In the United States, the modern poly tarp that is sold is all imported from the Far East primarily from India, Vietnam, and China. Most of the polyethylene material that is waterproof is made into fully waterproof tarps after being shipped to other countries.
Blue poly tarps are primarily manufactured from polyethylene material that is in three layers. Strips of high density woven sheet polyethylene are used as the primary body of the tarp. A special weaving machine is used to make the poly tarp and is then coated on either side with a low density polyethylene to about 30 microns. Then the coating is then colored. Any color can be requested, but the most popular color in the United States is blue. The three primary main weights of poly tarps that are sold in the United States are 6.0 ounce 14 ft. X 14 ft. weave, 4.5 ounce 12 ft. X 12 ft. weave, and 3.0 ounce 10 ft X 10 ft, weave. Usually, grommets are at every eighteen inches on the 6.0 ounce and 4.5 ounce poly tarps and at one yard intervals on the 3.0 ounce poly tarp.
Some tarps are made stronger with strands of nylon that are bonded and coated on either side with layers of polyethylene. The 12 ft. X 12 ft. or 10 ft. X 10 ft. refers to the number of mesh strands/foot of the fabric of the tarp. The greater the density of the mesh and the heavier strands on nylon, which are measured in denier, the greater the flexibility and the durability.
All high quality tarps need to a minimum 3 percent inhibitor of UV. During long periods of sunlight, this additive will extend the life of the tarp. Tarps come in numerous weights. Usually, the mil thickness and the ounce/yard2 are the two methods to gauge the quality of the tarp and the heavier the tarp the better the quality. Usually, the thinner tarps can be found on some retail stores on the Internet and in flea markets.
Tarps can be bought in many locations such as retail stores on the Internet, flea markets, auction websites, and hardware stores. The advantages of buying a tarp from a retail store on the Internet is that there will be far larger selection of color, sizes, and quality, and the tarp will be shipped right to your home. Most retail stores on the Internet can provide tarps in many different colors including camouflage, yellow and red. Tarps that are fire retardant are also available from many sources.
The poly tarp can be used in many ways such as for a boat cover, for us as a drop cloth, for covering a garden tractor, for covering logs, for removing leaves/grass from your back yard, as a damp proof membrane, for covering building materials on the construction site, for waterproofing buildings during the construction phase, for repair of a roof, and for home improvement. For repairs to the roof or covering the side of a building you should use a 6 ounce silver tarp because it will stand up to the sunshine the best. For most other uses the 3.0 ounce or the 4.5 ounce will work the best.