Industrial Tarps – What Types of Tarps Are Considered Industrial Grade?

To understand the best tarps to pick for industrial use, it helps to know what industrial settings are. It’s the sector that creates products for others. An industry can also be a service that helps an industry within the economy. Aerospace, agriculture, computers/IT, construction, manufacturing, telecommunication, and transportation are all examples of industries. Some of them rely on keeping equipment and goods protected, and that’s where industrial tarps come in.

A tarp is a covering that can help provide shade, keep items dry, contain messes, or help divide an area into different sections. Where do industrial tarps fit in with these needs? How can you be sure you’re getting an industrial tarp that meets your needs?

How Do Industries Use Tarps?

How do you use tarps in an industrial setting? There are so many ways they help. If a roof on a shed or building is leaking, you can protect the equipment and supplies within that area by covering the leak with a waterproof tarp.

Supplies that are stored outside at a construction site are kept dry with a waterproof tarp. You can also use tarps to keep machinery and flooring clean when you’re repainting a wall or ceiling on a construction site. Welding curtains, pallet covers, truck bed covers, cargo covers, work area canopies, and room dividers are other reasons you’d want to choose an industrial tarp.

Important Considerations When Choosing an Industrial Tarp

Before you buy an industrial tarp, you need to carefully consider the right tarp for your needs. Quality is the top consideration. An industrial setting calls for a durable, heavy-duty tarp. One of the ways to determine a tarp’s durability is by checking the weight and thickness. Tarps are often listed in either ounces (the weight per square yard) or by thickness in mils (1/1000th of an inch). The heavier or thicker a tarp, the stronger it is, but there are other factors to consider.

The fabric used to make a tarp also impacts the quality. Canvas is a strong material, but it isn’t always ideal as moisture may get through. They may be more expensive, but they resist abrasion and are usually flame retardant. Laminated or coated vinyl is often preferred. They’re strong like canvas tarps and the coating makes them waterproof or water-resistant. Poly tarps are often the weakest of the tarp materials, but they are lightweight and most are waterproof. Finally, there’s a PVC tarp that is flexible and durable. It’s also clear so light gets through. If you add a protective UV coating to a material, it prevents the tarp from getting damaged by the sun.

The tarp has to be the right size for the job. Before you purchase a tarp, find out if the sizes given are cut size or finish size. Cut size is the measurement of the tarp before hems and grommets are added. The finish size is the final size and is often three inches less on each side. If the cut size says 10 x 10′, the finish size would be around 9.5 x 9.5′. If you cannot find if the tarp is cut size or finish size, ask the customer help team before you complete your purchase.

When you’re looking at tarps, find out if it comes in different colors. This may not matter, but there are circumstances where you will want to have a choice of colors. For example, if you are using an industrial tarp to wall off a warehouse to create temporary offices or cubicles while a building is cleaned after a flood, you might want different colors to make it easy for people to find the department they need. Blue could be billing and red could be sales. It makes organization easier to manage.

How do you plan to install the industrial tarp? The tarps at Chicago Canvas have grommets to make it easier to secure the tarp using rope, cable, or bungee cords. For floor coverings, you’ll likely use tape or weights. Make sure the tarp is going to be easy to hang or secure before making your final choice.

Our Picks for the Best Industrial Tarps

What do we recommend when it comes to a tarp that stands up to industrial use? Consider these tarps and pay close attention to some of the ways business owners have put them to use over the years.

13 oz Vinyl Laminated Polyester Tarps

This is a prime choice for industries that use welding curtains. The material isn’t super heavy, but it’s still durable and has a UV treatment that helps protect it from sun damage. The vinyl laminated tarp is waterproof and flame retardant. It’s 14 mils thick and resists rips and tears. In addition to being a popular option for welding curtains, it’s also a good divider curtain or salvage cover.

18 oz Canvas Tarps

An 18 oz canvas tarp resists water, but it’s a breathable cotton material that prevents condensation. This makes it a good choice for covering cargo and equipment on a construction site or in an industrial setting. They’re also used as truck covers when hauling agricultural products like wood shavings and bedding materials. As they are treated to give the cotton a water-resistant finish, these tarps are not meant to cover cars or boats where damage to the finish is possible.

18 oz Vinyl Coated Polyester Tarps

If you need a waterproof tarp that stands up to excessive use, the 18 oz vinyl coated polyester tarp is ideal. The weight is 18 ounces, and it’s 20 mils thick, which makes it one of the strongest tarps we have. It’s often the first choice for companies in need of industrial divider curtains, cargo/equipment covers, and floor covers. If you need an awning or cover to protect workers who go outside to smoke or take their lunch breaks outside, this type of tarp is a great choice.

Clear PVC Tarps

On a construction site, a clear PVC tarp is ideal for creating temporary walls to keep wind and rain out of window and door openings. As they are clear, outside light is still able to get through. PVC tarp is waterproof and resists abrasion. They’re also treated to prevent damage from UV rays.

Iron Horse Polyester Tarps

Why are Iron Horse tarps a leading choice for industrial use? They’re strong. In fact, Iron Horse polyester tarps are twice as strong as canvas tarps. They’re breathable to prevent condensation, but they’re waterproof at the same time. These tarps are also popular because they don’t have a chemical smell or treatment that causes stains. Choose Iron Horse tarps for outdoor shade structures and awnings.

Polypropylene Mesh Tarps

Do you want to put up screening to keep people from seeing what’s going on at a construction site? Polypropylene mesh tarps work well. They block out 95% of the light. The tarps are hard to see through, but they still allow air to pass. When it comes to partnering privacy with airflow to keep a construction site from heating up too much, this is a great choice.

Chicago Canvas & Supply has been supplying industrial fabrics and other products for 70 years. When you need heavy-duty tarps for an industrial setting, we can help you choose the right fabric, weight, and size. We may have what you need in one of our many size options, or you can have us make a custom-size tarp. Give us a call and let our experts help you find the right tarp for your industry.