Correct care of your Chest Waders will often provide many years of service – here are a few simple tips to ensure that you purchase the best Waders for the task in hand, and learn how to maintain them during and after use.
- Pre-Purchase: Choosing the correct size and design
- During Wear: Best Working Practices
- After Use: Cleaning, Drying and correct care when not in use
- Repairing: Simple repair tips to extend your Chest Wader’s useful life
It is important to purchase the correct boot size for you or your wearers – at all costs, avoid purchasing shared Chest Waders for your team. Experience has shown to us that if the wrong boot size is worn it can be a significant health and safety hazard, particularly if working on uneven ground. Waders are naturally more cumbersome to wear than a coverall or other Workwear garment and if the boot is not the correct fit there is a risk of inadequate ankle support resulting in slips and trips and the associated injuries.
Ollyskins offers a broad range of fabrics for Chest Waders, each one offering specific characteristics. As a general rule, the Safety Boot Chest Waders have thicker upper fabrics with some over 1000 grams per square metre, a thicker PVC coating and with strong polyester backings. For Angling Waders however, where comfort is a higher priority, we would use a fabric weight around 700gms and with additional plasticisers to improve flexibility.
Where possible, don your Chest Waders when you are ready to use them. Walking through woodland areas to Angling Pegs whilst wearing your waders can increase the risk of puncture from thorns, branches and brambles.
Whilst Ollyskins Chest Waders offer superior puncture protection by the use of advanced fabrics they will still puncture! When Chest Waders are used for industrial use in particular, this is often in aggressive working environments and care of them can be challenging. However, where possible avoid any sharp objects and always take care when working in water where unknown objects may be under the surface.
Remove loose debris from your Chest Waders
After using your waders, ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned. Firstly, remove any loose mud and debris that may be on them, then use clean and fresh water to remove all remaining dirt. It is particularly important if you have been working in dirty or saltwater to give waders a final rinse as salt or other chemical residues can damage the fabric and even the seams.
Hang your Waders out to Dry
After washing, find somewhere to hang them up. This will allow any excess water and moisture to drain off. If your Waders are left damp inside, this can quickly result in a buildup of mildew and make them unpleasant to wear again. Hanging them upside down and off the floor also ensures that rodents do not make them their home - mice, in particular, can have a habit of creating their nests in wellington boots.
Transporting your Waders
If you need to fold your waders for transport, then hang them up as soon as you have the opportunity as folding can result in fabric creases and cracks. Neoprene Waders in particular can crease if left folded for extended periods of time. We also recommend you put your folded waders into a suitable bag or box to avoid them being damaged or punctured. (We have bespoke wader bags with ventilation, that hold PVC waders.)
Drying your Waders
Neoprene Waders have bonded seams that use seam sealing tapes with a glue component. This glue can potentially soften with exposure to excessive heat. And PVC fabrics, although we use plasticisers to keep the fabrics flexible, these can result in cracking if exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight.
If you do need to dry your waders in the sun, do so for as little time as possible, then move them out of direct sunlight where they can continue to dry.
Repairing your Waders
All waders will have natural wear and tear - usually small holes or in the worst scenarios rips in the fabrics. A well-cared-for pair of waders can last several years, and we recommend that you take the time to maintain them to ensure your maximise their lifetime. PVC Waders can be easily repaired using Ollyskins PVC Repair Kits and Adhesives to extend their life. Neoprene Waders can also be repaired using Ollyskins Neoprene Repair Kits.