Best waterproof tape | How to choose the right one for your project

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 2, 2022
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Waterproof tape, in all its different guises and sizes, has a myriad of uses.

Even the least practical person has, at some time, made use of waterproof tape, either to repair a hole in a paddling pool, to patch a leaky garden hose, or even as a replacement for a screw or rivet.

How to choose the best waterproof tape for your project

It is one of those simple, but incredibly versatile repair items that can be used to solve a vast range of household, plumbing, construction, even medical problems.

You can patch, seal, bond and repair virtually anything, using the right type of waterproof tape.

My top choice, after researching and reviewing the various products available is the SolutioNerd Self Fusing Rubberized Leak Tape. It is self-fusing, can withstand extreme water pressure and extreme temperatures, and is ideal for both outdoor and indoor use.

I’ll tell you more about this versatile tape below, but let’s look at all the best options first:

Best waterproof tape Images
Best overall waterproof tape: SolutioNerd Self Fusing Rubberized Leak Tape Best overall waterproof tape- SolutioNerd Self Fusing Rubberized Leak Tape

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Best waterproof tape for first aid and medical applications: Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape Best waterproof tape for first aid and medical applications- Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape

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Best waterproof tape for outdoor use: Permanent Gorilla Tape All Weather Best waterproof tape for outdoor use- Gorilla All Weather Outdoor Waterproof Duct Tape

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Best heavy duty waterproof tape: T-Rex 241309 Ferociously Strong Tape Best heavy duty waterproof tape- T-Rex 241309 Ferociously Strong Tape

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Best transparent waterproof tape: Gaffer Power Transparent Duct Tape Best transparent waterproof tape: Gaffer Power Transparent Duct Tape

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Best waterproof tape for electricians: TradeGear Electrical Tape Best waterproof tape for electricians: TradeGear Electrical Tape

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Best waterproof tape for easy removal: 3M No Residue Duct Tape Best waterproof tape for easy removal: 3M No Residue Duct Tape

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What is waterproof tape?

Waterproof tape is an adhesive tape that is also water-resistant. There is a vast number of waterproof tapes available, each one different, depending on the material it is made from and the problem it is designed to solve.

If you are in the market to purchase waterproof tape, the trick is finding the right tape for the right job.

Best waterproof tape – Buyer’s guide

An understanding of the different types of waterproof tape is vital if you are to find the right one for your specific need. Each type is designed for a specific purpose and can be made from different materials.

Waterproof tapes differ in strength, size, water resistance, adhesiveness, and durability.

The following summary will give you an idea of what features to look for, in your search for the best waterproof tape for your purposes.

Type

Material/waterproofing property

Waterproof tape is made from a range of materials, including cloth, plastic, and rubber. The material it is made from affects the waterproofing property of the tape.

Cloth generally refers to a cotton tape backing that is durable when applied but also easy to tear from the roll.

However, cloth is not water-resistant on its own, so it needs to be coated with another substance to be effective in wet conditions.

Plastic includes polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride, and polymethyl methacrylate, which are used to provide a waterproof backing to common tape types, including duct tape, reflective tape, and nonslip tape.

Butyl rubber and silicone rubber tapes are used for outdoor repairs to seal up leaks in the roof, to fix a hole in the side a pool, or to patch up a boat.

Did you know some plastic repairs can also be done using a soldering iron?

Adhesive strength

Generally, waterproof tape can remain effective for up to 5 years before the adhesive begins to break down, usually as a result of temperature change, physical stress, and exposure to direct sunlight.

It’s important to select the right adhesive strength for your particular project.

Tape products made for repairing leaks need to be extremely adhesive and these can be more difficult to apply because the adhesive is more viscous in order to create a bond that completely seals the hole or crack.

They might not be suitable to use in a tapegun for example.

Once this tape is in place, it can be difficult to remove without leaving a sticky residue behind.

Color

Color can sometimes be an important feature for certain applications like clearly cordoning off a hazardous area or highlighting a hard-to-see object, like a mailbox or garage door.

Electricians sometimes prefer to use different colored tapes to indicate different electrical circuits.

Waterproof tape with neutral colors is ideal for home design, as it fades into the background rather than drawing attention to the repair.

