit from a new application of Canvak to maintain the protection from water and mildew. Once the tarp is completely dry, fold it and store it in a mouse-proof container.

Finally, repair rips when they’re small. If they get too large or the fabric starts to shred, you may find it is too late to make a repair that will last. You’ll have to purchase a new tarp.

Glued tarps may work well at first, but the seam may start to come apart at an inconvenient time. Chicago Canvas & Supply is happy to customize many of the tarp options to match your requirements. Contact us for help choosing the right tarp for your needs. We can also help with custom tarp sizes or tarp glues and preservatives. Chat with us online to get the answers and advice you need regarding tarp repairs or replacement.

What’s the Best Tarp to Use for Camping?

Think about the things you need from the tarps you use while camping. Your choice of tarp needs to repel water. It needs to withstand winds and the heat from a campfire or tent heater. You don’t want it ripping within months of buying it. You don’t want it growing mold or mildew when it’s not in use.

While you may think it’s easier to run to your local home goods store for a tarp, many of those tarps are only designed for general use. They’re not made with camping in mind. You’ll spend more replacing that multi-purpose tarp than you would spend purchasing the best tarp for camping.

What Are Your Best Options for Tarps for Camping?

Before you choose your tarp, carefully consider your camping plans. If you camp mostly in the summer, you may not need a tarp that withstands snow and ice. If you go camping in the winter, a tarp designed for winter use is important. Here are the available options that are best for your camping needs.

Canvas Tarp

Canvas tarps come in 16 oz. or 18 oz. weights. They are made of cotton canvas and resist water and mildew. The cotton is breathable so condensation is minimized.

This type of tarp is ideal for outdoor use, but it isn’t treated to have fire or flame retardant properties. If you’re using this tarp, position it away from a campfire. You have six color choices in the 16 oz. weight and 33 sizes plus custom sizing if it’s needed. The 18 oz. canvas tarps come in two colors and 32 sizes.

You can opt for a treated canvas if you use a tent heater. It’s only available in 16 oz. tarp weight and the Olive Drab color.

Fire and Flame Retardant Canvas Tarps

Cotton canvas is the base of a fire retardant canvas tarp. It’s breathable to prevent condensation from developing while you sleep. It also resists mildew and is water-resistant. It’s also treated to protect against fire. Choose this tarp for your camping needs and feel confident even if you go camping in the winter.

Fire and flame retardant canvas tarps come in 32 sizes ranging from 5’x7′ to 30’x30′. Olive Drab is the only color choice. Grommets are placed every two feet.

Iron Horse Polyester Tarps

Are you camping in a windy area? Iron Horse Polyester Tarps withstand winds. They’re your most durable tarp and have twice the strength of a canvas tarp. While canvas tarps are water-resistant, Iron Horse Polyester Tarps are waterproof.

These tarps come in a 15 oz. weight and seven color options if you’re purchasing from the 11 size choices. If you need a custom size, you can buy it by the yard in one of the seven color choices.

Vinyl Laminated Tarps

There are two types of vinyl tarps. Vinyl laminated tarps are flame retardant and withstand the wind. They’re not the best choice for tents as they aren’t as thick at 13 oz., but they are good if you want a cover for your camping gear. You can also use them to set up curtains to divide a tent space into multiple rooms.

The laminated vinyl tarps come in nine colors. You can order custom sizes or choose from nine ready-made sizes.

Vinyl Coated Polyester Tarps

Vinyl Coated Polyester Tarps are UV-treated and make great awnings or canopies in sunny camping locations. If you’re camping in a hotter climate and need to have shelter from the sun, this is a great choice. The coated tarp is waterproof and resists mildew. It also stands up to winds and abrasive conditions.

Choose from 16 colors. The cut sizes range from 5’x7x to 30’x30′. You can also request a free custom quote for a custom size.

How to Store Your Tarp

After your camping trip, spray your tarp to remove any dirt, pine needles, or debris. Allow the tarp to dry fully in the sun. Once it is completely dry, fold it and put it away in a lidded plastic container. This will keep mice from chewing it.

Over time, you may want to reapply Canvak to your canvas tarp to help it retain its water and mildew resistance. We sell the canvas preservative in one-gallon containers.

We’re Here for Guidance

Talk to Chicago Canvas & Supply about our tarps. They’re all made in the United States. We’re happy to help you choose the right tarp for your camping needs. Let us know your plans and we’ll guide you to the best camping tarps for your specific situation.

