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Safety Tips for Using Demolition Tarps

It used to be said that having to remove construction debris was a problem that was never adequately solved. Dumpsters were no doubt a workable solution, but they involve a lot of time, labor, and expense. Yet that is all people had access to until the invention of the demolition tarp.

Fans of demolition tarps say these are superior to dumpsters in a lot of different ways. We don’t know if that’s true, but we can say that demo tarps certainly have their place in the arena of construction and debris removal. They are effective, easy to deploy, and usually do not require permits.

Having said that, there are certain dangers associated with demolition tarps. A safety-first mindset demands that they be used in ways that minimize risks and protect workers. We recommend using demolition tarps with the same care and precision planning that goes into rigging and lifting. Below are a few tips for doing so.

Webbing Always Down

Demolition tarps are constructed with a combination of vinyl tarp material and a number of webbing straps. The straps perform the same function as the legs of a rigging sling: they provide underlying support for the material being lifted as well as providing the actual lifting points.

We say all that to say this: a demolition tarp should always be laid out with the webbing facing the ground. If you lay it out with the webbing face up, you lose the support of the straps during the lift. Material can break through an unsupported tarp or even cause the tarp itself to break loose from the webbing.

Never Overload

A demolition tarp only has a limited capacity. It should be marked on the tarp itself. If a tarp is brand-new and still in its packaging, its maximum weight capacity should be printed on the outside of the package as well. Pay attention to this number so that you do not overload the tarp.

Overloading a demolition tarp creates a dangerous situation that could be potentially harmful. Too much weight could split the tarp material, break one of the webbing straps, or even cause problems for the crane operator. Under no circumstances should you ever overload a demolition tarp, even by a few pounds.

Monitor Construction Debris

Next, monitor the construction debris that ends up being tossed into a demo tarp. Anything with sharp edges should either be blunted or disposed of in another way. As tough as demo tarps are, they are not completely immune from rips and tears. A piece of waste with a sharp edge could cut the tarp on lift, causing the entire thing to break open. Not only will you have a mess to clean up, but you will also have a demo tarp that cannot be used again.

Keep Clear

Just as would be the case loading cargo on the back of a flatbed trailer, lifting a full demolition tarp should never begin until the area is cleared. Anyone present at the time of the lift should be well away from the danger zone – just in case something goes wrong. You can never be too cautious by requiring workers to keep a distance of 20 feet or more.

Inspects Tarps Regularly

Finally, if you deploy reusable demo tarps, make sure to inspect them regularly. An inspection prior to each use reduces the risks of you accidentally deploying a tarp starting to show excessive wear. And if you do find one that’s showing wear, don’t take a chance. Demo tarps are cheap enough that it is worth replacing them at the first signs.


Demolition Tarps vs. Dumpsters: Which Is Right for You?

Demolition projects produce waste. How you get rid of that waste is where the real challenge is. If you are working a small project that only produces a handful of timbers and some drywall, you might be able to put the waste out with your weekly trash. Anything more and you will need either a dumpster or demolition tarp.

Dumpsters and demo tarps are the best means of disposal when you’re working on full room demolitions. For example, you might be remodeling your kitchen from floor to ceiling. Between the old cabinets, countertops, and all the timber and drywall, your weekly trash pickup is not going to be adequate.

If you run a construction company specializing in remodeling projects, you will not get away with the weekly trash haul either. So the question becomes one of dumpster versus demo tarp. Which one is right for you?

Yardage vs. Weight

One of the key differences between dumpsters and demolition tarps is how capacity is measured. Dumpster capacity is measured in cubic yards or feet. It is pretty simple. Dumpster providers measure the amount of empty space inside a unit and call that the capacity. They don’t worry much about weight for the most part.

Demolition tarps, on the other hand, are rated by weight. This is done out of necessity. Because a demo tarp lays flat on the ground, there’s no way to measure its capacity in cubic feet or yards. Moreover, a demolition tarps has to be lifted off the ground and loaded onto a truck. As such, the weight of the load is more important than its volume.

