Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Choosing The Best Tarpaulins In UK for Rain Protection


Tarpaulins, also commonly called tarps, are incredibly useful pieces of lightweight, waterproof fabrics or plastic sheeting. Tarps serve a variety of purposes, but one of their most common uses is providing temporary shelter and protection from rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation.

When Choosing a Tarpaulin for Rain Protection

There are several key factors to take into account when selecting the right tarpaulin for your specific rain protection needs:


Heavier, thicker tarps made from materials like vinyl or polyester provide superior water resistance for heavy rain storms but are less portable. Lighter tarps may leak in downpours.


Tarps with reinforced seams, grommets, and rope channels are built to last longer. Grommets especially make anchoring and adjusting tarps much easier.

UV resistance

If using the Tarpaulins UK outdoors, it needs UV protection to prevent sunlight damage over time. Polyester and vinyl hold up best long-term.

tarpaulin for rain


Measure the area that needs coverage to ensure you get a Clear Tarpaulin enough but not overly large. Table 1 lists common tarp sizes.

Fabric strength

Heavy-duty, industrial-strength tarps made from coated polyester or reinforced vinyl withstand frequent use and abrasion.


Tarps are made from various materials like polyester, vinyl, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The material affects the tarp’s water resistance, strength, weight, flexibility, lifetime, and price.

Types of Tarpaulins for Different Rain Protection Applications

Depending on the specific rain protection application, different styles and materials of tarps may be best suited:

Roofing Tarps

For covering small structures like sheds, gazebos, and canopies, thicker polyester or vinyl roofing tarps ranging from 10×12 feet to 16×20 feet work well. Their extra strength and weight hold up against wind and rain. Reinforced roofing tarps may have seams taped for enhanced water resistance.

Ground Tarps

Lightweight, packable tarps made from polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) excel for temporary ground uses like working events, job sites, and outdoor equipment. Their low weight and packability make transport and setup fast and easy.

Heavy Duty Tarps

Constructed with reinforced, coated fabrics and features like grommets placed every 2 feet, heavy-duty tarps prove ideal for uses needing years of protection like large construction projects. Their strength and portability facilitate pulling tight over large areas.

Truck and Trailer Tarps

Tailored specifically for vehicles, truck tarps come in commercial grade with features like integrated rope channels, radial seams, and reinforced stress points to handle wind and motion. This helps secure loads during transport.

Tips for Properly Anchoring Tarpaulins

Securing tarps securely is essential to ensure they provide effective protection from wind and rain. Here are some effective anchoring methods:

Grommets and Rope

This is generally the strongest setup. Run ropes through grommets along tarp edges and stake them down tightly.

Bungee Cords

Quick and easy for temporary use but may not hold as firmly in strong winds. Space cords no more than 3 feet apart.


Heavy sandbags stacked along the tarp base provide excellent anchoring against high winds. Less portable than other options.


Plastic or metal stakes can clench tarps firmly to the ground. Hammer them in at an angle to resist being pulled out. Place every 1-2 feet as needed.

Ratcheting Straps

Strong, adjustable straps that work well for fastening tarps to vehicles, structures, and other solid anchors.


For extra securing of tarps on large structures, connect ropes via turnbuckles on corners and every 4-6 feet.


Use with grommets and stakes. Attach extra support lines diagonally from grommets to stakes for reinforcement.

Common Sizes of Tarpaulins for Rain Protection

Tarps are available in a wide variety of sizes to suit different rain protection needs. Here are some of the most common sizes used:

8×10 feet

A basic small size sufficient for covering things like grills, furniture, equipment, and tools. Its portability makes it versatile for temporary coverage needs.

10×12 feet

The standard size is utilized for smaller rain protection projects like sheds, children’s play structures, and gazebos. Fits roofs up to 10×12 feet.

12×16 feet

Offers slightly more coverage area for rain-protecting vehicles, boats, building materials, and larger work sites or activity spaces.

16×20 feet

Considered a mid-size tarp adequate for rain coverings such as medium-sized gazebos, canopies, and equipment. Its extra size allows for draping over taller structures.

20×25 feet

Provides generous coverage for very large construction projects, equipment storage areas, boathouses, and bigger commercial spaces.

Custom Sizes

Tarps can also be specially ordered in customized dimensions according to unique space requirements. This ensures an exact fit without excess fabric.

Choosing a Tarpaulin by Material for Rain Protection

The material used to construct a tarpaulin greatly influences its rain protection capabilities. Here is an overview of common materials and their characteristics:


Durable, fade-resistant, and very affordable. However, it is not completely waterproof on its own and tends to absorb water after long periods of exposure. Still, it makes for a good, lightweight roofing or ground tarp option.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

Inexpensive and fully waterproof when constructed with a vinyl coating. However, it is heavier than other options and can become brittle in cold temperatures. Best for short-term ground or equipment covering where its water resistance outweighs other drawbacks.

Polyethylene (PE)

A very lightweight, flexible material that is water resistant rather than fully waterproof. It nevertheless makes an affordable option for low-budget temporary uses like equipment covers.


An absorbent material that is better suited for indoor uses rather than rain protection. It will absorb water rather than shedding it and should be avoided for any tarp where exposure to moisture is expected.


The most waterproof material is rated for withstanding months of continuous outdoor use. It also excels at UV protection without degrading over the years. Reinforced vinyl tarps with integrated grommets and rope channels are an ideal heavy-duty choice for choosing tarpaulins for rain protection.

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