De Ice Boots Preventative Care
If you have de-ice boots on your aircraft you realize that for them to last you will need to keep them in new condition. In days gone buy aviators and aircraft mechanics have used all sorts of things to keep them in mint condition. This is especially serious if you park your aircraft out doors for any length of time. Like tires the rubber in de-ice boots gets old and checks. I can remember as a young man cleaning aircraft in trade for flight time often using floor wax on the de-ice boots. It worked well indeed.
I distinctly remember one day using floor wax and then having to climb onto the aircraft and sat on the well saturated de-ice boots I had just coated with lots of Floor Wax. The floor wax soaked thru my Levis and underwear and crinkled by rear end to the point of a horribly painful experience. Floor wax as it dries on skin is not a pretty thing, boy did it hurt and I never did that again.
Today there are special chemically engineered product you can use to keep the de-ice boots in new condition and make sure they work when you need them most. As ice is forming on the leading edge of the wing as your depart IFR from an airport a gross weight. One product I recommend is "PBS Boot Sealant" which is available at many Fixed Base Operators (FBOs). PBS stands for Pneumatic Boot Sealant and you can also order it online at; www. JetStreamProducts. com.
It is fairly expensive in price about $40 for a one quart bottle or $33.00 each for a case of twelve, which will run you $400.00; but it is well worth it and you can only imagine how costly it will be if the A and P Mechanic at your next annual inspection tells you that those de-ice boots need to be replaced. Being that de-ice boots are a safety item many AI Mechanics will not sign off the annual if the boots look checked or old. You may have noticed your de-ice boots with a grungy, yellowed tint or white'ish gray from being waxed over; the PBS product can take care of all that indeed. Light Plane Magazine stated in one of their articles; "Make no mistake, the PBS Boot system is the best boot treatment we've ever seen." I concur having been in the aircraft cleaning business for over 25 years; www. AircraftWashGuys. com (currently not taking on new clientele). I remember an article in AOPA Magazine also touting the PBS product.
If your de-ice boots look too far gone already try some floor wax and then PBS prep and then the sealant. The prep runs about $16.00 per quart and is a good first step. Save you de-ice boots as they may save your life. Think on this.