If you need a custom size, we offer free quotes. For further peace of mind, we even offer a price match guarantee to assure you you’re getting the best value for your camping tarp.

Can Tarps Catch on Fire?

Can a tarp catch on fire? The answer depends on the type of tarp. Some tarps can catch fire. Being too close to lighting or heat source is a common way for a tarp to catch. A tent that’s too close to a campfire can catch on fire if you’re not using the right type of tarp. Bringing certain types of heaters into a tent is another way a tarp fire can occur.

Recently, an Illinois homeowner discovered a fire in his garage. It turned out a tarp was near an extension cord that was powering a fan. The extension cord became hot and ignited the tarp. Back in 2018, a tarp caught fire when welding sparks hit it. The section of the hospital that was under renovations had to be evacuated until the fire was put out. Those are two examples of recent tarp fires that could have been prevented with a few safety precautions and the use of fire retardant tarp.

How common is a tarp fire? It’s hard to tell exactly, but between 2010 and 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported eight tent fires. That’s just tents. Tarps used as wind blocks on patios, decks, construction sites, or protective covers are all at risk of catching fire. With the right choice of tarp material, you eliminate the risk.

Understanding the Difference Between Flame/Fire Retardant vs. Fire Resistant Tarps

Tarps sold at Chicago Canvas are flame retardant. Some tarps are only fire-resistant, however, and you need to understand the difference. Fire-resistant tarps are tarps that resist catching fire. They may not catch fire quickly or well, but there is the chance they will burn. Flame or fire retardant tarps are chemically treated to keep a fire from igniting or to extinguish flames. As the chemicals extinguish flames, the risk of a burn from hot material is lessened.

If you are going for the best protection, look for flame or fire retardant tarps. These are our best fire retardant tarps:

  • 13-Ounce Heavy-Duty Vinyl Laminated Polyester Tarps – Come in a variety of colors that are all flame retardant with sizes up to 20 by 30′.
  • 16-Ounce Fire Retardant Canvas Tarps – Comes in sizes as small as 5 by 7′ or as large as 30 by 30′.
  • 18-Ounce Treated Canvas – Comes in 4, 5, or 6′ widths and in two colors (gold or olive drab).

Make Sure You Follow Recommendations and General Safety Rules

Even with a fire retardant tarp, you must follow general safety rules. If you’re using your tarp for an outdoor patio cover, make sure space heaters are a safe distance from the tarp covering. If you have a patio heater that is six-feet high, the general rule is there needs to be at least three feet of clearance. You’d want to make sure your tarp roof is fire resistant and at least nine feet high.

If you’re using a tarp as a tent, never bring a heater inside unless you’ve specifically purchased a heater designed for use in a tent. These heaters will have safety shut-offs that cut the power if oxygen levels reduce too much, if the temperature becomes too high, or if the unit tips over. Go for the smallest heater you need.

Keep tents a safe distance from campfires. Sparks and hot ashes can travel if there’s a gust of wind. Keep the tent well away from the fire for safety’s sake. Don’t smoke in your tent. Even if the canvas tarp is flame retardant, your sleeping bag may catch fire and put you at risk.

Keep your unused tarp away from items that may heat up and cause a fire. You shouldn’t have a tarp laying on or near things that heat up. If you have frayed wiring anywhere, have it fixed or replace it. Don’t place extension cords on or under a tarp. Even if the tarp is fire retardant common sense keeps you safe.

If you’re using the tarp on a construction site, set it up so that there is a distance between heaters, welding equipment, and anything else that may cause a flame. Again, fire retardant tarps are a must. By taking extra precautions you reduce the risk of the tarp catching fire.

Talk to a specialist at Chicago Canvas and Supply to match a fire retardant tarp with your intended use. We can help you find the right material, size, and color to ensure you’re protected against an unexpected fire. It’s our goal to make sure you have the right tarp and reduce the risk of damaging fire. Give us a call today at 1-866-389-2218 to discuss your project with us.

Tarps for Dump Trucks

What are the best tarps for dump trucks? There’s no standard answer for that. It comes down to what the tarp is going to cover and at what speeds your dump truck is traveling at. A cheaper tarp may be a great price, but if you’re replacing it every few months, you’re not saving money.

Laws Often Require You to Put a Tarp Over Your Load

State laws vary, but most do require you to secure your load. If something flies out of your truck and causes damage to another, you could be liable for any repairs and medical costs. In 2001, North Carolina passed a law that requires trucks carrying crushed stone, gravel, rock, and sand to cover the load with a tarp. Truckers that fail to do that face fines.

