Halting Polyurethane Deterioration

1:00 p.m. on February 17, 2018 (EST)
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696 forum posts

Greetings All - I have a TNF tent with polyurethane coating on the floor that is just beginning to get sticky. There's no peeling or odor. The tent has hardly been used. Has anyone had success with a treatment or application of something to forestall this? How about a coating of Kenyon Recoat 3 or similar McNett over the original? Thanks!

4:10 p.m. on February 17, 2018 (EST)
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1,638 forum posts

Unfortunately it just happens over time as the PU breaks down naturally and there is no way to prevent it. Your best bet is to strip it and just recoat it. Just coating it without stripping it will cause the new coating to not adhere well and you'll just end up with a compounded problem.

However, how old is the tent? TNF will do it for you if the tent is 10-15 years old or so. Perhaps a bit older too, but you would have to contact them to find out. I do believe you need to be the original owner also.

7:54 p.m. on February 19, 2018 (EST)
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I have an old Early Winters gore tex bivy just starting to break down and a kelty Vortex II 3 season tent where the fly coating is getting sticky. A product name might be handy for these.

On the bivy I was thinking of buying a new foot print too big and cutting out the bottom section and sewing in a new bottom, and sealing it myself.

On the tent fly I powdered it with non scented talcum powder, which sort of gets to the sticky ok. I like that old Kelty tent for the 2 sleeved poles that go in from one end only. That sets up in a flash, and can have the fly on at the same time.

I have tried other things on a kayak shirt, seeking something that might melt the original coatings.

The effect i am seeking is like using denatured alcohol on a real wood with real varnish coating. In that case the old varnish wets out, and dissolves and if you simple brush it out when the alcohol evaporates the varnish looks nearly as new.

So a varnish is one of the things i tried on that old shirt, but while it was coated it wasn't fixed.

4:17 p.m. on February 21, 2018 (EST)
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36 forum posts

PU coated stuff just does that. No way to fix it. 

all my tarps and tents at this point are silicone impregnated nylon, which unlike PU can be restored by applying silicone either spray-on or using mineral spirits to get the clear GE silicone caulk to the consistency that it can be brushed on with a craft sponge brush.

Don't store stuff in a hot garage - that helps prolong the life of a PU coated tent.

8:15 p.m. on February 24, 2018 (EST)
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696 forum posts

Thanks for your thoughts! I've decided to ship it back to TNF and have asked that the floor be replaced. Doesn't even need to be an entire removal at the floor to canopy seam. If most of it is is simply cut out and new fabric added that would be just fine. Its a single wall so no rainfly issues.

February 19, 2020
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