The air mattress is one of the most practical inventions of the last few years. As our houses and bedrooms get smaller, the need for space saving solutions like these grows bigger. An air mattress is a must-have for people who camp outdoors regularly or those who live in small houses but constantly have guests staying over for the night. Air mattresses are easy to use and don’t ask for attention until they develop a leak. The only disadvantage of an air mattress is that they can be easily punctured. Finding a leak is tricky but once you’ve got that, repairing it is quite easy. Here are seven steps to follow to fix an air mattress.
If your air mattress is leaking air, you need to give it immediate attention before the tear gets any worse. Inflate the air mattress to its full capacity and then try identifying the puncture. The most important tools to help you find a leak in an air mattress are your ears as the tear can be too minute to be easily noticed. The ‘phhhhhhsshhh’ sound of air escaping the mattress is what you need to look out for when you want to find the spot an air mattress is leaking from.
If you cannot identify the leak from the sound of air, try using the soap and water test. Make a mild soap and water solution and soak a sponge in it. Slowly wipe the inflated mattress with the sponge so as to leave a soapy water solution layer over it. Start near the valve before moving onto the seams and then the face of the mattress. The puncture will be easily identifiable by the bubbles that form around it. Mark this spot with a pen or marker. Soapy water if left on the mattress can promote the growth of mould and fungus. Hence, once the leak is identified, wipe the mattress clean, and deflate it and let it dry properly before fixing the puncture. It may interest you to know that Allnatura is an online shop in Germany which supplies premium quality and fancy air mattresses, in case you want to buy a new one.
Have sandpaper and a vacuum cleaner at hand while repairing an air mattress. Sandpaper is used to clear flocked surfaces and roughen very smooth surfaces. This is done to create a surface which the adhesive will bond well with. A vacuum cleaner can be used in two ways with respect to an air mattress. Firstly, it can be used to clean the mattress before a puncture is repaired. Secondly, a vacuum cleaner can also be used to inflate an air mattress.
Instead of experimenting with homemade solutions, get yourself a bicycle repair kit or a mattress repair kit to fix an air mattress. These repair kits can be found online as well as in your neighbourhood hardware store. You can also find a mattress repairing kit in the camping section of an outdoor store. A repair kit typically contains a rubber or vinyl patch and an adhesive to stick the patch onto the mattress. These patches can also be self adhesive in some cases. Very small holes can be fixed by using just the adhesive while larger tears will need a patch stuck on to them. In order for a repair kit to effectively seal a puncture, the air mattress must be completely dry before applying the adhesive on it.
Air mattresses can be topped with vinyl or flock. Flocked air mattresses feel soft and velvety to touch. Adhesive cannot be used directly on flocked surfaces as the glue will stick to the flock fibres rather than the material itself. In case a flocked air mattress gets punctured, the area around the puncture must first be smoothened with sandpaper. This removes the flock fibres from the area and reveals a smooth surface below. Sandpaper can be used on non flocked surfaces also. Be careful to avoid making the hole any larger than it is while sandpapering the area around it.
After sandpapering the area, use a vacuum cleaner to clean any dust or loose flock fibres. Alternatively, you could also use a damp cloth. It is advisable to wear a pair of gloves when handling contact cement or adhesive to fix an air mattress. Follow the directions on the repair kit and place a small amount of contact cement on the area around the puncture. Contact cement works when it has been applied on both surfaces. Hence, cut the patch to the required size and put a small amount on contact cement on one side. The patch should be roughly one and half times the size of the puncture. Leave it aside for a few minutes to dry.
When the cement is almost dry on both the mattress and the patch, press the patch onto the air mattress with the cemented side facing the mattress. Press the patch by moving your finger in a circular motion over it to remove air bubbles and bind the contact cement. Once dry, check if the edges of the patch are sticking to the air mattress. In case, they are not, repeat the earlier step on these parts. To further ensure that the puncture is well sealed, you could also put a thin beading of contact cement around the patch. Leave the mattress to dry for at least 2-3 hours.
After a few hours, inflate the mattress fully and test to see if the patch has fixed your puncture. Apply light pressure with your palm on the mattress to test it. Ideally the mattress should not be used immediately but left overnight as it is. The next morning, check the mattress again to see if any air has escaped during the night. If all is well, you are now ready to use your air mattress. If not, start the process again by looking for the leak. You can also check out this ideabook for more creative ideas - Romantic Bedroom Decor—6 Amazing Ideas.