The same is true in Illinois. Laws state that anyone carrying aggregate, dirt, garbage, or similar must have the load secured with a tarp. Per the laws aggregates include crushed stone, coal, gravel, sand, or any other mineral or ore.

If you’re not sure if there is a state law, you should know that there is a federal law requiring truck drivers to secure their cargo. This means using tarps and tie-downs to ensure things don’t fly out of the dump truck bed. There are exceptions to the federal law, such as dump trucks that haul aggregates, grains, and sand. Still, consider doing your part in keeping cargo in your dump truck bed. You’re protecting other drivers and pedestrians and preventing costly cargo loss.

The Best Tarps for a Dump Truck

A dump truck tarp should be large enough to fit over the dump truck bed and items you’re hauling. It needs to be able to withstand the wind currents that the tarp experiences when the dump truck is driving down the road. Depending on what you’re hauling, you may need water-resistant tarp or tarps that allow air to flow.

18-Ounce Vinyl Coated Polyester Tarp: Vinyl coated polyester tarps are both waterproof and resistant to mold and mildew. They also resist abrasion and block out UV rays due to UV treatment. This makes them a favorite cover for farm supplies like hay. Get cut sizes of up to 20 by 30′.

Canvas Tarp: Canvas tarps are water-resistant and durable. They also allow air to flow, which helps reduce the risk of condensation. That’s helpful when hauling items like firewood. Canvas tarps come in cut sizes as large as 30 by 30′.

Iron Horse Polyester Waterproof Tarp: Iron Horse is one of the best tarps for covering items in a dump truck bed that shouldn’t get wet. The waterproof tarp material is heavy-duty and doesn’t stain. Find it in seven colors and cut sizes as large as 30 by 30′.

Iron Vinyl Mesh: Iron Vinyl Mesh tarps are incredibly durable and stand up to abrasion and tearing. When you’re hauling things like stone or sand, the resistance to abrasion is important. Purchase it in widths of up to 8′ in multicolor or 6′ in black. You must purchase a minimum of 5 yards.

Vinyl Coated Color Mesh Tarp: Vinyl-coated tarps come in 10 colors and cut sizes up to 20 by 30′. This is a lighter tarp at 10 ounces per square yard. The tarps are water-resistant thanks to the vinyl coating, but the mesh polyester fabric stands up to heavy use.

Dump truck beds range in size. Choose a tarp that provides the right length and width with a little extra for overhang. You want to completely cover the material you’re hauling. Look for a tarp that has thick hems and grommets on all sides to help you secure your tarp to the dump truck using the tiedown system that works best for your truck.

When choosing the best tarp for your dump truck, measure twice to make sure you get the right size. If the tarp says “cut size” that is the size before the tarp has been hemmed. It can take away as much as 9” from the finish size. Verify if the tarp is a cut size or finish size to avoid getting the wrong measurements.

Find the best tarps for dump trucks in a variety of colors and sizes at Chicago Canvas. We recommend looking for a tarp that is abrasion-resistant to make it harder for the tarp to tear when it’s covering abrasive materials like sand or crushed stone. We have dump truck tarps that are ready to ship. We’re also happy to take custom orders and create a tarp that fits your dump truck’s dimensions. Use online chat or call us at 1-866-389-2218 for for assistance.

How Much Do Theater & Stage Curtains Cost?

The cost of theater and stage curtains ranges from a few thousand to as much as a hundred thousand. It comes down to the fabric you choose, the width and height of the opening you’re adding curtains to, and whether you are installing them or need professional installers.

How to Measure Your Theater Space

Make sure you get an accurate measurement for stage and theater curtains. If you have curtains currently in place, take measurements from the top of the curtain down to the floor. Measure from one end of the stage to the other. If the curtains have been taken down, spread them over the lawn or large area like a gym floor and take measurements that way.

Note those measurements and look into the type of fabric that’s being used. Natural theater fabrics like cotton or muslin will stretch over time. The old curtains may be several inches longer or wider than they were originally. Synthetic fabrics don’t stretch as much with age. You can consider those measurements to be pretty accurate.

If you’ve noticed that the curtains don’t cover as much area on the stage as you’d like, calculate the additional coverage you would like and make sure that’s added to your measurements. If you’ll be changing the ceiling support hardware, consider those changes, too. Chain support hardware may hang lower than a track system. Figure any difference in hardware and factor that into your measurements, too.

What Components Do You Need?

