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How to Repair Dry Wear Gaskets
Gaskets don’t last forever, but you can prolong their life with a few simple steps:
- When putting on and taking off your dry wear, avoid tearing the gaskets with sharp objects like ear rings, finger nails and finger rings.
- UV rays rapidly weaken and degrade latex. Keep your gaskets out of the sun as much as possible.
- Regularly coat your gaskets with 303 Protectant and McNett Seal Saver. These products protect from sun and ozone damage and help keep your gaskets soft and supple.
- Store your garments out of the light and in moderate temperature conditions.
When gaskets do fail, you can replace them yourself. You’ll need:
- Aquaseal Urethane Adhesive
- Cotol Accelerator and Cleaner – optional, but it shortens the cure time of Aquaseal from 10-12 hours to 2 hours or less. It also thins Aquaseal to a consistency that lets you conveniently apply it with a brush. And you can use it to clean the repair surfaces before gluing.
- The gaskets themselves: we carry them individually and in kits that contain Aquaseal, Cotol, sandpaper and instructions.
- A form to fill the neck, wrist or ankle opening and serve as a smooth working surface for the repair. Various cylindrical objects like cooking pans, coffee cans, water bottles, etc. can serve as forms. Here in our Repair Department, we make them out of Minicell Foam. We cut the 3”-thick blocks into a round shape in the approximate size needed for the repair. Next, we wrap clear packing tape around the forms to get the exact diameter needed and to provide a smooth, non-stick working surface.
- An assortment of simple tools: sandpaper or a fine wire brush, inexpensive small bristle brushes, popsicle stick or butter knife, a roller, disposable mixing cups, sharp scissors, strong rubber bands and some rags.
- Avoid breathing the chemical fumes and getting the substances on your hands. Work in a well ventilated area or wear an organic fume respirator. Nitrile disposable gloves are more chemically resistant than latex ones.
In this video, Nick from NRS Repairs shows you how to repair your drysuit, dry top or dry pants by replacing the latex gaskets.