Let Canopies and Tarps answer your questions about how to protect your property with high-quality tarps and canopies. In addition to these FAQs, you'll find a number of helpful articles in our blog.

Canopy, Tent and Tarp FAQs

What should I use to tie down my tarp?
Our customers can find a selection of elastic ball bungee ties available on our website under the category accessories. The use of fixed, rigid ties such as rope, zip ties and wire are strongly discouraged as they can cause excessive strain on the grommets. Without elasticity, the grommets and tarp fabric will tear.

Can I return my canopy fittings or a complete canopy set?
Unfortunately, no. All canopy sets and canopy parts such as fittings are final sale and non-returnable.

How long is the transit time for my shipment?
Most items in our store will ship same day or the following business day. However, there are some items that will be in processing for 1-2 business days before the shipment leaves the warehouse. This does not apply for priority shipments. All next day, second day and three day select orders will be processed and shipped the same business day if the order is placed before 3:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time. The time in transit depends on your specific location. Please allow 4-6 business days for transport to your location. The transit times do not include weekends or holidays. If you have specific questions regarding the arrival time of a product, please contact customer service at (877) 811-3911.

Can I return a canopy or tarp once the package has been opened?
Unfortunately we cannot accept returns on open packages. Once the original packaging has been opened or altered, we are unable to resale the item. It is important that you read all item descriptions before finalizing your purchase. The only exception is if the product has a manufacturer defect. If this occurs, customer service must be contacted within 10 business days. Our staff will ask for pictures of the defective merchandise for review.

How do I change or cancel my order?
If you would like to cancel or change your order please contact our sales department at (877) 811-3911. All changes and cancellations must be made prior to the shipment leaving our facility. Once the merchandise has left our facility, we will be unable to makes any changes. The package will then need to be received and then shipped back to us at your expense.

Why are the tarps 4-6 inches less than the listed size?
In the tarpaulin industry there is what is referred to as the cut size and finish size of tarps. The cut size is the dimension of the cover before the grommets and hems are installed. After the implementation of the grommets, you can expect that the finish size will be 4-6 inches less in both directions. On canopy frames this is referred to as a classic or standard fit. The tarp edge will sit back away from the edge of the frame 3-4 inches.

Can I use a Canvas or Vinyl tarp for my canopy frame?
We recommend that the poly cover be used for canopy frames. Canvas tarps have a tendency to expand and contract in cold and hot weather. This can cause problems with the load capacity of the canopy and may lead to collapse. Vinyl tarps are only good in moderate climates and do not respond well to extreme heat or cold. Furthermore, the vinyl tarp will begin to stiffen and crack in temperatures below 40 degrees. The Poly tarp is by far the best all season cover for canopy frames. The lightweight, durable material has arctic flexibility and does not stretch in hot temperatures.

Can I use rope or wire to tie my tarp down?
Using rope or wire to tie a tarp down can cause the grommets to tear from the material. We suggest using something with elasticity like that of our ball bungee ties or hook bungees. The elastic material allows the fabric to move naturally with the wind and distributes the stress evenly down the edge of the tarp. This will not only reduce tearing but will also help with the longevity of the material.

What is considered a snow load capable canopy?
If you live in areas that receive seasonal snow and heavy rains, we suggest you purchase a canopy that is built for these conditions. We supply many different canopy types and knowing which ones are snow load capable is helpful. A snow load canopy can withstand roughly 200 pounds of pressure per square foot. Snow load canopies generally come with a minimum of an 1-5/8 inch frame with rafter spacing no less than 47 inches apart. The top cover for a snow load canopy must also be no less than 9 ounces per square yard in weight. The close rafter spacing in combination with the heavy diameter frame and cover will allow the structure to withstand extreme seasonal weather conditions.

Are all poly tarps waterproof?
Yes, All of our poly tarps are waterproof, rot proof and mildew resistant. Made of polyethylene fibers, the poly tarp is laminated with a heavy coating during the manufacturing process and all seams are heat sealed. The lamination process completely seals the tarp and prevents any water from coming through. During rains or morning hours you may see some moisture due to condensation. This is not water leaking through the fabric and is perfectly normal for poly fabrics. Polyethylene is also naturally resistant to mold, mildew and rot. This is one of the common characteristics that have made the poly tarp popular among consumers.

What is the difference between a canopy, carport, portable garage and party tent?
The basic structure of all canopy frames is the same. There are many different references for a canopy including the ones mentioned above. They are all basically the same and just may include some additional components. For example, A canopy usually comes complete with the frame, connectors, ties and tarp cover for the roof. A portable garage will also include all of the same elements as the canopy but will come with additional panels for the sides, front and back. This allows you to completely enclose the structure for winter storage. Party Tents usually come with brighter more festive colors and have a tendency to be fire retardant for event gathering purposes. You can always contact us directly with any and all product questions.

Which tarp color blocks out the sunlight best?
Although all of our tarps with the exception of the blue utility tarps are considered heavy-duty, the silver tarp is the best color for total sun block. Comprised exactly the same way as all the other heavy-duty poly tarps, the silver tarp has an added feature for eliminating sun penetration. Each silver tarp has what is called a black scrim layer placed between the laminated sheets of plastic. This scrim layer prevents any light from penetrating the fabric. All of the other heavy-duty poly tarps allow the natural sunlight to come through the fabric while still providing 95% UV protection.

