Repairing a tarp
Well, I was doing some tarp work today, when I noticed some damage to my tarp. I have attached two pics, one giving good perspective of scale. The damage goes completely through, and is almost exactly in the middle on one half panel.
I am not sure how to proceed. I need to get this repaired. This is not my primary tarp, but is now my backup. I was going to loan this to a friend with whom I am going on the AT in 3 weeks. Any ideas of how to proceed?
FWIW, my buddy has a Hennessy Hex, but my silnylon tarp is larger and lighter, so I wanted to give him a little break in what he was carrying.
If you have any scrap sil or even just some regular ripstop around I would just cut out a patch from the scrap (maybe even two, one for both sides) then I would bond it on with some silicone...easy peasy. Just use a THIN layer of silicone on the tarp lay the patch down work out the air bubbles (if you're just using reg ripstop nylon I would saturate the nylon so it "becomes" sil) then put down some wax paper and set some books on it for a day. Clean all surfaces with alcohol first. Should be an easy no sew repair.
+1 on what Redoleary mentioned.
I've used scrap Spinn and scrap Silnylon to repair a Spinn tarp and a pair of sil down booties with some GE Silicone II.
Super easy fix.
The 3:00 minute mark of this video shows the fix on my Spinn tarp.
Here's a picture of my down bootie shell.
Here are a few other threads on the same topic.
Red's method will work great. Using a plastic squeegee/credit card to work out the air bubbles and extra silicone is very helpful. This should be a fairly easy repair.
+ 1 on the aforementioned method ... Skabs work well too .. http://www.amazon.com/Slime-SKABS-Pa.../dp/B003ITTTAM
For a commercial product you can use McNett Sil-Fix
Yeah, thanks to you all for the replies. Once you said how to do it, I had the "Doah!" moment. I spent 2 years following Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina repairing yachts. Though woodworking was my specialty, I did major fiberglass repair as well, and even some on my own sailboat. I certainly know how to apply those techneques, I even have several squeegees on hand just for this.
The only question I have here is how big do I need to make the patch? I should think that 1" around the actual tear should be sufficient, so maybe 2"x4". Is that sufficient for bonding? I do intend to repair both inside and out.
My only complaint is that the only matching fabric I have is the stuff sack. This is not a big deal as it the seam has torn, so now it just confirms I need to get a new sack.
Anyone here make custom stuff sacks?
Repairing the tarp, step by step
OK, I finally got around to repairing the tear in my tarp.
Before I began (not pictured) I cleaned the inside and outside of the tarp with denatured alcohol. The tarp had been used at Philmont Scout Ranch a month ago, and in spite of being rinsed clean, it was still a little dirty, so this was a great first step. Based on my experience with fiberglass, a repair can never be better than the cleaning and preparation.
For marine applications, I never use silicone as a sealant, for reasons not applicable here. However, 100% silicone has no UV inhibitors, and in fact degrades with exposure to UV. But as this is a silnylon tarp, it is the appropriate and necessary product to effect the repair. As recommended, I used GE Silicone II.
I started on the inside, and applied silicone directly to the tarp, covered it with a patch, and began working the silicone across the inside of the patch, creating a seal. This first time, I used a little too much silicone, so I used some of the excess to seal the outside of the patch as well.
I spread it across the entire patch and carefully removed the excess. In retrospect, if I had 100% covering on between the patch and the tarp, there should have been no need to coat the outside of the patch with silicone.
I flipped over the tarp, and began working on the outside patch.
Using a little less silicone this time, I applied to the tarp before covering with the patch.
As I had on the inside (but forgot to take pictures) I carefully used the spreader on the patch to even out the silicone, squeezing out any excess to the edges.
When I was finished, I ended up with a small light spot on the lower left. This was either an air bubble or a “dry” spot where there was no silicone (or more likely, a little of both). I carefully worked the spreader from the center toward the light spot squeezing the thing layer of silicone to fill the spot. Then I used the excess to cover the entire patch.
After which I covered with wax paper and weighted it with books.
The instructions say to avoid touching for 24 hours, so I will let it all sit that way until tomorrow after work before I remove the weights. Even then, since it is air tight, I may need to let it “air out” to fully cure. We will see tomorrow.
You can thin your silicone with orderless mineral spirits. This helps it wet out better. You can use the same concoction for seam sealing.
You can also use peel ply or 4 mil poly/plastic to prep the area for the lamination. I lay down the thinned silicone, put the plastic over the area and squeegee the silicone out. This will help reveal the air bubbles or dry spots. It also helps to get a nice even, thin layer of silicone down. Then remove the plastic (some silicone will stay with the plastic) and apply the patch to the tarp. Then use the same plastic, with the remnant silicone still on it, over the patch and squeegee everything out.
I have found this makes a nice strong lamination. As you know less silicone is better for strength. I also use regular uncoated ripstop for the patch instead of sil-nylon; I feel that the silicone bond 'through' the patch is stronger as well, like wetting out fiberglass.
You can also get creative with the patch; I made one look like an arrow head.
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