Seam Sealing and Silicon Sprays

11:02 a.m. on May 4, 2009 (EDT)
5 reviewer rep
40 forum posts

Just got a new tent (Eureka Assault Outfitter 4) and have some questions about sealing it.

Is it necessary to seal seams that will not be exposed to rain/water? For example, the areas covered by the fly?

Also, when I’m sealing, I'm a bit hesitant to seal close to the zippers - I'm afraid I'll get some of the sealant on the teeth and cause the zipper to hang. What is the best method for complete and accurate application (applicator tip, brush, etc) of sealant?

Not a lot of choices for seam sealers locally, I don’t have an REI nearby. Colhlans Seam Seal is about all I can find. Will that be adequate?

Another question: Previously I had a cheap tent that leaked, someone recommended I spray it down with a silicone spray like Camp Dry. But this tent is higher quality – is a silicone spray necessary? Maybe just for the fly?

Thanks for any advice or recommendations.

2:18 p.m. on May 4, 2009 (EDT)
RETAILER
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47 forum posts

barkndog,

You won't need silicone at all for that tent. Silicone is good to renew the waterproofing or durable water repellency built in to nylon or polyester fabrics. It is not good for seams. The silicone molecule is actually smaller that the water molecule and it won't plug stitch holes.

Coglhan's sealer should be OK. But MceNett Seam Grip is the best. If you use it be sure to follow the directions and let it cure for 24 hours and then you must dust all the sealed seams with talc or baby powder to get rid of tackinesss. You only need 1 coat with SG. I would recommend 2 coats with all other sealers. Make sure the place you seal the tent is well ventilated if you use SG.

Campmor sells Seam Sealer 3 or SeamSure both are water based sealers and work very well. I prefer SeamSure to the other but SG is the best.

Seal only the unsealed seams, those that are not taped at the factory, and do not seal the zipper seams. You only need a little sealer on your zipper to mess it up real good. Seal only those seams that are exposed to weather, for example the seam that borders the floor and the breathable sidewalls need not be sealed. Exposed sidewall seams should be sealed if they are not factory taped. A good way to remember is that if a coated material is joined to another coated material then it should be sealed. A coated material joined by an uncoated material is useless to seal. Any factory sealed seam does not need to be sealed on the other side although it would not hurt to do so it is mostly a waste of time.

Most sealers recommend sealing the coated side and I would do one coat there and another coat on the outside of the seam if I were using something other than Seam Grip. I think it is best to stop the water before it penetrates the holes, although the water based sealers stick best to the urethane coating on the underside of the fabrics.

I think that's it but if you need more please let me know and I will try to get you the answers you need.

rmw

2:23 p.m. on May 4, 2009 (EDT)
RETAILER
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47 forum posts

Barkndog,

I forgot. Follow this link and scroll down to see Campmor's tent FAQ. They have good info on sealing your tent.
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/CustomerServiceContentView?langId=-1&storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&contentFile=tentfaq

cheers,

thetentman

9:52 a.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
5 reviewer rep
40 forum posts

... Seal only those seams that are exposed to weather, for example the seam that borders the floor and the breathable sidewalls need not be sealed. Exposed sidewall seams should be sealed if they are not factory taped. ...

Thanks tentman, you've provided and linked to some great information. Wish I had asked before I started the seam sealing last weekend - I did put sealant where the bathtub floor attaches to the sidewall - I don't think it will hurt but I bet I wasted my time. I had stopped as I got close to the zippers, that's when I thought to ask this forum (having lurked for a long time...)

There is a seam on the floor, I believe it is taped on one side. I take it from your response that I don't really need to seal the other side, but it wouldn't hurt, right?

Also, applying the sealant - should I get a small paint brush so to spread it evenly? When I was applying it earlier it came out in a stream or in drops. If I use a small brush or applicator, should I be concerned with the material it's made of?

Thanks again for all the info.

12:23 p.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
RETAILER
5 reviewer rep
47 forum posts

No it won't hurt to apply the sealer to the other side of a taped seam. A bristle brush or a squeegee brush can help when applying the sealer. I don't think the material of the brush should matter.

Let me know if you need anything else.

cheers,

thetentman

December 22, 2014
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