Tip & How-To about Hardware & Accessories

Mending a tear in a poly tarp

Some holes in a poly tarp are able to be fixed easily while there will be other tears that might be grounds for tossing the tarp. For most small tears you can fix them yourself using some tarp repair tape and vinyl repair cement.

Before beginning gather up all your tools, a damp towel, a dry towel, utility knife or scissors, a role of tarp repair tape, a small jar of vinyl repair cement and a hair dryer.

You will want to find a clean place to lay out the tarp somewhere where there won't be any wind blowing your tarp around. If you do have to fix the tarp outside use weights or rocks to hold the sides down.

Find the hole or weak spot on the tarp and if there is any fraying use your scissors or utility knife to cut off the frays. If there are any bumps you will want to cut them out too.

After cutting off the frays you need to clean the area around the hole. The reason you need to clean it is because dust and dirt can make it difficult for the tape to stick. All you need is a little water and dish soap on a damp towel. Rub the solution onto the tarp at least six inches all the way around the rip, you can clean farther to be safe, but six inches should be enough.

Wipe off the soapy solution with fresh water and wipe dry the area with a clean dry towel. Repeat this cleaning for both sides of the tarp.

To close the tear, place your tarp repair tape over the hole and extend it out at least four inches on to the undamaged area. First cover the tear horizontally overlapping if you need more than one piece of tape. Once the tear is covered completely horizontally overlap the tape with a layer of tape vertically covering the hole and extending four inches on either side. Repeat for other side of the hole.

It is important that after you tape up the hole you need to let the tape sit for ten minutes to make sure that it has bonded properly. When you come back after ten minutes open your jar or vinyl repair cement and apply a generous amount of cement over the whole taped up area. To dry the cement grab your hair dryer and blow hot air on the cement until it is dry.

And there you have it a fixed tarp, granted not all holes can be fixed this way. But after its been fixed you can use it again like new.

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