Drysuit Care and Maintenance 101

Drysuit Care and Maintenance 101

What’s the best way to maintain my seals?

Your seals require very little maintenance and your drysuit is built to last with a little basic care: 

  • Never don or doff your suit while wearing jewelry on the hands or ears. If you see a nick in your seal, be sure to repair it asap.
  • Don’t “pull” your seals on over your wrists or ankles and always use your hands to help the seals over all openings to prevent undue stress on the seal.
  • At the end of each season, be sure to clean your seals withMcNett’s Seal Saver or similar product to absorb excess oils left on the seal. These oils can eat away at your seal when in storage. Talc or baby powder also helps absorb these oils and can be used.

 What if I tear a seal?

It’s unlikely, but if you tear your seal, contact us for a repair kit that can easily be ironed onto the seal to patch any small punctures, nicks or tears.

 If the tear is too large to patch, we also sell easily applied replacement seals. These seals ship complete with a heat activated dry glue which bonds with the rubber. Replacing the seal is as simple as cutting the old seal back to approximately 3-4” remaining and bonding the new seal to the stump left behind of the old seal.

 My seals are too tight?

The seals are designed to keep you dry by sitting smooth against your skin. At no time should your seals be cutting off circulation. If you feel your seals are too tight they can be trimed to fit.   However, first check that you’ve got the seal on flush against your skin and not folded back on itself as this will cause it to pinch.  If you still need to adjust your seals, consider using a bottle and stretching the wrist or ankle seals over overnight, this will often relax the rubber significantly. You can use a kitchen pot for the neck.  Lastly, you can trim your seals to fit. Trimming the seals should be done 1-2mm at a time, and repeat the process above until the fit is right

 

Water is getting into my suit?

If your suit is brand new and you’re experiencing water ingress, it’s likely due to one of two possible mistakes. 

If you’re getting wet close to the zipper (chest or groin) you’ve likely not fully closed your zipper completely. The zipper should be pulled fully closed so that the car is snug against the docking end, there is a noticeable feeling when the zipper locks into place.  .

If you’re getting wet around the seals, check to make sure your seals are smooth against your skin. Folds, creases or tucks will allow water to slip into the suit. Be sure as well that no thermal underlayers are trapped between your skin and the seal as this will wick water into the suit.

If your suit is not brand new, it might be time to refresh the waterproof barrier. NikWax T.X Direct spray on waterproofing will dramatically improve your suit’s breathability and waterproofness.

 

What if you rip or puncture the suit?

Your suit is made from extremely durable materials and will not rip or tear easily. If you do puncture or tear your suit, we offer easily applied patch kits that iron on in 5 minutes.  The suit must be dry and clean prior to applying the patch. Turn the suit inside out and follow the iron on instructions to apply the patch.

 

Can I wash my suit?

If your suit gets stained with mud or dirt you can lightly scrub the area with a light solvent such as hand soap. But never put your suit in the washing machine or dryer!  Longer term, you might find that your suit needs a refreshing if it’s starting to smell ‘funky’. McNett’s MiraZyme is an excellent option to clean and deodorize your suit.

 

Should you refresh the waterproofing on the suit?

Yes, over time your suit’s waterproofing will begin to lose water repellency…thats normal. You may notice a feeling that the suit is ‘damp’ inside or that it is less breathable than before. If you notice this, it’s time to refresh your suit’s waterproof barrier.  NikWax T.X Direct spray on waterproofing is easy to apply and will improve your suit’s breathability and waterproofing. 

 

Tips for zipper care?

T-Zip Master Zip on Ocean Rodeo drysuits is an expensive and highly advanced zipper and you should take care of it.  Included with your suit is a small packet of zipper lube, this silicone lube can be replaced with McNett’s Zip Tech if you run out. Use the zipper lube to keep the zipper moving smoothly.  If you feel your zipper is leaking, check that you have it fully closed by pulling hard to make sure the zipper car is snug against the docking end.  If you are still getting water seepage, apply a bead of silicone or Zip Tech lubricant to re-seal the small teeth on the zipper.

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