Best waterproof tapes reviewed

After spending some time researching the various types of waterproof tapes available on the market, I have chosen a selection that I feel I can recommend.

Best overall waterproof tape: SolutioNerd Self Fusing Rubberized Leak Tape

Best overall waterproof tape- SolutioNerd Self Fusing Rubberized Leak Tape

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Ease of use and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. These are the features offered by SolutioNerd’s waterproofing repair tape, making it a great choice for the professional plumber or even the keen DIYer.

For repairing leaks or cracks in pipes or hoses or water heaters this tape comes out tops especially for outdoor plumbing repairs.

This tape wraps on to itself and is thus self-fusing. This achieves a tight seal and a completely airtight barrier.

There is no fiddling with messy adhesives that get everywhere and are hard to remove. The tape comes with step-by-step instructions and a box to practice on, before tackling a leak.

Best overall waterproof tape- SolutioNerd Self Fusing Rubberized Leak Tape on container

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Made from silicone rubber, this tape is fully waterproof and can withstand extreme temperatures and high pressures. It is ideal for outdoor use where exposure to extreme temperatures is possible.

The tape works best when the surface is dry but can be applied to wet surfaces where it still holds very strongly.

The extra length of the roll means that you are unlikely to run out of tape before the repair is completed, and the second roll offered in the package is an added bonus.

Features

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Best waterproof tape for first aid and medical applications: Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape

Best waterproof tape for first aid and medical applications- Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape

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“As far as flexibility, adhesion, and waterproofness, this tape is quite incredible.” This user’s opinion of the Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape was echoed by a number of other reviewers.

The strength of the adhesive in this tape allows the user to continue to take part in all daily activities while offering reliable and comfortable protection for minor injuries.

Because of its stretch and flexibility, it maintains great adherence to the skin, even when there is major skin movement, such as around joint areas and hands.

It also adheres well to itself. It is fully waterproof and can be submerged in water for extended periods.

Also designed to help protect and prevent blisters, the tape is made of a soft and comfortable foam material. It also has hypoallergenic properties for users with sensitive skin.

Features

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Best waterproof tape for outdoor use: Permanent Gorilla Tape All Weather

Best waterproof tape for outdoor use- Gorilla All Weather Outdoor Waterproof Duct Tape

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As the name suggests, the Gorilla all-weather outdoor waterproof tape is specifically designed to stand up to extreme weather conditions.

This makes it the ideal tape for use on roofs, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, RVs, and other vehicles.

Gorilla All Weather Tape contains a highly concentrated rubber-based adhesive and sticks to most plastics, including polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

However, it does not work on materials with high oil or plasticizer content, such as EPDM rubber or PVC.

Made from exceptionally strong, permanent butyl adhesive and a weather-resistant shell, this tape may feel less tacky than other tapes, but it is strong and permanent.

It is extremely effective in both hot and cold temperatures, with a range of from -40 degrees F to 200 degrees F, and is resistant to drying, cracking, and peeling caused by the sun, heat, cold, and moisture.

It is easy to use and can be torn by hand or cut to size with a knife or scissors. When applying the tape, simply smooth out any pockets or rolls on the surface.

Features

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Rather have something even more permanent to fix a hole in plastic? Go for plastic adhesive

Best heavy duty waterproof tape: T-Rex 241309 Ferociously Strong Tape

Best heavy duty waterproof tape- T-Rex 241309 Ferociously Strong Tape

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The name of this tape, T-Rex Ferociously strong tape, sums up its main features – strength and durability. Fierce in wet conditions, extremely durable in cold temperatures, with extra-strong holding power on rough surfaces.

Three separate layers combine to create this weather-resistant, ferociously strong waterproof tape. This should be your first choice for heavy-duty waterproofing projects, particularly outdoors.

It is made from a heavy-duty knit cloth with durable waterproof backing. The materials are UV resistant and prevent harsh UV rays from weakening the tape adhesive.

It is designed to be effective over the temperature range between 50- and 200-degrees F.

Because of its extreme strength and stickiness, this tape may be hard to remove and may leave behind a sticky residue on the surface.

It is easy to use, strips can be torn by hand, and rolls come in varying lengths.

