How long is too long to keep poly tarps on a roof? Medium-duty polyethylene tarps are expected to last 90 days outdoors. When consistently exposed to the elements during that roughly three-month time frame, the material gradually wears down and loses its effectiveness. The threadbare appearance means water and UV rays can enter your space, potentially bringing mold, mildew, and dry rot with them. However, should the damage not be repaired, new tarps can be added in place.
An arts center in Shawano County, Wis., is experiencing a similar issue but on a far greater scale. According to a recent piece in the county’s local newspaper, the Mielke Arts Center’s roof has been covered with tarps for over four years. However, the center does not have any plans to replace them.
Why the delay, particularly after four years with a tarped roof? The Shawano Arts Council stated it is raising funds to expand the center. Repairing the roof in the present time would end up wasting funds down the line, should the facility be expanded. The Arts Council, as well, is not short on funds. Potential expansion is priced at $220,000 to $250,000, and the center already received $239,000.
An additional issue raised was maintenance. As the arts center is on park grounds, does a parks or highway staff take care of it, or because it is run by the county arts council, do they take responsibility and maintain the roof? For the time being, the Mielke Arts Center roof continues to remain unrepaired, still covered in tarps.
Tarps, although durable and certainly an acceptable temporary repair solution, are considered an eyesore by some. In certain areas, in fact, the length of time a tarp can stay on a roof is restricted to a year or less.