 

Things to Consider When Making Your Choice

Now that you know how dumpsters and demolition tarps are rated in terms of capacity, let’s talk about making the best choice for your needs. There are a few things to consider:

1. Waste Volume

Despite the fact that demolition tarps are rated by weight, you still have to consider volume. Let’s say you order a 10-yard dumpster. If the total volume of your demolition waste rises too high above the top of the dumpster, your provider may not be able to pick it up and carry it away. So when volume is a concern, demo tarps might be a better option.

2. Number of Uses

A dumpster is a single use product for your purposes. You are only going to rent a dumpster once on any given construction project. If you are a contractor and you prefer using dumpsters, you will have to arrange dumpster rental for every project.

On the other hand, a good demolition tarp can be used on multiple jobs. You just have to make sure you get the tarp back after the waste is hauled away. Or you may choose to dispose of your tarps along with the waste. In such cases you would have to compare the cost of a disposable demo tarp against that of dumpster rental.

Length of Use

The next consideration is the length of time you will be using your waste disposal solution. If demo is going to take several days, consider the weather. A dumpster will collect water and so may add to your disposal costs based on weight. You might also have to pay more for dumpster rental if you need it for more than a couple of days.

There are other considerations, including local ordinances and the amount of space you have to work with. At any rate, we believe demolition tarps are a better option in many cases. They may be the right option for you as well.


4 Things to Know About Demolition Tarps Before Purchase

Demolition tarps are an alternative to dumpsters for clearing away construction debris. They are ideal for remodeling companies, roofers, and others engaged in residential or commercial construction.

Mytee Products now carries a limited selection of demolition tarps for your convenience. Each of our tarps is made with heavy-duty vinyl and includes built-in, reinforced lifting points. We offer three sizes of demolition tarps: 12′ x 12′, 12′ x 20′, and 20′ x 20′.

With all the formalities behind us, here are four important things to know about demolition tarps:

1. They Have Weight Limits

This should be obvious, but there are people who buy demolition tarps without being aware of the volume of construction debris they plan to dispose of. Unlike a dumpster, you cannot apply the principle of ‘if it fits, throw it on the pile’ to a demo tarp.

Exceeding the weight limit of a demo tarp means risking tarp failure when it is eventually lifted into the air. Pay attention to load limits when you order. If none of our tarps can handle the kind of weight you are thinking, you’re probably not going to find something to meet your needs in a single load. Consider buying two tarps instead.

2. They Aren’t Necessarily Disposable

Demolition tarps are typically thought of as disposable tarps. That makes sense when you consider the non-commercial products often pitched by residential waste haulers. Their demo tarps are intended to be disposable by design. But that is not true of every demo tarp.

Our demolition tarps are designed to be used time and again. We cannot guarantee how many uses you will get out of your tarp, but it will be more than just one. As a multi-use device, a commercial grade demolition tarp should offer years of reliable service.

3. Permits May Still Be Required

It is understandable that someone might want to avoid renting a dumpster if local permitting issues add to the burden of doing so. But opting for a demolition tarp instead may not be a suitable workaround. More often than not, local permitting relates to the demolition job itself rather than the means of hauling away waste. So opting for a demolition tarp in order to avoid applying for permit really isn’t wise.

Also note that some municipalities requiring permits for dumpsters also require the same permits for demolition tarps. There is no way to know for sure without checking with your local authorities. If you do need a permit, get one. Don’t take any chances with the law.

4. Not Everything Is Appropriate for a Demo Tarp

Finally, keep in mind that demolition tarps are not appropriate for every form of construction waste. There are multiple things to consider in this regard.

First, there are some kinds of construction materials that could potentially damage a demolition tarp if you’re not careful. This may not be an issue if you’re planning for a single use but be aware if you have any plans to use your demolition tarp more than once. Be careful of glass, pieces of metal with sharp ends, and the like.

A second thing to consider is that your local municipality may have recycling requirements. You may not be allowed to dispose of glass along with construction debris, for example. Your local laws may require you to recycle certain kinds of wood and stone materials. The point here is to check local regulations before you decide how you are going to handle construction waste.

Demolition tarps have many uses and it we recommend doing your research before you invest in them or any other tarps.