Taking precaution methods while camping is definitely something you need to consider all the time. If you like spending time in the outdoors and camping in a tent, because it gives you more freedom to move, safety and comfort should prime.
So, sealing the seams your tent is one of those precaution methods you need to consider. Why should you seam seal your tent? Doing so will make your tent more resistant to water.
When it heavily rains, the chances for water to infiltrate around the seals will be reduced to zero. At the same time, it will increase the sturdiness of your tent, making it last longer than usual.
How can the seams of a tent be sealed?
Although it may sound like a fancy process, sealing the seams of a tent is not that complicated. You will need, however, special products that will help you with this.
So, you should not use any kind of product. There are products dedicated to sealing seams and needle holes and it is recommended to use such products only for best and durable results.
Also, you will need to respect a few steps before and after seam sealing your tent. Here is what you need to know about preparing your tent for the process, how to get this done right, and what you should do after.
Getting your tent ready for the process
The sealant is a substance that should not be used indoors. Because the sealing process can take a while, exposing yourself to this substance in an enclosed space without proper air ventilation can harm your health. So, ideally, you should do this outside. Pick a day when the weather is good and the wind is calm for the procedure.
Start by setting up your tent, as you will have to clean it well. Sealing the seams while they are covered with dust will not allow the sealant to do its job right. Both the tent and its rain fly should be cleaned.
Avoid using detergents and chemicals for cleaning your tent. They can damage it. Ideally, you should check the manufacturer’s recommendations in this case.
Once the cleaning is done, make sure to rinse the tent and rain fly well enough.
No cleaning materials should remain on its surface. Of course, you should allow the tent to dry properly before applying the sealant. This is why choosing a warm day is recommended.
How to properly seal the seams of your tent
All the seams of a tent should be sealed at once. If there are particular areas around your tent that should be fixed, then do it with priority. But if you just want to seal seams, you should do this with all the seams of your tent.
There are areas that should enjoy an extra degree of attention. The tent’s floor, bottom, and rain fly are more exposed to water and tear.
So, make sure you do a great job sealing the seams in these areas. As a general rule, you don’t need to seal the seams around mesh areas.
Consider getting at least two brushes for applying the sealant. You may need a small one around corners and in tight areas and a larger one for larger areas.
To protect your tent, apply painter’s masking tape on each side of the seam, at a distance of a fourth of an inch. This way, your work will look professional and will prevent the sealant from spreading uncontrollably.
Apply a thin layer of sealant on the seams, extending over a fourth of inch you allowed on each side, up to the masking tape you already installed. Be careful to cover needle holes. All of them. But, do be careful not to put sealant on the zippers.
When it comes to covering the seams on the tent’s floor, it is recommended to apply the sealant in equal amounts on all seams. So, spread it evenly and on the same width all over. Once you are done, you need to let the tent dry completely.
If your tent has a rain fly, you will need to turn it upside down in order to see the seams. Proceed in sealing them by respecting the steps presented in the previous lines.
Aspects to consider once the sealing is done
Ideally, the tent and rain fly should be left to dry for 24 to 48 hours. Of course, only if the weather allows such extended drying periods. When setting the rain fly to dry, make sure it is secured, so that the wind won’t carry it away.
You should test the sealing you’ve done, once everything is completely dry. It is possible to do so with the help of a garden sprinkler, turned on and allowed to sprinkle water all over your tent. Crawl inside the tent when this is happening and check for any areas you may have missed or other unknown defects.
If you notice water coming inside the tent through some needle holes or other areas, you will have to repeat the sealing process for those areas and allow the tent to dry again.
It is important to remember that drying the tent should be done without exposing it to direct sunlight. Finally, store your tent safely until your next outdoor adventure.
How is it better, to seam seal the tent on the inside or outside?
If you’re interested in sealing the seams of your tent, you will notice that some recommend doing so on the inside, while others say that it is better to do it on the outside.
Well, if you want to make sure everything is properly covered and insulated, you can seal seams both on the inside or outside. Or you can seal the entire tent on the inside, repeating the operation on the outside only around the bottom of the tent.
This part usually sits on moist ground, especially after rainfall, so a bit of extra sealing won’t hurt.
When applying sealant on the outside of the tent, it’s best to close the tent so you can easily see the line of the seams. The process is done on the outside as it is done on the inside of the tent.