How many tarps do you have at home? This number varies with parts of the country and who you talk to. Typically, tarps are more prevalent in areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, while areas that don't experience as many natural disasters rarely see the polyethylene material used as a temporary patch. However, if you don't own a garage and want to store a seasonal vehicle or other items, a polyethylene tarp secured in place will keep various vehicles protected from moisture and UV rays. If you don't own at least one tarp, consider keeping the polyethylene material in storage, as you never know when you may need it.

Poly tarps are made from medium or heavy-duty grade polyethylene. Medium-duty material typically has an eight by eight denier count, while heavy-duty material is usually 14 by 14. For either type of material, the polyethylene is treated to by UV resistant and waterproof. These two factors keep UV rays and water from damaging any objected protected by a tarp. Nevertheless, some air circulation needs to exist beneath the material to prevent dry rot, mold, and mildew from forming, and, while tarps are treated to be resistant to these factors, as well, the material allows for some air circulation underneath.

While polyethylene tarps can be used for several purposes, they essentially have two uses: temporary patches and protecting investments. For the former, a tarp is often used to cover an area of a building after being damaged after a hurricane. The tarp prevents any moisture or mold from getting inside the building and causing more damage. However, tarps should only be used for 90 days. A contractor should have assessed the damage by that point.

As far as storing items is concerned, tarps are common for covering cars, motorcycles, seasonal vehicles, and many other objects or items needing storage and protection. Heavy-duty poly tarps, for example, can store an RV or boat for several months to prevent water and UV rays from damaging the exterior. Medium-duty materials, on the other hand, are ideal for temporary storage, such as a motorcycle or wood pile needing overnight protection.