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  1. #11
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    I called the Permatex company and spoke with a man who explained the wicking action to me. It is referring to the silicone activly filling gaps when being applied. He said that sometimes if there is a large enough gap, you can come back and need to put more silicone on because the silicone has crawled into the void.

    I told him that I was using it to seal a tarp, and he told me that he thought it would be perfect. I also explained how his product was competing with the regular silicone because you have to thin it, and he said he felt it was harmful to the silicone to dilute it because it would weaken the bond.

    Hope this helps!

  2. #12
    Senior Member Splat's Avatar
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    Yeah, diluting the silicon doesn't sound too good to me. I applied the Permatex to my tarp's tie-outs and so far, so good. It definitely flows more easily than SilNet. Does it penetrate easier than SilNet? I don't know, but I know that I'll be using the Permatex stuff from now on.

  3. #13
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Advanced auto parts had some of the Permatex flowable silicon. It was only about $3.50 per way more than is needed.

    But now I remember why I have been so thrilled in recent years by the trend among manufacturers to seal the seams themselves, often with some kind of tape. It's not that it was that hard of a or that miserable of a job. It's just that I made such a mess of it. The wind was blowing like crazy. I was in a big hurry because it looked like storm was approaching -- so I should've put it off till tomorrow. And the Jacks recommend sealing underneath the tiny fold that runs along the length of the seam. This would've been much easier done very slowly, inside where the wind would not be a factor -- or at least on a windless day. And to make matters worse, I decided to change my habit from the long past (back in the days when I had to seam seal new outdoor products), when I would always sealed the seam on the inside. I think my theory was this would keep the sealant from being exposed to ultraviolet rays and it might last longer. But oh no, not today. I decided somebody's theory that it would be better to be sealed on the outside and keep moisture from getting into the threads, sounded like a good idea. And it probably is a good idea. Except my rather sloppy job will now be quite visible every time I look at my brand-new tarp!

    Additionally, I changed methods after I was about one third of the way into it. I was just squeezing it out through the tube in as small of an amount as possible, while trying to eject it under that fold. Probably pretty effective, but I was ending up with a rather thick layer. Then I remember reading somebody's directions -- I believe over on the backpacking light.com site -- about rubbing it in with your fingers. So I switched to that. This gave me somewhat of a neater appearance, with a much thinner bead of sealant. But now while looking at it I'm wondering if this is going to seal adequately. I guess I'll soon find out.

    Anyway, it dried into a fairly solid, only slightly sticky, mass pretty quickly. Probably in about five minutes. I think the label said it dried in one hour -- or less, I'll have to go look it up -- and was completely cured in 24 hours. But the label indicated the "curing" they were talking about had something to do with fumes. The storm never did get here yet, but it's supposed to rain in a few hours. Right now it has been out in the partly cloudy skies for well over an hour, close to two. Do I need to take it down before the rain possibly gets here? It seems pretty darn dry right now, and there probably won't be any rain for a couple of hours even if then.

    Does anybody know if a little rain would do anything to interfere with the effectiveness of the seam sealing if it has only had a few hours to dry?

    I didn't enjoy this seam sealing job. If I ever have to do another one I hope I can find a neater way to approach it. But I'm really pretty impressed with this tarp. I was wondering if there was enough cat cut to be effective. But there's been a lot of wind today and the tarp seems real stable and quiet. But most of all, for the first time since I started hammocking I feel like I have truly adequate coverage even without trying to close the ends in some way. And that is even with my 10 foot long Claytor hammock without using a ridge line. My cinch buckles, which extend several inches further than the tarp on each end, are still well under the tarp. And since the tarp has a rectangular shape, the ends of the hammock remain well covered even once I get in. I have just a moderate amount of sag in the hammock, but not nearly as much as I have used with other hammock's or when I had a structural ridgeline. I need to go out and check, just to see for curiosity's sake, and stretch the hammock fully tight. I imagine at that point coverage on the ends -- at least at the cinch buckles -- will be very minimal to nonexistent. It will be close. But I don't think I'm ever going to use a hammock in that fashion anyway. With normal, small amounts of sag, there's plenty of coverage for me. And if I shorten the hammock even just a little bit with a structural ridgeline, there would be way more coverage than I need. And this is probably what I will do if I ever decide to use the tarp in 10th mode, pitched on the 10 foot ridgeline. I'll shorten it to less than 9 feet buckle to buckle.

    I hope this seam sealing keeps it dry, I don't look forward to having to do that again!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 04-24-2008 at 14:21.

  4. #14
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    As long as the seam is dry when you start, I don't think a little moisture will effect the silicone. It's pretty much water repelant in any form, whether mixed with mineral spirits or straight out of the tube. I seam sealed my Cloudburst2 tent while it was drizzling and it did fine.
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  5. #15
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headchange4u View Post
    As long as the seam is dry when you start, I don't think a little moisture will effect the silicone. It's pretty much water repelant in any form, whether mixed with mineral spirits or straight out of the tube. I seam sealed my Cloudburst2 tent while it was drizzling and it did fine.
    Thank you. Excellent! I'll just let her "cure" out side!

  6. #16
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Thank you. Excellent! I'll just let her "cure" out side!
    The sun will do more damage than the rain.

  7. #17
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    OK, my curiosity got the best of me, and I couldn't wait any longer. About 3 or 4 hours after sealing and leaving outside under cloudy skies, I gave it the old hose test. Knowing the limits of that test as compared to a 12 hour soaking, but using various forceful nozzle settings for a few minutes, results were excellent. As far as I was able to tell, not a drop got through. So, at least for the hose test: works good, looks bad.

  8. #18
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiredFeet View Post
    The sun will do more damage than the rain.
    Right, but I figure I can surely have 1 day out for sealing and testing. I won't use this tarp after this except for actual trips or for night pitch only. I have a $9 11x10 camo tarp for every day use.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Splat's Avatar
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    I've tried the Permatex on some gear and it's worked great. It's cheaper and easier to work with than SilNet, IMO, and it appears so far to be holding up fine. I'll be using this stuff more in the future.
    Splat

    "Well, it's one louder, isn't it?"

  10. #20
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Right, but I figure I can surely have 1 day out for sealing and testing. I won't use this tarp after this except for actual trips or for night pitch only. I have a $9 11x10 camo tarp for every day use.
    Agreed - but I've seen people leave their silnyl tarps hanging in the backyards for days. Bright and sunny. Definitely not good for the nylon. I don't know the exact number of days the nylon will last, but still not good.

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