How to repair a broken dry suit latex ankle or wrist or neck seal

No matter how careful you look after your dry suit or cag, eventually, the latex seals will perish and tear. With a bit of DIY, you can make a cheap and simple repair which will extend the life of the garment and allow you to go kayak fishing again in no time.

You will need…

what you will need to repair a latex seal

  • Paintbrushes (the cheaper the better – the chances are they will get ruined when you apply the adhesive)
  • Acetone and cotton wool pads – to clean the latex (I used the wife’s nail varnish remover – it contains acetone)
  • Sand paper
  • A non-plastic container to mix the adhesive
  • A replacement latex gasket (ankle seal in this case)
  • A plastic bottle (not pictured) or tin or traffic cone – slightly bigger in diameter than the latex  seals
  • A suitable latex adhesive (I used Bostik 2 part 2402 adhesive)
  • Protective gloves and newspaper

Firstly, cover the area with lots of newspaper, close the door and open as many windows as possible.

Cut off the existing (torn/broken/perished) latex seal, leaving as much latex remaining as possible. Try to make the cut as square as possible.

Make sure that when you purchase the spare latex gasket, you get one which is the same size (or very slightly smaller). In my case, I did not realise that the replacement ankle seals came in different sizes – and had to order another one which was the correct size – CHECK…

Check the replacement latex seal is the correct size

Using the sand paper, rub down the outside surface of the remaining old (existing) latex seal to provide a good base for the adhesive.

Stretch the old seal over the bottle/tin/cone….

use a tin or bottle or cone to stretch the latex seal over

Then take the new replacement latex seal, and stretch that over the bottom of the tin. Push it up as you stretch it and then turn a length back over itself (the amount you turn over, will determine the area of overlap when you join the new seal to the old one).

The new replacement seal showing the turned over area

Make sure that the old and turned over new sections are butted up as close as possible to each other…

 Try to butt the old and new latex seals as clos as possible to each other

Roughen the turned over surface of the new replacement latex seal with sandpaper (as you did with the old section).

Put on your gloves, and clean the old latex and the turned over area of the replacement latex gasket using the acetone and cotton wool pads. This is quite important as it also prepares the surface for the adhesive…

Prepare the latex with acetone

Now that the latex is ready, you can start to prepare the adhesive. I use Bostik 2402; this is a 2 part adhesive which is specially designed to be used with latex. Before you do anything, please double check that you have put your gloves on.

Full instructions for the use of Bostik 2402 can be accessed below…

Instructions for Bostik 2402 2 part adhesive

Bostik 2402 adhesive and hardener

Firstly, pour the desired amount of 2402 into a non plastic container (the glue can melt plastic) – I used a small glass jar…

Preparing to mix the 2402 and hardener

Then add the supplied D.10 hardener in the correct proportion…

The hardener bottle contains the correct amount to be used with the whole tin of 2402, so if you are using less (I did !) then you will have to scale down accordingly. The correct amount of D.10 hardener to 2402 is 1 part hardener to 16 parts 2402. Or a pea sized amount of hardener to a golf ball sized 2402 if that is easier to visualise !

Mix the hardener and 2402 thoroughly for a few minutes.

Using the paint brush, apply a coat of to adhesive to both the old latex seal, and the turned over section of the replacement seal.

Apply the adhesive to the old and turned over replacement seals

Leave this for a couple of minutes until tacky; then apply a second coat of adhesive to both seals.

Then the most important (and tricky !) part – fold the turned over replacement latex back over and on top of the old latex seal, so that the 2 areas of adhesive bond together…

IMGP1168

Check that nothing is trapped, and apply some pressure to the overlapping area.

Leave the adhesive to bond for 24 to 72 hours in a dry place.

Once the adhesive has bonded, remove the tin from the inside of the seal and the job should be complete…

The replacement ankle seal after the adhesive has bonded

Job done !