Features

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Best transparent waterproof tape: Gaffer Power Transparent Duct Tape

Best transparent waterproof tape: Gaffer Power Transparent Duct Tape

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If you are looking for waterproof tape that can be used across a variety of applications, then the Gaffer Power Transparent Tape is the obvious choice.

This tape is suitable for both light and heavy-duty projects and can be used for both indoor and outdoor repairs.

It is made from high-quality acrylic resin and is effective on a variety of rough and uneven surfaces, including wood, plastic, glass, vinyl, and brick.

Its versatility allows it to be used as screen repair tape, seal tape, or window tape and because it is clear, it is ideal for home decor repairs because it does not draw attention to the repair.

It is equally effective outdoors and can withstand rain as well as heat and humidity. It is considered the perfect tape for greenhouse repairs.

The Gaffer power tape is an easy-to-handle, quick-tear tape that comes in three different sizes.

Features

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Best waterproof tape for electricians: TradeGear Electrical Tape

Best waterproof tape for electricians: TradeGear Electrical Tape

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Designed specifically with electricians and engineers in mind, TradeGear electrical tape is the ideal tape for all kinds of electrical wiring projects and repairs – spliced wires, cable insulation, wire bundling, and more.

Made from heavy-duty, industrial-grade PVC, the tape is waterproof, flame retardant, and resistant to acids, alkalis, UV, and oil.

It is rated for up to 600V operating voltage, and 176 degrees F operating temperature, making it very safe to use. The high-quality sticky rubber resin is used in this tape gives it outstanding adhesive quality.

The TradeGear tape comes as a pack of 10 individually wrapped units, each measuring 60 feet in length, offering excellent value for money.

It is also available in multiple colors, useful for identifying different circuits.

Features

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Also check out my review of the best wire strippers here

Best waterproof tape for easy removal: 3M No Residue Duct Tape

Best waterproof tape for easy removal: 3M No Residue Duct Tape

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If you are looking for a waterproof tape that removes cleanly, even six months after application, 3M No Residue Duct Tape is the one to choose.

Apart from this feature, it also offers exceptional strength and extreme hold. It is suitable for both long-term and temporary holds like securing cords or keeping mats in place, and it can be used for outdoor and indoor repairs.

For a long-lasting bond without the messy clean-up, this is your best choice.

Features

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is waterproof tape made of?

Waterproofing tapes are produced bitumen or butyl based, cold applied, one side coated with aluminum foil or colored mineral, and the other side with adhesive.

Can duct tape stop leaks?

Repair of holes in pipes and pipelines, for temporary plugging of small water leaks: waterproof duct tape is the perfect ally in your garden and your kitchen.

The tape does not fear water and can be used to seal small leaks and holes in ducts, pipes, watering cans etc.

Is masking tape waterproof?

Masking tape, also known as painters’ tape, is water-resistant rather than waterproof.

Masking tape has to be non-porous as it is used by painters and decorators to mark off areas where they do not want the paint to go.

Can you tape a water leak?

There are two types of tape used to stop water leaks. A pipe thread tape, Teflon tape or PTFE tape, as it is called by professionals, is used to wrap around leaking joints before threading.

On the other hand, silicone pipe leak tape is used to form a temporary waterproof seal around a pipe leak.

Is flashing tape waterproof?

Flashing tape is a highly durable product used for sealing various elements, such as roofs, windows, chimneys, or furnaces. It’s waterproof and resistant to many factors.

Are waterproof and water-resistant tapes the same?

No, there is a slight difference between waterproof and water-resistant. For example, all duct tapes are water-resistant but only some specially formulated duct tapes are waterproof.

Can I use any waterproof tape in the electrical line?

No, not all waterproof tapes are designed for use in the electrical line.

What is the highest temperature range a waterproof tape can be used?

It varies from model to model. Generally, a premium-quality waterproof tape can endure a maximum of 200 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

Conclusion

Now that you are aware of the many options available and the features that you should look for in waterproof tapes you are in a much stronger position to select the best one for your specific repair needs.

Whether you’re taping a leaking pipe, repairing an electrical circuit, doing first aid, or need heavy-duty, long-lasting waterproof tape, there’s something on the market for you!

Next check out the Best Options & Ideas for Outdoor Backyard Bike Storage

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.