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How to Fix a Leaky Air Mattress
Published: Feb 03, 2021
An air mattress can provided you a good and relaxing night's sleep, especially while camping or crashing at a friend's place. However, if your air mattress is sagging too much, then it will have the opposite effect.
If that happens, it's possible that it has a leak. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix a deflating air mattress. It can be fairly easy, depending on the type of leak. It can be done at home with household materials and a cheap patch kit.
To fix an air mattress' leak, you have to find the leak and covering it using patches. You can also use other materials to fix the leak, such as duct tape, super glue, or even nail polish.
Want to know more? Read on. Check out the step-by-step guide for fixing your air mattress.
In this article, we'll be discussing how to locate the leak on an air mattress. Also, topics to tackle include the careful ways to repair leaking air mattresses, and the best ways to prevent your air mattress from deflating.
How do you find a slow leak in an air mattress?
Finding the leak on a deflating air mattress is grueling, especially if you're uncertain of what you're doing. Submerging the mattress in water, dumping baby powder on it, and sprinkling it with soapy water may help you find holes.
However, these methods can cause potential damages to your mattress. But there are some safe and alternative ways to find the holes in your mattress.
Here are six ways to find leaks on an air mattress.
- Common leak locations
It's ideal to check the whole mattress. Holes can be located anywhere, but begin with the most usual spots for leaks, which can save your time and narrow down your search. Seams and edges are the most usual leak areas, as these spots may break apart.
The valve and or pump area can also begin to leak on your mattress, so verify those locations when looking for leaks.
- Check the mattress nearly
If the damage is on the large side, you can see it visually. Begin at the spots where the leaks are most common. Work orderly around the mattress, check each area for holes.
A magnifying glass can assist you in detecting the holes, particularly the small ones that are sometimes the size of a pinhole.
- Thumb down and listen
Even if the hole is invisible to your eyes, you can still hear it if you listen attentively. Put the mattress in a quiet room, so you're able to listen to the hissing sound of the air when exiting the hole.
This process is simpler if there's someone to thumb down on the mattress for you while you listen closely to the surface.
The air comes out faster when there's pressure, thus the leak is easier to hear.
- Observe a hole in an air mattress with your hand
Silent leaks require other techniques to find the source. One option is to damp your hand with water and swift it gradually over the surface of the mattress, carrying it about ¼ to ½ inch over the surface.
This procedure performs best if there's another person pressing on the mattress to push the air out quickly.
The wetness of your hand makes it easier to sense the air as it touches your skin.
Using the back of your hand may also work. The hairs on the rear of your hand may take upon the running air as your hand moves around the hole.
Your lips are also a subtle area, particularly when you crinkle and moisten them. You can approach your lips to the mattress to check the leak.
- Hold a paper
Another way to find the source is by using a piece of tissue, foil, or any alike thin paper. Since the paper is light, it will move when the air from the hole passes it.
Begin at one corner of the mattress, putting the paper directly above the mattress. The bigger the sheet of the paper, the more holes you can cover at once.
Thumb down the mattress to press the air going to the spot with the paper. Ensure that the paper moves slowly to specify that you've found the hole. You may also listen to the air touching the paper.
- Mark the holes
Immediately, after you've found the hole in the mattress, mark it, so you can simply find it again when you're ready to repair the air mattress with a patch.
You may use a permanent marker to encircle the hole, or just place a piece of tape on the area to make it simpler to find when you begin fixing it.
At times, the mattress may have more than one leak, so it's even better to keep looking for more holes, even if you've already found one.
Different ways to stop an air mattress from leaking
There are several ways to find and fix the leaks on an air mattress, and the range of difficulty of each way varies. Yet, whichever method of fixing a hole in your mattress you prefer, you must first prepare the mattress itself.
When your airbed is ready to be fixed, here are five repair techniques you can choose from, depending on your circumstances. Restore your air mattress to its original glory.
- Create a DIY patch kit
The simplest method to repair an air mattress is to glue a patch to the leaking spot. Some airbeds have an included patch kit. If you don't have one, you can utilize any thin rubber or plastic object to make a patch.
- A pool liner
- A piece of shower curtain
- A piece of bike tire inside
And here are your ways to patch your airbed:
- Cut the required amount of material. Preferably, your patch should fully cover the leak, and spread at least an inch to all sides to ensure a good seal.
- Remove oil on the surface. You can use nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol for that. Remove the lipid residue that may block the patch from sticking to the mattress.
