Is Your Tent Leaking? Where to Start With Tent Waterproofing
|February 1, 2012||Posted by Joan under Tents||
If you are unlucky enough to experience bad weather while camping you will be relying on your tent to keep you dry and warm. Most tents are great at keeping the rain off as they are waterproofed when new, but if you do find yourself with an older tent that has started to let in the water you might need to waterproof it yourself.
Does my tent need waterproofing?
Before you do this, however, it is worth checking whether the tent really needs waterproofing treatment by determining the cause of any wetness inside the tent. The first thing to consider if you are getting damp inside the tent, especially overnight, is condensation. If the material is not ‘breathable’ enough or the tent not well ventilated then the moisture from one or more sleeping adults can quickly build up. Make sure that the air vents are open to allow the air to circulate and the moisture to escape.
How do I know if my tent is waterproof?
A waterproof tent should repel water – if the water ‘beads’ and rolls off the surface then you know that the tent waterproofing is doing it’s job. If you check this and are still getting leaks you should first check that the tent has been erected correctly and that the inner lining is not touching the outer shell. Prolonged contact with the tent ‘walls’ will cause the water to start leaking through. If you’re certain that this is not the problem then find out where the leak is coming from. The stitching is often the weakest point of any waterproof item. If it is the seams that are leaking then a good quality seam sealer can be purchased to seal them yourself.
Once you’ve made all these checks and are certain that it is the material itself that is letting water into the tent then it is time to start considering waterproofing treatments.
Which treatment is best for my tent?
There are several products on the market that are made to waterproof various kinds of fabric but it is not always easy to know which you need as it will depend on the material the tent is made from, and makes/types of tent waterproofer will vary. Most newer tents will be made of a synthetic fabric (nylon) but some older or larger tents will be made from canvas, and the process for waterproofing these materials will be quite different. Getting it wrong can cost you money and could lead to a very miserable camping trip in the rain before you discover your mistake!
Whether your query is about waterproofing canvas tents or waterproofing nylon tents the best place to start is with the manufacturer. Many of the larger ‘names’ in tents will have instruction included with the tent or on their website so make this your first stop as they will have the best knowledge of how to care for the material of your particular tent. If you do not have this information then spray on waterproofing treatements for tents can also be bought from a good outdoor supplier, where you will also be able to get recommendations based on the make and material of your tent.