Inflatables Blog

How to Patch Repair Your Inflatables

Inflatable Boat Repair

It’s going to happen. No matter how perfectly you use your inflatables, there is a puncture or a tear that will develop. Instead of returning the product for a warranty repair or trashing it to buy a new one, a simple patch repair may be all that is necessary to use your inflatable once again.

It’s pretty easy to repair inflatables on your own, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a fairly “handy” sort of person. Here’s what you’re going to want to do.

Step 1: Find the Hole

If your inflatables are losing air, but you aren’t finding a hole or tear, then this is the best case scenario. These are patched successfully a vast majority of the time. If you can’t find the leak, then take some soapy water and coat the inflatable with it. You’ll see bubbles form where the leak happens to be. Mark the spot and allow the inflatable to dry. Masking tape around the area can help you spot it again if you need some help.

Step 2: Choose Your Repair Method

Some vinyl may need to be stitched closed. Others may need a repair patch only. Some might need both. If your repair site is a seam, you’re going to need strong vinyl adhesive. Choose the method that’s right for you and get the supplies you’ll need. If you need to sew the vinyl closed, the thread must be strong and intended for this use.

Step 3: Create Your Patch

Stitch your hole closed if it is more than just a simple puncture. Then you’ll want to prepare your patch so that it is ready to be installed. Make sure the patch is at least a half-inch larger than the leak so the repair can take successfully. Spread glue on the surface around the leak and on the surface of the patch. Apply the vinyl patch with the leak spot centered.

If using adhesive to patch a seam, then you may need to clamp the seam closed for the glue to take.

Allow for at least 24 hours for your patch to dry. Make sure you bring the inflatable indoors for the drying process. Only store the drying inflatable in a well ventilated room because of the fumes that many repair glues can create.

Step 4: Inspect Your Repair

Once you’ve give the patch repair enough time to dry, you’re ready to inspect your work. Inflate the item and then coat with soapy water once again to determine if you have stopped the leak. If it has stopped, then you’re ready to use your inflatables once again.

If not, then you can repeat this process once again, covering the entire patch repair with a new patch that is at least a half-inch greater than the last patch. Allow 48 hours for the second patch to dry before testing it.

If the repair still fails, then it may be time for a professional repair or a replacement inflatable.

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