Guide to Making Minor Roadside Repairs to Truck Tarps

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Even the best quality tarpaulin fabric will require minor repairs from time to time. To get the maximum life out of your truck tarps and prevent unnecessary trips to repair facilities, it is best to repair minor damages as soon as they happen. Patching small holes to your tarp will prevent them from spreading and save you money in the long run.

Holes or tears to your tarp, up to 2-4″ in diameter can be fixed easily using some vinyl cement glue and patching fabric. The most commonly available vinyl cement/glue on the market is HH-66. This is ideal for making repairs as it is easy to apply, dries fast and has exceptional bond strength. Many truck stops and tarp shops sell vinyl repair kits that include HH-66 Vinyl Cement and a few yards of Vinyl fabric.

For best results, clean at least a 6″ area around the damaged portion of your tarp with water and a clean rag. If you have grease or oil residue, use an alcohol swab. Let the area dry completely to assure secure adhesion of the patching fabric. Cut out a piece of vinyl fabric slightly larger than the hole. Lay the tarp flat if possible and apply a generous amount of HH-66 on both the patching fabric and the tarp. Place the patching fabric on top of the hole and press down with a heavy object for a few minutes. Wipe off any extra glue with the shop rag and you are done. If the areas that you are patching is large, it is recommended that the patching process is completed on both the top and bottom sides of the tarp. For repairing really large holes or tear you should go to a tarp repair facility where they have heat sealing and stitching machines to make large repairs.

In order to replace grommets to your tarp, you would need to purchase a grommet kit at your local hardware store. These kits include grommets plus the hole cutter and installation anvil. Make sure you only install grommets to areas of the tarps that have a hem or webbing for extra strength. Mark the area that you want to install the grommet to with a permanent market.

Push the grommet up through the hole in the tarp. Now you need to set these two items over the hole you made on the anvil that came with the grommet set. Make sure the grommet is set around the whole you just cut. Place a washer face down over the top of the anvil. At this point you are ready to put the two pieces together.

Put the grommet punch inside the grommet tube that came with the kit. Centre this over the grommet pieces and the truck tarp that are in position over the anvil. Strike the tube with the hammer, then turn the tube a quarter turn and hit it again. Repeat this step 3 or 4 more times. That’s it!

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Source by Merilyn Raby