Although great for camping trips and extra home beds, there comes the point when you have to fix a leaky air mattress. Since it’s an air mattress, holes, puncture, or broken seams will eventually turn your comfy mattress into a thin flat sheet. No matter how much air you pump into the mattress, it deflates after a while. Watch out, there may be some broken seams or tiny holes!
Even the most expensive air mattresses are likely to get torn, but this doesn’t mean it’s useless. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive and simple ways to fix rips and tears on your air mattress to extend its life. Before fixing the puncture, you need to find the leaky hole.
Find the leak
First and foremost, you must find the culprit that causes deflation. Most of the air mattress issues are caused by accidental punctures.
Before you look for leaks, you have to make sure that the mattress isn’t deflating due to other factors. Air mattresses lose a little air when there’s a temperature change. Mostly at night time, the air inside the mattress gets colder and causes slight deflation. If sitting on the mattress gives you a saggy feeling and you sink in way too much by applying pressure, it’s time to locate broken seam or punctures. This may sound easy, but what do you do when the hole is tiny and not visible through the naked eye.
- Start from the bottom when trying to find the leaks. The majority of all air mattresses’ punctures happen on the bottom.
- Get your ears 2-3″ near the mattress and try to listen to the slow escaping air sound. Check the valve and seams first.
- If the listening method doesn’t work, make a mixture of soap, determent, and water. Spray this soapy solution all over the air mattress and wipe it down. Any hole or puncture area will bubble.
When you see a torn seam, the easiest method is to secure the tear by sewing it. Broken seams need repair; if not fixed quickly, the torn seam gets worse.
To mend a torn seam, you require the following:
- Upholstery curved mid-size needle
- Upholstery thread is the same colour as the air mattress.
Using a curved needle is effective in repairing rips in seams.
Thread the needle and cut the thread length roughly as long as you want. Stitch it up by pushing the needle through one of the holes and pull through until the knot stops the thread from coming all the way out. Sew the torn seam edges via small stitches to secure them properly and prevents them from fraying. Make sure to tie several knots at the end of stitches.
Hot glue method
After locating the torn seam or tiny hole, clean the area and take a hot glue gun or its glue stick. Melt the glue stick’s tip using a lighter and place the hot melted glue on the top of the hole. Make sure not to burn your hands. Let it dry by allowing the glue to cool naturally without touching it.
Duct tape is used for all sorts of repairs. For a quick emergency fix, duct tape works best. You can apply duct tape to torn seam for a temporary yet secure fix. For stronger repair, use duct tape both vertically and horizontally on the tear. Ensure that all the torn edges, holes, or weakened fabric are covered securely underneath the tape. A useful rule of thumb is to use several duct tape patches on the broken seam to fix it temporarily.
Apply or spray water on the underside of duct tape when you have to remove it from the broken seam. This helps in loosening of adhesive, and tape takes off smoothly without further wear and tear.
Another easy and effective way to fix holes or punctures is the use of AirStop sealant. As the name suggests, it’s a sealant that creates a permanent seal within seconds on vinyl, polyvinyl chloride, PVC, nylon, and rayon. This glue is excellent to repair small holes on the air mattress. Besides, there are many seam seal glue in the market that seal the seam’s stitched or torn holes. Not only these sealants are easy to apply with an applicator, but they also offer rapid repair.
Wire brush/ Sandpaper
If the air mattress has punctured on any spot that has flocking material on it, you need a soft wire brush or sandpaper to make that area smooth and clean.
Use one of these tools to stripe off the flocking via scrubbing. You do this by deflating the air mattress and make the surface wet and clean where the patch has to go. Make sure that the fuzz is entirely off the puncture so the patch can seal evenly and tightly.
If the puncture or broken seam is too big to be hand sewn, you can use the patch method. This helps in securing the torn edges and prevents further tearing or fraying. Not just for torn seams, whenever you notice a weak fabric on the air mattress, it’s better to patch it.
Things you need:
- Rubber/leather Patch
- Strong adhesive
Cut the patch in circular or square shape size that’s big enough to cover the puncture. Place plenty of adhesive glue on the patch’s entire surface and stick it to the leaking area. Once you’ve laid the patch, press it down hard using your hands and remove any excess glue from the sides. To apply pressure, you need to put weights for at least 2 hours to ensure the glue is set right. You can also use a large pile of books, rocks, a vase, or a cooking pot. If your patch seems sturdy after full 6 hours, it’s ready for inflation.
To make fixation work more quick and straightforward, many repair patches in the market aggressively bonds vinyl and other air mattress fabrics.
Tip: You can see a great guide on Instructables.com
Now you know that a leaky air mattress is not worthless. It won’t take much effort to fix broken seams and holes on your air mattress. Get to work!