What are you planning when it comes to your theater and stage curtains? Some of the common stage curtain components are:

  • Backdrops – Solid curtain at the back of the stage that may be hand-painted with the stage scenery
  • Borders and valances – Used to hide lighting and equipment hanging above the stage and to the sides
  • Cycloramas – Plain muslin curtain that is lit up from the front for color and lighting effects
  • Main curtains – Primary curtains that open and close before and after each act
  • Scrims – Becomes transparent when lighting is added behind them
  • Travelers – Movable curtains that are placed in different locations as needed

The Best Fabrics for Stage and Theater Curtains

Every stage is different, so you may need a few basics or want other curtain components for complex stage designs. You’ll need to chose theater fabrics and stage curtain fabrics that match their intended use. These are the choices you have when shopping for the best stage and theater curtains.

Burlap: Burlap is cheaper than canvas and just as durable. It is a natural material that can be painted if desired. Natural burlap starts at $3.25 per running yard.

Commando Cloth: This fabric is heavier than Duvetyne but less expensive than velour. It absorbs light and is a good choice for a budget-friendly main curtain. Get Commando Cloth for as little as $8.95 per running yard.

Duvetyne: Has a velvet nap on one side of the twill. The fabric absorbs light and is flame retardant. Used frequently as stage skirting, to block out lighting located behind it, and for black backdrops. Get Duvetyne for under $6 per running yard.

Poly Silk: For fluid, luminescent curtains in the mid-stage area or for backdrops, poly silks are popular. It comes in more than a dozen colors and is flame retardant. You can get poly silk for as little as $9.75 per running yard.

Rip Stop Nylon: The lightweight nature of Rip Stop nylon makes it a popular option for backdrops and screens. It is the material that parachutes are made from, which means it doesn’t rip or tear easily. It’s also fire retardant and starts at $11.85 per running yard.

Scrim: Woven cotton fabric that is lightweight. It’s used to hide actors or props from the audience’s view until it’s time to reveal them. Lighting from behind the scrim can turn it into a see-through material for special effects. Find three kinds of scrim at Chicago Canvas for $7.90 (Theatrical Linen) to $135.50 (Leno Filled) per running yard.

Sound Absorbing Fabric: Block out sounds from behind the scenes using sound absorbing fabric. You can use it to hide the musicians or stagehands. It’s a fire retardant material made from cotton. Sound absorbing fabric starts at $18.80 per running yard.

Untreated Canvas Tarp: If you’re hand-painting a backdrop, untreated canvas tarps are a favorite for large art projects. At approximately, $60 for a 10 by 10′ square, it’s an affordable choice.

Velour: There are velour fabrics that are flame retardant (Marvel Velour) or inherently flame retardant (Encore Velour) that is washable but costs more. Velour is a popular choice for the main curtains as it is wrinkle-resistant and hangs nicely. Velour starts at just under $17 per yard.

Do you need a custom size or still aren’t sure you can meet your theater group’s budget while getting everything you need? Chicago Canvas & Supply has several sizes of theater and stage curtains available, but we also welcome custom orders. We also are happy to share our expertise in choosing budget-friendly theater and stage fabrics. We’ll help you find the right theater fabrics for your production. Complete the online form to get started.

Best Tarps for a Carport

Your outdoor carport needs to stand up to the weather. Freezing temperatures, snow and ice, and strong winds have the power to destroy some tarps in a matter of days. It’s important to pick the best tarp for a carport or you’ll waste money replacing the carport cover year after year.

The purpose of a carport is to protect your car from the elements. The carport cover keeps snow and ice, rain, and branches from landing on a car or yard equipment. The galvanized steel framing that most carports have withstands winds and provides the right structure for the weight of snow or ice. You need the tarp canopy you pick to do the same.

A Historical Look at Carports

Carports date back to the early-1900s when they were used by an architect in Illinois. They didn’t become popular for another 50 years, however. Walter Burley Griffin who incorporated the Prairie School style of architecture into his designs and shared office space with fellow architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Griffin’s famous design in The Sloane House utilized a protected carport connected to the north wing of the home. It was the first home designed with a carport. Not only was the car protected from snow and rain, but the driver and passengers also had shelter while entering the home or bringing in groceries and other items. Wright would later go on to design his own homes to include carports rather than garages. He saw carports as being more affordable and just as effective as garages.

What Should Your Carport Have

When building or choosing a carport, there are a few things to consider. How tough do you need this carport to be? During a storm, there’s a chance wind gusts will exceed 40 mph, 50 mph, or even stronger in some areas. In Chicago, the highest recorded wind speed was 87 mph. The framing of a carport should be able to withstand speeds of 100 mph to be safe.

