Dry-Rot Tire Risks And How To Prevent Them

Dry-Rot Tire Risks And How To Prevent Them

When we buy a new set of tires, we assume certain responsibilities regarding their maintenance. The lack of proper maintenance significantly reduces their life and performance. Tires must always be taken care of, especially when the vehicle runs in harsh weather conditions.
And if you think that tire rotation, treadwear inspection, and the right pressure are all that "tire maintenance" means, you are sorely mistaken.

There is another danger for tires, which many car enthusiasts omit for various reasons. It is about tire dry rot that severely affects the condition of the tires. The good part of things is that the tire dry rot can be prevented, and removed in case it has already appeared. The bad part is that it leads to severe cracks in tire sidewalls, including treads if left untreated. Let's see what this means, under what conditions it forms, and how we can avoid or remove it to keep our tires safe.

What Is Dry Rot and How Does It Form?

To understand how dry rot affects the condition of the tire, let's first see what causes it to appear. First of all, you must understand that the occurrence of this phenomenon is, actually, as normal as possible. Many factors influence its appearance and basically, each tire is more or less exposed to these factors.

Dry Rot Key Facts

All kinds of abrasive or corrosive chemicals increase the risk of developing dry rot on your tires (motor oil or cleaning agents, for example).
The "friendly" sun with its UV rays impacts the tire structure, increasing the risk of dry rot.
The alternation of cold and warm temperatures is an influencing factor.
The long periods in which the tire is stored without being used influence the appearance of this phenomenon.

Factors Causing Dry Rot

Improper tire inflation is also a factor of influence. As you can see, almost all tires are exposed to this risk because they all meet the necessary conditions for the appearance of dry rot. The bad part of things is that once dry rot appears, you have limited time to take action and remove it. Otherwise, this can set permanently, irreversibly damaging the condition of the tires.

A common question is whether this rot transmits from one tire to another. No, it doesn't, luckily. However, urgent measures must be taken, such as professional processing to effectively and definitively remove the development of dry rot.

Signs Suggesting Dry Rot in Tires

Experts in the field often refer to dry rot as sidewall cracking. This is because cracking is the first sign that indicates the setting and development of dry rot in the tire texture. Frequent visual inspection is the first step to detecting early signs of dry rot. Here they are:

-cracks. As you already know, cracks are a suggestive sign of dry rot in tires. These usually appear mainly on the shoulders of the tires, but they can also be visible in other areas. Cracks in tires are not a good sign at all. These make the tires sensitive to any road barrier and negatively influence the stability of the vehicle on the route;

-excessive dryness and brittleness. This type of fungus causes the tire to dry. The oils that manufacturers use to keep them elastic leak through the cracks, leading to excessive tire dryness. Consequently, the tire begins to "crumble" and deteriorate in places, as a result of the dry texture. Brittleness is one of the most common signs that suggest the appearance of dry rot in tires;

-color changes. This type of fungus has the property of changing the color of the tire as it slowly expands on its surface. Thus, the black of the tires becomes grey, even after washing them.
These symptoms speak of a potential dry rot setting into your tires. The sooner you contact a specialist, the higher the probability of getting rid of this fungus. A delayed address will make its removal impossible and most likely, it will be necessary to replace the tire.

Any Chance To Prevent Dry Rot?

Taking into account that the tires meet all potential conditions to develop dry rot, are there chances of prevention? Without keeping you in suspense, yes, there are. You may not completely exclude this risk, but you can certainly minimize it. Let's see what the preventive measures are.

First of all, opt for new tires whenever the time comes to replace them. And when you do, focus on high-quality tires. The problem with second-hand tires is that you never know what their quality level is. These pass quality checks very rarely. In addition, it is not at all easy to detect the presence of dry rot, especially if it is in its early stages.

Secondly, try to use professional chemicals for maintaining the tires. Unfortunately, many manufacturers produce poor-quality materials that affect the rubber structure.

Thirdly, try to avoid, as much as possible, direct exposure to sunlight and high temperatures. I know it's a bit difficult to do it, but at least try.

Last but not least, avoid storing tires for a long time in wet and unventilated conditions.

How Dangerous Is It To Drive With Dry Rot Tires?

Experts in the field do not recommend driving with dry rot tires. Besides the fact that tire cracks pose a risk while driving, the rot causes unnatural rubber expansion. This expansion can produce a separate tire breaking, which endangers the life of the driver. In addition, driving with dry rot tires involves an imminent risk of a blowout. Cases have been reported where the tread has separated from the rest of the tire due to infection.

How Long Can You Drive With Dry Rot Tires?

The decision is at your discretion. But the safest thing is to drive only to a technical service center as soon as you detect the problem. Don't risk driving a car with dry rot tires. Tires become very fragile and air can enter through cracks inside the tire. The consequences can be drastic.

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