Why You Shouldn't Use Duct Tape for Tarp Repairs

Small holes or tears on your tarp can reduce its efficiency and durability if they are not fixed promptly. Having the necessary tarp repair tools with you can come in handy, especially when you are traveling or camping out. One of the easiest ways to fix rips and holes on your tarp is by using tape. However, not all types of tape are suitable for this task. Most people end up buying the standard duct tape for their tarp repair needs. While the tape may hold the tarp together for a short period, it is not the best solution. Read on to find out why you shouldn't use duct tape for tarp repairs, and the best tape to use for this application.

Why not duct tape?

Duct tape is a type of pressure-sensitive, rubber-based adhesive tape with a cloth backing for extra strength. The outer surface of the tape is usually made of polyethylene which forms a relatively strong and waterproof tape. Although duct tape has these desirable characteristics, it is not suitable for use on tarps due to various reasons:

  • Due to their applications, tarps are often exposed to a lot of moisture and humidity. For this reason, the type of tape used should have a very high tolerance for moisture. Duct tape is relatively waterproof, and when exposed to humidity for long periods, it will start to peel and make your tarp vulnerable to more tears and holes.
  • Duct tape has a cloth backing which is not as strong as most tarps which are made of canvas, vinyl, and poly. If the material used for repairs is not as strong as the tarp material, it may not offer sufficient protection. For this reason, duct tape cannot stand up to the strength of most materials used in making tarps.

Which is the best tarp repair tape?

The most efficient tape for the repair of small holes and rips on tarps is tarp tape. Tarp tape has a backing that's made of poly fabric, a material that is very sturdy and able to hold together most types of tarp materials. Also, tarp tape has a high tolerance for humidity; therefore, even when the tarp is rained on or used in wet applications, it can be able to endure and hold the tarp together for long periods. Tarp tape can be found in most stores and dealerships that sell or repair tarps.

Tarp tape is suitable for repairing small holes and tears. Large holes and rips cannot be held together by tarp tape for long. If your tarp is extensively ruined, you should have it professionally repaired to extend its life.