More from: shade tarps

What to Do with Shade Tarps this Winter

Winter preparations mean different things to different people. For example, you might use a couple of shade tarps around your home during the summer. What do you do with them during the winter? Do you leave them in place, or do you take them down and store them? This post we will discuss winter preparations related to shade tarps.

As a reminder, shade tarps are tarps made with mesh material. They allow some sunlight and air to pass through while still blocking just enough to provide a nice respite. People use shade tarps to create outdoor areas for sitting, entertaining, and so forth. Tarps can be any number of colors; black and green are the most common.

Leaving Tarps in Place

The first thing to discuss is whether you should leave your shade tarps in place. That depends on where you live and kind of weather you normally see during the winter. Someone living in Central or South Florida probably doesn’t have to take tarps town. The worst Florida residents see in a typical winter is a little bit of rain every few weeks.

Those who live in climates with harsher winter weather should by all means take their tarps down. Shade tarps are designed to block the sun; they are not strong enough to withstand snow, ice, and the heaviest winds of winter. Exposing shade tarps to winter weather could lead to their ruin.

Cleaning Shade Tarps

When it is time to take down and store your shade tarps, a good cleaning is in order. Never store a tarp that has not been cleaned – you never know what kinds of dirt and debris are trapped in between the webbing. As for cleaning, never use harsh chemicals or chlorine-based cleaners. A mild detergent and some warm water will be sufficient.

The best way to clean a shade tarp is to hang it across a laundry line. If that’s not possible, laying it flat on the ground works too. Use a soft bristled brush and the detergent solution to gently brush away dirt and debris. Afterward, rinse off the tarp with a hose and let it dry.

You might be tempted to put a small shade tarp in the washing machine. Don’t do it. The agitation of the washing machine can damage the material, especially if the tarp wraps around the agitator and gets stuck. It is easy enough to wash a tarp by hand, so just avoid the washing machine altogether.

Storing Your Tarps

Finally, the same rules that apply to storing other kinds of tarps also apply to shade tarps. First and foremost, never store a shade tarp if it’s still wet from cleaning. Don’t fold it, don’t roll it, don’t do anything until it is completely dry. Otherwise you risk creating an environment that promotes mold growth.

Next, fold or roll your shade tarp up in an orderly fashion. Do not just gather it up like a pile of dirty laundry ready to go into the washing machine. A neat, tidy fold will make your tarps easier to store and less prone to rips and tears from having to be forced into an uncooperative storage space.

Finally, choose a storage space that is clean, dry, and away from direct heat. Although shade tarps are built to withstand heat and moisture to a certain degree, you’ll extend the life of your tarps by not unnecessarily exposing them to unfavorable conditions.

Winter is coming, so take the correct measures to protect your shade tarps. Then they will be ready to go when spring arrives.


Time to Start Thinking about Mesh Tarp Storage

Mesh and shade tarps are great for creating outdoor gathering spaces made comfortable by protecting them from direct sunlight. Perhaps you found your own tarps invaluable this summer. Well, September has arrived. That means it will not be long before cooler weather as you spend more time indoors. It also means that it is time to start thinking about how you are going to store your mesh tarps for the winter.

High-quality mesh or shade tarps from Mytee Products should give you years of reliable service as long as you take care of it. How you store your tarps plays a role in determining how long they last. So its important to make sure you do it right.

Pre-Storage Cleaning

It is always a good idea to clean tarps before storing them away. Surface dirt can stain if it isn’t cleaned off prior to folding, and any mold, mildew, or algae present when you take a shade tarp down will be encouraged to grow over the winter if you don’t eliminate it. In short, you should clean your mesh tarps before storing.

A mild cleaning solution and a soft brush should do the trick. You can lay a tarp flat on the ground or drape it over a laundry line for cleaning purposes. Make sure it is completely dry before you fold it.

Pre-Storage Mending

Although mending is not absolutely necessary before winter storage, it is a good idea to make any necessary repairs while a tarp is easily accessible. You have your tarps spread on the ground or draped across a laundry line, so now is an appropriate time to make those repairs.

Minor repairs can be made with a commercial repair product available from Mytee Products or your local DIY store. Major repairs, like torn seams for example, may require you to break out the needle and thread. Do some online research if you are not sure how repair the damage you are looking at.

Folding Your Tarps

When you’re finally ready to fold your tarps for storage, spread them on the ground or the garage floor. Get someone else to help you fold from corner to corner in a flat, straight line. The more flat and square you can get your tarps folded, the easier they will be to store. They will also be easier to unfold come spring.

Choosing a Storage Location

Where you store your mesh and shade tarps is perhaps the most critical decision of all. First and foremost, you want to make sure they are not exposed to moisture in any way. Moisture is a big problem in the winter months because it expands and contracts with the temperature changes. Any moisture trapped in a tarp could cause damage should it freeze. Moisture can also promote algae growth during the fall and spring.

If you have a protected interior space – whether it be a garage, barn, basement, etc. – this would be an ideal space for storage. Leaving your tarps outdoors exposes them to animals even if they are under some sort of protection from the weather. Remember that critters can get into small spaces fairly easily.

Lastly, never store mesh tarps in any location where they could be exposed to open flame. Keep them away from flammable liquids as well. Tarp material is treated to be flame retardant, but I can still be damaged by the heat of an open flame if the material gets too close.

When storing your tarps for the winter, remember this one thing: if you take care of them, they will provide you with years of reliable service.