DRY ROT: What is it and how do you prevent it?
Tyres are made from rubber and other petroleum-based materials, and although they last a long time, they’re still prone to natural degradation, age, and other environmental influences.
Exactly how long it takes for a tyre to degrade (otherwise known as Dry Rot) depends on several factors. However, the problem of Dry Rot is frequently found on caravan tyres, trailers, or vehicles that stand for prolonged periods without driving.
It’s also commonly found on SUV spare tyres that are stored in direct sunlight on the vehicle’s boot lid / rear door.
Signs of dry rot include:
- Surfaces that are hard and brittle
- Small cracks on the sidewall
- And, in extreme cases, a slow leak or total tyre failure
So what causes dry rot?
Common causes OF DRY ROT include:
1) Not driving your vehicle often enough. Tyres are designed to be run, and if they stand for too long, environmental conditions can cause them to dry out.
2) Under-inflation. Running your tyres under-inflated creates excessive heat within the tyre's sidewall, and the potential to dry out.
3) Storing your vehicle on a hot surface, or under constant sun exposure, can also result in Dry Rot.
How do you prevent Dry Rot?
- Drive your vehicle on a regular basis.
- Keep your tyres properly inflated and don’t allow them to overheat.
- If you do need to store your vehicle, caravan, or trailer for a prolonged period, keep it in a garage away from direct sunlight, or under cover.
- Check the tyre's air pressure at least once a month.
- Do not store your vehicle on organic material (grass etc).
- Keep your tyres away from any chemicals and avoid using tyre dressing.
- Keep your tyres relatively clean and don’t allow dirt to sit on them for too long.