How to Repair Poly Tarps

Written by joshua black
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How to Repair Poly Tarps
You can fix your torn or damaged tarp instead of throwing it away. (auto-scooters image by Jacques PALUT from

If you have an old blue or brown polythene tarp that's missing a few corner grommets, or perhaps has a tear in the middle, you don't have to throw it away. Depending on the nature of the defect, you can repair your poly tarp for less than the cost of purchasing a new one, especially if it's a giant construction tarp. Breathe new life into your old tarp by fixing it up with a few materials from your local camping supply store.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Grommet repair kit (including an anvil)
  • Hammer
  • Tarp repair tape
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    The grommets on a tarp tend to rip out first, as they get the most use. Moving away from the torn grommet inward, sandwich the two sides of the tarp with the two halves of a new grommet.

  2. 2

    Hammer the new grommet in place. Insert the metal grommet tool (which looks like a long metal bolt) into the top of the new grommet and place the small anvil underneath, seating the bottom half of the grommet in the anvil's groove. Place the entire apparatus on a hard surface and crimp the new grommet together with a few sharp blows from a hammer.

  3. 3

    To repair a torn tarp, locate the entire length of the tear. Place tarp repair tape over both sides of the tear, extending slightly beyond the length of the tear to prevent it from spreading. Cut the tape with scissors when finished. This tape is UV-resistant and comes in four colours (silver, white, blue and clear), so you should be able to find a roll that matches your tarp.

Tips and warnings

  • Tarp repair tape comes in 2- and 3-inch widths. You can also use the tape to reinforce areas of the tarp that may get extra wear; this helps prevent it from tearing in the first place. In addition, you can use the tape to connect two tarps together to form one large tarp.

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