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Last updated: July 18, 2023
A guide explaining the different ways to identify and patch holes and tears in a bounce house, so you can continue using it without issues.
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 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 must address. You could call 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 the different methods to go about patching those holes.
Repairing a Bounce House
Even the tiniest leak in a bounce house can result in long-term damage and be a safety risk for kids using it.
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.
More significant leaks will be obvious, but smaller holes might be challenging to identify. That’s why checking regularly is essential to prevent these holes from getting bigger.
How to Identify Holes
If your bounce house is leaking air, you must try to find that hole as soon as possible.
If holes aren’t easily identifiable, there are a few things you can do:
- Use your ears and hands:
Start with the basics; 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 any 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.
- Use soap and water:
This requires a bit more effort, but using a bit of soap and water will help identify leaks quite easily.
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.
- 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 it is inflated and set up or 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, will not 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:
- Vinyl Patch Repair Kit
- TPU Patch Repair Kit
- 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, and others have tape only. Of course, using the tape-only solution is easier and 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 solid vinyl tape, you can also achieve excellent results for minor tears and holes.
- TEAR-AID Repair Patches provide a simple and easy method of patching holes and...
- The TEAR-AID Type B vinyl repair patch sticks to - Vinyl and Vinyl-coated...
- The TEAR-AID patch is see-thru to work on any color and is UV resistant to...
Steps to patch a tear with vinyl tape:
- Clean the area that needs patching.
- Cut a piece of tape large enough to cover the tear.
- Stick the tape onto the hole and press.
- 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 have tried Vinyl and TPU patches, and both have worked quite well for me.
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.
- SAVE YOUR INFLATABLES: The pool patch repair kit provides easy and quick method...
- DURABLE & RELIABLE: The repair patches are made of high-strength TPU material...
- WIDE APPLICATIONS: Suitable for repairing small slits or fix a leak on swimming...
Steps to patch a tear with TPU tape:
- Clean the area around the hole thoroughly.
- Cut the repair tape to the required size.
- Peel the film, place the repair tape over the hole, and press firmly.
- Let it rest for one hour before using the bounce house.
3. Sewing Awl Kit
The most technical and challenging way to patch a bounce house is sewing it. If you’re planning to do this, it might be best to call the professionals to do it for you, although DIY sewing awl kits are 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 helpful for bounce houses with damaged stitching or seams.
To perform this type of repair, it’s best to deflate the bounce house completely.
This video explains the process:
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.
One way to help avoid damage is by regularly cleaning the bounce house, which will involve removing debris and dirt, and it will also help identify minor tears and holes before they become bigger.
However, if you’re dealing with a minor hole or tear, it may be worth purchasing a patch repair kit and trying to repair it 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.