It doesn’t need to have giant holes to let water in. Depending on the type of needle used by the manufacturer, you may notice that your tent is getting wet in the interior after spending the night out. This is the least expected and worst feeling; having to sleep in a wet tent.
Seam sealing is a simple procedure to prevent water from leaking through the stitching into the inside of your shelter. Regardless of how new or high end your tent is, going that extra mile to improve its waterproofness will ensure that you are sleeping in a safe and comfortable shelter.
Don’t worry, it’s simple and won’t take much of your time. So, before you plan the next camping trip, grab a tent seam sealer and perform the following quick exercise. Thank us later!
Before You Start
Even before we get down to how to seam seal a tent there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Seam sealing will be done from the outside, don’t do it otherwise. This is simply because rain falls from the outside and the essence of seam sealing is to prevent water from penetrating through the stitching holes.
You have to tightly set up your tent; there shouldn’t be even a single folding. This will ensure clear visibility of the small holes and allow the procedure to be performed perfectly.
Ensure the weather is generally favorable. Temperatures and humidity should not be too high to avoid getting an exaggerated size of the stitch holes.
What You Need
Here are the items you will need to take the waterproofness of your portable shelter to the next level.
- A silicone-based tent sealer. Silicone is preferred because it is long-lasting and this simply implies that you only need to seam seal your tent once.
- Paint thinner
- A pair of gloves; don’t attempt this process with your bare hands.
- A bottle of alcohol to clean the area you are seam sealing to remove any dirt or debris that may interfere with the process. Alcohol dries fast hence it is a better option compared to water.
- Choose one that you can dispose of after the work is done.
- A wet piece of cloth or sponge
Seam Sealing A Tent
Now that you have gathered all the supplies you need, let’s get down to business. Ensure that the doors of your tent are open to allow proper circulation of air.
- Put on your pair of gloves.
- Mix the silicone tent seam sealer with the paint thinner in a tin or container in a ratio of 1:3. Stir this mixture until it forms an even combination. You can use a stick to do this. The reason you are not supposed to use silicone alone is that it’s very thick and may cause a messy look on your gear.
- Let the mixture of silicone and the paint thinner soak on the stitches of your gear. Ensure that there are no spillovers and if any, use a wet cloth to wipe them off.
- Smear the mixture evenly on your tent and spread it off with a paintbrush. Don’t do more than one coat. Too much of it will just end up as waste and will even make your gear look ugly.
- Leave the tent to dry. Ideally, you should pitch your tent in an open place and one that you can comfortably leave for some days without worrying too much.
When you are sure that the tent seam sealer is completely dry, you can check to see if you have done the process right. Use a hosepipe to spray water on the area that you applied the sealer. See if the water is going to penetrate the inside; we hope not!
If you are happy with your work, leave the tent to dry for a little more time and then fold it nicely, store it, and wait for the next camping trip – you will love it!
What About The Tarp?
Just like your tent, a camping tarp is an important piece of outdoor gear. If you’ve got some mixture left after seam sealing the tent, why not extend this process to your tarp?
It’s all the same. Splay the tarp in a well-ventilated area and inspect the places that need to be seam-sealed depending on its shape. Apply the sealing mixture to the stitching using a syringe or a brush. Leave it to dry for a few days.
Don’t Mess Up!
As much as the process may be simple you have to take caution. If you are not sure about the best tent seam sealer to use on your outdoor shelter, ask your retailer for some suggestions.
What about the spillovers that might leave your tent all messed up? There is still something you can do to avoid this! Run a masking tape around the stitching area and remove it after you are done with the sealing.
Ensure that the place where you erect your tent is free of wind. This is to avoid dirt being blown to your tent and interfering with your project.
Globo Surf Overview
You may think that since your gear is new and fresh from your retailer you will not need to put some tent seam sealer on it. The stitches may still be small at this point but with time, because of the stretching as you pitch your tent, you may notice that they are growing wider and probably water is even coming in.
Don’t allow avoidable things to ruin beautiful moments. You want to enjoy camping even in rainy and cold weather and this will only be possible if your tent is dry, warm, and comfortable. Seam sealing your tent will keep rainwater at bay, and prevent melted ice from penetrating the inside of your shelter when camping in snowy areas. If you do it right, you will have the most amazing nights in the wilderness.
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- Seam sealing, bushwalkingnsw.org