How Do You Seal A Water Tent? (Easy To Fix)

A water-resistant tent is a great investment, but it’s not infallible. Even the best waterproof material will eventually wear down and need to be repaired with a patch or sealant. 

You can take your tent in for repairs or do it yourself with these simple tips!

FIX IT for $12 || How to Waterproof a Tent (even cheap tents!)
Building a waterproof seal for a tent is essential for keeping the interior dry and protected.
Start by identifying any leaks or areas that require sealing on the tent.
Clean and dry the tent thoroughly before applying a suitable seam sealer or waterproofing product.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for the specific product you are using.
Pay attention to high-stress areas, such as seams and zippers, and ensure they are adequately sealed.
Regular maintenance and reapplication of waterproofing can extend the lifespan of your tent.
Testing the effectiveness of the seal after waterproofing is recommended before using the tent in wet conditions.

Awning Sealant And Water-Resistant Spray

If you have an awning to your tent and want to seal it, use water-resistant spray or awning sealant. 

This liquid is applied to the seams of the tent and dries to form a waterproof and airtight seal. It’s usually made of silicone or rubber, so it acts as both a waterproofer and an adhesive.

If you’re facing issues with your EZ-Up canopy, our pro tips on fixing an EZ-Up canopy can help you troubleshoot common problems and restore its functionality.

Acrylic Sealant For Canvas Tents

Canvas tents are a great way to set up camp in the wilderness, but they can be prone to leaks. 

This is because the seams of these tents are not waterproof by default. If you want to keep your gear dry and avoid having an uncomfortable night out on the trail, you’ll need to use products like acrylic sealant for canvas tents. 

Acrylic sealant is a special type of adhesive that will help prevent leaks from occurring when used on canvas tents. It’s important to note that this product should only be used with canvas materials; nylon fabrics should not be coated with acrylic!

Silicone Sealant For Waterproofing

You can use silicone sealant for waterproofing. It’s important to choose a product that is approved for use on your tent, or it may not last as long as you expect. 

You should also make sure the product is specifically made for tents, as some types are only meant for other building materials such as metal siding or glass windows.

Apply the silicone sealant according to the instructions on its packaging: typically this will mean applying an even layer of it with a paint brush at each seam where two pieces of fabric meet. 

When you have finished applying the sealant, let your tent dry overnight before putting it back up and using it again! 

Make sure that you clean off any excess sealant from around your tent before doing so—otherwise mold might grow underneath your roof when water collects there after a heavy rainstorm or snowstorm.

When it comes to reinforcing a canopy top, following our easy tip guide on strengthening a canopy top can help extend the lifespan of your canopy and ensure it withstands various weather conditions.

Tear Mender Fabric Glue

Tear Mender Fabric Glue is a strong fabric glue that can be used to repair heavy canvas and other fabrics. It’s water-resistant, and it works well on tents, clothing, shoes, and even furniture. 

The product comes in several different sizes: a 1-ounce bottle of clear liquid that stays flexible when dry; an 8-ounce container of white liquid; and a 3/8″ x 9″ tube containing 1 ounce (30 ml).

The glue dries clear and flexible. You don’t need to wash off any excess after applying it; simply let dry before using your item again. 

The manufacturer recommends waiting at least 24 hours before using items with Tear Mender applied but for best results, give yourself plenty of time so you don’t risk ruining your craft project!

Tear MenderTear Mender fabric glue is a reliable adhesive specifically designed for bonding fabric and repairing tears, cuts, and frayed edges.
Aleene’sAleene’s fabric glue offers a strong bond for fabric repairs, alterations, and crafting projects, providing a permanent and flexible hold.
E6000E6000 fabric glue is a versatile adhesive that bonds fabric securely and withstands washing and dry cleaning, ideal for fabric repairs and embellishments.
DritzDritz fabric glue is designed for quick and temporary fabric repairs, providing a temporary bond that can be easily removed or repositioned.
BeaconBeacon fabric glue is a fast-drying adhesive that offers a strong bond for fabric and is suitable for various fabric applications and repairs.

Gorilla Glue

Gorilla Glue is a super strong adhesive that can seal a water tent in one go. If you’ve got an exposed seam between your tent and the floor, this is a great way to seal it up. 

Just make sure that you use plenty of Gorilla Glue and let it dry completely before embarking on any further waterproofing work.

Using too little glue will leave weak spots where liquid can get through, while using too much will cause the plastic to melt and warp. Getting it right takes practice—not something we recommend doing in the middle of winter!

Efficiently folding a pop-up canopy is essential for convenient storage. Our easy guide on folding a pop-up canopy provides step-by-step instructions to help you fold it neatly and compactly.

Plasti Dip Liquid Dip Coating

Plasti Dip is a rubberized coating that can be sprayed on to a tent. It’s available in a variety of colors, including black and white to give your water tent a more sophisticated look. 

Plasti Dip is waterproof and prevents mold growth, making it an excellent choice for sealing your water tent if you live in an area where humidity or rain are common problems. 

However, its durability isn’t as great as some other methods it can be chipped or scratched off easily if something sharp hits it (think: branches from trees).

Rubber Seal Tape

Rubber seal tape is a good choice for sealing pools and tents. The tape comes in a variety of widths and lengths, and it’s available in black or white. You can use the tape to repair holes in your tent material, too!

It’s important that you select the right size for your application when using rubber seal tape; if it’s too big, you may have difficulty stretching it over your tent or pool liner without tearing at the seams. 

Here are some tips:

Stretch the rubber seal firmly across all corners when applying on a pool liner; make sure not to stretch too far so that you don’t rip holes in any fabric areas (such as where air valves are located).

