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Seam Sealing Tips

Last month, there was some questions on how to seam seal one of our tarps so we thought we would post on how we do it and include some of the tips our users have given us.  Typically we make our own sealant out of a mixture of high grade outdoor silicone caulking and mineral spirits.  That allows us to buy it in larger quantities and to make a paste of the exact consistency that spreads easily.  We start out by squeezing out about 1/2 cup of sealant in a disposable cup and adding small amounts of mineral spirits until it gets slightly thicker than water.  (You can also start out with the McNett SilNet Seam Sealer, but we still would recommend that you dilute it so that it applies more easily)  We use a 1″ foam brush to then spread the sealant on the seams.  We allow it to dry overnight and then put a small amount of baby powder on it to keep it from being so sticky.  After about 30 minutes you can rub off any excess powder with a damp rag.

Andrew Mytys’ tip is to pitch the tarp inside-out when sealing so you seal the seam from the inside.  If you are wondering about baby powder and bears, he also says he never had any bear issues in 100+ nights in Yosemite, nor any other critter issues for that fact.

2 Responses to Seam Sealing Tips

  1. JJ Mathes February 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I use this same process only I use my finger to work the sealant into the stitches. And I’ve never had any problems with bears and baby powder, with 200+ nights I don’t think there’s any scent left.

  2. JerryW February 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Another alternative to mixing the sealer is to use Permatex Flowable Silicone Windshield Sealer, available at most auto parts stores.

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