How To Patch A Pool Float In 3 Simple Steps
Arguably one of the saddest moments on a beautifulsummer day is when your inflatable begins to deflate. Usually made of vinyl, pool floats are easy to move around and play with, but their lightweight design and construction make them susceptible to rips and tears that can reduce their lifespan. Thankfully, with a little bit of guidance, a few tools, and theright attitude, you can get back to floating in no time. Here’s how:
Step 1: Find the Hole
To determine where the hole is to find the air leak, begin by fully inflating your pool float. You will need to leave the air in the float throughout the entire patching process, as this makes it a million times easier to repair. Additionally, if you apply the patch when your float is deflated and then inflate it, the patch could stretch and pull off easily.
Once your pool float is fully inflated and the air valve is closed, you can then determine where the source of the leak is through one of the following methods:
- Submerge the inflatable in water. The leak will produce tiny air bubbles in the water, making it fairly easy to spot.
- Spray the surface area where you think the leak might be coming from with a cleaning product, then, using your fingers, rub the cleaning product around. When you see small bubbles consistently forming in one area -- you found your leak.
Once you’ve finally tracked down the source of the leak, cover it was a small piece of tape or make a mark over it so you can easily find it again when it’s time to make the repair. The pool float will then need to be completely dry before you begin patching it up.
Step 2: Gather the Right Tools
Before you can repair the leak in your float, you will need to have the right patching tools on hand. Some floaties come with a PVC patch, or you can simply purchase a repair kit. You can also opt for a strong adhesive that is not necessarily geared toward repairing leaks -- like a shoe glue, for example -- depending on the size of the hole and item you are repairing. Whatever sealant you decide to use, just be sure that it is flexible, strong, and of course, waterproof.
If you don’t use a PVC patch, you will need duct tape to seal the hole. However, it’s wise to keep in mind that if the leak is on the seam of your inflatable, duct tape and PVC patches will not work due to the position.
Note:There are many different types of repair kits on the market that can help you to fix your pool float, but it’s important to keep in mind that they are all not created equal. Some repair kits work only on vinyl and vinyl-covered floats, while others are designed for rubber or other materials. If you aren’t sure what your inflatable is made of, simply visit the manufacturer’s website or simply call the company’s information line to find out!
Step 3: Patch the Hole
Now that you’ve located the source of the air leak and you’ve determined which tools you’re going to use to repair it, it’s time to patch up the hole.
Find the spot that you previously marked with tape and generously apply the sealant or adhesive to the area. If you are using a patch or duct tape, make sure the piece is big enough to cover the surface area around the hole. Then, cover the hole with your patch or a piece of duct tape.
Once the patch or seal has been applied, it’s crucial that you allow the area to dry completely prior to using your pool floaty in the water.
Pro Tip:Prior to applying your adhesive or patch, clean the area with rubbing alcohol or another sanitizing cleaner, making sure that there is no dirt or debris that will get in between the patch and the pool material.
Float Care Tips
So now that you’ve got your float patched up and ready to go, check out our float care tips below to keep it in tip-top shape:
Don’t Over-Inflate Your Pool Float
The amount of air in your favorite inflatable willshrink and expand depending on a whole heap of factors -- the weather being the biggest one.
Sunshine and heat will increase the amount of air in your pool float. If it’s completely inflated and you spend a glorious day on the water in the warm summer sun, your majestic unicorn or giant flamingo will probably overinflate and get a hole somewhere.
When you’re inflating, it can be tempting to try and fill your float with so much air that it smooths out every single wrinkle, but don’t do that (the wrinkles will eventually go away). Your pool float should be firm, but not hard.
Keep Your Inflatable Away From Anything That Might Cause Damage
Okay, so this should really go without saying, but it’s important, so we’ve added it to the list! Do your very best to keep your favorite inflatable away from anything that might cause damage. For instance, steer clear from sharp edges or corners that could potentially rip a hole in your float and avoid dragging it on the ground (especiallyhot concrete) at all costs.
Air Can Shrink in the Cold
While hot air will make your float expand,cold air will do just the opposite. For instance, if you leave your inflatable out overnight, you just might wake up to it looking a little droopy -- that’s totally normal. It just needs a bit of a pump up, and you will be ready to spend the day floating again.
Store Your Pool Float in a Cool, Dry Place
Once you’re done enjoying your pool float, it’s important to deflate it, dry it off, and store it in a cool, dry place. Keeping your float inflated overnight won’t be a disaster, but we suggest that you avoid storing it in direct sunlight for long periods of time so your float can hang around for a few seasons!
Keep Your Inflatables Squeaky-Clean
Chlorine and salt are both your pool float worst enemies as they can have a detrimental effect on most materials. Once your done floating for the day, whether you were at a bougie pool party or a relaxedfamily reunion, we highly recommended that you give your float a rinse off in fresh water and put it out to air dry.
If you notice any dirt on your float, whip up a soap solution, and with a clean sponge, give your float a good scrub. Once you feel you’ve adequately cleaned your pool float, rinse it off with a hose and pat it dry with a clean towel. Finally, set your inflatable out in the sun to dry for a few hours as the UV rays act as a natural disinfectant.
A Final Word
So, how does one patch a pool float, you ask?
Simple: find where the air is leaking and clean the surrounding surface to ensure it is free of any dirt or debris. Then, apply your sealant or patch and allow it to dry completely. We suggest waiting roughly 24 hours prior to using your float once you’ve patched it up, but every patch kit is different, so be sure to read the directions thoroughly.
Once dry, you can grab your float, head to the nearest pool, and get back to floating!
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