Is duct tape waterproof? 

Is duct tape waterproof

You may have seen hundreds of videos of people performing waterproof miracles with duct tape, like patching holes in water containers. You are probably wondering if duct tape is waterproof, and how it can magically stop water, in just a few seconds. 

Duct tape is water-resistant, which means it can repel and stop water for a short period, but it is not waterproof. Duct tape is made of a layer of strong glue, and a layer of polyethylene plastic coat – this ensures the tape with its water resistance properties. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at what makes duct tape water-resistant, as well as what steps you can take to make duct tape waterproof for a long period. We’ll also discuss how long duct tape lasts when wet, and at last alternatives to duct tape.

Table of Contents


Is Duct Tape Waterproof? 

No, Duct tape is not waterproof, it is water-resistant. Duct tape will stop the water problem, like patching a hole, for a decent amount of time.

But in the long run, it will rip off,  and thus duct tape is not a permanent solution to the wet problem you are facing. 

Also, duct tape is useless under strong water pressure, as stranded duct tape has a thin layer of adhesive glue.

In this issue, use a strong industrial, or alternative duct tape, which can withhold strong pressure and loads. 

You May Also Like: Is suede waterproof ?

Why isn’t Duct Tape Waterproof? 

Duct tape is constructed of three layers: 

The bottom later – a strong adhesive or glue, the middle layer – a cloth grid that acts as an intersection between two layers, the last the outer layer – generally made from polyethylene layer, which supports the water-resistant properties of the tape. 

The reason behind duct tape, not waterproofing is the effectiveness of the sticky glued part to the material. The glue part is a soft polymer blend that joins two objects together, with enough force. 

However, under wet conditions, the glue part weakens due to contact with water.

So, sticky properties are under a lot of stress, if the area is slightly wet, and if the duct tape is submerged under water, the duct tape might peel off in just a few minutes.

You May Also Like: What is Nubuck leather 

How long does duct tape last? 

The duration of a duct tape primarily depends on the quality of the duct tape which includes the type of polythene and adhesive material used while making the tape.

Also, the surface type is correlated with the duration of the duct tape. 

For instance, if you use duct tape inside the home to patch a small hole or hold something, then it lasts more than 6-12 months.

However, if the surface is wet, or you have used tape outside the house, where the tape is under extreme weather conditions( too hot or too cold) then it only lasts a few months, from 2-4 months. 

Duct tape is a temporary fix and you should look into a more permanent fix,  or choose a strong tape like Gorilla tape. 

You May Also Like: What is the Faux Leather?

Waterproof Vs Water Resistant

What is Waterproof Tape?

To be truly waterproof, the tape should hold water without letting a single drop of water pass through the material.

This is a difficult task, for any tape, as there is a thin layer of glue attached to the material, and glue under certain conditions tends to wear off.

After that, the tape starts peeling off little by little, and after a few days, you have to deal with the same problem. 

There are some brands, which offer an 1100% waterproof guarantee on paper, like gorilla tape, Trex tapes, etc. In the realistic test, these tapes can be considered waterproof for a short period.

They are just a temporary fix, as they will lose their glue hold power, after 60-90 days, under certain conditions like when wet, too cold, or hot weather. 

You May Also Like: Is Faux Leather Waterproof ? 

What is Water Resistant Tape? 

Water Resistant properties, will allow the material to resist moisture but will absorb water over time.

Despite looking less impressive, when it comes to tape, both waterproof and water-resistant tapes perform on the same levels. 

A water-resistant tape will repel water from its surface, but with huge loads of pressure, and duration, the moisture eventually soaks through the tape glue and the tape begins peeling.

When comparing water-resistant tape vs waterproof tape, both will accomplish the same goals, but waterproof tape tends to withhold the water for a long duration. 

You May Also Like: 3 Methods to Waterproof A Zipper

Why waterproof inked on the Duct Tape? 

Despite not being completely waterproof, the duct tape offers a waterproof feature for a small duration of time.

In addition, some brands use string adhesive material that can easily last for a long term, if there is a small water problem.

But in tiles of huge water pressure or loads, like patching the hole on a boat, it will not work in the long term. 

Thus, some duct tape brands, inked waterproof Letters on the duct tape, for marketing, and its ability to last more than standard duct tape under wet conditions. 

You May Also Like: Are uggs waterproof? 

When and Why Duct Tape Fails? 

Although considered a magical instrument that can seal any hole, it is not versatile. There are some cases where duct tape will most likely fail, and you must avoid using the duct tape during these cases. Also, these cases will help you understand where and when you should use duct tape, for the most effective results, and a list of problems that cause duct tape to peel off from the surface. 

