I’m a fan of a lot of modern adhesives and sealants. They have so many uses in camping, survival, and just around the house that it makes sense to have some around just in case. One of my favorites is Flex Seal.
Flex Seal can be used to repair damaged areas on a tent and waterproof small areas in a pinch. To repair a tent, put the sides of the damaged area as close together as possible and spray the area with Flex Seal. If there is a large hole you may need to place a patch on the area first.
Flex Seal is an amazing product for a lot of reasons.
Flex Seal is essentially liquid rubber in a can. All you have to do is spray it onto a surface and it will cure into a relatively strong flexible rubber coating that’s waterproof.
Flex Seal can be used on all kinds of materials, this includes common materials that tents are made of. Most waterproof tents are made of nylon or polyester which flex seal will easily stick to.
The main reason that I would use Flex Seal on a tent would be to quickly repair a tear or puncture. Ideally, I’d prefer to have something like Flex Tape instead of Flex Seal but it’ll still work.
When I’m trying to repair a tear, I like to slightly overlap the two sides of the tear (about 1/8th inch). This keeps the flex seal from just going through the tear and getting on the surface below. If the tear is too wide you’re probably going to want to use a patch of some kind to close the opening.
Applying the Flex Seal is really easy. I like to go back and forth in smooth even strokes, just like you would with spray paint. If you need to get more material in a given area, you can either hold it in that area until it builds up enough to fill the gap or put multiple coats on it.
After you put the Flex Seal on you’re going to want to let it cure for a full 24 hours before it’ll be completely cured. It does get dry to the touch around 2 hours but it’s not completely cured at that point.
Flex Seal is going to stick best to a surface that’s clean and dry. Take a minute before you put Flex Seal on your tent and clean any sand or dirt from the area before you apply it. This is going to make the repair much stronger.
Once your Flex Seal has cured, you should have a repair that will last. Just make sure to check the area every time you get ready to use the tent to make sure that the patch is still in place.
Water can also prevent Flex Seal from making the best seal.
Flex Seal will work on a wet surface but it’s not really an ideal situation. You should only use it on your tent when it’s wet if it’s an emergency.
If you have a tear in the tent and it’s pouring outside, Flex Seal should be able to repair it for the time being. Once the tent has dried, you’re going to want to apply another coat of Flex Seal so you can get a complete seal.
Flex Seal can easily stop minor water leaks. Just apply it in the same way that was discussed above.
The main thing to remember is that Flex Seal isn’t designed to hold water under any kind of real pressure. It’ll keep the rain out of a tent, but it’s not going to be able to make repairs on anything that’s going to need to withstand pressure.
Flex Seal creates a flexible rubber coating once it’s completely cured. Once it’s in place, it should stay there for quite a while.
There’s no cut and dry answer to just how long it’ll last. Exactly how long it’s going to depend on how much exposure it gets to weather and how much it’s getting flexed or worn.
The manufacturer says that it’ll last for years if the area is cleaned before application, the number of coats and how well the seal is maintained.
I usually use it as a quick fix and replace whatever I used it on pretty quickly.
Flex Seal is actually very good at withstanding temperatures once it’s applied. When you’re applying it, it’s best to do it between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s good up until 350 degrees.
Luckily you’re not likely to be camping in a tent anywhere near the high end of the range. On the low side of its range, you should be good if you’ve already applied the Flex Seal. You may have difficulty getting it to stick to surfaces if you’re trying to put apply it around the freezing point!
Flex Seal is flammable when it’s liquid, so make sure you don’t use it around a fire!
If you’re looking to waterproof a tent, then Flex Seal isn’t going to be the best product for that. I’d stick to using it for quick repairs when they pop up and then go for a product that’s actually intended to waterproof a tent if that’s what you’re looking to do.
There are a bunch of good products out there to waterproof a tent. You’re going to want a seam sealant and a water repellent.
Make sure the sealants you use on your tent are designed to be used on the specific materials your tent is made of. Most will work on without a problem but some aren’t designed to be used on some materials.
Can I use Flex Seal on clothing? Flex Seal is so adaptable it can be used on most surfaces, including clothing. The longevity of clothing repairs will depend on the area of clothing repaired and the type of material. It could also be used to waterproof an article of clothing in an emergency.
Is Flex Seal permanent? Flex Seal can last up to several years depending on where it’s applied, the amount of weather it’s exposed to, and how much wear and tear it encounters, but it’s not permanent. After it starts to break down, it will need to be reapplied in order to get back to its full potential.