Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

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Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby Dale777 on Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:10 pm

Help, need advice on un-sticking stuck zippers on my Bimini.

I have rotting threads on the south side, when docked, of my Bimini that I have manually patched several times using a Speedy Stitcher. So, I thought I would finally remove the Bimini to have repair done professionally. BUT, two zippers are STUCK. I have to un-zip them to remove the Bimini. I've tried un-sticking them with silicon spray, but that hasn't worked yet. By looking at zippers that are still working, I see lots of salt deposits that might be the source of the sticking. I've thought of using some citric solution, but I'm afraid that will damage the Sunbrella material and/or stitching.

How to un-stick a stuck zipper, without damaging the Sunbrella material?
Dale, My sister's art: http://www.cindydaunis.com/
My edit [] of: "The horn [ocean] stirs memories of fearful things, of powerful things, of noble and beautiful things!" by John Williams. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gztnm6GS9M
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby kevin_summit on Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:51 pm

Dale777 wrote:Help, need advice on un-sticking stuck zippers on my Bimini.

I have rotting threads on the south side, when docked, of my Bimini that I have manually patched several times using a Speedy Stitcher. So, I thought I would finally remove the Bimini to have repair done professionally. BUT, two zippers are STUCK. I have to un-zip them to remove the Bimini. I've tried un-sticking them with silicon spray, but that hasn't worked yet. By looking at zippers that are still working, I see lots of salt deposits that might be the source of the sticking. I've thought of using some citric solution, but I'm afraid that will damage the Sunbrella material and/or stitching.

How to un-stick a stuck zipper, without damaging the Sunbrella material?


Dale,

I have had this problem on other boats but what I found is that if you can grab the inside of the zipper (opposite side of zipper pull) and pull on it as you pull on the zipper pull at the same time sometimes they come unstuck and unzip, you have to slowly do this as it wont unzip like normal just little at a time. If that doesn't work for you, you may have to cut the zipper head so then you can undo the zipper itself and have them replaced. Hope this helps.

Thank you,
Kevin Lamont
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby SummerSteve on Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:31 pm

Learned from years of solving stuck zippers from poorly stored Scout tents... If it won't move at all - try soaking it with windex... Seems like windex wouldn't be much of a solvent doesn't it... but it works really well...

If it moves a few teeth - add any lubricant (like the teflon spray you mentioned) and just be very patient - I grab the slider where the pull attaches with small vice grips (to be able to twist the zipper slider better than with the pull and also to avoid breaking the pull) - and work it back and forth one tooth at a time...

Good luck!
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby Red Raven on Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:17 pm

One of the best ways to dissolve salt deposits is...wait for it...

...fresh water... Lots of it!

Fill a spray bottle or use a spray nozzle on a hose. Better yet, soak the zipper in a container of water. It is amazing! Who would have thought, water dissolves salt!

You can also use Salt Away or Salt Off. I haven’t found it to be better than plain water for actually dissolving salt deposits but they claim it prevents future build up due to the Teflon-like residue left after use.

Curt
Curt and Tracy Johansen
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby Dale777 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:01 pm

Kevin Lamont,

In looking more closely at what appears to be salt deposits on the zipper sliders, I suspect that is NOT the case. It looks more like the zipper sliders are painted aluminum and what I am seeing is aluminum oxide deposits.

Are the zipper sliders aluminum?
Dale, My sister's art: http://www.cindydaunis.com/
My edit [] of: "The horn [ocean] stirs memories of fearful things, of powerful things, of noble and beautiful things!" by John Williams. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gztnm6GS9M
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby knotflying on Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:24 am

Dale,

I am pretty sure they are aluminum. Try brushing a little white vinegar on it. It may soften the aluminum oxide enough to get the zipper moving.
“What we call reality is merely an ILLUSION we create for learning and enjoyment….”
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby kevin_summit on Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:25 pm

Dale777 wrote:Kevin Lamont,

In looking more closely at what appears to be salt deposits on the zipper sliders, I suspect that is NOT the case. It looks more like the zipper sliders are painted aluminum and what I am seeing is aluminum oxide deposits.

Are the zipper sliders aluminum?


Dale,

Is the bimini a factory one that came with the boat? If so, i can find out for you but I would assume they are aluminum. If the coating has come off or is coming off I would suspect that it is jamming due to the raw aluminum. I like the idea of using windex or another product like it that wont damage the material. You can email me direct for faster response.

Thank you,
Kevin Lamont
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby Dale777 on Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:58 pm

Kevin Lamont,

The Bimini is the one that came with the R31S from the factory. I bought the boat, with bimini, NEW from the factory through a Florida dealer.
Dale, My sister's art: http://www.cindydaunis.com/
My edit [] of: "The horn [ocean] stirs memories of fearful things, of powerful things, of noble and beautiful things!" by John Williams. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gztnm6GS9M
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby Toucan on Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:51 am

I have had to deal with lots of stuck zipper sliders in the past and have assumed that they were made of pot metal, which is mainly zinc. I have had some success using a small pin or X-Acto knife blade to dig out the corrosion residue to the point that the slider will eventually loosen up enough to move. Often a corroded slider will be weakened enough to break apart. According to Sailrite, a terrific source of fabric related materials and tools for marine use, metal zippers are not suitable for marine use.
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Re: Stuck Zipper on Sunbrella Bimini

Postby Shangie on Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:14 pm

We just took a white dinner candle to all our snaps and zippers and they are working fine again- couldn't even get one of the bimini zippers to work before doing this. Rubbed everything into the candle to coat well. Am sure there will be some melting (am going to call it waterproofing) come hotter weather :lol: but we were desperate due to nearly breaking a hand trying to unsnap the windshield protector. I have read there is a commercial product that does the same thing. We just did not have any handy.
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