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Billboard tarps?  RSS feed

 
                            
Posts: 271
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They make me cringe, so do regular tarps.... but... I am in need of some shelters and am thinking of putting some together with cattle panels covered with either regular tarps or billboard tarps. 

Has anyone used billboard tarps?
How long does it take for them to start breaking down in the sunlight?
Can grommets be placed on them?

I came across a blog which has something like I am considering:

  http://atinyhomestead.blogspot.com/2010/12/more-on-cattle-panel-barn.html

Any ideas on how much snowload it will bear?

Thanks everyone!
 
Posts: 1113
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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We have three of these tarps. Got the first last summer. So far so good. Much tougher than regular tarps I've had. I would not expect them to do the snow load support, that's for the structural elements.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
                            
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Thanks so much! You are a wealth of knowledge and experience. I appreciate your replies a lot.
 
Posts: 55
Location: Maryland
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I use those tarps to cover firewood, equipment and other things.  Very durable and I've used them and left them out for 4 or 5 years now, and they are still as heavy and stiff as the day I got them.  The edges are getting a bit frayed, but that's probably just from dragging from here to there.  I think you would need a fairly heavy grommet tool, but don't see a problem.
 
                            
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Excellent! Thank you.

Quite honestly, the problem I have with tarps usually isn't deterioration. It's... ravens.
I wish I could figure out something productive for them, instead of destructive.
 
pollinator
Posts: 239
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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This guy built a vending machine that trains crows to pick up dropped change.  Maybe you could train your ravens to do something useful...

http://blog.ted.com/2008/05/13/joshua_klein/
 
                            
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I've done operant conditioning for years. Both with critters and humans. Just can't seem to think of anything to put the ravens to work doing. It's pretty basic stuff.
In livestock worlds, we usually call it clicker training and is a form of positive training. The principles are identical to those which motivate people to gamble at slot machines..... they are actually being "trained" if you want to look at it in that manner.

Not only is utilized with mammals (sea mammal trainers love it too!), it's been utilized at all levels of life. Among many other research projects that have been done are some that are really intriguing to me involving.... WASPS!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006/0702-wasps_mans_new_best_friend.htm

Back to ravens.... I live in an area known for it's gold mines. The ravens LOVE to drop things in my water troughs for my livestock (found my cell phone there a couple of times).  Occasionally I find hunks of pyrite. I keep hoping that they'll find the real thing one of these days!

Seriously, if someone can come up with a training project for these birds it would probably be worth it. They aren't tame, they are incredibly shy. If I look in the direction of one, or move my arm as if to point, they fly. They are incredible communicators, anytime I go for a walk, there are always a couple keeping an eye on me and "reporting" verbally back to the others. Some of the communications are very subtle, but if I pay close attention to them, I can often tell when someone is driving up my road... as far as a mile away. In the winter, rather than shoveling paths in the snow, I do intentionally feed them on occasion. Remembering that there are a large number and their toes are as big as a gooses, I will leave a trail of some sort of grain or something they like to eat, in the snow. They come in enforce and work the snow with their beaks, however, their heat from their feet as well as their weight compacts it... and I end up with some nice trails. Only thing I've ever found that they can do for me that is benefecial and I'd be glad to shovel if they'd just go elsewhere!
 
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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I use these tarps for pig, chicken, and rabbit sheds.  They work great.  I just bend a cattle panel or some remesh into a hoophouse shape and stretch the tarp over that.  It is super easy.  They won't last forever in the sun, but they'll last several years.
 
Posts: 50
Location: Chanute Kansas
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i used to get rubber roofing from a camper company that had a small flaw in it .
black rubber ,with a white topping ,used for shelters, and handy for caping hipped roofs.
  Look around there waste is gold if we can find a use for it.
 
                            
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I'll bet that rubber roofing works like a charm.


Any suggestions for securing the billboard tarps to the cattle panels?
 
Bull norris
Posts: 50
Location: Chanute Kansas
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I rap the tarps around a 1X2 8' then screw through it in to another 1X2 on the other side.
i used tarps and 1X2 's and hog pannles to make a quail cage on an old shipping pallit that just fit together.
 
steward
Posts: 4400
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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How water proof are they?
I was thinking of getting some to cover a future hogan that will have an earthen roof.
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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They can have small holes or tears, but they are mostly water proof.  I would double layer it for a house.  For an animal shelter, it doesn't matter as much, I haven't ever noticed any leaks.

I did use one to make a small pool for soaking wood for a project.  It held water just fine for over a month.
 
