6 Simple Steps to Prevent Dry Rot in Stored Tires

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Tire Dry Rot is the visible cracking of a tire’s tread or sidewall due to the breakdown of the tire’s rubber compounds. Excessive sunlight exposure, low tire inflation, or simply not using the tires for extended periods of time can all cause visible cracking. Eventually, tires will always degrade, but we can take actions to slow down the process.

What Causes Tires to Dry Rot?

Like other products, the rubber compounds that make up a tire degrade with time and when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Exposure to high ozone concentrations in the atmosphere, climate variations, the outside elements, and overuse can cause these materials to wear down faster, resulting in cracking or dry rotting.

What Can You Do To Prevent Tire Dry Rot?

When tire degradation is noticed, the best course of action is to replace the tires before they cause further harm. To assist prevent premature tire cracking, follow the steps outlined below for proper tire care and maintenance.   

 

  1. Carry Out Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your tires’ sidewalls and tread for cracks, discoloration, bulges, wear, or any other irregular flaw to keep track of their general condition.
 
  1. Clean And Dry Your Tires Before Storing Them: Dry rot is more likely in muddy tires. This is because as dirt evaporates from the tire’s surface, a portion of the oils that keep the rubber moist are lost. You should clean any dirt or mud off the surface of your tires before putting your vehicle into long-term storage. The best approach to clean tires is with warm water and a small amount of hand soap or household detergent. There should be no special tire cleaning products used. These are usually petroleum-based and are designed to be rubbed onto the tires while driving. The tires will dry out faster if they are not driven on immediately away after using these cleaning chemicals.
 
  1. Keep An Eye On The Age And Condition: Older tires are more prone to dry rot than newer tires. Because the polymers that protect tires from dry rot gradually leak out over time, leaving them vulnerable. As a result, storing an automobile with tires older than five years in long-term storage may not be the best option. Tire deterioration is already increased by storage, and reaching this age may signify the end of a tire’s lifespan. Tires should be replaced every six years in most cases, thus a professional should evaluate the roadworthiness of a tire that has been in long-term storage and has been in use for five years.
 
  1. Temperature Matters: tire dry rot can be accelerated by temperatures over 68 degrees Fahrenheit and below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry rotting can also be caused by repeated rapid temperature fluctuations (anything exceeding 15 degrees Fahrenheit in a couple of hours) because evaporation from the tire is sped up. Keep your car in a climate-controlled setting at a temperature that is slightly cooler than normal room temperature if at all possible (55-59 Fahrenheit is ideal). It’s much better if you can keep your car in a facility that can control humidity as well as temperature because severely dry conditions will speed tire wear.
 
  1. Avoid Harmful Products and Chemicals: If you plan to use additional tire protectants or cleaning products, read the product labels and be aware of what other chemicals are going on in your tire. Petroleum-based cleaning solvents should be avoided since they can degrade the rubber’s weathering agents, causing early cracking.
 
  1. Use Airtight Bags: Moisture and oxidation cause dry rot in tires. As a result, tires should be stored in airtight, waterproof bags. Any thick plastic contractor bag should work for storing a tire. To keep tires from rubbing against one another, store them in separate bags if at all possible.

Correct tire storage can potentially save you money in the long term. Dry rot can be avoided by keeping tires free of conditions that expose them to heat, excessive moisture or dryness, or oxygen. We hope that this tire storage guide has shown you how to store tires properly. To keep yourself safe, make sure you follow all manufacturer instructions and have your tires fixed at regular intervals. For more information, contact us.

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