Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

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Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby rwfox » Sun 04 Feb, 2018 6:41 pm

I have a Winter Gear, Quasar, (1986) two man snow tent made in Wales (company change to Wild Country, now Terra Nova) that I only used for cross country skiing.
It didn't get a great deal of use. I have since removed the snow valance and seam tape from fly, and sealed the seams with aqua-seal which is bullet proof.
However, after testing with a hose the tent was still leaking and the roof fabric was holding moisture. On inspection, the PU coating was still in good condition and was not tacky. So I decided to reproof the fly sheet outer using dissolved silicon, I got advice from Franco and Moondog55 on the technique.
This is the method I used:

1) I washed the fly sheet with pure soap in the bath twice and then rinsed well, let dry.
2) The tent was setup in my garage on a plastic drop sheet, and guy lines were removed. (out of the wind and direct sun)
3) I Used sika 330ml pool sealant ($17 Bunnings) and
3) Dissolved the silicon with normal Turpentine.
4) A ratio of 15:1 solvent to silicon ( by weight?) was used.
5) Use digital scales tare a suitable container (I used a plastic Tupperware style container) weigh out 30 grams of silicon into the container.
6) Tare a second container and weight 450 grams of turpentine (30 x 15 = 450).
7) Add a small amount of the turpentine to the silicon and stir with a paddle pop stick. Then using a small paint stirrer ($6 at Bunnings) in a cordless drill mix for about 10 min until the silicon is dissolved completely.
8) I used a 100mm brush and started painting the tent bag first, then start on the roof and sides, paint briskly and make sure you cover fully, minimise runs.
9) Depending on the temperature it should be ready to re-coat after a hour.
Coat Two
10) Place container with remaining mix from first coat on scales and tare. Add 30 grams of silicon to container, place second container on scales weigh out 450 grams of turpentine. Then mix as number (7).
11) Apply second coat as above. "You May find Two coats is sufficient",
However, I put on a 3rd coat; but found the cloth was full and this caused the the solution to run down the tent as I was painting.
If you require a 3rd coat just make sure the brush is not loaded with too much silicon.
As my first two coats went on so well I was a bit slap harry with the third, hence a few run marks. But to be honest It looks fine and I am very pleased with the result. I have another tent I bought at the same time (1986) and will also re-seal using this method in the future.
When I did my 3rd coat I had fair bit of mix left from the second, so as described in 10) i only put 20 grams of silicon to 300 grams of turpentine (20 x 15=300).
While the tent is drying make sure flaps don't stick to each other. I used bull dog clips and string to separate guy flaps from tent. The curing times given on the silicon tube say 4 days plus.
The total amount of Silicon used was 30 + 30 + 20 = 80 grams and about 1.5 lt Turpentine.
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby rwfox » Tue 06 Feb, 2018 3:28 pm

After 3 days of letting the silicon cure I tested the fly with the garden hose to day. The water beading and runoff was exceptional, it fixed the leak. :D However, there is still a strong smell of turpentine, so will leave it set up for a day or two. (Smells a bit like a dry as a bone raincoat). This is maybe why other people have used low odour turpentine.
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AD43A33F-A5DD-40B8-A3E5-996DA43C3F2B.jpeg
Water streaming from fly during hosing.
EE565D47-AD27-4DC3-A6C1-CC9922916B49.jpeg
Water beading on tent top
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 06 Feb, 2018 4:27 pm

It was that rain test I was waiting for. Looks like it worked and worked well
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby pulseevents » Sun 18 Feb, 2018 5:59 pm

Thanks for the detailed info. I have a early 80s mountain design tent which i am pretty sure is actually a macpac tunnel tent thats needs a reseal. Its a great tent that i cant bring my self to throw away.
Did you paint it on the outside while set up?
Just keep putting one in front if the other.

Cmoreoz.blogspot.com
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 24 Feb, 2018 9:06 am

I always recoat while set up as taut as it would be used for the worst conditions. I do try and do this when it isn't too hot and there isn't too much of a breeze.
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Franco » Sat 24 Feb, 2018 10:17 am

Silicone dries faster in high humidity but not when it is hot.
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Bushman_Craig » Wed 07 Mar, 2018 1:40 pm

Nice job.

If you use white spirit instead of turps you don't get the smell.
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Warin » Wed 07 Mar, 2018 2:56 pm

Bushman_Craig wrote:Nice job.

If you use white spirit instead of turps you don't get the smell.


White spirit? https://www.bunnings.com.au/diggers-1l- ... t_p1563471

Yet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_spirit says
generically, "paint thinner" an that is general known as 'turps'.

:?: I'll try to see if I can get these 'white spirits' at my next trip to bunnings ...
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 07 Mar, 2018 3:26 pm

Not at all the same thing at the moment but Shellite evaporates even faster and Shellite used to be called white spirit.
Don't go 100% Shellite this stuff needs some time to penetrate into the fabric structure and I'm not sure that having the solvent dissipate too quickly is a good idea. The difference in cost is substantial and what's a few days to a tent?
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Warin » Wed 07 Mar, 2018 5:14 pm

Moondog55 wrote:The difference in cost is substantial
?

