More from: drip diverter tarps

Cohesion and Adhesion: The Chemistry of Drip Diverters

There are some people in this world who like to explore beyond the basic or expected functions of any object. They want to know how and why it works as well. If you belong in that specific group of knowledge seekers, we want to talk to you about drip diverter tarps. Also known more simply as drip diverters, these are small vinyl tarps that are deployed to divert water away from sensitive areas.

We have customers who buy drip diverters to protect hay or equipment stored in a barn with a leaky roof. We have sold them to commercial property owners looking to protect sensitive equipment while maintenance crews are trying to figure out why an air-conditioning unit is leaking. We have even sold them to truck drivers dealing with leaky trailers and sleeper cabs.

In terms of the science behind what makes drip diverters effective for task, it is all about chemistry. In fact, it is all based on two properties that water possesses: cohesion and adhesion. If not for these two properties, a drip diverter tarp would be a useless piece of vinyl suspended from the ceiling.

Water Molecules and Cohesion

In chemistry, the property of cohesion is the ability of identical molecules to attract one another. One water molecule sticks to another water molecule to form a drop because of this property. Indeed, cohesion is what makes a water drop a drop.

Water’s cohesive properties are found in the way the two hydrogen atoms are aligned in relation to the single oxygen atom. Opposite charges keep the molecule together. As an added bonus, those same charges also attract other water molecules. Why does this matter when using drip diverters? Because it is cohesion, combined with gravity, that causes water to run off a drip diverter.

Gravity begins the process before cohesion takes over. It is a lot like a siphon. Once water molecules start flowing out of the drip diverter and down its tubing, each water molecule flowing in a downward motion pulls other molecules along with it. This is what prevents water from pooling inside the diverter.

Water Molecules and Adhesion

In chemistry, the property of adhesion is the ability of different molecules to attract one another. Have you ever seen a drop of water stuck to the edge of a pine needle? That happens because the surface of the water is attracted to the surface of the pine needle due to the alignment of electrical charges. That is adhesion. The two surfaces attract one another.

Adhesion plays a role in drip diverters inasmuch as water does not adhere to vinyl tarp material as well as it does to other surfaces. In fact, water tends to bead up and run off as long as there is an outlet. That’s because the cohesive bond between water molecules is stronger than the adhesive bond between water and vinyl.

This is not to say that water does not adhere to vinyl surfaces. It can and does. It’s just that it is not so easy. Compare vinyl to other fabrics – like cotton. Water will run off vinyl a lot more readily than it will cotton. In fact, the adhesion between water and cotton is such that a cotton cloth will absorb more water than it repels.

Now you know how cohesion and adhesion work together to make drip diverter tarps useful. Isn’t science fascinating? Perhaps you don’t care, and that’s okay. The most important take away here is that Mytee Products carries drip diverters. If you need to temporarily divert water away from something until permanent repairs can be affected, a drip diverter is one option.

5 Things to Know About Drip Diverter Tarps

Mytee Products sells drip diverter tarps for a variety of uses. A drip diverter tarp is an efficient and cost-effective way to temporarily manage minor water leaking from roofs, water pipes, air conditioning units, etc. If you are in need of a drip diverter tarp, we invite you to check out our inventory.

Please note that drip diverter tarps are designed for a very specific purpose. Though they can be used for other purposes, we recommend using them only for diverting leaks in interior spaces where water could pose a danger to equipment or people passing through.

Here are five things to know about drip diverter tarps in the event that you do make a purchase:

1. Drip Tarps Are a Temporary Solution

First and foremost, a drip diverter tarp is only a temporary solution to your problem. The fact that there is water leaking in needs to be addressed at some point. If you are talking a leaking roof, ignoring the leak will only make it worse. The same thing is true for leaky pipes.

If you are talking about a drip coming from an air-conditioning unit, there may be something else wrong with the unit or its drainage system. Have it looked at by a professional.

2. Drip Tarps Can Be Used with Other Solutions

A drip diverter tarp can be used with other solutions, like absorbent pads for example. Let’s say you are experiencing a water leak in the mechanical room that has water dripping down through the ceiling of the room below. You can install absorbent pads above the ceiling tiles to prevent the water from staining the tiles. Your drip diverter tarp would be there to catch any water that might leak from between the tiles.

3. You’ll Also Need a Diverter Hose

In order for your drip diverter tarp to be effective, you will need a hose that connects to the center of the tarp and carries dripping water away. The hose can be discharged in a sink, drain, or sewer. You will also need to route the hose so that it stays out of the way.

4. Suspension Methods Are Important

How you suspend a drip diverter tarp is important. Some people recommend using bungee cords that attach to each of the four corners of the tarp. Others prefer rope or wire. Regardless of your choice, the tarp needs to be secured in place so that it does not shift. If you are using the tarp to catch water from a leaky pipe, you might be able to suspend it directly from the pipe.

5. Exterior Use Can Be Tricky

Drip diverter tarps are really intended for interior use involving minor leaks. However, some of our customers have used them for exterior applications as well. This can be tricky, given the fact that rain and snow storms hardly constitute a minor drip.

A good drip diverter tarp should hold up just fine for exterior use. The trick is suspending it properly and in the right location. You might also not have to worry about using a hose, either. Depending on the water you are trying to capture and channel, you could hang one side of the tarp lower than the other to create a natural runoff.

Remember, a drip diverter tarp is a cost-effective and easy way to manage minor water leaks. Whether you’re trying to protect hay in your barn or sensitive office equipment your business relies on, a strategically placed drip diverter tarp makes a real difference. We are happy to offer several different sizes of tarps for a variety of needs.