How do I know if a tarp will fit my frame?
This is a very great question. It is very important that all product descriptions are read carefully before making a final purchase. The tarp covers sold in our canopy replacement section are larger than the listed frame size to accommodate for the rise in peak. For example, the 10 x 20 frame replacement cover will come in a package that reads 12 x 20 on the package. We will automatically send a larger cover to accommodate the rise in peak. Most canopy frames sold in major retail stores are of the high peak variety. This high angled roof must have more fabric to accommodate the pitch. However, not all manufacturers frames are the same. Obtaining a good measurement is the sure way to be certain the correct item is ordered. The three most important measurements are the width from inside leg to inside leg, the height from ground to center peak and the length of one side of the roof rafter. You can also measure the peak from one corner fitting, up and over the peak to the other corner fitting. This will tell you how much fabric is needed to cover the peak. Most canopy replacement tarps will have a measuring diagram to assist you in your decision. For further questions you can call us at (877) 811-3911.

I live in Southern California. Can I pick up my order?
Yes, Southern California residents can pick their orders up from our Compton shipping facility as long as it is an item that is in stock at that facility. All orders must be placed online before picking up the merchandise. Our Los Angeles location is our sales office and not a retail location. After the order is placed in our system we will provide the location and address of our shipping facility. All order can be picked up between the hours of 8:00 a.m and 4:30 p.m Monday-Friday.

I need my order quick but I don't want to pay for expedited shipping?
Expedited shipping options are the only guaranteed method of delivery. All regular ground shipments are processed in the order received and can take up to 7 business days before delivery. However, you can contact our sales department and let us know that you are in need of immediate delivery. We will do our best to have your ground shipment processed that business day for faster delivery. Normal transit times for ground shipments are as follows: West Coast = approx. 1 to 2 business working days, Mid West = approx. 3 to 4 business working days, East Coast = approx. 4 to 5 business working days.

Do you provide quantity discounts for large orders?
Yes, In addition to our everyday low prices we do provide further discounts for large quantity orders. The discount will vary based on the quantity of the order and all shipping charges still apply. In most instances for large size orders, we will have to obtain a freight quote to your location. If you have your own transport providers, we can make arrangements for your order to be picked up from our facility.

Do I have to pay sales tax on my order?
Normal tax rates apply for California residents only. All orders shipped outside of California will be void of any tax charges. Only shipping charges will be billed for out of state orders.

How long have you been in business?
We have been involved in the manufacturing of canopies and tarps for more than 30 years. As one of the largest suppliers of tarpaulins in United States, we pride ourselves on the quality of our products and outstanding customer service.

Does your website provide secure shopping?
Yes, we have made every possible effort to be certain that your shopping experience is safe and secure. In addition to our stores being hosted by the trusted name of Yahoo!, we also use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) with 128-bit encryption. SSL offers the highest level of encryption supported by commercial web browsers and follows the standards established by credit card leaders such as Visa and MasterCard.

What payment methods do you accept?
We accept all major payment types including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We also accept money orders and company checks. All orders paid with money order or company check will be shipped once the payment has been received and processed in our bank. We do not ship C.O.D or provide any type of payment terms. All items must be fully paid for before leaving our facility.

What shipping methods do you use?
The majority of our products are shipped via UPS. However, some of our larger items are shipped through motor freight. In these instances, we use either Daylight Transport, ABF freight, Bullet freight or Conway.

How do you measure the width of a canopy? What about length?
For width, measure in the opposite direction from inside edge to inside edge. For length, you would measure from one outside frame edge to the other along the length of the cover.

How do I measure for a replacement canopy cover?
When learning how to determine canopy size, remember that this process is for single-tier canopies sold at Canopies and Tarps. Start by measuring from one canopy leg to the adjacent leg. Put the end of the measuring tape at the outer edge of one leg, bringing it across to the neighboring leg. With rectangular tents, measure from that second leg to the third. Square canopies will be identical. The resulting dimensions will be the canopy cover size. Get more details and learn how to measure for peaks in our measuring guide or how-to video.

How to set up a canopy by yourself
Even with shelters that aren't pop-up tents, you can set certain ones up by yourself. You may have to take it slow when following the included instructions for the frame. Remember to put the canopy top on all frame corners loosely before tightening anything. If your frame has extending legs, extend them on opposite corners. Note that anything larger than a 10' x 10' tent should be a team effort.

How to hold down a canopy tent on concrete
Setting up your canopy shelter on a concrete patio means you'll be reaching for anchor weights instead of tent stakes. These weights rest on your canopy frame foot pads to secure it. These can be stacked and work best with square or rectangle foot pads.

How to fold a canopy tent
For storage, you want your canopy tent cover to be in a rectangular shape for easy folding. Place it on a flat, clean surface and then fold in any borders or other outlying sections of tarp into the body of the tarp to get that simpler shape. Next, you can fold it along the rectangle in equal segments. The smaller your folded segments are, the thicker the folded canopy will be.

How to clean a party canopy tent
Some canopies and tarps do have an odor when they're new, and airing them out will solve that. When they need a good cleaning, you can see the full steps on how to clean a tarp in our blog.

How long can I leave my canopy tent outside?
In general, canopy tents can last for years. There are tarps you only keep up seasonally, such as event tents. But garage canopies are one example that can be left outside and repaired with replacement covers and fittings as needed.