Silicone rubber is stable, durable, and highly resistant to extreme temperatures and environments. It is used in a large variety of products, ranging from industry, automobiles, medical equipment, to many objects in and around the home. Despite its durability, silicone rubber ages and suffers damage. As rubber ages it becomes harder and more rigid. This eventually leads to small cracks or larger tears that need to be repaired. The difficulty involved in repairing silicone rubber depends upon the object in question.
Wash the rubber with a mild detergent and warm water. Use an abrasive pad to scrub off dirt, grime, and other forms of debris from the rubber. If the rubber suffers from a mildew problem clean the mildew with a chlorine bleach. Make a mixture of 50 per cent water and 50 per cent bleach. Allow the rubber to completely dry.
Inspect the damage to the rubber. The type of damage depends on the type of rubber object being repaired as well as its function and size. The rubber may be worn and cracked, faded, or have holes.
Trim off rough and ragged edges of the rubber with a utility knife. File the rubber until it feels smooth and even.
Patch hairline cracks with silicone caulk. Lay a small bead of caulk in the crack and smooth it out with your finger. Wipe off excess caulk with a damp rag.
Fill larger cracks with a RTV silicone mixing compound. RTV products are available at home supply and hardware stores. Read the mixing instructions on the box.
Tape small pinhole size leaks in rubber tubing with silicone rubber tape. Wrap the pinhole several times.
Apply a silicone rubber conditioner to the rubber. Spray the conditioner to a cloth. Work the conditioner into the rubber with the rag.
Things you need
- Mild detergent
- Abrasive pad
- Chlorine bleach
- Utility knife
- Silicone caulk
- Caulk gun
- RTV compound
- Silicone rubber tape
- Silicone rubber conditioner