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  1. #1
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    Tips for seam sealing a ridgeline?

    I have a Hammock Gear Journey 2 tarp (the foreign-assembled version that they sold for a short time several years back) that, in heavy rain, has water seeping through the ridge seam. This was advertised as being seam sealed (other than the pullouts, which I sealed back when I got it), but looking at the underside of the ridge, there doesn't appear to be any sort of sealant or tape. It hasn't leaked until this past weekend, but it's also not seen such heavy rain before.

    What would be the best way to properly seal this? Just brush/dab on standard silicone seam seal? Would adding tape provide a little extra insurance?

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  2. #2
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Depends how fastidious you are and how neat you like your seams. As for me I'd rather know it won't leak than be pretty.
    Shug

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Otter1's Avatar
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    Mix Silicone caulk and mineral spirits about 2:1. You are seeking maple syrup like consistency, so add either as needed. Don't overthink it.

    Brush on the OUTSIDE of the seam just enough to lightly cover it. Allow to dry until not tacky, but you can feel it.
    Dries almost invisible. You'll see many people apply thick, not doled Silicone and it looks like crap, and will peel eventually.


    Worst case, you have to do a second coat after testing under a house, but I've never had to of I'm careful. Takes more time to mix and set up the tarp than to seal it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Depends how fastidious you are and how neat you like your seams. As for me I'd rather know it won't leak than be pretty.
    Shug

    I actually watched that right after posting. This tarp has the grosgrain on the outside of the ridge seam, so I'm not sure how to deal with that. I assume I'd seal the stitching on each side, but what about the grosgrain itself? I have to imagine that once that gets saturated, the water would just wick through. In fact, I think that's what was happening...I would just get a very occasional drip. Every time I was about to nod off, I'd get a drop on my cheek. When I looked around, I saw no drips. After a while, I reached up and checked the underside of the ridge with my finger and found that to be the source.

    So, would I be best off just sealing the INSIDE of that seam? It won't stop the grosgrain from absorbing water, but should keep it from getting through, right?

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  5. #5
    brohawk's Avatar
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    Ditto...


    Quote Originally Posted by Otter1 View Post
    Mix Silicone caulk and mineral spirits about 2:1. You are seeking maple syrup like consistency, so add either as needed. Don't overthink it.

    Brush on the OUTSIDE of the seam just enough to lightly cover it. Allow to dry until not tacky, but you can feel it.
    Dries almost invisible. You'll see many people apply thick, not doled Silicone and it looks like crap, and will peel eventually.


    Worst case, you have to do a second coat after testing under a house, but I've never had to of I'm careful. Takes more time to mix and set up the tarp than to seal it.
    Some days I can't tell whether I found a rope or lost a horse...

  6. #6
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CVKealey View Post
    I actually watched that right after posting. This tarp has the grosgrain on the outside of the ridge seam, so I'm not sure how to deal with that. I assume I'd seal the stitching on each side, but what about the grosgrain itself? I have to imagine that once that gets saturated, the water would just wick through. In fact, I think that's what was happening...I would just get a very occasional drip. Every time I was about to nod off, I'd get a drop on my cheek. When I looked around, I saw no drips. After a while, I reached up and checked the underside of the ridge with my finger and found that to be the source.

    So, would I be best off just sealing the INSIDE of that seam? It won't stop the grosgrain from absorbing water, but should keep it from getting through, right?

    Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
    I would just seal the inside. A good coat. Should suffice.
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  7. #7
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    I'm going to give a slightly different answer... I personally like more watery seam sealer, maybe 3:1 (mineral spirits : caulk) or even more mineral spirits.

    When I apply it, I use a small squeeze bottle or syringe and "wick" it into the stitching. My thinking is that this approach gets the caulk "inside" the stitching instead of a layer "on the surface". Less product is needed, too. When there is a grosgrain ridgeline on top, I waterproof from the underside.

    A few times I've gone back and applied a second coat but it doesn't sink in the stitching... which seems to prove my theory. I've stopped doing the second coating. Plus I haven't gotten water through the tarp either, which also proves my theory.

    There really is no wrong way, just make sure you seam seal. I had an interesting experience with an unsealed tarp in hypothermia weather while camping on the ground... won't make that mistake again!
    Last edited by jamie shard; 10-03-2022 at 09:01.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CVKealey View Post
    ... I assume I'd seal the stitching on each side, but what about the grosgrain itself? I have to imagine that once that gets saturated, the water would just wick through.
    ...
    I would NOT try to coat the grosgrain with seam sealer! I would do the underside first. That ought to do it. If not, I would try to saturate the stitching on the grosgrain with diluted sealer, as per above.
    Last edited by TominMN; 10-03-2022 at 10:47.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie shard View Post
    I'm going to give a slightly different answer... I personally like more watery seam sealer, maybe 3:1 (mineral spirits : caulk) or even more mineral spirits.

    When I apply it, I use a small squeeze bottle or syringe and "wick" it into the stitching. My thinking is that this approach gets the caulk "inside" the stitching instead of a layer "on the surface". Less product is needed, too. When there is a grosgrain ridgeline on top, I waterproof from the underside.

    A few times I've gone back and applied a second coat but it doesn't sink in the stitching... which seems to prove my theory. I've stopped doing the second coating. Plus I haven't gotten water through the tarp either, which also proves my theory.

    There really is no wrong way, just make sure you seam seal. I had an interesting experience with an unsealed tarp in hypothermia weather while camping on the ground... won't make that mistake again!
    6968213933faaed577e4dbab3319387e0934b216e0f7c5e8c8bb512f67855468 (2) (1).gif

    Yes, much more important that it penetrates into the threads.

    And to do only the inside, which later permits water to evaporate much more quickly instead of having it trapped inside the seam.
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