A neoprene dry suit, also known as an immersion suit, is used for many purposes. Kite surfers, board surfers, boogie boarders, scuba divers and even triathletes use these specialised suits to stay dry and protected in the water. Over time these suits develop cracks or tears, necessitating repairs. Everything from the seals to the fabric and the zippers needs to be checked and fixed if in disrepair. Repair your dry suit at home using household tools and materials, along with a neoprene patch kit.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Bucket with warm water and sponge
- Baking soda
- Neoprene patch kit
- Neoprene epoxy/seam sealer
- Rubber gloves
- Foam brushes
- Clippers or utility knife
- Plastic cutting board
Wash and scrub down the suit and hang out to dry to get it clean before beginning the repairs.
Zip and unzip the suit at each zipper, checking for stickiness or catches in the zipper or ripped fabric along the closure mechanism. Pour some baking soda into the water bucket and wash the zippers down thoroughly with the baking soda/water mix. Rinse off after washing and zip and unzip to see if the corrosion or stickiness is gone.
Pull the sleeves and legs inside-out and inspect the seals at the hips and shoulders. Look for dry rot or cracks at the seams. Circle any cracks or tears at the seams with the white paint pen.
Apply a healthy portion of the neoprene seam-sealer at each crack or areas of dry rot. Let the seam sealer dry, then fold the arms and legs back to their proper position. Wear rubber gloves when working with the epoxy/seam sealer.
Look over the dry suit for any rips or tears in the body of the suit. If present, place the neoprene patch from the kit onto the plastic cutting board and cut an appropriate size patch of neoprene to go over the tear or rip.
Brush off the area surrounding the tear with the patch kit sandpaper. This makes the surface porous and holds the epoxy. Apply a thick coating of epoxy/seam sealer to the back of the patch and place it on the tear or rip. Allow it to dry.
Immerse the suit at the tears or seams to test the repair job for watertightness.
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