Water Or Wet Surface

Duct tape is water resistant, not fully waterproof, and can be used for emergency leak repairs, but in the long term, the adhesive glue will peel away, leaving you the same problem again. 

Check out the tape which will work great for water leak problems. Check the price on Amazon. ( All Leak Repair Tape). 

Hot Surface

Duct tape is widely used to repair heating equipment, but if the surface reaches above 140°F, then the adhesive (glue) softens, and the duct tape loses its strength to hold onto the surface. Thus, it will peel off. Also, there is a risk that it can burn due to high temperatures. 

Check out the tape which will work great under extreme heat problems. Check the price on Amazon. ( All Purpose Aluminum Foil Tape). 

UV Light Or Sunlight

Long term duration of sunlight exposure causes the adhesive on the tape to dry out. This generally occurs with standard duct tape, as these are not versatile as it looks. 

Check out the tape which will work great under extreme heat problems. Check Price on Amazon ( Premium Grade Stucco Duct Tape). 

Uneven Surfaces

Duct tape creates a strong bond if the surface is flat because with this the bonded surface area is greater. While, if it is applied on an uneven surface the bond is weaker, due to the presence of a thin adhesive layer. 

Check out the tape which will work great under uneven surfaces. Check Price on Amazon. ( Outdoor Stucco Duct). 


The duct is not good for too hot situations and even cold situations, like repairing your air conditioner with duct tape. Due to low temperatures, the adhesive on the tape hardens, and it is impossible to create a strong between. Thus, the sticking power is low, and the duct tape is easily peeled off. Sometimes, the duct tape didn’t stick on the surface, if the area is extremely cold. 

Check out the tape which will work great under cold conditions. Check Price on Amazon. ( All Weather Repair Tape). 

Dirty Or Painted Surface

Duct Tape doesn’t sticky good if the surface is not clean, oily, or sometimes even painted because the residue prevents the adhesive to connect with the surface. In these cases, the duct tape does not stick properly or can easily be peeled off. 

Duct Tape Alternative

The initial design of duct tape, was a silver gray color, with a top layer of polythene and a bottom layer of adhesive. This was widely used in every sector, from repairing your fence to repairing water pipe leaks. However, due to enhancement, we now have different types of duct tape, which specialists in a certain category. 

  1. Standard Duct Tape

This tape is used in repairing jobs, with minimum loads and pressure. It is built with a thin polythene film and thin adhesive, which can be only used for repairing small things like packing a box, etc. 

  1. Industrial Grade

The industrial-grade duct tape is modified from standard duct tape, with slightly more polythene and adhesive count. This tape is available in different colors and its popular use, is to stick the carpet at functions, like a red carpet in the Oscars, which is held with industrial-grade duct tape. 

  1. Professional Grade

This is upgraded to industrial grade, where the polythene and adhesive count is nearly double and is more durable, double the sticky strength. 

  1. Gaffer’s Tape

Graffers tape is available in matte black color, which is used when you don’t want to damage the surface, where the tape should be stuck. When peeling off, this tape doesn’t leave any adhesive residue on the surface, and it is more heat resistant. Also, it is made from fabric material, not plastic, tearing the tape is easy. 

  1. Stucco Tape

When your surface is to place in direct sunlight, then stucco tape must be used as it is designed to withstand strong heat and Sunlight. Also, the adhesive and polythene are almost double as Professional Grade duct tape. 

  1. True Duct Tape

Is the strongest duct tape, as it is designed to face any conditions including, heat exposure, cold temperatures, and a thick layer of adhesive, for additional strength to seal the repair. 

With numerous duct tape at your disposal, choose the best duct tape you will need for your repair. 

Always make sure, what type of surface is and judge what kind of adhesive power you will need. 

    1. All Weather Repair TapeThis tape is primarily designed, to counter cold weather conditions, like you can repair or seal the hole in extremely cold temperatures. This tape is suitable and will work in temperatures as low as -30°F!
      1. All Leak Repair Tape

If you have a water leak problem, this tape should be suitable for you. It is built with a thick adhesive, that forms a strong seal even in water. 

Also, it can be used to hold to cold weather conditions. 

      1. All Purpose Aluminum Foil Tape

When the repairing surface gets too hot, then this tape will work. It can withstand up to 248° F, and also will not burn in high temperatures. 

Hi, gurbi is a fashion blogger, designer, and fashion consultant. He is 25 yrs old man who love the world of fashion.