While camping out in the wilderness, enjoying nature sitting inside a tent is the most attractive part to some campers. To enjoy mother earth dearly, camping always has the best decision and the best choice. But sometimes trusting the weather becomes a lot complicated, which can prove to be discouraging to many people. All of a sudden, the hot shiny weather can turn to rainy weather. Therefore, a waterproof tent is considered quite important in this case to professional campers so that it can easily hold the fort against all kinds of climates.
Your best choice is to buy a waterproof tent, or you can also turn your old tent into a waterproof tent if you’re in a tight spot regarding time or money. But in most cases, amateur campers cannot comprehend how to waterproof a tent. Well! This article is precisely for those of you who are willing to make their tent waterproof but do not know-how. I have elaborated all the methods and steps down below. So before it gets late, let’s see how you can waterproof your tent.
How to waterproof a tent: explained in steps
Waterproofing a tent is not that complicated of a job. Sometimes you might need to use lots of best tent waterproofing products to make your tent waterproof. Or, on the other hand, sometimes some extra stitches or fly can help on your tent waterproofing quest.
Here, I am going to mention the best tent waterproofing methods with which you can confidentially waterproof your tent very quickly. And those steps are:
Waterproofing selected areas:
Search for the places you need to waterproof your tent when I say it I mean the places on your tent that requires waterproofing or have faulty fabric. However, it might be a bit difficult to clarify where you need to waterproof, by naked eyes. Therefore, you can do this one thing, which is to drown your tent inside a bucket of water and see from where the bubbles pop up. Mark those places so that you can remember them for waterproofing.
Drying the tent:
Wash off the water from the tent and then dry it. Make sure that you don’t keep it in the direct sun because shelters are not always, UV resistant. You can put the tent in a shady place but a dry or hot spot. A complete clean and dry tent would be perfect for waterproofing. Otherwise, the areas you are going to stitch will contain dust, and they will quickly come off even in the rain.
Seal the seams:
Seal all the seams or the places you spot to make the tent waterproof. Seams are likely to be the place from where the water starts leaking in as soon as the rain falls. Therefore, you must seal them first and thoroughly. And for that, you can use the seam sealer which you will find in any local store. These seam sealers are like soft glues, which helps to hold the leakages and prevents the water from creeping inside.
To seal the seams, you’d require a rag, seam sealer – the type that is favorable to your tent fabric and rubbing alcohol. After cleaning and drying the tent, you’d be able to examine the tent seam more clearly. Look for broken and loose seams, prepare the seams by applying rubbing alcohol on them with a clean rag. That will work as a cleansing solution; they gently apply seam sealer tent with a small paintbrush. I’d recommend to seal all the seams. Since one part is failing, the others may follow soon too. Then let it dry about 10-12 hours. Whether you want to seal the seams from inside or outside, or both – is up to you.
Refreshing the urethane coating:
If you have noticed your tent flaking, then maybe it is time to have its urethane coating redone. To start the procedure, first, you’ll need a sponge with an abrasive side. Use that to scrub off the flaking parts and then clean the area with rubbing alcohol. Then use a thin coating of your tent sealant bottle. It is important to remember that you should always choose sealant based on your tent fabric and not anything else. Most tents use fabrics with polyurethane coating, but if yours use silicon, then the sealant will be different. However, wash your hands afterward to reduce exposure to redundant flame chemicals.
If you have already done some sealing before to your tent. Then before you apply a new seal, take off the old seal, clean the space, and then use the new seal. Also, you can refurbish your fly by applying Durable Water Repellent on it. Wash your tent with clean water and apply the tent waterproofing spray on the damp rainfly, don’t need to wait for it to dry before applying. Spray evenly then wipe off excess coatings with a damp rag and wait for it to dry completely before you
Mending the tent:
Carefully notice that, is there any place where the ties are getting loosen, or the fabrics are coming off. If you find any space like that, so peel off the fabrics which are coming off and then tie them again with a new fabric.
Renovating the tent floor:
The floor of the tent is much more sensitive compared to all the other places of the tent; therefore, it is more likely to wear out faster. However, waterproofing tent floor is quite similar to how you’d waterproof the fly; even the same tent waterproof spray works for the floor. First, look for tears and rips on the floor, if found any, mend or re-stitch them, then wash the floor with clean water, then use the sealant spray. Then let it dry completely.
Even if there is no leakage yet, if the ground is wet, ultimately, the tent will also get wet from the bottom. Therefore, to prevent that you can take off the old ground cloth of your tent. Take a thick ground cloth and a trap, size them according to your tent and then seam them together under your tent. It will prevent the bottom of the tent from getting wet.
Tips to consider for waterproofing tent:
No matter how well you have waterproofed your tent or how fancy the description of the tent is, always check the tent before heading out to outdoor camping or hiking. When I say “always,” I mean regardless of any season, this not only ensures and maximizes your safety but also helps you avoid awful surprises. Double-check the seams, tent body and rainfly to make sure everything is alright. If the tent has mesh roof and separate fly, then check them separately.
While buying a tent for wet seasons, pay attention to the fabric material. Not all fabrics have the same waterproofing quality; however, if you waterproof the tent regularly, any type of fabric can hold far against rain. Check both inside and outside of the tent. On a sunny day, you may be deceived by the condensation, by thinking your tent is leaking – anyways, it is not, and you’ll find it soon enough.
You can follow the above methods to waterproof your tent and gears. But before doing so, checking with the product instructions is most important. Also, wash them with clean water before proceeding with the methods.
It also takes experience to understand when to re-waterproof your tent. If you store the tent well, then a new or not many times used tent do not need much waterproofing or mending. However, do check on them before you take the tent out to use, as I have said above.
Always take the weather into account when you are scheduling your camping and also when you are scheduling your tent re-waterproofing job. Because this job requires you a lot of activities such as washing the whole and drying it in the sun – which would have you going outside – thus, clear weather is very much needed.
While we’re at it, let us bust some myths. You should not attempt to seal seams with duct tape; it causes visible damages to the tent wall and the same with candle wax, lard, or greases. Even though they are popular equipment used to waterproof tents – but in the long run, they only make things worse. Candle wax is bad for tent fiber; grease depletes the coating, and lards are known to attract bugs. So no to all of them – use products that have guaranteed outcomes, and made for this job. You should read out the instruction pamphlet that came with the tent to know more.
People who are asking how to waterproof a tent? For them, this article will be the best solution. And I can guarantee that it will save a lot of bucks of a camper as you can waterproof your old tent instead of buying a new one. So try them out and fix your tent so that your tent can bear every weather.