How to Patch a Tarp

Written by zachary mitton
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Tarps, waterproofed canvas coverings, are used for many projects around the yard. Due to the nature of the work that you do with tarps such as dragging it over uneven and difficult terrain or placing heavy loads on it, tarps are prone to getting holes and tears in them. Fortunately, you can easily repair these rips and tears so that you don’t have to go buy a new tarp.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tarp repair tape
  • or
  • Tarp repair patch
  • or
  • Duct tape

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  1. 1

    Press both sides of the tear together and run one long piece of tarp repair tape along the tear to temporarily bind the tarp together. This step is only necessary for tears that are so large that it would be difficult to continually hold the tarp together while placing tarp repair tape all across it in the next step. Any tears less than 8 inches long do not need a temporary bind.

  2. 2

    Run strips of tape horizontally across the tear. The strips that you cut out should be about 4 inches long and they should be placed in the centre of the tear so that you have about 2 inches of tape on either side of the tear. If you used a temporary bind in the previous step, you can place these strips of tape right over it.

  3. 3

    Continue to put strips of tarp repair tape over the tear until it is completely covered. If the tear in the tarp is small enough to completely cover with a tarp repair patch, you can place one of these over the tear to repair it. With the tarp on a flat surface, press the sticky side of the tarp repair patch down onto the tarp and flatten it down with your fingers.

  4. 4

    Flip the tarp over and secure the back end of the tarp with strips of tarp repair tape just like you did for the front side. If you used a tarp repair patch in the previous step, you may want to apply another tarp repair patch on the other side of the tear to make for a more durable repair.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don’t have any tarp tape around the house and want to get the tarp repaired right away, try using duct tape instead. Apply it just like you would with tarp repair tape. Consider using coloured duct tape to match the colour of your tarp so that it won’t look raggedy or patched. Coloured duct tape can usually be purchased for just slightly more than regular grey duct tape. If the duct tape patch fails to hold the tarp together for some reason, you can always purchase some tarp repair patches or tarp repair tape to make a more durable repair.
  • Tarp repair tape, tarp repair patches and duct tape can all usually be purchased at a local home improvement retailer.

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