Care & Use of Builders Sheets


First floor addition builders sheets have been in use in Australia since around 1972. They have proved to be a valuable addition to the techniques used in general buildings and second story work. With proper use the sheets minimise the risk of water damage to ceilings and other property below the work area and protect the newly laid floor from staining and damage during framing, roofing and fitting out activities. 

Builders sheets are not tarpaulins. They are a watertight welded membrane made to the size and shape specified by the builder. The sheet is larger than the proposed floor to enable the edges to be folded over and battened down to provide a waterproof cap. They are not designed to be used to protect partially stripped roof structures or partially completed floors where potential accidental damage to the sheet is high. A builders sheet should not actually be on site until the old roof has been removed and the new floor has been fixed, nailed, punched and swept down. Until this time protection should be used with standard heavy duty tarpaulins, which can be hired for this purpose. Tarp it Australia has hire tarps available at short notice with sizes ranging from 7m x 7m to 7m x 11m. 

Builders Sheets Fabric

Tarp it Australia uses the HVG Group Tarpee product with a weight of 250gsm which we believe gives the best performance for this use. These materials are best welded to give maximum seam strength and have coatings of 50+ microns to the maximum abrasion resistance for the price. Beware of lighter grade fabrics regardless of price, these fabrics do not have the body or the coating thickness to stand up to the job you require. 

General Care

Your builders sheet will come to you folded and rolled. Never unfold the sheet in windy or unsettled conditions. Loose sheets are extremely dangerous. 

  • Place it on the newly swept floor.
  • Prepare plenty of half nailed battens to secure the sheet after it is unfolded.
  • Carefully move the sheet in position, take one edge and carry it over the floor side and batten into place.
  • Tighten sheet across floor to eliminate any folds and wrinkles.
  • Fully batten around the edge to eliminate the chance of wind getting under the sheet.

Outside floor plates must be checked out 150mm x 20mm approximately every 2 meters. This minimises ponding on sheets and will save a 50mm head of water in storms. It is also of great advantage to remove plates at doorways and build up wet areas i.e. level with the rest of the floor to save ponding in these areas. 

Sweep sheets down. It is most important that each afternoon the sheet is carefully checked for any holes or abrasions. When located, clean and dry the area thoroughly. A suitable patching is Floor Mate Glue. Do not forget to clean saw dust and debris from checkouts on floor plates. Obvious signs of holes in sheet after rain are dark patches in the material.

Keep sheet clear. If stacking timber or roof trusses on sheet, pack under with timbre to ensure minimum damage and a free flow of water. However it is our advise for the best result to keep the sheet clear. The membrane is your insurance against the elements. 

Should you have any queries on your builders sheet ring Tarpit Australia on 1800 689 221