Beat the Heat Using White Tarps
Updated: Jan 10
Tarps. The market is flooded with options! Innumerable combinations of size, material, and attachment style can be found across the wide world of the web. Of all the options available to someone searching for the right tarp for their situation, the one that seems at first blush to be the most superficial is color. But that's where you'd be wrong.
Color can absolutely be a critical part of the decision-making process when buying a tarp. Homeowners associations may prohibit the use of blue tarps. When hunting, a green tarp or camouflage print tarp may be preferable. But the most underrated color variation is the white tarp.
The advantages of a white tarp are not readily apparent, but in some situations they can really be ideal. The color white reflects the most visible light, and it also absorbs less heat from the sun. This allows white tarps to withstand UV from the sun longer than other tarps. It can also be useful in a number of different scenarios. Some examples include:
On hot summer days, dark colors lead to increased temperatures. Covering sensitive materials with a white tarp can keep them cooler. Human comfort can also be aided by the use of a white tarp. Unloading a dark-colored shipping container in the middle of a hot summer day is dreadful; temperatures inside the metal box can be 30° F (16° C) hotter than the outside temperature. By placing a white tarp over the container, the internal temperature increase can be negligible instead.
The best way to store hay is inside a building, like a barn. But for many people, buying a tarp to cover hay in the field is the only practical option. There are several factors involved in selecting a tarp to cover your hay, but ultimately you want to the following features to prevent germination:
Light-colored on one side. Again, the ideal is white. This keeps the hay cool.
UV-inhibitor in the tarp. Without UVI in the material, the polyethylene may break down prematurely in the sun, allowing rain through to the hay.
It should be noted that condensation may form on the underside of any tarp after a heavy rainfall or rapid temperature/humidity change. Proper ventilation beneath the tarp will allow the moisture to evaporate on drier days.
An unfortunate part of covering anything with a tarp is that many people frown on the aesthetics of using a tarp. In these cases, the clean minimalism of a white tarp can help overcome these attitudes toward such a practical and often essential item. Tarping may sometimes be a temporary solution to a problem, but many times they are necessary longer than one initially expects. A white tarp is always a classy option for this requisite item.
You can find a white tarp made of several different materials. The most common is polyethylene, but they can also be found in cotton canvas or PVC vinyl. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. White vinyl is a great choice for material when ordering a custom tarp to the exact specifications that you need.