How To

How to prevent freezer frost by repairing a bad gasket / seal

I’m one of those guys that will hold onto an appliance until it’s last breath. If leaks water, put a bucket under it. If the motor is loud, wear some earmuffs. So when my refrigerator freezer started to develop some frost build-up, the last thing on my mind was “it’s time to buy a new freezer.”

Why the freezer builds up frost

After researching the problem a bit, I came to realize that most ice and frost build-up issues are due to warm air getting into the freezer, combining with the cool air and creating frost.

The most common way that warm air gets into a freezer is through a bad door seal or gasket.

How to prevent frost build up in the freezer

You can buy a new freezer door gasket, but you’ll find that the original manufacturer replacement part costs you nearly $100. Though, generic options are available in the $30 to $40 range.

freezer gasket makerThere’s an even easier fix that requires both less time and money. It’s called Silicone Gasket Maker.

You can get it on Amazon for about $6 with free shipping, if you subscribe to Amazon Prime. Or, just make it part of your next Amazon order if you don’t have Prime. The 3.35 ounce tube is about what you’ll need.

The great thing about this stuff is that it maintains it’s seal down to -65°F, so the cold freezer air won’t have any effect on it. I chose the black color because it matches my existing freezer gasket.

  1. Fill a cooler with ice and empty the contents of your freezer into the cooler.
  2. Shut off your freezer or entire fridge, if necessary.
  3. Leaving the existing freezer gasket intact, examine the gasket to determine where the major gaps are between the freezer and the gasket itself (where outside air might be entering).
  4. Apply an 1/8″ bead of silicone gasket maker at those points.new freezer gasket
  5. Wait about a half-hour, then smooth the silicone down with your finger just to eliminate any major “high” spots.gasket seal freezer
  6. After a full hour has passed, go ahead and shut the freezer door so the silicone comes in full contact with the freezer.
  7. Check for any remaining gaps where air might enter. Repeat the process again until you’ve accounted for all gaps.

After the final silicone application, close your freezer door tight. The new gasket you just made will still be malleable enough to form a nice tight seal against the freezer surface.

After a day or so, check your freezer to see if there is any frost build-up. If there is, at least you’ve eliminated one possible problem, affordably.

The next step is to make sure that your freezer is venting properly. Make sure that the front or rear vents on the bottom of your freezer are completely unobstructed.

If you have an ice maker in your freezer, check out the flap where the ice enters your freezer. If it is getting stuck open, it can allow air that is relatively warm to enter the freezer.