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Can You Cover a Generator with a Tarp? Protect Your Generator like a Pro

    Imagine this: it’s a stormy night, and the power goes out. But you’re not worried because you have a trusty generator ready to kick into action! Generators are a lifesaver during emergencies, providing you with electricity when the grid fails. However, just like any valuable asset, your generator needs protection from the elements to stay in peak condition.

    That brings us to the question of the hour: “Can you cover a generator with a tarp?” You bet you can! Covering your generator with a tarp can shield it from rain, snow, dust, and even harmful UV rays. But before you rush to throw any old tarp over your generator, there are some essential dos and don’ts you need to know to ensure your generator’s safety and efficiency.

    The Benefits of Using a Tarp for Your Generator

    Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a moment to appreciate the many advantages of covering your generator with a tarp:

    1. Protection from the Elements: Generators are usually installed outdoors for easy access during power outages. However, being exposed to the whims of nature can take a toll on their performance and longevity. A sturdy tarp acts as a protective shield, keeping rain, snow, and dust at bay.
    2. Enhanced Longevity: Generators are a significant investment, and you want to make the most of that investment. By covering your generator with a tarp, you can shield it from harsh weather conditions, preventing potential damage and extending its lifespan.
    3. Portability and Versatility: Are you planning a camping trip or an outdoor event where electricity might be scarce? With a tarp, you can easily take your generator along without fretting about damage during transportation.

    Can You Really Cover Your Generator with Any Old Tarp?

    It’s tempting to think that any tarp will do the job, but not all tarps are created equal! Using the wrong tarp may lead to unintended consequences, rendering your efforts to protect your generator futile.

    The Dos of Choosing the Right Tarp

    When it comes to selecting the perfect tarp for your generator, keep these tips in mind:

    1. Material Matters: The material of the tarp plays a crucial role in its effectiveness. Look for high-quality tarps made from durable materials like polyethylene or PVC. These materials offer excellent resistance to water, tearing, and UV rays.
    2. Proper Size is Essential: Ensure that the tarp you choose is large enough to cover your generator entirely. Leaving any part of the generator exposed defeats the purpose of covering it in the first place!
    3. Secure Fit: Opt for a tarp with grommets or tie-downs around the edges. This allows you to secure the tarp tightly around the generator, preventing it from blowing away in strong winds.

    The Don’ts of Tarp Selection

    Steer clear of these common mistakes when choosing a tarp for your generator:

    1. Avoid Cheap and Flimsy Tarps: Cheap, thin tarps might seem like a bargain, but they won’t hold up against heavy rain or snow. Invest in a sturdy tarp that can withstand the elements.
    2. Beware of Condensation: While tarps can keep rain out, they might trap moisture underneath, leading to condensation buildup. This can cause rust and other issues for your generator.
    3. No Plastic Sheets, Please: Resist the temptation to use plastic sheets as a makeshift tarp. They are not designed for this purpose and can easily tear, leaving your generator exposed.

    Covering Your Generator: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Now that you have the perfect tarp for your generator, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of covering it like a pro:

    1. Position the Generator: Start by placing your generator on a flat and stable surface. Ensure there is enough space around it for proper ventilation.
    2. Pre-Clean the Generator: Before draping the tarp, take a moment to clean any dust or debris from the generator’s surface. This prevents scratching and potential damage.
    3. Drape the Tarp Gently: Carefully drape the tarp over the entire generator, making sure it covers it from top to bottom.
    4. Secure the Tarp: Use the grommets or tie-downs provided on the tarp to secure it firmly around the generator. Avoid leaving any loose areas that might flap in the wind.
    5. Check for Ventilation: Double-check that the generator’s vents and exhaust are not obstructed by the tarp. Proper ventilation is crucial for safe and efficient operation.
    6. Periodic Inspections: Make it a habit to inspect the tarp regularly for any signs of wear, tear, or damage. If you notice any issues, replace the tarp promptly to maintain optimal protection.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I cover my generator while it’s running?
      • Absolutely not! Never cover a generator while it’s operating, as it can cause overheating and pose a severe safety hazard.
    2. Will a tarp protect my generator from flooding?
      • While a tarp can provide some protection from light rain and minor water exposure, it’s not designed to withstand flooding or heavy rain. Exercise caution in such situations.
    3. Can I use a tarp to muffle the generator’s noise?
      • While a tarp can dampen some noise, it’s not a recommended method for noise reduction. Consider investing in a generator enclosure designed specifically for noise reduction.
    4. How often should I replace the tarp?
      • The lifespan of a tarp depends on its quality, exposure to weather, and frequency of use. Regularly inspect it, and if you notice any signs of wear or damage, replace it promptly.
    5. Can I use a tarp for long-term storage of my generator?
      • Yes, you can use a tarp for short-term storage during off-seasons. However, for long-term storage, consider investing in a generator cover designed for extended protection.


    In conclusion, the answer to the question “Can you cover a generator with a tarp?” is a resounding “Yes!” Indeed, using a tarp to shield your generator from the elements is a smart move to protect your investment and ensure its optimal performance.

    However, it’s essential to choose the right tarp made from durable materials, ensuring a secure fit and proper ventilation. By following the dos and don’ts of tarp selection and covering your generator with care, you can enjoy an uninterrupted power supply during emergencies and outdoor adventures alike.

    So, go ahead and invest in a quality tarp for your generator! With the right protection, your generator will continue to be your reliable companion, providing power when you need it most. Stay prepared, stay safe, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your generator is well-covered!