Tarps, such as can be found at websites like http://billboardtarps.com/, are commonly used in construction applications to cover up building materials during transport or out on the worksite. However, many construction applications require more strength than the average tarp can offer.
In particular, applications involving construction work with extremely hot materials require a durable material that can stand up to extremely rugged use. For such applications, a RFL/hot top tarp is generally needed to get the job done without quickly wearing out and needing replacement. For lighter construction work, a polyethylene tarp is generally used.
RFL Asphalt Tarps
This type of tarp is fabricated from resorcinol formaldehyde latex. This tightly woven fabric is capable of standing up to very high temperatures. It is a stiff fabric that resembles canvas but is more durable. Unlike canvas, RFL alphalt/hot top tarps are waterproof. This is basically the only tarp material out there that's capable of standing up to the demands of construction work involving hot asphalt paving.
Polyethylene Construction Tarps
While RFL asphalt tarps are probably the most heavy duty material available for tarps, they are not really necessary in construction projects that don't involve hot asphalt or other construction materials that reach very high temperatures.
Woven polyethylene is a commonly chosen material for all purpose construction applications. This type of tarp works well where areas under construction need to be protected from the elements and from debris. Polyethylene typically offers the following advantages that make it an effective tarp material for construction work:
- Grommets- Construction tarps made from polyethylene are generally constructed with grommets around their perimeters that allow them to be strapped down conveniently.
- Reinforced corners and perimeters- Polyethylene tarps stand up to the heavy demands of construction work thanks to reinforced corners and perimeters that prevent the tarp from quickly fraying along the edges when being used.
- Flame retardance- Building site fire hazards are created by tools and materials used during construction. Using a flame retardant tarp material can help prevent fires and minimize the damage they cause when they occur.
- Moisture resistance- Tarps used on construction sites are often left outside at all times, and this exposes them to the elements. The water resistance of polyethylene construction tarps keeps tools and building materials dry. It also prevents tarps from becoming damaged by mold and mildew growth.
- UV resistance- The appearance of a polyethylene construction tarp won't become warped over time by being left out in the sun. These tarps are typically treated with a coating that makes them UV resistant. A polyethylene tarp offers UV resistance that allows it to maintain its appearance while shading building materials beneath it from the sun's harsh rays.