Now, running boards, mud flaps, chrome trims, window visors, billet grilles, roof racks, and bed rails are examples of accessories that upgrade the looks and performance of your vehicle fitting in the SUV category. But, while most of these accessories lie more in the aesthetic category, tonneau covers lie more in the performance section as they’re the ones responsible for protecting your cargo against theft and possible damage by the elements. And since these covers are notorious to leaks, learning how to fix a leaking tonneau cover is something you can’t shy away from.
If you own a pickup truck, then you’re aware of how useful this type of vehicle can get. From carrying farm products, commercial cargo to towing ATVs, UTVs, and snow bikes during a recreation hike, these vehicles can do a lot without complaining about the type of terrain they’ve traversing on. But, regardless of how strong trucks are, keeping your cargo safe from theft and the elements is one area you must focus on.
How to Fix a Leaking Tonneau Cover: Step by Step Guide
For that reason alone, a tonneau cover becomes an absolute necessity if you’re looking to conceal your cargo safely inside the truck’s bed. But, there’s a problem. Tonneau covers are sometimes susceptible to damage caused by age, prolonged use that causes fatigue, using an incorrect size, and mishandling.
All these factors can damage your tonneau cover causing it to rupture and cause leaks which can damage your delicate cargo. For this reason, this guide has compelled a DIY solution that you can use to diagnose and solve this problem. Please read on to find out.
What Do You Need to Seal the Leaks?
Now, before we get to our step-by-step procedure on how to fix tonneau cover leakages, I think it’s necessary if we can discuss three of the most common methods truck owners use to seal leaks. The best thing about these three methods is that they’re highly affordable meaning you won’t have to dig too deep into your pocket just to afford them.
- Water Pipe Insulation
One of the most popular solutions for fixing a leaking tonneau cover is by installing water pipe insulations. You see, what accelerates the rate of tonneau cover leakage is the accumulation of excess water on the surface of the cover. So, by installing water pipes, you actually allow this water to drain thus preventing it from accumulating. Water pipes are affordable, economical, and very easy to install as they come with adhesives for easy installation.
- Installing Seals
In case the leakage is not too serious, then installing seals on the affected parts of the tonneau cover can help to fix this problem. The best thing about seals is that they’re readily available in your nearest hardware store at an affordable price. When buying seals though, you need to ensure that they resemble the color of your tonneau cover.
- Bed Seal Kits
Although they’re costlier than the other two options, bed seal kits are generally the best when it comes to waterproofing your tonneau cover. The best thing about them is that they not only waterproof your tonneau cover but also protect it against snow, dust, and road debris that can puncture the cover.
How Do You Fix a Tonneau Cover?
- Step 1: Find the Leaks
The first and the most crucial step of fixing your truck’s tonneau cover is finding the leak spots. There are various ways you can do this such as opening the tailgate to see whether you’ll detect the holes or having someone enter inside the truck’s bed with a flashlight. In either case, you’ll need an extra pair of hands to help you through.
Another way you can detect the leak spots is by putting cardboard on the lining of your truck’s cargo bed. Cover the cardboard with your tonneau cover then use a garden hose to simulate rain by spraying water in an upward motion.
Next, remove the tonneau cover and see whether you can identify any wet spots on the cardboard. Alternatively, you can have someone get inside the truck’s bed, with the tonneau cover on, to see whether he/she can identify any water leakages.
- Step 2: Mark the Spots
Once you’ve identified the leak spots, the next step is to mark them using masking tape or a marker pen. This step is very important as you’ll have to remove the tonneau cover to fix it. While marking will help you to identify the punctured areas, it also helps you to identify the right method of fixing the leakages.
- Step 3: Sealing Off the Leaks
In case the leaks are on the surface of the tonneau cover, you can use seals, silicone, or duct tape to fix them. However, this method is ideal if the holes are tiny but not too big. If the leaks are on the edges of the cover, then you can use silicone or seal strips to fix them. Note that, when fixing these leaks, you need to add the seals or the silicone on the top but not at the bottom to prevent water from getting between the tonneau cover and the seals.
- Step 4: Time to Test
Once you’re through fixing your tonneau cover, the final step is to test it to guarantee you’ve done a decent job. To do this, you’ll only need to repeat the first step of detecting the leakages. So, pick your already repaired tonneau cover and fit it back again on your truck’s cargo area. Once you’ve fitted it, use a garden hose to spray water in an upward position to simulate rain.
Ask a friend to get inside the truck’s bed with a flashlight to check whether he/she will detect any leakages. In case there are none, then congratulations! You’ve just fixed a leaking tonneau cover. However, if you detect some leakages, then it’s about time that you get a professional on board to help fix the issue.
As you can see, a tonneau cover is an absolute must if you’re looking to keep your cargo safe from the elements and prying eyes. But, for this to happen, you need to have a waterproof cover that discourages water from getting to your cargo. Although it’s quite uncommon, having a leaking tonneau cover is a very disappointing experience. Thankfully, this short guide has discussed a detailed step-by-step procedure on how you can fix this problem without having to hire a professional.