To get the best from your canvas tent it will need waterproofing now and again. If you have noticed that the rain is soaking into the canvas, or you are getting drops of water coming through the outer of the tent, it is probably time reproof the canvas. Even if you are not having any problems such as these, it’s a good idea to reproof the tent every few years before any problems start to occur. Canvas tent waterproofing is not difficult if you follow a few simple steps.
The best time to reproof your tent is in dry weather, and if there is any chance of rain you should put off the reproofing. You will need to clean the tent before the reproofing and you can use a commercially made tent cleaner solution for this. Something like Grangers tent and awning cleaner or Fabsil universal cleaner would be suitable for this. Brush off loose dust and dirt before you use the cleaner, and you will get a better result. Make sure you rinse off all of the cleaning solution and let the canvas dry out thoroughly before attempting to reproof the tent. Any cleaning solution left behind may reduce the effectiveness of the waterproofing, so you really need to make sure that you remove all traces of the cleaning solution.
If the fabric is properly dry, you will be able to go ahead with the reproofing using a product such as Fabsil which is a silicone based water repellent. Shake the container of proofer and using a clean paintbrush, apply the proofer to the canvas. If any droplets form, you can rub the domain using a clean cloth to ensure that the proofer penetrates the canvas fully.
Once the proofer is dry, the tent should be waterproof once again. Smaller tents or small areas which require reproofing can be treated with proofer in an aerosol spray can. If looked after, with occasional tent waterproofing canvas tents should stay waterproof for several years.