If you’re camping and you realize your shelter isn’t waterproof when the rain starts pouring, what can you do?
You may vacate the tent in case there is a car or a house nearby, of course. But your luck will definitely be challenged once you’re staying atop a mountain or in an isolated island. A situation as bad as this makes you wonder why you did not learn how to weatherproof a tent beforehand.
Indeed, most often come already with water-resistant products applied on the canvas. The liquid, however, may start seeping through the flooring and the seams when the sealants deteriorate.
Focus on the following techniques so that you won’t have to suffer from a leaking portable shelter again.
Part 1: Cleaning The Tent
Any sweeper will work here. A short broom with plastic bristles, though, is what we can recommend for easy maneuvering in the shelter.
The pan allows you to gather the filth inside your tent. In this way, it won’t scatter elsewhere.
You get to choose whether you’ll utilize a rag or a sponge. However, make sure it has no rough portions that may tear the fabric.
There really are gentle cleansers that don’t contain detergent. If you don’t have it at home, it can easily be found in the stores.
This tub will hold the soapy water. You can just estimate how big it should be based on the shelter’s size.
The tent has a delicate material, so you cannot use a machine to wash and dry it. Have a clothesline ready instead.
This sheet prevents the base of the shelter from touching the ground. Any kind of tarpaulin you may have is alright.
Enzyme-Based Odor Remover (Optional)
You need to get this product if mildew formed on your tent as a result of storing it wet. If you don’t see molds, it’s not necessary to purchase the odor remover.
The first part of understanding how to weatherproof a tent involves cleaning it thoroughly inside and out. This is one way to ensure that the sealants will stick on the fabric and not dirt when you reach the sealing process. See how veteran campers scrub theirs in this video:
Step 1: Set Up Your Tent.
Build the shelter from scratch. It’s more stress-free to rinse one in its full form than a lumpy canvas.
Step 2: Sweep the dust or any debris off it.
Go inside the tent with your broom and dust collector. Clear all the dirt which may have accumulated there over time.
Step 3: Shake the shelter from the outside.
Next, check if there are particles clinging on the external portion of the fabric. Get rid of them by shaking it.
Step 4: Clean the bottom of the shelter.
Use one hand to lift up your tent while the other brushes off the dirt underneath. Before setting it down again, be sure that there is a tarp covering the earth.
Step 5: Mix cold water with non-detergent soap.
Fill your wash basin with water from the tap and non-detergent soap. The volume of the liquid depends on the size of your portable shelter.
Step 6: Scrub the canvas with soapy sponge or rag.
Allow the soft rag or sponge to get soaked in the soapy water. After that, wipe it gently on the fabric. In case the tent has mildew, add the enzyme odor remover in a tub before scrubbing it with the same substance.
Step 7: Keep it under the shade while drying.
You don’t have to rinse it since the soap does not contain any detergent. Simply let the shelter to hang out in an area without direct sunlight.
Step 8: Disassemble the shelter and hang it to dry further.
Once it’s no longer dripping, detach the canvas from the poles and clip it on the clotheslines.
Part 2: Weatherproofing The Seams
Polyurethane glue can help you cover the joints of a tent. You may buy a tube of this sealant in a hardware store or online.
The soft bristles will not damage the fabric, that’s why a toothbrush is recommended to remove the old sealer. If there is a spare in the bathroom that you don’t clean your teeth with anymore, feel free to use that.
It is the same as the rubbing alcohol that you probably have in the medicine kit. This liquid will let you scrape the sealant off easily.
The sprinkler is a steady source of water. You need it to see if the faulty spots have truly been sealed.
How To Proceed
How to weatherproof a tent by sealing the stitches keeping it together? Check out the guide below.
Step 1: Determine All The Exposed Seams.
Inspect every single seam in your shelter. It won’t need the polyurethane glue when it feels smooth because that means that the water-resistant tape is intact. Only the ones where you can touch the stitching require help.
Step 2: Check On Which Side The Sealant Should Go.
Whether you have to apply it externally or internally relies on your sealer. The answer can be found in2 the guide that comes with the glue.
Step 3: Take The Old Sealer Off.
Dampen the toothbrush with isopropyl alcohol. The latter can break down the sealant as you brush it gently.
Step 4: Apply A Fresh Coat Of Sealant.
When the seams are clean, smear the glue over in long strokes. Give it an hour to completely dry before applying it again.
Step 5: Examine Your Work.
Are you sure that the sealant coatings have dried up? If so, leave the sprinkler that’s closest to the tent on for a few hours. In case the water hasn’t leaked during this time, then you’ve succeeded in weatherproofing your shelter.
Part 3: Waterproofing The Floor
When purchasing a sealant, you have to confirm that it has been formulated only for camping gears. It may be available on the internet if the nearby shop cannot provide this merchandise.
Through this final process, you will understand how to weatherproof a tent flooring. These steps are essential since the ground stores water. If the top portion of the shelter has been sealed but you forgot to do it at the bottom, the liquid can still mess up everything.
Step 1: Go Over The Sealer’s Manual
Don’t ever forget to read and follow the instructions on how to use the sealant. This guide informs you whether you need to mix it with a particular substance, so you can get them before the job starts.
Step 2: Apply A Coating On The Entire Floor.
Once your sealer is ready, paint the base of the tent with it. The right method of doing so varies. For instance, you may apply the product in a two-man shelter in one go. For an eight-man tent, it may be better to finish the first half before moving on to the other half.
Step 3: Put On Another Layer While The First One’s Still Damp.
The trick in making the floor water-resistant is spreading a fresh coat of the sealant over the initial layer. The thing is, the mixture dries faster in the summer, so you have to work quickly during that period.
Step 4: Extend The Waterproofing Up To The Tent Walls.
In case there’s enough amount of sealer left, you can apply it on the walls too. Do it up to the first two feet from the ground.
How To Weatherproof A Tent: Is It Easy?
Why, yes, it is! The necessary steps on how to weatherproof a tent flooring and seam have been clearly indicated in this article. We have even listed down the items you need to accomplish each process. In this manner, you can fix a leaking shelter easily in the future.
Give this work your best shot and tell us how these tips have helped you. Good luck!