Should You Repair Or Replace Your Air Mattress
Air mattresses are convenient, especially for use as makeshift beds when guests or extended family stay over. For some people, they can be useful in treating various back-related ailments. When they malfunction, then, and you don’t have the relevant manufacturer-recommended ‘patch’ available, what to do? Let’s find out.
How do you fix an air mattress without a patch?
The first thing is to know precisely where the leak is coming from. Actually, it could be the case that your air mattress does not have a leak at all, but its lack of optimum inflation is more to do with age rather than anything else. It needs to be regularly inflated; more so as it ages. In winter months, it will deflate more rapidly and require more regular inflation. There are also various models which don’t reach maximum inflation unless they are used frequently. Knowing this context could be useful if it turns out you do not actually have a leak.
If you do have a leak, though, the valve should be your first port of call. Next, the bottom of the mattress is the second most common area to have a leak, due to the prevalence of sharp objects that are naturally going to affect that area. If your friend or family member can actually inflate the mattress with you sitting on it at the same time, you might be able to discern a slight hissing noise, particularly if you pause and listen carefully.
Once you have found the source, it is then time to apply vinyl adhesive to that particular area. Superglue can be used to good effect or some kind of epoxy glue you might have lurking in your garage; this is, after all, a temporary measure until you can procure the correct ‘patch’ kit recommended by the mattress’ manufacturer (their web-page is a useful resource). After the relevant drying time, try a second application of the glue; seeing as this is going to be an expanding and contracting fabric it needs to be robust.
The felt side
It might be that your mattress has a hole on its ‘felt side’, so a similar but slightly different approach is required. You will first need to sand it down with superfine sandpaper, use a wet cloth to clean, and then apply the relevant adhesive. It might be, though, that you’ll weigh things up and simply decide to purchase a new air mattress. This will, of course, depend on how quickly you can order it, how urgent you need to use it, and how long you’ve had your existing one. Many models offer a lifetime warranty however, you’ll have to read the terms and conditions to ensure it includes punctures created by, well… you!
Another makeshift option is a sticking plaster, although it won’t last that long, so robust adhesives or an actual patch repair kit are better. If your mattress’s warranty hasn’t yet expired, then you might be able to get a free replacement or repair.
What household items can you use to patch an air mattress?
If you have a bicycle repair kit then this could be as good as a specifically designed mattress repair kit. If you think about it, the bicycle repair kit needs to be more robust because it is helping your bike withstand far more stringent and demanding conditions. If you don’t have one of these then try using any other random piece of plastic material, such as you might find on a pool or shower liner. It should obviously be big enough to cover more than the whole diameter of the hole in question and can be held in place with rubber cement, epoxy, gorilla glue, or any other adhesive designed to be highly potent.
A glue gun might help you if you’re dealing with a ripped seam; however, extra care should be taken not to let the gun’s tip touch the mattress’ fabric, otherwise, it could end up melting it! Other fabrics around the house can be used; anything from old t-shirts to waterproof trousers, or scarves made from nylon, polyester or any such thing as you can glue on via a strong super glue. Attaching two surfaces together (that of the mattress and the fabric in question) makes more sense than striving to glue a torn piece of mattress fabric together, then valiantly trying to hold it together until the glue dries.
There’s always duct tape!
Duct tape actually has use which isn’t to shut the mouth of your favorite hero in your favorite movie, while his arch-nemesis gets away. Duct tape, or for that matter electrical insulation tape, has been designed for industrial usage and so its material and adhesive coating is extremely strong. However, even the strongest duct tape won’t be a permanent fix and so it’s best to remove fairly soon, clean off the residue using white spirit and use the proper recommended patch as soon as possible.