Friday, August 9, 2013

Basic wetsuit repair

Basic wetsuit repair - mending tears

is not the daunting task you may think it is, and can be easily done onsite or in your home.  This is a valuable skill to increase the lifespan of a suit, and to deal with the damages incurred by the rigors of frequent diving.



Your primary tool for this process will be Aquaseal.   This urethane adhesive is waterproof, creates and incredibly strong bond, durable, and bonds to nearly anything.  This includes your fingers, so lets learn how to properly utilize it.

Aquaseal


Most tubes of Aquaseal will come with a small brush, which will be your means of application.  The mistake I see most divers make is to apply a metric ton of this goop.  Admittedly, this method will seal the tear, but Aquaseal dries semi-hard, and thus can affect a wetsuit's ability to stretch, not to mention looks terribly sloppy.  The trick here is to apply a minute amount to your brush, and smooth it onto either side of the tear, then press them gently together.  After hold for a moment to allow a bond to form, you can apply a small amount to the interior and exterior of your tear to further cement it in place.

Allow the seal to dry overnight (or at minimum 4 hours) and test the bond.  Pull slowly from either side of the seam and look for splits or poor adherence. 

The key is to not over do it initially.  Much like cooking, you can always add more seal, but once it is in place, there's no going back.


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