The carport tarp covering needs to hold up to snow and ice, too. There’s no telling how much snow will fall during the winter. Chicago saw 23 inches from one storm in 1967. In 2011, the city saw 20 inches fall in just one day. If the tarp you choose can’t stand up to the weight of that snow, it’s going to tear and allow snow and ice to fall onto your car and equipment.

You may want to add sides to your carport. These tarp walls can keep snow from reaching any area of your truck, SUV, or car. While a traditional carport only has the roof, it’s easy to purchase tarps to form walls and create a garage-like enclosure that keeps snow from blowing under or around your vehicle.

The Best Types of Tarps for Snow, Ice, and Wind Gusts

A carport tarp needs to keep out rain and melting snow. It needs to stand up to strong winds and not rip or tear as the wind moves it around. You may want UV protection. Two tarps are best at protecting yard equipment and vehicles from these environmental factors.

Iron Horse Polyester

Iron Horse Polyester is a favorite for several reasons. First, while some tarps have a chemical odor, you won’t find that with Iron Horse. Second, it’s breathable but the silicon treatment also makes it waterproof rather than water-resistant. Third, it doesn’t stain. You don’t have to worry about the tarp leaking color or oil treatments onto your vehicle’s finish.

Iron Horse comes in sizes ranging from 5 x 7′ to 30 x 30′. If you need a different size, Chicago Canvas is happy to customize Iron Horse tarps to meet your needs. These tarps are 15 oz and come in seven colors.

Vinyl Laminated Tarps

Vinyl laminated tarps are waterproof and mildew-resistant. There’s UV protection that can help keep the sunlight from fading your vehicle’s interior. They’re designed to resist ripping and tearing, which is handy if you live in an area where wind gusts are common.

Order a custom-sized vinyl laminated tarp or choose from sizes starting at 5×7′. These tarps come in 13 oz or 18 oz weights. You want the strongest tarp for a carport. Choose the 18 oz vinyl laminated tarp. Sixteen colors make it easy to match your carport to your home.

Carports come in a variety of sizes. You may not find the right size and opt for a lower quality tarp. You don’t have to. You can have a tarp customized to match the size of your carport. Chicago Canvas is happy to take your measurements and construct a tarp that fits your needs. We can help you choose the best tarp fabric for your needs, too. Call 1-866-389-2218 (toll-free) or 1-733-478-5700 for assistance.

Best Tarps for Covering Boats

Winter weather has already arrived in some areas with unexpected snowstorms. As the temperatures dip, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your boat. There’s more to winterizing than pulling your boat from the water. One of the main considerations after you’ve taken steps to protect the engine is deciding which are the best tarps for covering boats.

Steps to Winterizing a Boat

Before you cover your boat with a tarp, you need to winterize the engine, fuel tank, and lines. You don’t want freezing temperatures to cause liquids to crack lines, the engine block, or tanks. You don’t want last year’s oil to corrode the crankcase or the fuel to separate in the cold and become gummy. To prevent this, there are five steps to take.

  1. Spray fogging oil to the engine’s carburetor and cylinders in preparation for months of storage. Typically, fogging oil is petroleum-based and helps prevent corrosion. It’s best to add it when the fuel tank is almost empty.
  2. Drain the oil from the past boating season and add fresh oil. Synthetic oil may be beneficial due to its extended life.
  3. Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer that prevents the separation that can cause the gummy residue to form.
  4. To keep the engine block from freezing and cracking, fill it with antifreeze that is a non-toxic propylene glycol mix. Look specifically for a mixture that is rated to meet the average lows in your area.
  5. Drain water lines to any water tanks and sanitation systems. Add some non-toxic antifreeze to the sanitation system and water lines to protect them from freezing. When you refill the system in the spring you’ll flush the lines out for a few minutes.

Different engines may need additional steps in order to prepare the boat for winter. An outboard motor must be drained of all water prior to storage. You may also need to clean fuel filters and change the oil in the crankcase and transmission or use an oil stabilizer if changing the oil isn’t possible. Once you’ve taken these steps, it’s time to cover and store your boat.

The Best Tarps for Winterizing & Covering Your Boat

Mold and mildew are risks of tightly wrapping a boat for the winter. There are crystal pellets that absorb moisture that will help. The right tarp also helps. Shrinkwrap that is not properly ventilated may lead to rust and mildew. With the best boat tarp, you’ll have years of protection for a much lower price. Plus, the tarp is reusable and won’t add unnecessary plastic to the landfill in the spring.

