How to Patch and Repair a Bounce House (DIY Guide)

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Last updated: May 23, 2022

Bounce houses are loads of fun for children of all ages and even for adults as well. However, they are prone to tears and holes, and eventually will need to be repaired.

Whether it was an accident with a sharp object or just natural wear and tear, a leak in your bounce house is a problem you’re going to have to address. You could call in the professionals or maybe try and fix the problem yourself.

In this article, I am going to explain how to identify holes and leaks in your bounce house, and different ways to go about patching those holes.

Repairing a Bounce House

Even the tiniest leak in a bounce house can not only result in long-term damage but can also be a safety risk.

When in use, bounce houses and jumpy castles, always need to be inflated properly for the best jumping experience and also to keep everyone safe.

Bigger leaks will be obvious, but smaller holes might be difficult to identify. That’s why it’s important to always do regular checks to prevent these holes from getting bigger.

How to Identify Holes

First things first, if your bounce house leaks, you need to find that hole as soon as possible.

If holes aren’t easily identifiable, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Use your ears and hands:
    Start with the basics, which means walking around the bounce house and using your ears and hands to identify holes. Smaller holes typically make a hissing sound, whereas bigger holes sound more like a gust.

    If you’re not hearing anything, use your hands to feel air escaping. The tiniest leaks may not make much of a sound, but you will feel some air escaping when the bounce house is inflated.

  2. Use soap and water:
    This requires a bit more effort, but using a bit of soap and water will help identify leaks quite easily.

    Simply apply the mix to the surface of the bounce house (start with sections where you suspect might be a hole) and you will see small bubbles forming where air escapes.

  3. Submerge in water:
    This is a more drastic measure, and will only work for smaller bounce houses and other small inflatable toys. You will also need a pool of some kind to make this happen.

    The concept is the same as the soap and water approach. When submerging, simply look for bubbles to identify any leaks.

Once you have identified a hole in your bounce house, it’s time to go ahead and patch it.

How to Patch a Hole

Patching a hole in a bounce house can be done when the bounce house is inflated and set up, or when it is deflated and flat on the ground.

The key to repairing a hole in a bounce house is that the material you’re going to use is durable and stretchable. Duct tape, for example, is not going to work on a bounce house because it doesn’t stretch very well.

I’m going to walk you through three methods of patching a bounce house:

  1. Vinyl Patch Repair Kit
  2. TPU Patch Repair Kit
  3. Sewing Awl Kit

1. Vinyl Patch Repair Kit

The easiest and quickest way to repair an inflatable is by using a vinyl patch repair kit. You can do this when the bounce house is inflated or deflated.

Some repair kits include glue, others include tape only. Of course, using the tape-only solution is a lot easier and a lot less messy than the glue option, but you need to make sure the vinyl tape is of the strongest kind.

Typically, with glue, there is an extra layer of robustness, but with strong vinyl tape, you can also achieve excellent results for smaller tears and holes.

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Steps to patch a tear with vinyl tape:

  1. Clean the area that needs patching.
  2. Cut a piece of tape large enough to cover the tear.
  3. Stick the tape onto the hole and press.
  4. It glues instantly but it’s best to let it rest for an hour.

2. TPU Patch Repair Kit

TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane and is supposedly stronger than vinyl. I’m certainly not an expert on this, but I have tried both Vinyl patches and TPU patches and both have worked for me quite well.

TPU tape is waterproof and high-temperature and UV resistant, suitable for patching any type of inflatable, such as kiddie pools, pool floats, sprinkler splash pads, sofas, inflatable water slides, and also tents.

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Steps to patch a tear with TPU tape:

  1. Clean the area around the hole thoroughly.
  2. Cut the repair tape to the required size.
  3. Peel the film, place the repair tape over the hole, and press firmly.
  4. Let it rest for one hour before using the bounce house.

3. Sewing Awl Kit

The most technical and most difficult way to patch a bounce house is by actually sewing it. If this is what you’re planning to do, it might be best to call in the professionals to do it for you, although there are DIY sewing awl kits available.

With a sewing awl, or stitching awl, you can puncture holes in heavy materials (leather, canvas, plastic) for stitching purposes. A sewing awl kit is mostly useful for bounce houses with damaged stitching or seams.

To perform this type of repair, it’s best to completely deflate the bounce house first.

This video explains the process:

Final Thoughts

Finding and repairing a hole or tear in your bounce house can be tricky if you haven’t done it before, and there’s nothing wrong with paying a professional to do the patching work for you.

However, if you’re dealing with a minor hole or tear, it may be worth purchasing a patch repair kit and trying to do the repair yourself. Hopefully the steps above can help guide you through the process.

Keen to buy a new bounce house? Check out my list with recommended inflatable bounce houses that you can set up in your very own backyard. Some of these may even be suitable for adults as long as care is taken.

 

How to patch and repair a bounce house (DIY guide)

 
Thomas Dunnett

The backyard is the perfect place to bond with family and friends, to have a good time, or to simply relax with some fresh air and a bit of sunshine. With this website I am hoping to share my passion for the backyard with you.

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