PVC or Vinyl Tarp: Which One Should You Buy?

Tarps are one of the most useful items created by humankind.

  • Leaving the country for a few years? Just cover up your furniture items with tarps to prevent them from getting damaged.
  • Want to protect your floors and walls while there’s construction work going on in your house? Again, just cover them up with walls.
  • Planning to build a slip-and-slide in your backyard for the summer? Just get your old construction tarps out, stitch them together, spray water on them and slide away!

Tarps are highly useful items no matter what the situation. That’s why homeowners should always have these items in their garages or basements. If you don’t own tarps, you should probably buy one or two. But, what type of tarp will help you the most? Let’s explore.

The Different Types of Tarps

Tarps can be made of a variety of synthetic materials. But, we’ll focus on the two most common tarp-making materials – polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl. Widely considered to be the same, PVC and vinyl are actually two different materials with different properties.

PVC Tarps

These waterproof tarps feature ingredients like – high-strength polyester, PVC paste resins, and various types of chemical additives.

  • These tarps are available in multiple varieties – some have anti-fungal properties, some have anti-slip properties, and others offer fire resistance.
  • Manufacturers typically make PVC tarps in large widths. They heat seal the seams in the tarps to guarantee there’s 0% water leakage.
  • These qualities make PVC tarps very popular in construction sites, factories, and even households.

You can easily convert a PVC tarp into an industrial roof cover or a weather cover in a house.

Vinyl Tarps

The PVC used to manufacture tarps is a byproduct of vinyl. Vinyl is the main, purer product companies manufacture to make tarps.

  • A high-quality vinyl tarpwill feature ingredients like – pure vinyl, reinforced PVC laminates, and high-strength PET.
  • The PVC laminate coatings make these tarps extra resistant against water, sunlight, or heat damage.
  • The sturdy nature of vinyl tarps also makes them great at creating fully insulated spaces.

So, if you need an emergency roof or want to build a safe, makeshift tent – vinyl tarps won’t disappoint.

PVC or Vinyl: Which is Better?

Both vinyl and PVC tarps are highly useful in residential, commercial, industrial, and outdoor settings. Another good news – both these plastic-based materials can now be recycled. Overall, the differences between these two tarps are very subtle. Let’s examine how vinyl and PVC tarps perform in the following categories –

  • Fabric Strength: The strength of both PVC and vinyl tarps depends on how well they’re manufactured. But, the fabric weight of vinyl tarps is slightly lower than PVC tarps. That means a thicker PVC tarp won’t offer as much fabric strength as a relatively thinner vinyl counterpart.
  • Application: Want to apply or use your tarp in different situations? You’ll need thick, heavy-duty tarps. Since vinyl is lighter, tarps made of this material can be 14 mils to 40 mils thick. So, again, vinyl is more usable.
  • Usage Time: A lightweight vinyl tarp will last much longer than a PVC tarp of the same weight.

These factors make vinyl tarps slightly better than their PVC counterparts!

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