- Use glue heeding to instructions. Some adhesives need to be put on both contacting areas, while others can be applied either to the mattress or the patch. Apply enough glue to make sure that the seal is tight.
- Force it down. After you put the glue and placed the patch, press it with your hand or push with something heavy, and hold for at least a couple of minutes. You may leave your mattress to dry overnight, in a safe area.
When the glue is already dry, inflate your airbed, and observe the results of your work.
- Apply superglue
Superglue is useful for repairing an airbed that has only small and thin holes, with just two edges that need to attach.
There are two way you can repair a hole on an airbed with superglue:
You can either utilize it as an adhesive for a previous DIY-patch way, or just spread the glue over the hole without any patches. You can apply stitch-like motions, and put the glue to the puncture.
Once the first layer is dry, reapply some until the entire hole and at least .5” around of it is covered.
Afterward, inflate the airbed, and observe the leak.
- Try nail polish
This is where things begin to get more innovative. Indeed, you can really repair a hole in an air mattress using nail polish. Just remember that it's a temporary solution since once dried, the nail polish loses out its stickiness, and may not resist steady inflations and deflations for a longer time.
So here's what you must do after doing all the preparations and degreasing the surface of the mattress.
- Put a thin layer of nail polish on the hole. It will function as a primer and will build a film over the hole. Try not to move the mattress until it gets dry, otherwise, it might damage the seal.
- Redo this as many times as you think it's right. Preferably, try applying 5-6 layers of nail polish. It will make a thick film that will keep the air inside.
- Marine Goop glue
Marine Goop, also known as Amazing Goop, is one of the sturdy adhesives you can find today. It's waterproof and UV resistant, and can be used as a sealant. It's a good option for patching a leaky mattress if you want to use it outdoors.
These are the steps for this method:
- Sand the surface and degrease it. Goop builds a better seal on a partially rough surface.
- Put a thin layer of Goop over the hole. Build an equal seal above the hole, and make sure that you cover about half of an inch around it. Make use of an old art brush or toothbrush, then use the rubber gloves on to secure your hands.
- Permit the sealant to cure. The manufacturer recommends allowing the sealant to dry for a minimum of 24 hours, yet that may differ depending on the weather conditions at your home.
- Patch a hole using duct tape
Lastly, if you need to repair a puncture on an air mattress without a patch kit, and you don't have any adhesive tape, you can apply duct tape.
Take a piece that's large enough to cover the hole and some space around it, and use it to degrease the area.
Note that the glue on the duct tape loses its stickiness over time. So, if you decided to apply this, you might have to repatch the hole frequently.
It may perform as a temporary remedy until you have a patch kit or a strong adhesive to repair the hole permanently.
How to prevent your air mattress from deflating
Not all air mattresses are durable, and a mattress that keeps losing air is a major irritation, especially when you're comfortable at bedtime, but not by sunrise.
Luckily, there are certain ways to prevent air mattresses from deflating, and that will make them last much longer. This includes, but is not limited to, not over-inflating it, deflating it after using it, not sitting on it, and more.
After following these six hot tips, you'll probably never have to worry about a flabby mattress at all.
- Don't over-inflate it
Manufacturers and retailers could really do a better job at explaining the risks to their customers. Even though you don't really rupture a seam, you'll end up pressuring the material, and will more likely make damages later on.
- Keep it inflated when using it, and deflate it afterward
Re-inflating your air mattress every night and leaving it pressurized, even when not in use, can result in unnecessary strain. If you follow these suggestions, your mattress will stay airtight for a longer time.
- Avoid sitting on your air mattress
Putting a high force on a small area can speed up deflation. Jumping on the bed is never suggested.
- Think how big of a role the ambient temperature plays
Something as slight as turning on a space heater, even though not so near to the bed, may be enough to prevent your air mattress from running flat.
- Buy a mattress you really need
There are big differences between orthopedic air mattresses, those suitable for camping, and others made for daily use. Checking reviews only takes minutes, but provides you a big help to avoid a costly mistake.
Checking for a pertinent maximum weight rating is also a good idea.
- Don't use it for the first 48 hours
This especially goes for low-cost air mattresses, as their seams, cells, and other sections need some time to stretch into a natural position. Inflating a new air mattress without pressuring any weight on it may block troubles from arising during this stage.
Air mattresses are prone to several damages and problems, but we don't discourage you from buying one. Guests in your homes appreciate air mattresses more than crashing on your bare floor, and leaks don't mean the end of your mattresses.
You can always find solutions to fix the flow of air in your mattress, and protect it from deflating.
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