17 Nov Maintaining Gaskets and Weatherstripping
Over time, gaskets and weatherstripping around hatches, ports and refrigerator doors can get brittle and crack. Then you have to replace them. Usually not cheap, hard to track down, and generally a pain to deal with.
I was reminded of this as the freezer gasket disintegrated as I opened the freezer door after we’d been gone for four days to our son’s Army retirement ceremony. The gasket had been leaking causing a build-up of ice and it just tore the gasket to shreds as I tugged on the door. Okay, we were going to have to get a replacement. But maybe we could save some other gaskets from a similar fate . . .
Recently, Tony Passafiume – a long-time friend as well as the owner of a Hunter 40, Dangerous Love – told us of a product that can greatly extend the life of these rubber seals: Sil-Glyde. A number of different companies make it and it all goes by similar names.
It’s a silicone-based lubricant that helps to keep the seals supple. Think of it as moisturizer for the seals. I went through the boat and put it on the refrigerator seals, door seal and hatch seals. It took me about half an hour to do them all.
The directions say to use a brush, rag, “or your fingers” to rub a little over the exposed area of gaskets and weatherstripping. Believe me, fingers were by far the easiest even if a little dirty – but the Sil-Glyde washed off easily with soap. A side benefit is that my hands are now very soft.
Tony says he does this once a year where he lives in Kentucky. I’m thinking that maybe twice a year would be better in tropical climates with more UV damage and higher temperatures.
You can buy Sil-Glyde at most any auto parts store (they all have their own version). I found it online, but shipping always cost more than the product itself, so I recommend trying to get it at a “brick-and-mortar” store.