Does Waterproof Spray Work on Tents: The Answer Might Surprise You!

You’re planning a camping trip and want to ensure your tent is ready for the go. 

You don’t want to be in the middle of a downpour with a leaky tent, but you also don’t know if waterproof sprays are worth it. It’s hard to trust what you read online because everyone has an opinion. 

Does Waterproof Spray Work on Tents

This article covers everything you need to know about whether waterproof spray work on tents or not so that when you hit the trails, your gear will be prepared for whatever mother nature throws at it! 

We’ll cover which sprays work best on different types of fabrics, how often they should be applied, and more.

So let’s jump straight in. 

How Does Waterproof Spray Work?

The waterproof spray is a fabric and canvas protector that helps form a protective barrier against the elements. 

The spray forms an invisible, water-resistant, or water-repellent finish on the tent fabric. This helps to keep the tent dry and seals out moisture that can cause mildew, mold, and other damage.

The waterproof spray contains silicone-based products and waxes that provide strong water repellency to the fabric. 

The spray is usually liquid and dries out quickly, setting a strong protective coating on the tent fabric.

5 Important Procedures for Waterproofing A Tent

1. Sealing the Seams: 

Sealing the seams of a tent is one of the most important steps to ensure your tent is waterproof. This can be done with a seam sealer (available at camping stores) or a silicone-based sealant.

Sealing the Seams

If your tent has taped seams, you may not need to apply additional sealant; however, it is recommended that you inspect the tape every time you set up your tent to ensure that it is still intact. 

2. Sealing the Floors: 

The floors of your tent should also be treated with a waterproofing spray, sealant or coat. The best way to do this is to ensure the floor is clean and dry before applying the product.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions; some products require multiple coats for maximum waterproofing capabilities. 

3. Waterproofing the Zippers: 

Zippers are another area of your tent that should be treated with a waterproof spray or sealant. The best way to do this is to apply a silicone-based sealant directly to the zipper.

Ensure you cover all parts of the zipper, including teeth, sliders, and pulls. If the zipper is heavily worn, it may need to be replaced. 

4. Covering Vents: 

Most tents have mesh windows and vents that let in moisture and water if improperly sealed.

Treat these areas with a waterproof spray and ensure they have no holes or tears that allow moisture to enter. If your tent has a waterproof rainfly, ensure it covers the windows and vents completely. 

5. Applying The Urethane Coating:

Applying a urethane coating to your tent is recommended if you plan on using it in extreme conditions. This coating will block out any moisture or water your tent may encounter.

Applying The Urethane Coating

If you can’t find a urethane coating specifically for tents, you can also use a product designed for marine and outdoor fabrics. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time. 

So Does Waterproof Spray Work on Tents?

While waterproofing sprays or sealants can help, ensuring your tent has been taped and sealed with a seam sealer before use is still important. 

You can use the waterproof spray as a second layer of protection, as it can help ensure that your tent is completely waterproof and withstand any amount of rain or other moisture. 

With a waterproofing spray or sealant, you can make sure that your tent will be able to protect you from the other elements. 

You shouldn’t apply the waterproofing spray if your tent is already waterproof. Applying too much may weaken the fabric and make it more susceptible to damage. 

It’s important to note that waterproof sprays or sealants are not substitutes for proper tent maintenance. If your tent is dirty, ripped, or damaged, it should be repaired or replaced. 

It is also important to ensure your tent is regularly inspected for any damage that may have occurred over time. 

Type of Waterproof Spray for Using on Tent:

1. Silicone-Based Spray:

This type of spray is designed to penetrate the seams and fabrics of your tent, blocking moisture and water from getting inside. It also helps keep dirt and debris out of your tent.

If you want silicone-based spray, only use it on tents made from synthetic fabrics, as it could damage natural materials like cotton.

2. Wax-Based Spray:

This type of waterproof spray creates a barrier on the surface of your tent, repelling water and moisture.

Wax-Based Spray

It also adds a layer of protection and can help to protect the fabric from UV rays. The wax-based spray works best on tents made from cotton or canvas, as it will not damage the material.

3. Polyurethane-Based Spray:

This type of waterproof spray is designed to create a long-lasting seal on your tent’s fabric. It is also suitable for synthetic and natural fabrics so it can be used on any tent material.

The polyurethane-based spray will provide a higher level of protection from water and moisture and help protect the fabric from UV rays. 

4. DWR Coating:

This type of waterproof spray is designed to form a strong bond with your tent’s fabric, creating a durable, water-resistant barrier.

It is best suited for tents made from synthetic fabrics as it will not damage the material. The DWR coating is also designed to keep the fabric breathable, allowing it to retain its natural insulating properties. 

5. Urethane-Based Coating:

This waterproof spray protects against rain, moisture, and UV rays. It can be used on any fabric, including cotton and nylon.

The urethane-based coating is also extremely durable and can last up to 10 years if properly maintained. It is also easy to apply and can be reapplied multiple times. 

Whatever type of waterproof spray you choose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for the best results. Also, ensure your tent is completely dry before applying any waterproof spray.

This will ensure the spray penetrates and adheres to the fabric properly, creating a reliable seal against water and moisture. 

How to Apply Waterproof Spray on Tents?

When applying any type of waterproof spray to your tent, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Different types of spray will require different application methods, so make sure you read the instructions carefully. 

How to Apply Waterproof Spray on Tents

In general, waterproofing your tent requires you to set it up in an open, well-ventilated area and ensure it is clean. Wipe down the tent with a damp cloth and let it dry fully before applying any waterproof spray.

Before spraying:

  • Shake the waterproof spray thoroughly, then hold the can 10-20 inches away from the tent surface.
  • Slowly and evenly apply a thin layer of spray to the entire area.
  • Allow the first layer of spray to dry fully before applying a second layer. If you are using a spray-on sealant, make sure you cover your tent’s seams as well.
  • Once you have finished spraying, allow the waterproof spray to dry fully before packing away the tent. 

Thus, you can be sure that your tent will remain dry and protected from the elements. 

Application and Care of Waterproof Spray

Following the manufacturer’s instructions is important when applying the waterproof spray, as improper application can create an uneven finish over the material.

When using the waterproof spray, it is important to take the entire tent apart before applying it. This helps ensure that every fabric is treated evenly and allows for better penetration into all seams, corners, and crevices. 

If the seams are not properly treated with the waterproof spray, they may still become vulnerable to water damage over time.

Final Words

So does waterproof spray work on tents? Yes, it does! Waterproof sprays are great for providing an extra layer of protection against moisture and weather elements.

But it is important to remember that nothing will make your tent waterproof if some of this maintenance is not done. 

If you can follow the tips, you can be sure that your tent is waterproof and ready for use. Make sure you inspect and treat your tent regularly to ensure the best results.

Good luck, and happy camping!

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