Before choosing the best boat cover, where are you storing your boat? If you’re storing it inside in a storage facility, protection against ice or snow isn’t as important. Natural duck canvas designed for heavy-duty use would be enough to protect the boat’s finish against dust and dirt. Outside storage is different. It has to be heavy-duty, non-staining, and able to stand up to sun, ice, and snow. These are our top recommendations for covering a boat for outside storage, but one stands out as the absolute best boat cover.

  • 18-oz Canvas Tarps – If you need a durable tarp that allows air to pass while resisting water, 18-ounce canvas tarps are perfect. Make sure the material is 100% cotton and not treated. If it’s treated, it could cause staining.
  • Vinyl Coated Poly Tarps – Vinyl coated poly tarps resist mildew and are waterproof. They’re also treated to provide UV protection. The tear-resistant design helps with durability. Providing you’ve secured the tarp with bungee cords and/or rope, the wind is not going to cause it to rip and tear.
  • Iron Horse Tarps – Our first choice for the best tarp for boat covers is Iron Horse. Iron Horse polyester tarps allow air to flow, do not stain, and are built to last years. You won’t find a plastic or chemical odor from them either. For a boat cover, you won’t do better than Iron Horse.

Chicago Canvas has a wide selection of Iron Horse polyester tarps. Grommets are applied approximately 2′ apart to properly secure the Iron Horse tarp to your boat using bungees or rope. Choose from seven colors and get the polyester waterproof tarp in sizes as small as 5 by 7′ or as large as 30 by 30′. If that’s not big enough, don’t worry. We can customize the Iron Horse tarp to meet your needs.

We offer free custom quotes online through live chat, by phone, or by filling out a quick form at Chicago Canvas. Our specialists are happy to discuss the best tarp for your winter boat cover.

Best Tarps for Covering Lawn Furniture

You’ve invested hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your outdoor furniture. Make that investment last by properly storing it for the long winter. With the best tarps for covering lawn furniture, your furniture will last years and avoid damage from the snow and ice. Here are the things you must consider and check off your list before winter arrives.

Properly Clean Your Furniture

Before you cover your chairs, tables, umbrellas, etc., make sure they’re clean and dry. If you cover them while they’re damp, you’ll encourage mildew. With a soft scrub brush and a mild soap, wash and rinse the furniture. Plastic sets will stand up to the use of a bleach cleaner if mildew stains are apparent.

Wooden tables and chairs should be cleaned and dried. Sand any splintered areas. Once that’s done, treat them with furniture oil or a beeswax-based wood polish to keep the wood from drying out in the colder temperatures.

Make Space for Storage

Where do you plan to store your covered outdoor furniture? If it’s in a garage or shed, make sure you have the space available. Clear a spot and put down a skid or two to keep the furniture off the ground. If snow or ice melts and makes the ground wet or creates a puddle, the tarps will prevent the furniture legs from sitting in the puddle that forms.

If you’re storing your furniture on a deck or patio after it’s covered, move skids to the area to ensure the furniture isn’t sitting in snow or ice as it builds up over the winter.

The Best Tarps for Outdoor Furniture Covers

Canvas and tarp retailers like Chicago Canvas offer a range of styles and thicknesses. This allows you to find the right tarp for your needs. When you’re covering outdoor furniture, you want something that is waterproof, resists rips and tears, and resists mildew. These are some of the best tarps for outdoor use covering patio and deck furniture.

#1 – Iron Horse Polyester

One of the reasons this is our go-to choice for outdoor lawn furniture covers is that the tarp is strong and durable. It also resists staining. If you have white wicker, plastic, or metal furniture, you don’t want unsightly stains. The other benefit is that the tarp doesn’t have a strong chemical odor. If you’re storing outdoor cushions or patio umbrellas with your lawn furniture, you don’t want it absorbing the tarp’s odor all winter long.

Iron Horse tarps come in seven colors. It also comes in a wide array of sizes that range from 5 x 7′ to 30 x 30′. If you have a lot of furniture to cover, this tarp is not going to let you down.

#2 – Vinyl Tarps

Vinyl tarps do not rip or tear easily. They also resist mildew, stand up to the coldest of temperatures, and are flame retardant. If you plan to store your outdoor lawn furniture in the garage, flame retardant materials are a safer choice.

