Few things can deflate a perfect day in the pool faster than a leaky pool float. But you can save the day – and the pool floatie! – with a quick repair. Follow these four steps to patch a punctured pool float:
Use the Right Repair Kit
Your floating raft, ring or other inflatable pool toy may have come with its own patch repair kit that you have hopefully saved for this exact emergency. If not, you’ll need to purchase a pool float repair kit.
Start by determining what material your floating device is made of – they’re generally plastic, vinyl or rubber. Patches meant for rubber won’t work well on vinyl, and vice-versa. If you don’t know what your pool float is made of, check the product description on the manufacturer’s website or call the company’s customer service line to find out.
Find the Leak
You may be able to find the leak while you’re still in the pool. If the pool toy is still partially inflated, place it under water one section at a time. Squeeze lightly and look for any bubbles escaping from the leak. Place duct tape or electrical tape near the hole so you can find it again later.
Prepare the Area
The area around the leak should be completely dry before you make the repair. Residue like dirt or sunblock can cause the patch to fail. Use the cleaning solution included in your repair kit or rubbing alcohol on a soft washcloth to get the surface squeaky clean. Dry the entire float, or at least several inches around the damaged area. Place the pool float on a clean, flat surface. Try to flatten the area you’ll be repairing as much as possible.
Seal the Leak
Follow the instructions on the repair kit to patch the puncture in your float. For best results, try to center the patch over the hole as much as possible. Wait the recommended amount of time for the patch to dry before re-inflating the float (typically about a half-hour).
Alternatively, waterproof sealants can be used to repair your pool float. Make sure the sealant is recommended for 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 out flat at least a half inch in each direction, and leave to dry for the recommended amount of time before re-inflating.
Perform the water test again. If no more air bubbles leak out of the area, your patch is secure and your pool float is ready for more fun in the sun!
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