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How to Choose the Right PVC Vinyl Tarp & What Specs to Look For?

Vinyl Tarp On Progressive Field Before The World SeriesPVC & Vinyl Tarps

Tarps find use in many applications, whether industrial, commercial, or residential. They cover equipment from damage, commercial vehicles and trucks, divide spaces and make tents among other purposes. Thus, there is every reason to have heavy-duty, premium tarps that live to their expectations.

If you want for commercial or residential purposes, both PVC and vinyl tarps are designed to give you long-lasting service. Low-temperature cold-crack resistance, high pliability, and high insulation are some of the things you will expect from these high-quality PVC and vinyl tarps.

But how do PVC and vinyl so effective? This article takes you through the different facts you should know about these products. Read on!

What Materials are Used in Vinyl & PVC Tarps & What is the Difference?

First, PVC tarps are made using high-density, cross-woven polyethylene coated with a polyethylene laminate and sheet material. The center of these tarps is loosely woven from strips of polyethylene plastic with sheets bonded to the surface. These sheets can be either high-density polyethylene or low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Besides, they are treated against Ultraviolet (UV) light to last long.

PVC tarps are coated with a UV coating material that protects them from sunlight. As the sun degrades polyester and forms fissures in it, the UV coating makes the material safe from wear and tear.

On the other hand, Vinyl tarps are made from a high-strength, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) scrims and reinforced PVC laminate. The laminating coating makes vinyl tarps sturdy and highly resistant to destructive elements. The lining usually is flame-retardant. The best vinyl tarps you will find in the market are made of an NFPA-701-compliant flame resistant material.

The only difference is in the materials used to make these two products. However, vinyl tarps are known to be more substantial than PVC counterparts. Vinyl is overly firm, highly resistant to abrasion, and more resistant to wear and tear. In General, Coated Vinyl Tarps provide the best abrasion resistance and this is why they are commonly used on over the road semi trailers that have a lot of wearing and flapping on the frame.

How long do Vinyl Tarps Last?Vinyl Coated Tarp Protecting Construction Site

Vinyl tarps are high-lasting products made with an extended lifespan. With heat-sealed seams and multi-laminate tarps, vinyl tarps can last many years of use. Heavy-duty tarps are the best choice due to their high adaptability and length of life span.

The reinforced coating adds strength and resistance that makes it sturdy and highly durable. Besides, vinyl tarps have multi-layered heat-sealed seams that reduce wear and tear.

When used on trucks, especially the heavy-duty ones, these tarps can withstand 5-10 years of daily use. They provide extra cover for equipment and truck freight. One of the best features of vinyl tarps is that they don’t shrink.

Pvc Tarp Over Flatnbed Tractor TrailerHow are Vinyl Tarps Constructed?


Vinyl tarps come in different dimensions of weight, size, thickness, grade, and color. If you want premium, heavy-duty industrial tarps, make an order according to your desired quality.

Also, different qualities are made to serve different purposes. For example, a vinyl tarp made for truck cover may not necessarily be useful for construction purposes.

Polymerization is the ultimate process used in the construction of vinyl tarps. To make a tarp, you need to have a working industrial facility. Below are some of the materials that you need to make a vinyl tarp;

·        High-quality PET polymer resin

·        Rollers and equipment

·        Expertise

·        Large and properly equipped manufacturing warehouse

During high-pressure polymerization, ethylene is converted into high-density polyethylene terephthalate (PET) scrims. These scrims are then double-coated with polyvinyl chloride laminate. This process happens in a highly managed industrial set-up.

As evident above, it’s a delicate and intricate process that needs lots of investment and expertise. Do not just walk into any store to buy tarps from low-quality manufactures without a proper industrial setting.

Where do I buy Vinyl & PVC Tarps?

There are many stores locally, and even internationally that manufactures vinyl and PVC tarps. However, not all guarantees high quality and you may end up in losses. If you want to purchase vinyl and PVC tarps, the best thing is to make a custom order. Contact your manufacturer to determine to discuss your order.

The best thing with making a custom order rather than buying ready-made products is that you can customize according to your needs. Also, you can have the tarpaulins branded for your business needs. For example, if you operate a trucking business or an industrial park, you can have your business name printed on the tarps. If you want to make an order, contact us, and we’ll advice offer you great deals and quality products.

How Do You Buy Vinyl and PVC Tarps?

Buying your desired product might not be necessarily easy. It’s a process that requires high levels of vigilance. One wrong mistake might get you heavy losses in your business. This buying guide helps you to choose the best products in the market;

Fabric Strength

The fabric strength of your vinyl and PVC tarps depends on the whole manufacturing process from fabric weight and coating thickness to UV inhibitors. All these parameters should be put into consideration when buying your favorite tarp. Ensure that the tarps are well reinforced during manufacture.


Industrial and commercial use requires high-density tarps. Are you planning to use the tarp against harsh conditions? If yes, choose the right vinyl and PVC tarps that will protect you from delicate elements such as wind and fire.

Period of Use

How long do you intend to keep using these tarps? Is it a long or short period? If you want the tarpaulins to serve you for long, make sure you choose the most durable ones. On the other end, if you are planning on temporary usage, choose tarps that will get the work done and save you some monies.


If you want a heavy-duty tarp that will give longer life, consider one with 10-12 mils. Vinyl Coated and Vinyl Laminated Tarps Usually range from 14 Mil all the way up to 40 Mil thick.  This is the thickest tarp you can find in the market. Also, you can go for a lightweight one that measures 5-6 mils. The lighter ones are applicable for low-intensity purposes.


The Mesh of a tarp is the number of threads per square inch. Premium-meshed tarps have 12-16 threads per inch while normal ones have about ten threads. Threads have weight which is measured in denier. The weight in grams of 9000 ft. thread makes the denier. Stronger tarps have large deniers and vice versa.

The Bottom Line

Generally, vinyl tarps look to outweigh the PVC counterparts. Each product has its strength, and you should, therefore, purchase according to your requirements.

If you want high-quality safety products, Steel Guard Safety help you acquire the best industrial and commercial safety products there can be. Whether you want PVC or Vinyl Tarps, request a quote, and you will get whatever product you want.


About the Author

Dennis Muvaa is a reverent freelance web content writer and contributor on USA Today Classifieds and Motor1. For the last 8 years, he has featured on the global space as a top copywriter and blogger with numerous testimonials. Currently, he’s embarking on his journey of creating a network of writing professionals and clients across the web.

Dennis M is a freelance writer who writes about business.

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