Waking up in the middle of the night on a deflated air mattress is an inconvenient experience especially when you are on a camping trip. Detecting and fixing any holes in your air mattress is very easy, and perhaps it is the best way to ensure that your trip is not spoiled due to trivial reasons.
This article provides a systematic way that will help you to fix a hole in an air mattress or an air float.
1. Tools for fixing a hole in air mattress
You do not need any specialized equipment for repairing a puncture in the air mattress. Following are some essential tools that come in handy while fixing the hole:
- Cloth or sponge:
A damp cloth is used to clean and remove dust from the repair surface.
A marker pen will be needed to mark the repair location so that the spot can be detected later when repairing is done.
- Low-temp glue gun:
The glue gun is used to apply a dab of glue while patching
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- Rubber cement:
A rubber cement works as an adhesive while patching the hole. It is to be applied on the area around the hole.
These will be used to seal the holes. The patch can be cut out from a bicycle’s rubber tire patch.
Use sandpaper for polishing the surface.
- A heavy flat thing:
This needs to be placed on the patch for a period of at least 12 hours.
You should equip yourself with a set of tools like that because they can also be used for patching other inflatables, such as inflatable pools, inflatable boats, boat tubes, etc.
2. 4 steps to fix holes in air mattress
Step 1 - Find the holes
Like other inflatables, the first thing you must do is finding the leak hole. This is true especially when the hole is small because the deflation progresses gradually and slowly.
The mattress must be inflated entirely before the puncture is detected. Usually, the air comes out of the hole with a whooshing sound. However, the sound may not be audible if the hole is small and then we will need to spray the mattress surface with a solution made by mixing dish soap and water. On spraying this solution, you will see bubbles coming out from the spot where the mattress is punctured.
Once the tough part is over, we can proceed to the next step by deflating the mattress and keeping the affected spot on a flat surface.
Watch this video to see how it's done:
Step 2 - Clean and polish the mattress surface around the hole
Clean the surface around the hole to clear off the dust, dirt or any other debris that may hinder our efforts to apply the patch. A wet sponge or cloth can be used for this purpose.
Use a sandpaper to sand away the surface and expose the rubber surface if the hole is on the flocked surface of the mattress. Moreover, rough areas can be polished by using sandpaper.
Dry the area completely before proceeding. Use a marker pen to draw a line around the puncture. This will be the spot where the patch needs to be applied.
Step 3 - Apply the glue and patch
The next step is to apply the patch, and there are two approaches to patching.
The first method suggests using a low-temperature glue gun for temporarily sealing the puncture in case of emergencies. Heat up the glue gun after the glue stick has been placed in. Push the trigger of the gun for placing a dab of glue on the hole. The hole will be temporarily sealed using this method.
The second method specifies using a patch to seal the hole. Apply an adhesive like contact cement over the puncture hole before you patch. Apply glue and then press over the puncture. Place a heavy thing on the patch to hold it down for at least 12 hours. During this time, it will seal the hole permanently, and the puncture will be repaired.
Step 4 - Inflate the mattress and test the patch
It is important to check the repair after the patching is done. The air mattress must be left in an inflated position to determine the effectiveness of the patch.
3. What are the main things causing holes in an air mattress?
Following are the things that can puncture your air mattress:
- Animals: It is important to keep pets away from inflatable items because animals having sharp claws tend to puncture them in a way that is very difficult to repair. Moreover, pets like dogs and cats love to cuddle up with family members on things like sofas and air mattresses. These animals also tend to push them thereby damaging the seams.
- Contact with sharp things: Sharp objects like knives, scissors, needles, pencils, paper clips and safety pins can puncture the air mattresses. One must remove any sharp object from the pockets before using the air mattress. A puncture caused by sharp items is difficult to mend even by using temporary measures like duct tapes or vinyl patch kits. Make sure that you do not keep the mattress on a rough surface while camping outdoors. Sharp stones and twigs that are underneath can puncture the mattress. Moreover, make sure that you do not sleep with car keys in your pocket.
- Hot objects: Candles and tent heaters can puncture a hole in the mattress and hence it is advised to keep hot surfaces away from the mattress.
- Bad storage places: store it in an area that is dry and away from excessive heat.
Moreover, it is important to deflate the item completely before you roll it before storing. Make sure it's completely dry when you are folding it. Additionally, do not roll or fold it too tightly.
Air mattresses prove to be indispensable accessories while being used as a camping air bed or as extra bedding for your guests. However, you may find yourself in difficult or an embarrassing situation when the air mattress is punctured with a hole. Hence, it is not only necessary to protect your air mattress but also essential to repair it promptly. The guidelines mentioned in this article will be helpful to anybody who wishes to repair a punctured air mattress in a fast and convenient way.