Nothing says summer like lounging in the pool on a hot sunny day. However, pool floats can be punctured, and one day there might be a leak in your favorite inflatable pool chair or inner tube. If so, there's no need to toss it! Save some money and repair the hole yourself with these quick and easy tips:
1. Have the Right Repair Kit
Some pool floats come with their own patch repair kit in case of a small hole or tear. If so, great! If not, it is important to get the right repair kit for your particular pool float. Kits designed to work on vinyl won’t do so well on rubber, and vice versa. If you aren’t sure what material you’re working with, visit the website of the manufacturer or give the company a quick call to find out. The website might even sell patch repair kits you can buy for your specific float.
2. Spot the Leak
One way to find the leak in your pool float is to do a water test. Use an air pump to inflate the pool float as much as possible, then place it under water one section at a time. Look for tiny bubbles leaking out of your float; these bubbles should lead you to the location of the hole. Place duct or electrical tape near the area so it’s easy to find later on.
3. Prepare the Area
Make sure the material around the hole is clean and thoroughly dry before making your repair. Any residue might make the repair less effective, so be sure to use either the cleaning solution included in your repair kit or rubbing alcohol on a soft washcloth to get your pool inflatable squeaky clean. Dry the entire float, or at least several inches around the area with the damage. Try to flatten out the area you're working on and keep it facing up for an easy repair.
4. Seal the Leak
Follow the instructions on the repair kit to patch the hole or tear in your float. For the best result, make sure the breach is as close to the center of the patch as possible. Wait the recommended amount of time for the patch to dry before inflating, as per the instructions. (A half hour should be plenty of time.)
Alternatively, waterproof sealants can be used to repair pool floaties. Make sure the sealant will work on the type of material you’re working with, and follow the above steps for preparation. Apply the sealant in a bead on the hole. Spread the bead of sealant out flat at least a half inch beyond the hole in each direction and leave to dry for the recommended amount of time before re-inflating. Perform the water test again and look for bubbles that might indicate a weak patch or additional leak.
Now that your pool toy or float is repaired, you’re ready to get back in the water! Enjoy your like-new pool float while playing some fun pool games or simply relaxing after a long day’s work.