Zipper Problems

Zipper Problems and How to Repair Them

A zipper failure rarely consigns a piece of equipment to the trash bin. While some zipper repairs tend to be seriously complicated, most of the time, an easy and quick fix can get your gear back in action.

Here are some common zipper issues with tips on how to repair them:

Problem #1: Bad Section

It is common to have a small section that turns sour in jacket and coil tent zippers, and it is a serious inconvenience for the most obvious reasons. Most of the time, the problem starts little by little from wear to the slider or the coil or even both, possibly worsened by excessive force or dirt.

During the early stages, it may be enough to clean the zipper or use some extra finesse. After some time, however, you will need to replace the tape or slider. Switching out the slider is quite an easy hand-sewing job and usually does the trick.

You can find a fair bit of difference in styles within the same sizes of zippers, so be sure to read the fine print (letters and numbers) on the existing slider or you can also visit your local outdoor fabric shop to look for the right replacement.

A lot of people prefer to use pliers to tightly squeeze the slider against the coils. However, it is not recommended to use this method. This may work temporarily as an impermanent fix, but it can also speed up the death of the zipper tape, which happens to be much trickier to replace than replacing a slider. If you are having issues with worn coils, your choices are much more limited and often require the help of a sewing machine.

Problem #2: Broken-Off Pull Tab

A satisfying and easy fix, you can use an ordinary paper clip with some heat shrink tubing or duct tape to prevent it from rotating out of place. You can also buy replacement zipper pull tabs or just replace the entire slider if you prefer a more professional-looking result.

Problem #3: Rodents

Yes, rodents can also cause some zipper problems. If the bad section is close to one end, hand-sew around the teeth or coils to isolate it and prevent the slider from reaching the bad section. If not, you will have no choice but get a full replacement.

Problem #4: Zipper is Irreparable

If the zipper is already beyond repair, you will be left with no choice but to replace it. If you have a sewing machine, a zipper replacement is not a very difficult thing to do and might even put your favorite piece of gear right back in action for a few more years.

You can use a seam ripper to take off the old zipper and look for a replacement. You might also want to consider if you will size up a bit for better durability next time. Also, never think about using anything else because it won’t be worth it.

By finding the top zippers suppliers like ZipperShipper, you can get your hands on the right zippers if ever these problems can no longer be repaired.