A tarp can be made from one of several materials. Polyethylene, for example, is the most common, but mesh, vinyl, and canvas are also sold. For the latter of these three, canvas tarps are ideal for long-term coverage. The material, made from 100-percent military cotton duck, lasts longer than polyethylene and polypropylene and is environmentally friendly. These two factors, in addition to a paraffin coating for water resistance, allow the tarp to have a longer lifespan.
When it comes to protecting your investments, canvas tarps are naturally more breathable, which allows heat and condensation to move freely through the material. Nevertheless, canvas isn’t ideal for long-term outdoor uses. The paraffin coating the material, for example, can rub off over time, and the material is only water resistant – not waterproof. Protecting against mildew, mold, and dry rot is an important quality all tarps should have, and, while canvas tarps are breathable, the material itself is more susceptible to mold and mildew buildup when left outdoors.
Because of these several factors, canvas tarps have a set of specialized uses. The material, because of its durability, is ideal as a drop cloth for inside work. Canvas tarps can be thrown over equipment and other investments indoors and can protect an area while a project is in progress. In particular, canvas tarps will protect your floors and furniture while painting or another home improvement project goes on. The material is less likely to move, is less slip-prone, and absorbs any paint that falls on the surface.
Canvas tarps, additionally, can be used outdoors for temporary periods. In general, the material is still used like a drop cloth in this setting. If your lawn or ground needs protection as a project is being done, the canvas material can be spread out and secured over the area. Similarly, any equipment, tools, or wood outside briefly can also be shielded from moisture by a canvas tarp.