Rains are usually very unpredictable, and they can come in any season. Even with significant advancement in technology, weather forecast predictions are not always 100% correct. Apart from rains, there are also snowfalls and storms. So, when you are buying a tent for your camping or hunting trips in any season, make sure that it is durable and completely rainproof. The problem is that all good quality tents are expensive so not everyone can buy it. People with low salaries and budgets cannot afford these expensive products, and most of the cheap products are of low quality, and they don’t have any durability. So, questions like how to rain proof a tent? Or how to make it waterproof? Come in your mind. To answer all of your questions, we did in-depth research on how to waterproof a tent cheap.
After extensive research, we came up with some useful techniques that can rain proof your canopy. So now you don’t have to worry if you have a low budget, you can easily waterproof your tents just with the help of some tools and techniques.
Even if you have a rainproof tent, you can use these techniques to give it better resistance to water, especially if you are using them for years. Because with time, the fabric becomes less effective, and you may even find some leakages in seams. Waterproofing your tents will not only keep the water out, but it will also save you from harmful UV rays of the sun.
How To Waterproof A Tent Cheap? | Expert Advice
Few tips before you waterproof your tent?
There are some things that you should take care of before waterproofing your canopy to make a better rainproof and wind resistant. Firstly, you need to check the areas which needs waterproofing. The best approach to find these areas is to fill the bath brimming with water and then push it under the water. If you see air bubbles escaping to the surface of the water, you can find the leakage and air spaces from where the water bubbles are arising.
After finding leakage and air spaces, dry your tent under a shade. Drying it under shade is essential because not all tents are UV-resistant, and these rays can harm the fabric of your tent. Exposure to UV- rays can cause leakage in it.
Tools and Techniques to rain proof
Clean your tents
Before doing anything, you must clean the fabric. To clean it, you can use a sponge soaked in warm water and then dry in the shade. Or else any layer that you will apply to obtain a raifproof fabric will come off with one rain because it will only cover the dirt that you left on the fabric.
Note that you should not clean your tent with any hard sponge or cloth, and never wash in a washing machine. Both can easily damage the fabric of it.
Pitch your tent
After cleaning and drying, pitch your tent to get a clear view of it. Pay special attention to the seams, zippers, mesh, groundsheet, and rain fly. And after pitching it, you can quickly identify the areas that need to be waterproof.
Inspect the groundsheet for the seam, scratching, and peeling to identify the damage issues. You can sew the damaged parts and seal the new stitch to make it usable again.
First, check whether you have a sealed zipper or not? If it is sealed, then check whether it can resist water flow or not. And if you find leakage in your zipper, make sure that you don’t apply any layer on it because it will block the zipper instead cover it with a cloth or a tarp.
Tarp for your floor leaks
If your floor is not waterproof, it can become a big problem for you. Whether it rains or not, the moisture produced by vegetation underneath will appear inside the tent from the leaks and pores of the floor.
To avoid this situation, use a tarp under your tent before setting it up. You can use this technique even if your floor is in excellent condition because it will provide resistance against the rocks and vegetation. This tarp will prevent your tent floor from getting damaged.
Most of the tents are not factory sealed, especially if you are buying a cheap one. Therefore, water can enter easily if it doesn’t have sealed seams, and there are gaps in between. Most often, these seams are double-stitched, and sometimes they also have waterproof material between the stitches. Still, for perfect waterproofing, you can buy a seam sealer from amazon, and then you can apply a thick layer of this product on your seam. Then leave it to dry.
After the seam sealer is dried, apply waterproof spray on the whole floor, first on the inside, and after it is dried, then use the spray on the outside and let it dry. Make sure to cover all the corners to avoid further floor leaks.
Most of the waterproof sprays release a gas that is harmful to your health if you inhale it. Therefore, it is important to keep the doors and windows open during the whole process, and you should always do it under the open sky to avoid inhaling as much gas as you can.
Waterproofing your walls
For waterproofing its wall, you can use a technique similar to what you used for the floor of your tent. Apply waterproof spray on the wall and spread it with a cloth and let it dry. Covering it with cloth is essential to soak the walls entirely in waterproof spray, to make a complete waterproof tent fabric don’t even leave a tiny spot.
Most of the tents come with rain fly or flysheet, but if doesn’t have a rain fly, you can always buy it from amazon. It is a plastic sheet that gives additional water resistance. If the design of your tent doesn’t accept rain fly, then you can use a tarp as an alternate to waterproof it.
Best Seam Sealants
Before applying a sealant to your seams, apply a layer of isopropyl alcohol. It will help you in the smooth application of your sealants. The following are some best sealants in the market.
- Gear Aid Seam Grip: This sealer is very easy to use because it comes in the form of a bottle with a fitted foam brush. With the help of this brush, the amount of mess and waste reduces. Apart from being a seam sealant, this product also repairs holes and leakages in your tent walls, tarps, floors, rainfly, and even sleeping bags. There are four ounces of sealer in the bottle, which is enough to seal upto 85 sq.ft of floors, tarps, rainfly, and seams. According to the manufacturers, it takes four hours to dry once applied.
- Coleman Seam Sealer: This product also comes in the form of a bottle with two ounces of sealer, enough to seal a 6-person canopy. It comes with a foam pad, so it is easy to apply. This sealer is very economical and considered as a fast-drying sealer. Although it is for sealing seams, you can also use it to repair other things like tarp or backpack, etc. Despite its cheap rates, this product is durable and gives permanent results.
- Ganger’s Tent and Gear Repel: This sealer works very efficiently. Apart from waterproofing, this product works for a variety of outdoor gears like garden furniture, boat covers, etc. It does not affect the breath ability of the fabric. It is very environment-friendly as it does not release any toxic gas. This sealer works on all kinds of material. It is very easy to use, you can apply it with a paintbrush, or you can dilute the solution with water and apply with a spray bottle.
Best waterproofing sprays
- Nikwax TX Direct Spray-on: This spray makes your fabric more breathable, and it has a very mild odor.
- Kiwi Camp dry heavy-duty water repellent: They need two coats to work efficiently, and they are also used on other items.
- Scotchgard outdoor water shield: This is a simple product, and you can also use it for other items of outdoor gear.
- Nikwax tear and gear solar proof: This product not only enhances the water repellency, but it also strengthens the fabric and provides resistance against UV-rays.
- Gear Aid ReviveX Water Repellent Spray: It is easy to use, and it dries quickly.
Apart from these, there are a few more similar products that work just fine, but these were rated as best.
We have tried to cover all the important tips and detail that you will need to waterproof your tents, and I hope you can benefit from it. Now you can convert your tents into high wind tents or rain proof tents without spending too much money. And for best results, follow all our tips and a good quality sealer and waterproof spray.