Another important factor that can help protect and prolong the life of your composting covers—and other types of tarps used as livestock shade structures for instance—is proper storage. More often than not it can be tempting to leave the covers on the ground beside the windrows even when they’re not in use. However, this leaves the covers exposed to rain and the ultra violet rays from the sun, both of which can cause undue damage to the covers. Thus, whenever you remove the composting covers off the windrows, be sure to keep them stored in a dry area. In line with this, be sure that the storage area is free from any rodents or pests that can chew holes into the composting covers. All these may sound like extra work, but the benefits of a longer service life will more than compensate for the effort.
It should be noted that composting covers can be much heavier when they are wet. Thus, this makes them a bit more challenging when being removed. Actually, the same is true for all other tarps used for other purposes like hay tarps and others. As such, it is recommended that they are not immediately taken off after a severe or heavy rainfall, and that they should be left to dry as much as possible before being removed. When they are heavy, it will require more effort and force to remove them, and when done carelessly, this can result to the composting cover tearing.
Tearing is perhaps the biggest challenges with regard to composting covers. In fact, this is also the biggest problems or other tarps used in other endeavours like shelter covers for instance. Even the high quality composting covers can be a victim of such issue when handled improperly and carelessly. But there are actually several ways to keep this from happening.
For one, never pull the covers using equipment or tools that have sharp metal edges or pointed ends that can cut or pierce the composting covers. Another factor that can contribute to this issue is improper set up. When the composting cover is improperly set up, the strong pulling forces on smaller areas of the composting covers can cause it to tear. Thus, when setting up composting covers, the pulling forces should be evenly spread throughout the fabric. It should be spread evenly over the compost pile and grab loops can be used to hold them in place. This also actually applies to tarps used for other purposes like cattle shade structures for instance.