Uses For Black Plastic Sheeting

Contributed By: BAG Editors

Black plastic sheeting may look like a giant trash bag that comes in a roll, but it is much stronger and more durable and has many uses around the outside of the home.  You can use black plastic sheeting rolls in many ways – from preventing weeds from growing in your flower beds to protecting your outdoor furniture when it is not in use or deterring the infiltration of moisture on an open or damaged area of the house, garage or carport.

One of the best uses for black plastic sheeting is as a weed barrier in your landscaping.  6 mil black plastic sheeting is the best product for this use, as it is relatively thick and will block weeds from coming through the plastic.  Black plastic sheeting for gardens and landscaping is typically sold in a large roll. A roll of black plastic sheeting is usually 100 feet long and comes in a variety of widths, such as 8’, 10’ and 12’.  The rolls themselves do not look that wide, but when you pull off the length of sheeting that you need, you can then unfold it and it will be as wide as the package states.   A 100 ft roll of black plastic sheeting will go a long way and provide a lot of coverage.

To use the sheeting in your garden, simply lay out the plastic anywhere that you are looking for weed coverage.  Cut the plastic where you need to plant and poke holes to allow water to penetrate.  Make sure that the edges of the sheeting are secure on all sides or better yet, cover the black plastic sheeting with mulch.  The sheeting works especially well in areas of the landscaping that are covered with rocks or small pebbles, to prevent weeds from coming through.  You can also place black plastic sheeting down before laying bricks, pavers or other materials for walkways or patios.

In addition to using black plastic sheeting for landscaping and weed control, homeowners can also use rolls of black plastic sheeting, cut to size, to act as a moisture barrier for anything that needs protection from the outdoor elements.  This can include anything from wrapping a mobile home with black plastic sheeting prior to transport, to using black plastic sheeting as a way to block moisture from entering the open end of a carport.  The sheeting can be used to cover outdoor furniture or accessories for protection when not in use or shielding a bicycle that would be otherwise subjected to the elements outdoors.  It also has a great many uses indoors as well.

When buying black plastic sheeting, you have options as to the thickness of the plastic, with the thickness being expressed in mils.  6 mil sheeting is rather thick and is very strong and durable, but depending on what you are using it for, you may also prefer 4 mil black sheeting, which will handle most jobs well enough.  2 mil black plastic sheeting can be somewhat thin, so it is best used for only light jobs that do not require the sheeting to stay in place permanently.  This can include uses such as having the sheeting function as a covering when painting or staining (they work great as tarps!), using it to protect dust from flying during a construction project, or even wrapping a shed during Halloween to keep with the holiday spirit.

Most black plastic sheeting is made from polythelene.  For this reason, you may see it called black poly sheeting or poly black plastic sheeting.  No matter what it’s called, it’s all basically the same thing.  The sheeting is strong, soft and pliable, is easy to cut to size, and is a great way to provide protection from moisture, dust, paint or construction debris.  It can be easily wrapped around any size and shaped object and has a wide variety of uses, both temporary and permanent, outside and inside the home.

You can buy black plastic sheeting at Home Depot and other home improvement stores.  You can also find the sheeting at lawn and garden stores and even at some superstores, and you can buy black plastic sheeting online at places like Amazon and other retailers.  Prices for black plastic sheeting are relatively cheap, running in the neighborhood of $20 – $30 per 100 foot roll for some of the thinner sheeting.  Thicker and wider rolls of black plastic sheeting will be more expensive, however.

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