Tarpaulin covers can be incredibly convenient depending on what you require them for. From covers to prevent stains and paint spills when working on art and crafts to providing shelter for a makeshift outdoor entertainment area, your tarp would need some attention to make sure that it is not acquiring undue damages simply because of neglect. Nonetheless, this does not mean that all care and maintenance accorded to these materials are a one-size-fits-all technique. You need to pay attention to the individual material of your tarp, as different types of tarpaulins will have varying resistance against the elements and general disrepair.
Canvas is the most widely available fabric for tarpaulin as it is an economical option. This material is also known to have a long lifespan since it is manufactured from natural fibres that have inherent durability. Nonetheless, canvas tarps are still vulnerable to tarpaulin repairs and even irreparable damage if issues are not resolved at early onset. For one, any tears in your canvas tarp should be fixed as soon as you spot them. Failure to do so will allow the natural fibres to unravel, and this will significantly decrease the shelf life of your tarpaulin.
Secondly, since canvas tarps are made from natural materials, they shouldn't be exposed to excessive moisture. If you use your canvas tarp as a shelter, it would be advisable to invest in a waterproof coating once in a while to prevent water damage. Moreover, if the tarp does become exposed to water, thorough drying is recommended for you could stand the risk of mould development and even rot on your tarp. Lastly, an ultraviolet resistant coating would also be ideal for your canvas tarpaulin, as this would protect it against premature discolouration.
People looking for tarps that require the least amount of maintenance can lean toward vinyl tarps. Vinyl is innately stronger than canvas, so it is better suited for heavy-duty applications such as a truck cover or as a shelter. In addition to this, the vinyl tarps are manufactured with ultraviolet resistance. Therefore, you would not have to be concerned about sun damage.
Nevertheless, this does not translate into a lack of maintenance, as this material is still susceptible to some damages. For starters, the vinyl can begin to crack when used for a prolonged period outdoors without being waxed, as the material becomes brittle. Secondly, cuts in the vinyl should be patched up with spare vinyl materials or using vinyl cement otherwise the damage spreads.