Like your fleet, tarps for trucks are subject to the harshest and most demanding conditions on the road. Their job is to protect your cargo during transport, but over time can take a beating from the elements. Even if you invested in the highest-quality flatbed tarps from established manufacturers, you may start to notice small holes and tears or other damage that may have occurred during trips. Repair the damage as soon as you notice it to make sure that it does not increase in size and result in costly replacements. Here are some tips for repairing your truck tarp:
- Patch small holes as soon as they happen – Doing so will prevent spreading. Holes that are two to four inches in diameter can be easily patched up with vinyl cement adhesive and vinyl patching fabric.
- Remember to clean the tarp before performing any repairs – Clean at least six inches of the area around the hole or tear with a clean rag and water. An alcohol swab will remove any oil or grease residue. Make sure the area is completely dry before applying the glue and vinyl fabric. That way, you can be sure that the repairs are done properly and there will be no problems with adhesion.
- Use high-quality adhesive – Look for high-quality vinyl cement adhesive like HH-66, which is easy to apply and offers outstanding bond strength. It dries fast, so you won’t have to wait long before you can use the flatbed tarps again. You will need to apply a reasonable amount of the adhesive to the tarp and patching fabric and wait for them to get tacky before you put them together.
- Use vinyl fabric – A few yards of tough vinyl fabric is required when patching up holes on tarps for trucks. Consider vinyl in a color that is close to the color of your tarp for a seamless finish. Cut out a piece that is slightly bigger than the hole or tear and apply the adhesive. Make sure the tarp is laid out as flat as possible. After they both are tacky lay the cutout on top of the damaged area and press it down for a few minutes using a heavy object. Wipe off any excess adhesive.
- Repairing larger damage – If there are larger holes or tears on your flatbed tarps, consider patching both sides of the tarp. If the damage is too large, you may need to have it repaired by a company that specializes in truck tarps, so that the damage can be properly heat-sealed.