Household Tips: Repair Inflatable Furniture

Quick and easy solutions and instructions on how to repair or fix leaking inflatable furniture and toys.

Your inflatable furniture is deflating on you? Well that is not too hard to fix.

First thing to do is find the leak. This can be done by submersing the furniture in water. Go area by area holding that part of the furniture and apply a little pressure on the furniture. When you get to the area where the leak is you will see air bubbles. Keep track of where that leak is, dry the furniture off and mark the leak somehow. A small circle around the leak with a black marker works just fine, although if it is a visible area you might wish to use a pencil or something easy to rub off as to not leave any noticeable marks.

It is an easy thing to fix the leak unless that leak is on a seam. Seam leaks generally are unrepairable due to the fact that seams are not smooth nor form a flat enough surface. If the leak is on a seam then you are just out of luck and will have to completely replace the furniture.

Most inflatable furniture comes with a small patch kit, but they are easy to loose since they are normally just a small baggy and it is common to throw them out by accident. You can find vinyl repair kits that will work on your furniture in many places. During the summer they can be found with the inflatable water toy just about anywhere that sells such things. The rest of the year you have the waterbed repair kits or tire repair kits that are easy to find and will work just as well on inflatable furniture. One thing to take note of when picking up a repair kit is that often the vinyl repair kits and waterbed repair kits have transparent patches, while tire repair kits will often have black patches. Most likely you will wish to get the transparent patches in order to hide the patching as much as possible.

Once you have the patch kit and know where the leak is things get real easy.

Figure out the size of the patch you will need. Always cut a slightly bigger patch than the size of the leak. Most pinhole leaks just need a square centimeter of a patch. Some larger rips can be patched, but after a certain point a simple patch is not going to work and there is little that can be done to fix the leak. This becomes a judgment call. Look at the leak and if it looks too big to be fixed by a patch then chances are it is. The shape of the patch is not very important, although generally circular shapes hold down better due to not having corners to that fold up.

Now clean around the leak. Dirt and grease and such can cause problems with the glue not bonding well. Also make sure that the item being patched is inflated enough as to have its basic shape. A deflated item will not patch as well as an inflated item. You really want the surface as smooth and flat as possible so that the patch will be as smooth and flat as possible as well. Also the patch needs to conform to the shape of the furniture, and when the item is deflated it is not in its true shape.

Apply a good amount of the rubber cement to the area of the leak in a blob a little bit bigger than the patch itself. Now to put the patch over the leak. Most sheets of rubber used as patches with tend to curl. You want to put the patch with the curving side down towards the furniture. This helps prevent the patch from curling away from the surface of the furniture and pulling itself free of the rubber cement. Move the patch around in the rubber cement in order to work out any air bubbles in the cement between the patch and the surface of the furniture. The rubber cement should be overlapping the patch around the edges of the patch at this point, which is what you want. You will want to add a small amount for rubber cement to the top of the patch in order to help create a good seal around the patch. Smooth out the cement as flat as possible so that it will blend in as much as possible with the furniture.

Let the rubber cement dry now.

Once it has dried just reinflate the furniture fully and you are ready to use it again. The patches can stand a great deal of pressure. When done right they should hold up just as well as the original material.

© High Speed Ventures 2011