repair a leak or puncture in an inflatable

Float Patch: how to find and repair a leak/puncture in an inflatable

Inflatable pools and toys are very  exciting functional pool accessories available today on the market. People of all age groups love to go swimming in the summers to spend some peaceful time near or in the water just to feel more connected with nature. What could be more exciting than having a chance to bask in the sun with some summer delights in the company of friends and loved ones.  Bring back the joy lost amidst your busy work schedule and ongoing life by hitting the swimming pool, beaches and water bodies.  

 An inflatable is usually an object made up of plastic or rubber material used after filling it with air. The most prominent reason people choose this kind of product is that it is very portable and easy to store. 

You may be living in two bedroom apartments where finding space for additional items has been a great challenge for you. A good thing about pool floats is they are easy to store. Because we can just blow out the air and store them in a very compact place such as a basement or storage or one unused drawer in the pantry. Couple other features that you’d  admire are that they are like transport friendly, light-weight, and highly portable. When planning a beach part , take them out, blow the air in to inflate, and you are good to go. 

What is a floating patch? 

A floating patch is a common phrase we often heard from people who own an inflatable toy or pool. So, what is it exactly? A floating patch is a piece of cloth or any other material that we use to mend a torn or a  hole  in the material of the pool. It usually happens when the float gets in contact with a sharp object. Even if you don’t poke it with a knife or pointed stick, it may still get the patch after getting it contacted with sharp edges of the pool. 

 To repair  the damaged area, people use the material to strengthen that spot most of the time, so that the float will be capable of using again. 

How to find a leak or puncture in an inflatable pool: 

To identify a leak or puncture in an inflatable pool or toy you have to follow a set instruction which is as follow: 

For this procedure, you need water, a soap mixture in a spray bottle, a cloth piece, and a soft-tipped marker. The time duration depends upon your inflatable size.  

  1. First of all, you have to make a soap mixture by adding dish soap in light warm water. Mix it until the texture becomes soapy, then transfer it into a spray bottle. 
  2. Now you have to lay out the soapy mixture on the entire inflatable surface in small sections so that you can cover it equally. Simply spray the mixture and then use the cloth piece to make it spread thoroughly. Check every portion of the float; around the valves, the seams, and the sides. 
  3. Afterward, if there is any leak in the float, you will see inflation of air bubbles in that section. Circle that area with the marker or just put a dot, to make yourself notify where the leak is when you start to repair it. Keep looking at the float because there could be more than one leak. 
  4. After marking all the puncture spots, re-visit them again to make sure of the leaks before repairing them.  

The procedure is quite simple to follow. It can get a little hectic, but it is worth the effort and time. Because it will be much easier if we know where the leaks are before fixing them. 

How to repair a leak or puncture in an inflatable pool: 

When you have an inflatable leak or puncture, it is not a dead end. You can still repair inflatable toys or pools, and you will be able to relive your favorite inflatable float memories. You can find float patch kits on Amazon, go for a pool patch wet kit or a heavy-duty patch kit to fix the damage conveniently. 

These kits come handy when you are high and dry with no knowledge of repairing the patch yourself at home. You get a manual filled with step-by-step instructions on how to fix the picture or leak in the material with ease.  To use these kits to repair inflatable toy or pool, you have to follow the steps given below:

Step 1:

The first step is to drain out all the water from the pool to dry it out. Working with a dry inflatable is much easier than a filled one because it is less clumsy and also the patch will stick more firmly. The wet texture of the float causes slipperiness which is not recommended, it will only make your job more challenging. 

Step 2: 

Now cut the patch according to the size of the leak hole. If the available patch is in a square, cut the edges. Because if you have sharp edges, it will easily come off the inflatable. The best-recommended size is up to a 2- or 3-inches circled patch and the measurements can also vary depending upon the leak hole area. 

Step 3: 

Before applying the patch, you should make sure the leak area is completely dry and also it is free of dust or any kind of debris. You can also apply some sanitizing spray or rubbing alcohol to clean it very efficiently. 

Step 4: 

The best way to apply the patch is when it iis inflated because if you do it afterward the patch can stretch and lose its grip. For a great seal, first, inflate it and then stick it on the patch. The patch should apply in the situation in which the inflatable is commonly used. 

Step 5: 

This is the final step. Apply the vinyl glue or plastic glue on both the torn leak surface and also at the back of the patch. An extra tip that is very useful in this step is to apply a thin layer of glue, not a thick one, because if you have a thick layer, it will just move everywhere and the patch will not stick sturdily. 

Now apply the glued patch to the leak with light pressure. Keep on putting some extra pressure on the area for a couple of minutes or according to the suggested time on the patch kit. After the patch is fixed, also apply a little glue on the outside, it will make the fix more permanent and long-lasting. 

This whole procedure is the one suggested by the inflatable manufacturers to patch a float tube. People also repair the leak with duct tape or simply strong glues, but these ways are very unreliable. Logically, the duct tape may lose its stickiness after a certain time period when exposed to water consistently . Instead of relying on these temporary fixes, you should use the patch method, as it is the most promising one. 

Guideline to prevent the inflatable pool from puncturing: 

To prevent any leak or puncture hole from the float , the best guideline is to protect it from sharp objects and edges.. Try to pack it in a compact bag while traveling. When it is not in use, you should store it somewhere safely ,  in a plastic bag so that any outer object causes no harm to it. 

But after preventions,  if it still gets a leak. Do not stress out, just follow the repair guidelines, you can always fix it yourself without going to the extra length. 

Final verdict:

Inflatable toys and pools are fun accessories that are likely to undergo tear and wear. Having a float leak is very common, but as we say, the problem always comes with its solution. So, when you have a leak hole, you can simply repair it using the above guidelines. However, if the leak is gigantic like a big black hole in the tunnel, you may have to get the float repaired professionally. Or you should consider buying a new one because the damage sometimes is not repairable. Most DIY float patch repair ideas work magically, making your inflatable as it was before. You can again use it without even noticing that it was once damaged.

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