Whether you use your waders once a year or once a week they need to be cleaned, dried and stored correctly. The main area to focus on is the inside of the wader. Let us look at why? If you do not maintain your waders the leakage may not be covered under warranty
Even though your waders are breathable and moisture is allowed to escape, some condensation may still appear on the inside. Although much of this will escape some of the moisture will build up which in turn will collect dust, dirt and fabric from clothing, a perfect breeding ground for mold/mildew and this is where the problems begin if you do not care for your waders.
Mold only needs three things to grow: a food source (dirt); a source of moisture (condensation); and a place to grow (your waders). Once the microscopic spores take hold and begin to grow they will break down the breathability of the fabric and cause damage to the membrane causing your waders to leak. Keep them clean and you’ll never have this problem! Once mould appears on waders the manufacturer will not repair them under warranty
Waders are meant to be used but there will always be times that they are stored for some time. During these times, there are a few guidelines to follow:
- Hanging waders is the best storage method. Simms sews a hang loop in the back of the waders. This should be used rather than the suspenders. Suspenders are elastic and will stretch out.
- Store waders in a cool dry place. Humidity and moisture can promote the growth of mildew, the silent killer. Mildew can work its way beneath the seam tape and begin to lift it up. Once this begins, repairs are difficult if not impossible.
Pinholes, scrapes & tears;
The most common problem that will occur in Gore-Tex® or other breathable garments is pinholes (we use the term “pinhole” to identify any small violation of the breathable fabric that allows moisture to penetrate into the interior of your garment), scrapes or tears. Pinholes, scrapes & tears are usually caused by thistles & thorns, but hooks, sharp rocks etc. will also damage the garment. The vast majority of the thistles & thorns will be deflected by the fabric, but sooner or later some of them will find a way through the weave and cause leaks. To avoid these damages just think twice when walking the banks; walk around the thorn bushes or other potential harmful objects instead right thru them, and don’t sit down on any rough or sharp surfaces.
Repairing Waders: Pinhole Leaks
While one single pinhole may not cause a noticeable leak, left unrepaired, more pinholes can form causing a larger issue. Regular inspection and preventative maintenance should be performed.
Getting your waders to and from your favorite angling spot is important.
- Waders should be transported inside the vehicle. The open truck bed offers endless possibilities for issues to occur.
- Waders should not be transported on the floorboards and should be kept away from abrasive items in the trunk
- Driving in your waders: We do not advise driving in your waders. While it may be easy to move from spot to spot, the seatbelt, seat material, buckles and etc. can create wear spots on the waders.
Technical Fabric Care
Gore-Tex and other technical fabrics will be at peak performance when kept clean and free from dirt, sunscreen, oils from skin and perspiration.
Technical fabrics should be washed in warm water (100 degrees) using a detergent that is free from bleach and fabric softener. Powdered or liquid is fine. A performance tech wash, such as Nikwax can also be used. With the exception of Simms Waders, technical fabrics can be placed in a dryer. Tumble dry on a warm setting at ten minute intervals is best. The warmth of the dryer can also renew the DWR (durable water repellent) treatment on the fabric. This is what causes water to bead up and run off the fabric.
Use a front load machine or hand wash. Use cold water and normal detergent that does not contain bleach. Once you have washed the waders make sure you dry them properly start by drying the inside first. Never put your waders in the dryer, the heat will adversely affect the seam tape on your waders and will void your warranty.
Returning your waders to us
Please email us prior to returning your waders. You will need to quote your full name and details of your wader purchase. All waders must be washed, cleaned and free of mould and mildew before returning them back to us. If they are not in a clean condition or free of mold we are unable to process them for health and safety reasons.