The ability to properly seam seal your tent is a crucial requirement. Seam sealing is a standard maintenance procedure, and any tent will almost certainly require it at some point. Sealed seams are standard on certain newer tents. However, this is not a common practice in the business world. It’s quite likely that a new tent will need to have its seams repaired.
7 easy steps to seam seal a tent effectively:
- Prepare your tent
- Choose the right seam sealant
- Apply the seam sealant
- Replace your tent’s deteriorating seam tape
- Seam seal the tent’s rain fly and sidewalls
- Inspect your work & do necessary touch ups
- Allow the seam sealant to dry
Understanding the importance of seam sealing is imperative for anybody looking to learn how to make a tent watertight. If you camp often, you’ll benefit from this article to guide you through the necessary steps to seam seal your tent.
Want to find out more about how to seam seal a tent? Read on!
Table of Contents
1. Prepare Your Tent
For seam sealing, we recommend setting up the tent first. Sunny, dry weather is the best. When performing maintenance on an older tent, cleaning the tent before you begin is recommended. You are now ready to begin your work. Let’s get started!
2. Choose The Right Seam Sealant
Knowing how to waterproof a tent is imperative to avoid water from entering it when it starts to rain. Seal sealing is a crucial step in waterproofing your tent.
Enter your tent and begin applying seam sealant to the seams. You can acquire one for only a few bucks, so they’re affordable. Although Coleman Seam Sealer enjoys some notoriety, there are plenty of other products to choose from.
It will help if you check your tent’s waterproofing guide, which usually has evaluations of several sealers and information on how to choose the best one for your needs.
Best Test Seam Sealants
- GEAR AID Seam Grip WP Waterproof Sealant – for Tents, Backpacks and Outerwear.
- GEAR AID Seam Grip SIL Silicone Sealant and Silnylon Patches – for Silnylon Tents and Tarps
- Coghlan’s Seam Seal (link to Amazon)
3. Apply The Seam Sealant
Begin applying the seam sealant to the tent’s uncovered seams (after shaking the bottle). Most seam sealants have an applicator tip designed to simplify the application procedure.
A paintbrush will do the trick if you don’t have an applicator. Use painter’s masking (not duct tape) to cover the seams for a more polished, expert finish.
It’s not required, but it can improve the final result. Ensure that the seam sealer penetrates every nook and cranny of the open seam. Apply the sealant gently. It is not a quick stroke but rather a slow, methodical one.
4. Replace Your Tent’s Deteriorating Seam Tape
It’s important to completely seal off your tent’s interior perimeter. In time, seam tape can peel and disintegrate. You may reapply it with the help of a seam grip. If the tape is deteriorating in every spot, remove it, thoroughly clean that area with rubbing alcohol and reseal your tent.
Tent repair is prone to this issue. Having to cope with tent seam tape peeling off is inevitable if your shelter relies on tape-sealed seams to keep water out. This method is used to effectively waterproof some tents. But it’s important to remember that tape requires upkeep, too.
5. Seam Seal The Tent’s Rain Fly and Sidewalls
When you’re through with the tent’s inside, you should inspect the tent’s exterior for broken seams. If the rainfly also has seams, sealing them is a good idea. Please don’t touch it till it’s dry. Seam sealers often need +/- 12 to 24 hours to dry completely.
6. Inspect Your Work & Do Necessary Touch Ups
You may inspect and examine your work when the sealant is 100% dry. Turn the sprinklers for an hour to ensure no unsealed cracks or holes. If there is a leak in the seam, make a note of it. To reseal the tent, wait for it to dry before reapplying sealants to the outlined spots.
7. Allow The Seam Sealant To Dry
Keep in mind that a tent needs to be dry before you put it away. You need to test the sealant by touching it. If it is even slightly sticky, you should allow it more time to dry.
Sealing your tent on a sunny day would be best to speed up the drying process. Once it is completely dry, you may store it away until you need to use it on your next camping trip.
Below are some frequently asked camper’s questions regarding seam sealing a tent;
Are There Tent Seam Sealer Alternatives?
You may use a seam sealer for your tent to ensure that the seams are completely watertight. A variety of chemical substances are used in the production of these goods. Silicon is present in some, whereas polyurethane is present in others.
Using these compounds to treat cloth with a waterproof barrier has been proven beneficial. There are several options for tent seam sealers on the market. Shoe Goo (link to Amazon) is comparable to GEAR AID Seam Grip (link to Amazon), and it costs about the same as a larger bottle (nearly four times as large).
Seem seal tape is another viable choice for longer lasting than silicone-based treatments (3-4 years vs.15-20). When working on a big job, you could create a homemade seam sealer with mineral spirits and transparent, 100% silicone caulk. Texsport Polyurethane Waterproof Seam Sealer Spray (link to Amazon) is also very effective in sealing your tent’s seams.
What Is The Best Tent Seam Sealing Tape?
Seam sealing tape is also very effective for sealing a tent. The application process is less messy; however, getting into all the nooks and crannies is more difficult. One of the best tent seam sealing tapes is the GEAR AID Tenacious Tape Repair and Seam Tape for Tents (link to Amazon).
Do You Need To Seal Tent Seams?
The short answer is that a tent must have its seams sealed. When a tent is manufactured, hundreds or thousands of tiny holes are pierced into the fabric.
All the holes the needle punches in the fabric are open invitations for water to seep in. Waterproofing your tent by sealing its seams prevents moisture from entering the fabric. Products designed for this purpose abound, and they are often man-made.
Maintaining your tent in excellent shape is essential if you want it to protect you when you require it. Keeping your tent dry by preventing punctures is crucial. To ensure that you will remain dry during a storm, you must understand how and where to seam seal your tent.
It would be desirable if tents were manufactured with sealed seams. However, most do not, and you’ll discover why once you have sealed your seams.