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I want to save my 1-2 person tent. Fabric is 190T polyester PU. During rain the fabric got wet and had some water inside,.. It seems it is not seam problem, it is more coating issue.

I dont know what coating should I use? I could use some wax based spray for outside of it, but dont know should I apply, paint base layer of silicone protection on the inside or outside and then wax?. If someone has experience with that and will share tips appreciate it.

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  • Are you sure it is water that came in from the outside and not condensation running down?
    – Willeke
    Jan 10 at 11:18
  • It was too much water inside. Like 1 cm(half an inch almost in some parts. I had to use survival foil so the sleeping bag didnt get too wet. The whole fabric was really wet evenly on the inside. Another time when there was no rain but frost I pitched it in more open spot(not under the trees) and under 0 C(freezing). The sleeping bag was a little wet from the outside. Ventilation was probably all right for single wall tent at least I try to set up the tent in a way that ventilation is decent.
    – Alex J.
    Jan 10 at 14:32
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    Did the tent ever work correctly? It's one thing to try to find a treatment to restore some faded water resistance. It's another to do it on something that never repelled water in the first place. And if it's a new tent, you might consider returning it to the store instead. Jan 10 at 18:13
  • I hiked in the dry weather almost every time, summer was really good. I used it about 30 times. After 15 uses I washed it in the washing machine(gentle wash), so perhaps that destoyed the protection I dunno. I havent had any problems until then, but I dont remember any rain, perhaps a little before 15 uses. I know I shouldnt wash it in the washing machine, but I only started this year more seriously so I am learning from that mistake. Then I will spray it with silicone for the first coat and then appy some nikwax as well, will see how that fares.
    – Alex J.
    Jan 10 at 21:53
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    Perhaps it had a coating that got washed off when you put it in the washing machine. The silicone and wax treatment is a known procedure and it should work.
    – Ahron
    Jan 14 at 4:56

1 Answer 1

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First, wash the tent and fly with soap designed for outdoor gear and rinse well. Apparently, ordinary laundry soap leaves residue that interferes with waterproofing qualities.

Second, treat the outside waterproof parts with a product that is specially designed to revitalize the DWR (durable water repellency) coating. This helps water "bead" off. Some products also have UV light protection, to reduce solar damage.

Third, if necessary, reapply some kind of seam-sealant to the seams. Again, it's a special product or tape, designed for the purpose.

Fourth, if the inside waterproof layer is degraded -- in your case it is the PU (polyurethane) layer -- apply an appropriate specially-designed solution.

There are many articles and videos on the topic; just search.

Some common brand names you'll come across: Nikwax, Grangers, Gear Aid (formerly McNett).

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