There are two choices: vinyl coated or vinyl laminated. Vinyl-laminated 13-ounce tarps come in a variety of colors and range from 5 x 7′ to 20 x 30′. They’re UV-treated and resist water and mildew. Vinyl-coated poly tarps are better options as they have the same properties as the others, but they resist mildew and rot. They also come in sizes up to 20 x 30′. Trust in the 18-ounce vinyl-coated poly tarps for covering wood or wicker outdoor furniture.

Carefully Choose Your Tarp

The thin blue tarps you see in discount retailers may seem affordable at that moment, but low-cost tarps also have downsides. They rip easily and need replacing more often. If you’ve paid $20 for a 10 x 12′ tarp that is torn before the winter is over, you’ll be spending another $20 to keep your furniture safe. Is that really saving you money?

A heavy-duty tarp may be a little higher in price, but it’s also designed to last for years. Instead of spending $40 a season, you spend just shy of $100 and have a tarp that is crafted to last 5 to 10 years because it’s UV-treated to remain durable in freezing temperatures. It saves you money over the years.

Look for tarps that are designed for heavy-duty use in addition to UV-treatment. Double thick hems help prevent tears. You’ll also find that tarps that say they are waterproof vs. water-resistant are your best tarps for furniture covers.

The tarps you by in a box store may not last as long as you hope. You have to carefully match the tarp to your needs. Chicago Canvas & Supply helps you find the right tarp for your needs and all within your budget. Talk to our experts in lawn furniture coverings via live chat or by calling 1-866-389-2218. We’re happy to help.

Best Tarps For Fall Cleanup Projects

It’s time for fall cleanup. There’s a limited number of weekends before bitter cold temperatures hit and the snow starts to fall. By getting a head start on fall cleanup chores, you avoid a last-minute rush to get things done.

As you clean your yard and put away summer furniture and toys, why not use tarpaulins to your advantage? Tarps make fall cleanup much easier. Don’t overlook these important tasks and the ways to use tarps for fall cleanup as you get these tasks checked off.

Trimming or Pruning Trees and Bushes

As trees go dormant for the winter, it’s the best time to cut or trim branches. Remove lower branches that make it hard to mow under a tree. Remove branches that are against a house. If there are dead branches or limbs, you need to cut them off.

Insects and fungus can kill off healthy trees. If you have any dead trees or shrubs in the yard, you’ll need to remove them. Cut off limbs and branches first and then cut the main trunk as close to the ground as possible.

Each branch or limb that’s cut off, put it on a tarp. You’ll eliminate the need to rake up small twigs and leaves after. All of the mess is contained to the tarp. You want a heavy-duty tarp that won’t rip or tear. Brown/green reversible poly tarps are strong enough to take the weight of heavier branches or tree trunks.

Contain the mess to the tarp while you decide if you’re going to burn or compost the leaves and twigs. Rent a wood chipper and turn those branches into mulch you can compost or use to protect your perennials during the winter. Larger pieces of hardwood can be used in a fireplace or woodstove once they’ve dried out.

If you are going to save the larger pieces to heat your home, stack that wood on skids in an out-of-the-way location. Cover it with a blue poly tarp when you’re done. That will protect the firewood from snow, rain, and ice.

Cleaning Out Gutters

Falling leaves, dust, and pollen clog gutters. This can lead to ice build-up in the winter. You don’t want ice getting up into your roofing. Start the winter out with clean gutters. Rather than carry a bucket up and down the ladder and risk your safety in the process, place a blue poly tarp on the ground below and toss the decomposing leaves, twigs, dirt, and pollen onto the tarp.

When you’re done, you can move the tarp to your compost pile. Rinse off the tarp, allow it to fully dry in the sun, and the tarp is ready to be used elsewhere.

Covering Your Backyard Pool

A heavy-duty tarp provides an affordable option to an expensive pool cover. You want to protect the pool water from collecting leaves and branches in the fall. If you don’t keep them out, you’ll spend hours removing them before you can reopen the pool in the spring.

Silver UVR heavy-duty poly tarps or green/silver heavy-duty poly tarps are excellent pool covers. Lower the water level, balance your chemicals, place some empty chlorine jugs or an inflatable pillow in the center of the pool, and cover that with a tarp. Tie-down the tarp to ensure the wind doesn’t blow it away or that it falls into the pool with the weight of rain or snow.

In the spring, use a pump to drain the water from the top of the tarp. Untie the ropes used to secure it to the top of the pool. Pull the tarp off the pool without spilling any leaves or remaining water into the pool. Add water to the desired level, balance the chemicals, and you’re good to go. You don’t have to worry about sweeping dead leaves and twigs from the bottom of the pool.

