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Car Care 101: The Dangers of Using ONLY Tarps to Protect Your Car

car care metal carport with sides closed

Give Your Car Shelter from the Elements

A car with a tarp on it that’s parked beside a house or in a parking space has a tendency to attract some attention from passers-by. Is it a sporty little number from the 1960s? Or, maybe it’s a late model luxury car that’s practically a member of the owner’s family. One thing is for certain, a vehicle wearing a car tarp is cherished by its owner. But, does a tarp offer a car an adequate amount of protection when it’s parked out in the open air? This week, I’d like to take a look at some of the risks of putting a tarp on a car and leaving it out in the open at any time of the year.

The Trouble with Cheap Tarps

There are plenty of problems that can arise if you throw a cheap tarp over your car and leave it parked outside in your driveway or yard. For one, a cheap tarp may not fit your car in a secure way. I wouldn’t recommend just buying the first tarp you find without properly researching. A car tarp that is too big can start to flap around in the wind. If the tarp rubs up against the sides of the car, it can damage the paint job. Furthermore, a tarp that is too big may drag on the ground. If temperatures drop, a moist tarp can freeze to the ground. If you have to pull the tarp away from the ground as well as the body of the car, it may damage the car’s finish. Not surprisingly, if a car tarp is too big for a vehicle, it may blow off the car leaving it exposed to nature’s elements.

Alternatively, a car tarp that is too small doesn’t provide complete cover for the vehicle. You could spend endless amounts of time adjusting the tarp and still not get it to fit in a secure way. In short, ill-fitting car tarps shouldn’t be relied on for protection.

Cheap tarps are sometimes made of substandard materials. These materials may not have the durability to stand up to the rain, snow and hail that your car may encounter when sitting in the open air. Also, car tarps made with cheap materials may let in moisture resulting in mold growth. Unfortunately, if you don’t check your car on a regular basis this mold growth may continue for weeks or even months.

protect your car with a carport

The Benefits of Using a Tarp and Parking the Vehicle Under/In a Storage Structure

A shelter such as a metal garage can give your covered car the extra element of protection it needs. A classic or beloved car that’s wearing a tarp and parked in a garage will have twice the protection from the rain, hail, wind and snow. A tarp of the right size will even protect it from falling dust! Bird droppings and the strong rays of the sun will be a non-issue if a car wearing a tarp is parked inside a garage. You won’t have to worry about the tarp blowing off in the middle of the night. In addition, parking the car on a concrete slab in a garage will keep the tires from sitting in standing water.

A car wearing a tarp of the proper size that’s parked underneath a carport also has protection from the snow, rain, hail, wind and sun. A carport even keeps the frost off of an uncovered car! Storing a car underneath this type of shelter allows for easy access to the vehicle.

Finally, if you want to keep your car in good shape throughout the year give it the advantage of two layers of protection against the elements. Your car will appreciate your efforts! Thanks for reading.-Alan

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