Make sure your hands are clean before working with this product; oil from human skin can damage its adhesive properties over time by attracting dirt particles onto its surface area.

3MRubber seal tape by 3M is known for its high-quality adhesive properties and versatility in providing a watertight seal on various surfaces.
GorillaGorilla rubber seal tape offers durable, weather-resistant sealing solutions for both indoor and outdoor applications.
XFastenXFasten provides rubber seal tape designed for easy application and long-lasting adhesion, making it suitable for a wide range of sealing needs.
SolutioNerdSolutioNerd offers rubber seal tape that combines flexibility and strength, providing reliable sealing for various household and automotive applications.
T-RexT-Rex rubber seal tape is known for its strong adhesive properties and resistance to extreme temperatures, making it ideal for demanding sealing tasks.

Waterproof Coating And Paint

If you want to seal the inside of a tent, there are several options.

  • Waterproof paint
  • Waterproofing spray
  • Waterproofing coating
  • Sealant

To ensure your gazebo canopy remains in good condition, treating it properly is crucial. Our pro tips on treating a gazebo canopy offer valuable insights and techniques to protect and maintain its quality.

Liquid Rubber Sealant

Liquid rubber sealant is a good option for small holes. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, making it ideal for sealing a leaky tent overnight.

You can choose from two types of liquid rubber sealant: latex-based or silicone-based. Both are suitable for all fabrics, but silicone-based sealant has the added benefit of being less prone to yellowing over time (a common problem with latex).

Flex SealA popular liquid rubber sealant known for its versatility and ability to create a flexible, watertight barrier on various surfaces.
Liquid RubberA durable liquid rubber sealant that forms a protective, waterproof coating, suitable for applications such as roofs, foundations, and ponds.
GacoFlexGacoFlex offers liquid rubber sealants designed for different purposes, including roof coatings, deck coatings, and waterproofing solutions.
HenryHenry provides liquid rubber sealants for various applications, such as roof repairs, gutter sealing, and foundation waterproofing.
DAPDAP offers a range of liquid rubber sealants, including roof coatings, gutter sealants, and all-purpose waterproofing solutions.

Developing A Tent Waterproofing Plan

  • Check the tent’s label. The label will tell you exactly how waterproof the tent is and what type of environment it is designed for, so pay close attention to this detail.

Check the seams and zippers. Make sure that all of your zips are working properly and are sealed up tight, as any leaky seams can be a major source of water seepage into your tent.

Check the flooring material. If you have any doubts about whether or not your flooring material will hold up under heavy rains and other elements, simply buy another piece of flooring that is more durable than what was originally supplied with your tent. 

This way, if there’s ever an emergency situation where you need shelter fast (and don’t have time for DIY), then at least there won’t be any leaks!

Check the roofline for potential issues (ie: punctures). Do an inspection periodically or immediately prior to use if possible so that nothing goes wrong on camping trips later down-the-road – this will save everyone some headache!

Closing an outdoor tent effectively is essential for secure storage and transport. Our easy way guide on closing an outdoor tent provides step-by-step instructions to help you close it efficiently, ensuring it’s ready for your next adventure.

Patching The Tent Fabric With Hot Air And Tape

Heat the tent fabric with a hair dryer. Using an electric hair dryer on low heat, apply air to the hole(s) until they seal.

Use duct tape to seal the hole(s). The tape will stick better if it’s warm and softened by application of heat to the tent fabric first; this also reduces the likelihood that any seams will tear when you remove it in the future. Again, do not use this same method on seams or zippers.


If you have any questions about waterproofing, feel free to leave them in the comments below. We’d love to help!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to explore for further information on waterproofing tents:

REI: How to Waterproof a Tent: This comprehensive guide from REI provides expert advice on how to effectively waterproof your tent, ensuring protection against the elements.

GudGear: How to Waterproof a Tent: GudGear offers a detailed step-by-step guide on waterproofing your tent, including tips and product recommendations to keep your camping experience dry and comfortable.

Gear Aid: How to Waterproof and Seam Seal Your Tent: Discover the importance of seam sealing and learn how to properly waterproof your tent with this informative article from Gear Aid.

These resources provide valuable insights, techniques, and expert advice on waterproofing tents, ensuring you have a reliable shelter during outdoor adventures.


Here are some frequently asked questions about waterproofing tents:

How often should I waterproof my tent?

The frequency of waterproofing your tent depends on various factors such as usage, climate, and the condition of the tent. As a general guideline, it is recommended to waterproof your tent at least once a year or whenever you notice a decline in its water repellency.

Can I use regular waterproofing spray on my tent?

Using a waterproofing spray specifically designed for outdoor gear is highly recommended. Regular waterproofing sprays may not be suitable for tents, as they might contain chemicals that could damage the fabric or compromise its breathability.

Should I seam seal my tent?

Yes, seam sealing is an important step in waterproofing your tent. Seams are common areas where water can seep through, so applying a seam sealer along the stitching helps create a watertight barrier and enhances the tent’s overall waterproof performance.

How do I clean my tent before waterproofing it?

To clean your tent before waterproofing, gently remove any dirt, debris, or stains using a soft brush or sponge with mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and allow the tent to dry completely before applying the waterproofing treatment.

Can I waterproof a tent with a damaged rainfly or fabric?

It is not recommended to waterproof a tent with significant damage to the rainfly or fabric. Waterproofing treatments work best on intact materials. If your rainfly or fabric is severely damaged, it may be more effective to repair or replace those parts before attempting to waterproof the tent.