                    
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I picked up a few Billboard Tarps last year and used them ans the weatherproof covering on my Yurt.  They work great!  There are lots of different thicknesses out there though.  You can usually pick them up for pretty cheap in comparison to buying "blue tarps" at a hardware or elsewhere.  For $20 I bought 2 20 foot by 52 foot tarps.  I forget the thickness at the moment, but they aren't the paper thin flimsy type.  Most of them are made to withstand degradation due to sun exposure.  (Billboards sit in the sun quite a bit.)  And they are pretty tough as far as wind, hail, snow, exposure goes.  I don't live in my Yurt, but I've been in there a few times this winter (Minnesota).  They appear to be holding up well.  I'd give them a shot.  You might have to re-do your structure in 5-10 years, but that might be a pretty good life span considering what you might have into them.

Good luck!
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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If they are buried or protected from the sun in some way, they will last virtually forever.
 
                              
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Have heard about using these for awhile now, where do you find them for sale? Have looked online but shipping would be more than the cost of the tarps. We are in SW Missouri.
thanks
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 4400
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Here in Denver we have a guy who advertises on craigslist under RV's and Boats to use as covers.
 
                      
Posts: 56
Location: MONTANA, Bozeman area; ZONE 4
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Best source seems to be

http://www.billboardtarps.com/pages/photos

All manner of sizes are available, for example

35$
10' x 40' Vinyl Tarp
13-16 oz per Sq. Yd.
13 mil

Some are 20 mil.

This, to my way of thinking, is the solution to pond liners.  At this price you can put down 2 layers, if inclined. TO build "for the 7th Generation" from you.


 
            
Posts: 28
Location: Montana
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I worked for a outfitter for a while,and we would put up a frame and use billboard tarps like a wall tent,they worked good
 
                        
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I haven't been able to find cheap (or any! locally) used billboard tarps but last year I used the tarps that lumber is shipped to lumber yards in.  These seem to be simply tossed by every lumber yard I have asked.  They are long and sort of cumbersome to deal with, and sometimes have pinholes or rips (Often where the lumberyard people have cut them open).  The main problem I have found is that because they are big and awkward, most of the lumberyard people don't like to deal with them. It's easier for them just to toss them in the dumpster than to stash them somewhere to get picked up. I just ask whenever I am there and often they will get me one which is on a partially sold stack of lumber. They are HUGELY useful for all sorts of things and I have never been asked to pay for them.

The one I put up in a hurry as a roof to shelter the lawnmower and chainsaw etc not only handled a skookum snowload  (over a relatively small area, admittedly) but also was waterproof.  The "roof" sagged with the weight of water so now I have more time this summer I am going to try to readjust it to collect rainwater for the garden. It has to be readjusted anyway, the weight of the water and my messing with it to collect the water pulled out some of the lath the tarp was wrapped around from the 2x4s it was nailed to. (I don't claim to be a carpenter and I was in a hurry.!)

We also get a lot of strong winds here, which are death on tarps.  This one seems to be immune, which makes sense if you think they are used to cover freight going down the highway at 60 mph.
 
                                    
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I used a billboad tarp to make a small pond it has held water for 3 years now.
I called the billboard company in my area and they had them in a warehouse for $10.00 each most are 14x40 I think.
I also used a piece on a chicken coop and it worked good.
I am wondering if they would work for a living roof?
 
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anyone else get the idea for a killer water slide?!
 
                        
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daygrower wrote:
I used a billboad tarp to make a small pond it has held water for 3 years now.
I called the billboard company in my area and they had them in a warehouse for $10.00 each most are 14x40 I think.
I also used a piece on a chicken coop and it worked good.
I am wondering if they would work for a living roof?



Um  I was reading a link on a forum for aquaponics and tclynx said she tried using a billboard tarp for a wicking bed and it was full of minute pinholes, unseen until she filled it with water.  I would think several times before using them for a living roof, it would be such a hassle to have to take it all down to say nothing of the effects of a leak in your house. If you think about it, roots can go through asphalt or concrete so if it isn't designed to deal with such things - and tarps generally aren't -then I would be very very hesitant to trust my roof to it.

Also, I suspect that over time they will degrade a lot faster than pond liner which is designed to last a lot longer than most billboards will ever be expected to. If you plan to keep an eye on it so as to replace it when needed then it would be fine but  personally I wouldn't think of burying it under a bunch of living plants and expect it not to develop leaks.
 
                                    
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Pam
Those are good points thanks
The problem with the tarps is they are used and they are not all the same I went through 3 tarps to get the one for my pond  you can clearly see the any holes if you put them up to the light I faced the sun and walked under the tarp looking very closely to see holes and one passed the test.
As far as the roof goes I doubt I would use them as the primary water barrier on my house roof but as a layer of protection on a house or as a primary barrior on a shed or barn I think would work I wouldn't worry too much about them degrading if they were protected from sun.
Roots I don't know
 
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