To seal the seams, follow the instructions below and take proper safety precautions: wear eye protection and gloves, and provide adequate ventilation.
NOTE: This information applies to SilNylon and SilPoly seams only. Cuben Fiber seams on YAMA's shelters do not need to be sealed.
For best results, we recommend using a flowable silicone. Flowable silicone does what the name implies, it flows and self-levels. We sell McNett Silnet which is a popular choice and flows fairly well. Dow Corning 734 and Momentive (formerly GE) 118 are alternatives available in larger volumes. Some people like to thin the silicone slightly with odorless mineral spirits for faster application and easier cleanup.
You can also use most commonly available silicone caulks thinned with odorless mineral spirits. Both are available at most hardware stores. DO NOT USE non silicone sealers such as SeamGrip!
- Pull the seam taut over a flat surface, clamping it at each end to keep it in place while you work. Alternately, pitch the tent and seal it while pitched.
- Apply the silicone to both exposed stitches on the outside of the seam while also working some of the mixture under the fold of the seam. A glue brush works well for this.
- Allow the silicone to level, then wipe off excess with a paper towel.
- Allow the silicone to cure.
- If your tarp has peaks designed to accommodate trekking pole handles, it’s a good idea to apply a second application to the seams around the peaks (or use a thicker application) since these areas are subject to more stress.