Water Resistant and Waterproof Tarps – Knowing The Difference

When it comes to using tarps, you usually want to protect against water and the damages it can do. There are a lot of choices presented when selecting a tarp for protection against the wet stuff including the type of fabric, coating, and whether it is waterproof or water resistant. Is this not the same? No. Although the two terms often find use in the same context, Water Resistant and Waterproof Tarps qualities are different. Understanding the difference is critical in knowing whether what is under the tarp is receiving what you intend.

Many classifications of tarps exist in the covering world. These are categorized by the type of material that they are made of such as canvas, vinyl, poly, or mesh. A lot of these possess the water resistant or waterproof qualities that are desired. Let us take a look at each of these terms and what they really mean as they apply to protection from water.


Water Resistant Tarps

Water Resistant is a phrase that describes a quality achieved through the fabric it is made from. Generally, this means that it will limit the water getting through the material, quite well most of the time. But, water resistant tarps will not keep the item or you dry indefinitely.

The construction, the weave, the density of the fabric is what determines the level of resistance to water. The tighter the composition the more difficult it is for the water to seep through keeping things dry longer. Nylon and polyester are the more common materials in water resistance.

When the term water repellent is mentioned, it is a resistant quality that is achieved through the application of a treatment or coating. These help the tarp to increase the defense against water. The compounds can make the material waterproof, but this is not always the case. It is always important to research the intended tarp for its true capabilities.


Waterproof Tarps

Water Resistant versus Waterproof Tarps Waterproof Tarps

There are a lot of tarp products on the market that are waterproof especially those of the vinyl and poly classifications. Waterproof Tarps possess coatings or treatments that completely keep the water out or off what it is covering. Some Canvas Tarps are a good example of this, as the weave itself is not a good water resistant candidate, it is the coating or treatment applied that makes the waterproof versions what they are.

One very important point to keep in mind is that no matter the type of material, a tarp is not truly waterproof unless the seams are waterproof as well. The seams become so by chemical coatings and treatments just like the tarp material.


Use and Care

With the right selection for the job and its proper use, tarps will go a long way in resisting and preventing water from the valuable items that you are protecting. A tight, correctly secured water resistant covering will keep the water from collecting and infiltrating the vulnerable areas just fine for many purposes.

Even the best and most waterproof tarp on the market is of little good if it is not used correctly or is allowed to be damaged. Care, technique, and maintenance will help ensure accurate function and a longer life.


Please call Tarps Now today at (888) 800.1383. You will find it convenient to speak with a knowledgeable representative about your Water Resistant and Waterproof Tarps needs. We can help you get the right tarp for the job.