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  1. #1
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    I think WL Tadpole Seam is Leaking

    Hey guys,

    last night I did a test hang in the woods outside my apt (ya, I'm that guy) and the weather report called for rain in the AM. So, I setup my Wilderness Logics Tadpole.

    Several weeks ago I attempted to seam-seal the large ridgeline seam on the tarp. I use Kenyon Seam Sealer 3 (http://www.amazon.com/Kenyon-Seam-Se.../dp/B0007RSG70) which I think I don't really care for. I may have put too much on. I did 2 coats back to back before letting it dry. Below are some photos of my, crummy, seam-seal job. Even though it looks pretty bad, I thought it would be ok because I am thinking that the silicon impregnates the thread & fills the little holes the thread makes and that all those globs aren't doing anything, but they aren't hurting anything either. These photos are taken after a night out in the rain. I think the moisture turned the sealer white because it was clear during the application & after 24 hours drying. Also, I only coated the inside of the seam.




    Last night it rained on & off and I kept waking up to the distinctive feel of a water drop that has hit the bugnet right above my face and exploded on me. I'm pretty confident that it could not have been coming in through the side. The rain was straight down and I was in the woods. Additionally, when I got up in the morning to break camp (I ended up sleeping with a magazine over my face which worked pretty well) I noticed that there was a line of wetness on the bugnet of my warbonnet that ran lengthwise right underneath the seam in my tarp.

    Thus, I figure the seam is leaking. As I broke camp I noticed that the tarp seam was slightly off center from the tarp ridgeline. And it was on the "wrong" side where, instead of the overlap having a shingle type effect, the overlap caused a lip for water to catch on.

    I'm considering finding on of the silicon seam sealers you paint on with a brush that creates a thicker, more solid block of silicon. I had read reports of not needing to seal the "French Seam" on the Tadpole at all. I have not found this to be the case hehe.

    Ok, so, any experience to throw my way? Is the seam on the wrong side of the ridgeline the problem? Is Seam Sealer 3 crap? Is my seam sealing job crap?

  2. #2

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    The "Seam Sealer 3" is made to be used on polyurethane coated materials and generally, these types of sealers don't adhere well to silnylon. You need to use a silicone based sealer.

    You now have the problem of the poorly adhered sealer screwing up the application of the correct sealer. You may need to seal on the outside of the seam just to avoid going over the first attempt.

    There is a second possibility on the source of the drips. Your post leads me to believe you used a ridgeline under the tarp. It's common in a heavy rain to have water run down the ridgeline under the tarp and then drip on you. Drip lines (think cotton shoe lace, etc.) tied tightly to the ridgeline just inside the tarp edge will prevent this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    I believe you used a urethane based sealer instead of a silicone sealer. The sealer you used works on materials that use a urethane coating on the material to make them waterproof.

    Qmcttr beat me to it

  4. #4
    Senior Member StumpJumper's Avatar
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    I think you answered your own question in the thread... Had the tarp been pitched right side up, I don't think you would have experienced any leakage. I have a couple of French Seam tarps (one of which is the tadpole) and neither needed seam sealing, nor have they leaked. Creating any sort of "nesting spot" on silnylon tarps however will almost always create enough moisture to cause an eventual drop. All silnylon "bleeds" through with enough rain. The important factor here is to make sure the bleeding goes down hill, dripping off the ends.

    Flip it right side up and I think you'll be fine.

  5. #5
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    Yes I have a ridgeline running under the tarp. I don't THINK it was the ridgeline. The drip marks were off center and I could feel water under the seam. The ridgeline wasn't very well. It is possible though.

    Well that kinda sucks about the polyurethane based sealer. That would explain why the white sealer is coming off pretty easily. I might have to spend some time trying to remove it.

    My, current, best guess, is that the wrong sealer, combined with the fact that the seam made a lip for water to catch on, caused my leakages.

    I won't have time for a while but I'll try to remove as much of the Seam Sealer 3 as I can and then look into applying a silicon based sealer and report back.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a Silicon Based Seam Sealer?

    Thanks,
    Sean

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HobieCat View Post
    Flip it right side up and I think you'll be fine.
    The tarp is "right side up" but the overlap of the seam switches based on whether the seam is to the right or left of the ridgeline. The fix for this would be to, in my case, pitch the right side a little tighter than the left side. Last night the left side was pitched tighter pulled the center of the tarp to the left of the ridgeline and creating my issue.

    Thanks,
    Sean

  7. #7
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    Permatex silicone windshield sealer at most auto parts stores

    http://www.permatex.com/products/Aut...***_Sealer.htm

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hangnout View Post
    Permatex silicone windshield sealer at most auto parts stores
    Thanks.

    Sean

  9. #9
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Find out from the maker of your urethane sealer what the appropriate solvent is you can remove it with.

    Not that it matters now, but it is even possible that solvent will leave behind a bit urethane in the threads and needle holes, where cohesion and entrapment may be enough to hold it all there.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemostiX View Post
    Find out from the maker of your urethane sealer what the appropriate solvent is you can remove it with.

    Not that it matters now, but it is even possible that solvent will leave behind a bit urethane in the threads and needle holes, where cohesion and entrapment may be enough to hold it all there.
    If I can remove most of it I think I should be good. It is ugly and so removing it will be nice for that. If some is left in the holes & threads, so be it. The silicon sealer suggested above says it is good for filling voids and so I don't think a couple balls of urethane in with the silicon will hurt anything so long as there is a nice, continuous, layer of silicon and that that layer has enough bare silnylon to adhere to.

    I just sent an email to Kenyon. Thanks for the suggestion, that is a good idea.

    Sean

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