Owning a bounce house can be a good source of fun–and revenue. They can also be costly if not properly maintained. To keep the good times rolling (and the money coming in), you should inspect your bounce house regularly and repair it as needed. The most common thing to look for? Surface tears. Let’s take a look at some likely causes of tears and find out how to easily repair them.
Why (and how to) inspect your bounce house
Bounce houses can be exposed to a number of hazards: rough terrain, sharp objects, animals (and not just the wild kids jumping inside of them). Seams can also weaken and open over time. In fact, the more your bounce house is used, the more likely it is to become damaged at some point.
Spotting damage can be difficult, especially small tears. To inspect, inflate your bounce house and check the unit inside and out. It’s normal to hear some air escaping through the seams or out to the blower, so don’t rely solely on your ears when checking for leaks.
Instead, look for sections of your bounce house that don’t appear to be holding as much air. You can also trace a hand along surfaces to feel for excess air escaping where it shouldn’t be. If you’ve identified an area that’s deflating, but you still can’t find the tear, try using soapy water to check for bubbles.
You’ve found a tear, now what?
Repairing small tears on your own can save you money in the long run. And most minor tears are pretty simple to fix. Here are a few different ways to fix leaks:
1 Vinyl tape
Although not a long-term solution, vinyl tape is great for small cuts and minor holes. Deflate your bounce house after you’ve identified the hole and clean the torn area with a damp cloth. Next, cut the appropriate size of tape you need and press it firmly over the tear. You might even consider setting something heavy on the tape to apply pressure for an extended amount of time.
2 Vinyl patch repair
Vinyl patches work similarly to vinyl tape, but they’re more durable and used for larger holes. Again, deflate the bounce house after identifying the tear, then clean the area with a damp cloth. Cut out a round or oval-shaped patch that’s larger than the hole (avoid cutting a square, as the corners may come up easily). Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the back side of the patch and to the area around the hole. Firmly press and hold the patch over the hole (you can do the weight trick here as well).
3 Torn seams
If your bounce house has a damaged seam, you can repair it with a sewing awl. This method is slightly advanced, but it’s a professional-grade fix that will last a long while. If you’ve never used a sewing awl, you can find videos and tutorials online to help.
When damage exceeds minor bounce house repair
Sometimes damage to your bounce house is too big for a DIY approach. At this point, it may be worth it to visit a local repair shop. And if the bounce house has lasted through many seasons, it may just be time to get a new one.
Updating a bounce house–or adding a new one to your inventory–helps you stay the life of the party. Inflatable combo units like this can engage active kids in several ways beyond simply jumping up and down. Need more splash for your buck? This dual slide combo with pool keeps families happy and cool during long summer days.
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