Shellite $8.30 per liter
White Spirit $8.60 per liter ... little in that.
Arr
Mineral Turpentine $3.30 per liter

Low odor Turpentine $14.70 per liter

Silicon .. ~$10 per 300 ml...

Compared to the cost of a tent?
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 08 Mar, 2018 7:34 am

Hey Warin; I meant the difference between either white spirit or Shellite and plain old mineral turps. This isn't something you do to a brand new $1200- tent, rather i think it is done to an older tent to get one or two more seasons from it or as in my case a tent I only paid $50- for. On my $50- tent the re-waterproofing cost is a substantial portion of the purchase price
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 08 Mar, 2018 11:48 am

I just did the S/H Minaret
About 50 grams of silicon in 500ml or mineral turps and a single coat. I did use some camouflage as I'm still a kid at heart only to discover that 9YO femme had used this brush earlier in the week for "Glitter" painting and my camouflage paint job now glows in the sunshine when the angle is right
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby rcaffin » Thu 08 Mar, 2018 2:47 pm

Ah well, when you point your torch in its general direction in the middle of the night in the snow - you will see it!

Cheers
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Warin » Thu 08 Mar, 2018 3:00 pm

Moondog55 wrote: my camouflage paint job now glows in the sunshine when the angle is right


Bonus points !
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby andrewa » Thu 08 Mar, 2018 9:38 pm

Have similar tent. It was a tad "cozy" for 2 ( top to tail sleeping), albeit bombproof, and relatively heavy. What about natural turpentine, which has a lovely smell?

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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby markeaust » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 4:45 pm

I have (almost) the same tent, branded Wild Country Quasar.

It was sold by Kathmandooo, back in the 90's and has been an exceptional tent.

Over the past few years the inside of the fly sheet has become 'sticky' and looks if the proofing on the inside is coming off. Given the above procedure, do you think this will be suitable for the inside surfaces...?

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 5:33 pm

Just do the outside, well that is what I usually do anyway
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Warin » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 5:57 pm

markeaust wrote:Over the past few years the inside of the fly sheet has become 'sticky' and looks if the proofing on the inside is coming off. Given the above procedure, do you think this will be suitable for the inside surfaces...?


A tent pole bag went 'sticky' on the inside for me recently.
I turned it inside out and washed it along with some cloths (cold, front loader) .. sitckyness gone.
Though I must check waterproofing. hang on ..
No it is not now waterproof. And I don't know if it ever was. But the material appears to be the same as the tent.

Might be an easy way of removing anything that is not firmly attached .. as well as cleaning it before you coat it.
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby markeaust » Tue 27 Mar, 2018 9:00 pm

Thanks gents. Nothing to lose.... Will pop it in the washing machine (when the other half goes to work.... :D ).

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby markeaust » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 9:42 pm

Stage 1... tent washed...

Image

looks like some seam sealing too....

Image

onwards and upwards........

Mark
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Asalirose79 » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 12:15 pm

Hi there,
Do you think the silicone/turpentine mix would work on a canvas tent?
Cheers
Rose
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 4:18 pm

Asalirose79 wrote:Hi there,
Do you think the silicone/turpentine mix would work on a canvas tent?
Cheers
Rose

Yes it does but why do it when the benefit of canvas is that it "breathes" I waxed a japara tent from Paddys and it was a huge mistake.
What sort of canvas tent?
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Warin » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 4:51 pm

There are canvas waterproofing products... I'd be using that on canvas.
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Mark F » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 4:58 pm

The reproofing for Paddymade japara tents is kerosene and paraffin wax. They used to sell a paper cup of paraffin wax (about 250ml/1cup) which was melted and mixed into kerosene. Soak the tent and hang to dry.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Asalirose79 » Fri 14 Aug, 2020 7:14 am

Moondog55 wrote:
Asalirose79 wrote:Hi there,
Do you think the silicone/turpentine mix would work on a canvas tent?
Cheers
Rose

Yes it does but why do it when the benefit of canvas is that it "breathes" I waxed a japara tent from Paddys and it was a huge mistake.
What sort of canvas tent?


It’s an oztent rv3. I know, not a walking tent! The tent itself is actually fine, I just tested it in a 3 day downpour. But there are 2 rub holes, on and near seams, and I’m looking for the best way to repair them.
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Asalirose79 » Fri 14 Aug, 2020 7:16 am

Warin wrote:There are canvas waterproofing products... I'd be using that on canvas.


I’ve only been able to find spray on waterproofing, and I haven’t found anything that actually specified canvas as an appropriate material for the product. Do you know of something you’d recommend?
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 14 Aug, 2020 7:38 am

Rub holes on seams need a patch. Cut and hem a section of cotton poly the right size and glue it on using roofing silicon, on both sides but let one cure first before doing the other side
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby dyllos » Wed 07 Jul, 2021 2:16 pm

Hi, can normal roof and gutter silicon be used instead of the pool sealant?
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Franco » Wed 07 Jul, 2021 8:22 pm

Yes, the Selleys Roof and Gutters is 100% silicone (rinted onj the label).
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Re: Waterproofing A Tent Fly- Using Silicon & Turpentine

Postby Orion » Thu 08 Jul, 2021 11:31 am

So many say 100% silicone but they're all for different applications. So they can't literally be 100%. Do the differences matter? I think they do.
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