Raking Leaves

Leaves and pine needles can smother your grass. Rake them into piles and transfer them to a heavy-duty tarp. If you have a leaf blower, you can blow them straight onto the tarp. When the job is complete, move them to the compost pile. Depending on your state, town/city, or community rules, you may prefer to burn the leaves and compost the ashes or save the ashes to spread on your icy driveway or sidewalks.

Storing Summer Furniture, Tools, and Toys

Storing patio furniture, power equipment, and toys is easy to manage when you have heavy-duty tarps available. If space in a garage or shed is limited, you can cover your furnishings, lawnmowers, or toys with 18-ounce vinyl-coated polyester tarpaulins. They resist mildew, water, and damaging sun rays.

Get the right tarp for your needs with the help of Chicago Canvas & Supply. We can create custom tarp sizes with most of our tarp choices. We can also help you find the perfect tarp for your fall cleanup project. Contact us for a free quote.

Buying Tarps Online vs. At Big Box Stores

Why by a tarp online when you can drive to a big box store and purchase a discount tarp locally? Most will tell you it’s convenient to go to a local store and bring it home. Are you getting the best deal, however? There are several reasons you should save yourself the trip and shop online for a tarp.

Selections in a Store Are Limited

If you look at a box store for tarps, you’ll find the selection is limited. Most stores sell the blue tarps that are designed for light-duty use. In a camping section, you may find heavy-duty tarps, but they’re going to be smaller and not always ideal for your needs. You’d have to buy multiples to get the size you need. Then, you’d have to find a way to secure them together that ensured a watertight seam. It’s not ideal.

Chicago Canvas has tarps in so many colors, weights, and styles. There are waterproof tarps and breathable ones. There is a huge range of sizes. If you don’t find the right size, specialists are happy to create a customized tarp for you. You’re also welcome to call and request a free fabric sample if you want to feel the thickness and quality before you order.

Tarps Are Not a Box Store’s Specialty

A box store doesn’t specialize in any particular thing. They’re around for convenience. If you need help deciding what tarp is best to cover a cord of wood vs. the tarp that’s best for covering a tractor for the winter, the employee at the box store won’t know. It’s up to you to decide. That store also may not have the right tarp for the intended use. You’ll have to settle for second best.

Chicago Canvas & Supply is a division of a company that’s been around for more than seven decades. The canvas and tarp division came about in 1986. We have experts working for us who really understand the importance of listening to the customer and helping them find the right tarps in the right sizes. From tents and outdoor canopies to photography backgrounds, we ensure you get exactly what you need in a fabric that’s designed to last years.

Box Stores Cut Prices By Getting Tarps Made in Other Countries

One way box stores cut prices is by purchasing goods from countries that pay a low wage and may even use child labor. Chicago Canvas makes every effort to offer tarps and specialty products that are made in the U.S.A. We also hire our own on-site specialists to create custom tarps for our customers. When the custom tarps are ready, we take care of the shipping, too.

Tarps made in other countries may be coated in plastics that are dangerous. Lead and cadmium have been found in some plastics that are imported. When you buy a tarp made in the U.S., you know you’re getting products that meet U.S. regulations.

If you’re looking to avoid chemical odors with your tarp, Chicago Canvas has Iron Horse polyester tarps. Iron Horse tarps are extremely durable, waterproof tarps that are perfect for covering boats, outdoor furniture, and truck beds. They’re also free of any chemical odors and come in a rainbow of colors.

The Focus Isn’t on Quality

A box store is after the lowest price. They’re not as concerned over quality. While the low price is appealing, how often will you bet replacing the tarp? If you purchase a blue tarp to cover your firewood for the winter and it rips within two months, you’ll need to go buy a new tarp. Is that really a better deal than if you’d spent a little more money and gotten a durable tarp that will last for years?

At Chicago Canvas, there are dozens of different fabrics and weights to ensure the tarp you choose is right for the application. Big box stores don’t give you that variety. You may think you’re saving money by shopping locally, but you’ll be replacing your tarp more often. You end up spending more.

We price match. If you find a tarp for a better price from one of their competitors, Chicago Canvas will match the price. Call 1-773-478-5700 to learn more.

Order $99 or more in tarps and shipping is free. Free shipping, price matching, and a high-quality tarp that’s made in the U.S.A. are three good reasons to choose Chicago Canvas. Chat with one of our specialists and let us help you find the right tarp for your needs.