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  1. #1
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Seam seal the hem?

    After a night of constant rain I was surprised to find water in the generous 1" / 25mm hems at the bottom of a Clark rain fly / tarp. No leak at the ridge line and no wet anywhere else I didn't want it.

    Do you seam seal the stitching on hems, or just remember before you pack up to squeegy between your fingers all water that collects in them? I can see failure to be complete in the sealing as a moisture-trapping problem.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 05-09-2012 at 15:52.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    I don't fool with hems. I only seam seal to keep water off me.

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I've never seam sealed the hems excel at the tie-outs to give a bit of extra strength.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Mike?

    "....to give a bit of strength"

    ????? Do you mean non-wet nylon is stronger?

    I hadn't thought to seal them either; but I 'd never seen them so inflated with water and air before. Nothing wrong with Clark rain flys. I have only had to seam seal for a few drops around a swivel in the seam. Clark offers seam sealer, but says it is unnecessary, and they are right.

  5. #5
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemostiX View Post
    Mike?

    "....to give a bit of strength"

    ????? Do you mean non-wet nylon is stronger?

    .
    The seam sealing silicone simply reinforces the fabric at the high stress areas around the tie-outs. I use a reinforcing patch of extra material sewn to the corners then seam seal the stitches of those patches.

    I suppose that keeps water out of the space between the tarp fabric and the reinforcing patch. But I've never noticed water in my hems. I make my hems very small, about 1/4", and I use a small needle, therefore small holes in the fabric.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  6. #6
    New Member Shiver's Avatar
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    Just made a tarp as I like to try my hand making gear rather than buy, I want some advice on what is the best way to seal the ridge line seam. I know you can get a tape sealant, but does anyone know where I can buy it or perhaps there are better methods.
    I'm all ears.
    Thanks in advance
    Shiver

  7. #7
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Permatex

    Favorite here is "flowable silicone windshield & glass sealant", from Permatex in the automotive department or stores. I found worked it flows and adheres very well on a sil nylon tarp to which a home brew mix of silicone sealant and spirits did not adhere. I wish it had come with a separate cap and administration cap, though, so the rest of $6 worth for just 1.5oz /42g does not cure solid in the tube.

  8. #8
    Senior Member streamline's Avatar
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    Actually on the tarp that DemostiX got from me recently I sealed all of the seams, or tried my best I always worried about water getting into the roll and turning to mildew but on my latest creation I didn't bother. I figure if I let it hang for a couple days after the trip in the garage then the thread will wick the moisture out and dry.

  9. #9
    New Member Shiver's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,
    I'll give the sealant a go and let you know how it went ... Next tarp i make I will try the stitch less method either way I'm all good .... This forum rocks !
    Happy trails,
    Shiver

  10. #10
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streamline View Post
    Actually on the tarp that DemostiX got from me recently I sealed all of the seams, or tried my best I always worried about water getting into the roll and turning to mildew but on my latest creation I didn't bother. I figure if I let it hang for a couple days after the trip in the garage then the thread will wick the moisture out and dry.
    Not to support thread drift, but: I put a tarp away that had dried in the sun long before the lines I bundled were dried out. Several days later those bundles stank enough of mold, mildew, and polyestered-armpit for me to dip them all in a hot mild bleach solution for a cure.

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