Re-waterproofing a drytop? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-05-2015   #1
 
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Eagle, Colorado
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Re-waterproofing a drytop?

So I've had an IR comp lx drytop for almost 3 years now, and this spring it finally started leaking. Today I found a small hole near one of the elbows, and repaired it with aqua seal, but I'm wondering how I can fully re-waterproof the top? The water no longer beads up on the top like it originally did. I have heard good things about the nikwax products, but they say to put the garment in the washing machine, whereas I had always thought that drytops were not supposed to be machine washed. Have any of you tried these products or have any solutions? Or should I go back to my original plan of just sending it back in to the company and having them fix it?
Thanks

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Old 07-05-2015   #2
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Send it to IR, they do nice repairs.


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Old 07-06-2015   #3
 
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Wash it and nun wax it, with the spray on type. Read directions carefully, maybe even a couple times.

It's been a while but I think you heat it on maybe with a cool iron or hair dryer.

This won't fix a leak, but can restore the beading up as if new.


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Old 07-06-2015   #4
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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waterproof spray

I used this product (Trek 7) on my IR drytop this spring and it worked!

Fabric Waterproofing, UV Protection, Fabric Cleaning products

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Old 07-06-2015   #5
 
Lakewood, Colorado
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I used Atsko permanent water guard, and it worked amazingly. They also sell sport wash which is a detergent free wash that you can wash your waterproof gear in the washing machine with, and it won't detract from the waterproofing ability of the factory DWR treatment.

You can buy it in a 10oz aerosol, or you can buy it in a gallon and have plenty extra. Put it in a spray bottle, and go for it!

Waterproofing | Permanent Water-Guard Gallon

Whatever you use, make sure to use a polymer based treatment, and make sure to wash it with a detergent free wash before treatment since any dirt or oil residue will have negative effects on the new DWR treatment. After its clean and you wet it down with the treatment, you have to then heat activate the polymers. You can put it in the dryer if you plan on replacing the gaskets as well, or you can iron it on low (thats what I did).

Also another thing...if you clean it with a detergent free wash and then heat it - either dryer or iron - you can restore a lot of the factory DWR's performance without needing retreatment. If the top isn't that old I'd try this first. If its older, just go ahead and retreat.

I've also heard a lot of good things about McNett ReviveX
https://www.mcnett.com/gearaid/durab...proofing#36230
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Old 07-06-2015   #6
huckh2o
 
Confluence, Pennsylvania
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The best way to care for your IR top is to send it back to IR

It sounds like your jacket is ready to be serviced. IR will test and repair your dry top for a really fair price. The testing is free and patching usually only a few bucks.

Your drytop is made of 3-layer fabric.

1) face fabric - the side you see from the outside. its coated with a very strong Durable Water Repellant when the fabric is manufactured.
2) The midlayer - either PU or PTFE laminated or coated on the face fabric depending on the garment. This is the waterproof/breathable layer.
3) the tricot - the mesh on the back side of the membrane protects against abrasion and stretching.

It sounds like your aquaseal patch was done to fix a noticeable hole in the top. Many times when you have a leak that you can see there will be many more that are simply too small to see. IR's pressure test will find all those spots where the fabric has been punctured by thorns, rock impacts, even your boat rubbing on your shoulder for a long time can put holes in your top that may leak but aren't visible. IR can fix these really easily. We recommend you send your top back every year for service to get the most life and performance out of it.

Getting water to bead up again is a different topic altogether as it relates to the coating on the face fabric and has nothing to do with waterproofness.

The water beading is a result of the Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating on the face fabric. The DWR prevents the face fabric from becoming saturated which keeps the garment breathable. Over time abrasion in high wear areas, exposure to body oils and sweat, as well as sunscreen or bug spray will wear DWR off.

The best way to keep your top beading water is to keep it clean. Wash it with high tech fabric cleaner like nikwax tech wash. Any high tech fabric cleaner will do...just be sure to follow the washing instructions carefully from the manufacturer. It's a good idea to rinse your machine first too to remove any detergent residue.

After your garment is clean some people choose to apply an aftermarket DWR treatment. We've found that these products are great for alpine pursuits but simply aren't strong enough for prolonged use in whitewater. If you do decide to treat your garment with an aftermarket DWR use a spray on product. They are stronger, you can apply it selectively in high wear areas that stop beading sooner than other areas (life jacket strap area), and they do not treat the inside of the garment as well like wash in DWR applications (which may impair breathability).
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Old 07-07-2015   #7
 
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Thanks everyone for the replies! I emailed IR and talked to Ian, and I am going to send in my jacket for pressure testing and repairs. The customer service has been great so far and I am looking forward to having a "dry" drytop again.
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Old 07-07-2015   #8
 
SW, Colorado
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[QUOTE=huckh2o;406352]It sounds like your jacket is ready to be serviced. IR will test and repair your dry top for a really fair price. The testing is free and patching usually only a few bucks.

QUOTE]

Maybe?

I've had a IR top for about 4 years. The fabric lost it's waterproofness about 3 years ago. I've sent the top back twice for gasket replacement, and inquired about refreshing the waterproofing. I was told nothing could be done. The gaskets were well done by IR, and turnaround was quick, but the top still soaks up water like a sponge!
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Old 07-07-2015   #9
huckh2o
 
Confluence, Pennsylvania
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mileage can vary depending on how much you paddle, the conditions in which the gear is used, and personal body chemistry. Some people actually have bacterial in their sweat that will eat the waterproof/breathable layer. That is pretty rare but one of our gear testers has a body chemistry will literally eat through any waterproof/breathable material ...it's only a matter of time.

in your case i'd be willing to bet you have one of our comp jackets or an X-Jacket. those were incredibly comfortable but just didn't deliver the longevity we are always striving for. We've learned a lot about waterproof/breathable tech in the last few years.

I bet you'd be really impressed with the durability of our new line which uses by far the most durable fabric/membrane combination we've ever tested (...yes its even more durable than the brand you're thinking makes the best waterproof/breathable fabric).
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