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Last updated: May 4, 2021
Having a trampoline in the backyard is a great way to have fun and to do a bit of exercise in your very own home. Over time though, especially when the trampoline is used regularly, there will be wear and tear issues.
Damage can occur to the springs, the mat, or perhaps even the legs. However, the most common type of damage to trampolines is holes in the mat. And depending on the severity of these holes, repairs are often inevitable.
In this article I am going to discuss how to fix a hole in a trampoline mat, if it’s worth the time and effort, or if you’re better off hiring a professional to do the patching.
Should You Patch a Trampoline Mat?
If basic care is taken throughout the trampoline’s lifetime, professional trampoline maintenance specialists don’t need to be hired. Most trampoline owners can expect 5-10 years of moderate use before the mat needs to be replaced.
However, premature trampoline mat damage can certainly occur. Factors to consider are age of the mat, excessive sun exposure, and having particles like gravel and sand ending up on the mat when jumping.
Holes are the most common sign of wear on a trampoline mat. The size of a hole is what matters when judging whether to repair, or to replace the mat.
Here are some tips to help you decide if you should repair the trampoline mat:
- Before looking at the hole, observe the surface of your mat. If the mat is worn, damaged by the sun, or has been in use for over 10 years, it might be best to replace the mat entirely rather than fixing to hole.
- If the mat itself is in good shape, but the hole is greater than 3 inches, it may also be best to replace the mat. Holes larger than 3 inches are difficult to repair properly.
- If the hole is less than a 1/2 inch wide and isn’t frayed at the edges, simple duct tape is often a good enough solution. Just keep an eye on the hole to see how it holds over time.
- For holes between 1/2 and 3 inches, I would recommend repairing the mat yourself using one of the below methods.
How to Fix a Hole in a Trampoline Mat
So, you’ve established that the hole in your trampoline mat is between 1/2 and 3 inches. Catching holes at this size is good because it means you can still fix them yourself.
But how do you fix that hole in a trampoline? Luckily there are a few options available to try and repair your trampoline mat at home.
Let’s go through 3 methods in more detail:
1. Adhesive Patches
The easiest solution is to use adhesive patches. If you do a quick search online, on Amazon for example, you will find adhesive patch kits that will allow you to quickly fix smaller holes in a trampoline.
These kits typically include a few patch sheets (ideally round-shaped) with a step-by-step guide on how to complete the process, but in short this is how it works:
- Clean and dry the area of the mat around the hole.
- Remove the protective layer from the patch, apply glue (if necessary), and press the patch firmly to the mat.
- Wait for approximately 24 hours for the glue to cure before using the trampoline.
If you live in a colder climate, you might struggle a bit with the adhesives, because temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit are typically required for glue to cure properly.
2. Sew-On Replacement Patches
Another method is to actually sew a patch onto the hole in the mat. This is slightly more complicated than the previous method, but typically leads to better long-term results.
Patches of replacement trampoline canvas are readily available online, and repair kits typically include a few patch sheets of UV resistant material, heavy-duty thread, and a needle.
This is roughly how it works:
- Trim a circular portion of the replacement canvas at least 2 inches wider than the hole.
- Place the patch over the hole and sew it directly to the mat. Sewing manually is easy, and the kit will include a guide on how to sew patches properly.
A second set of hands can help with tightening out the mat while sewing. As with so many things in life, teamwork will always get you better results.
3. Advanced: Using a Sewing Machine
If the trampoline mat hole is a bit large, i.e. around 3-4 inches, it may be challenging to find good replacement patches to fix the hole.
You can still try and fix these bigger holes yourself though, without replacing the whole mat, by using a sewing machine:
- Carefully remove the mat from the trampoline structure, and decouple the springs from the structure.
- Once the mat is dettached, bring the sewing machine out.
- Before sewing, make sure to set up the machine with (UV-resistant) thread similar to that which covers the mat, and use a heavy-duty needle.
- Run strong, tight stitches across the hole in the mat, preferably in a zig-zag pattern to ensure the robustness of the stitch.
This method is more time-consuming compared to the previous methods, but it is useful if you’re in a pinch and you have the skills to operate a sewing machine.
Alternative: Hire a Local Professional
In cases where mats have holes over 3-4 inches, it may be best to call your local trampoline repair person before replacing the mat entirely. Mats can often still be fixed and patched by reaching out to the pros.
Also, if you’re simply not comfortable patching a trampoline mat hole yourself (or don’t have the time), even if the hole is small, there is of course nothing wrong with relying on an expert. You can expect a quality result.
Prices are often reasonable, but make sure to ask around for different quotes if you feel that the first quote is rather expensive.
>> Different types of trampoline shapes explained.
>> My list of great backyard trampolines for children.
Trampolines are a lifestyle investment, and we want to take good care of them throughout the year, for safety and longevity reasons. However, there will be a time where the mat suffers damage.
Fixing a hole in a trampoline mat doesn’t need to be a difficult problem to solve, and with the above solutions for patching holes you should be able to get this done.
Prevention is always best though, so make sure to be strict with the mat’s weight limits, keep unwanted materials off the mat, clean the mat regularly, and keep the mat inside during cold winter months.
Also, always be prepared for bad weather with strong winds, as you don’t want your trampoline damaged. Check out my guide to securing a trampoline with tips to prevent your trampoline from blowing away.