Whether it is a bike tyre, blow up mattress, ball or an inflatable dummy, the technique for repairing a puncture is always the same. Here are the steps you should follow.
Make sure that there really is a puncture
First of all you need to remember that no inflatable object is able to hold air indefinitely. Therefore if you haven’t used the object for a long time it is normal for your object to become deflated. This does not necessarily mean there is a puncture.
Check that there is a puncture before you start. You should inflate the object to its maximum capacity and leave it to sit for 24 hours. Nevertheless you should watch that you don’t over-inflate an inflatable dummy or rubber ring in case you burst the seams. If the object has still not deflated after 24 hours you can be certain that there is not a puncture. Otherwise, listen up as here is a technique that you can follow to fix a puncture.
Finding the puncture
There is a very simple solution for finding a puncture regardless of the object in question. Fill up a basin with water. The basin should be big enough to contain the entire object. If you are fixing a two person blow up mattress you could fill up a bath with water. Inflate the object at least half full then place the entire object into the water. If your object has really been pierced by something small bubbles of water should escape from the hole when you lift the object up to the surface again.
Watch out, once you have spotted the puncture make sure you don’t lose sight of it. You will need to deflate your object so that you can fix the puncture. However once you have remove the object from the water and deflated it, it is almost impossible to find the puncture again. So before you remove your object from the water you should take a marker pen and once the puncture has been spotted place your finger on it. Then remove the object from the water, dry the surface around the puncture and circle it with your marker pen.
Repairing the puncture
Once you have your puncture marker, you have several options . If you’d prefer a temporary repair job, all you need to do is stick a piece of sellotape over the puncture. However the duration of this repair job will depend on the strength and adhesive quality of the tape you use.
A more resistant technique is to simply use a repair kit like the patches you can buy for repairing bike tyres. Otherwise if you have a flexible plastic close to hand you can make your own patch.
In both cases your surface must be smooth. If you have a blow up mattress that is covered in velvet you will have to slightly sand the material so that the patch can stick properly. Once the surface is nice and smooth you can use a strong setting glue to stick down the patch. Press down hard for a few seconds and then leave to dry according to the recommendation on the instructions.
Lastly, after the drying period is over place your object into water for a second time to check that the puncture has been repaired. No bubbles should appear. Now you have become a pro at repairing punctures!