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Good to see I am not the only cheap redneck on hear. The best way i have found is to overlap them about 3", silicone them togther and put a 2x4 on top and on bottom of the seam, use 2 1/2 or 3" screws and screw the 2x4's together. The 2x4's work like clamps to hold the seam together.
I have done this many times, but you are ar better off just buying the right size tarp.
There has to be a way to link tarps together without silicone or whatever. I can make a roof, just looking for the redneck solution to what seems a simple prob. I am covering a 10x40 area between my house and a shed, using 2 of those high grade costco tarps. (again, estacada, so I know quality tarps). I just cant figure out the best way to link them without leaks. There has to be a way to fold em and hold em. yeehaw.
lets see - I need to go to the tropics for a few days to put on my redneck first...
I suppose you could , using washers, screw the ends of the tarp through the eyelets to a 1x4 or 2x4 and then roll the 2x4 3+times. by rolling the 2x4 further it would tension the tarp, once tight screw or nail the board to the framework to keep it from unrolling...
depending upon how long you are going to leave it exposed there is always the ever popular duct tape - if you cant fix it duck it.
If you find a way to put some pitch (peak) into the area where they come together so water doesnt pool at the seam you should be able to keep it fairly water resistant.
Wind is another story.
are you *spanning* with them? if you're tarping over something, there's a number of ways to do it.. but if you're spanning over a gap, you're going to have to get creative. wind will undo just about anything i can think of, aside from folding the seam and sandwiching it between strips of CDX or something.
if you're covering a sheeted breezeway that hasn't been shingled yet, or something like that, you just need to over-lap your seam 3-6", depending on how long your run is, and hammer-tack the piss out of it with A-11s.
have a picture?
i'm a contractor... i've had to tarp a thing or two in my time.
I have tried to use the 2x4's and screws as clamps without silicone before. It works pretty good if you fold the tarps together. It is very tricky to fold the tarps together though. I ended up using staples to hold the tarps to the 2x4 just to hold it in place while I assembled it. It was such a pain, I was better off spending the $4 on a tube of silicone and doing it right.
Harbor freight has some really big tarps but the costco tarps are better and lots cheaper per sq ft. I've built covers over concrete pours in Alaska. I was able to keep one up one night in 100 mile wind gusts. Reinforced 6 mil visqueen with 2x6 sandwiched above and below every 6 or 8 feet.
we used to use those plastic clips back home in Minnesota to enclose our scaffolding with reinforced poly in the winter for masonry jobs outside. They work ok. The problem comes 2 ways. If your tarp is pulled pretty tight, wind will pop the clips off at times. Second, if your spanning distances, the tarp is going to be on the outside of your poles so you have to somehow clip those on from the outside. We use to wire them on and that would hold them and the plastic on pretty well, but with all the rain here, you will have some little leaks.