Repairing air cushions: this is how you do it yourself

Damages occur in areas that are used for playing or sport. This also applies to air cushions. Stone chippings, vandalism, intensive use: a tear, scratch or hole easily occurs. Fortunately you can often fix small damages yourself. The PVC tarp of an air cushion is perfect for this. This saves extra repair costs and a trip to our workshop.

Damaged seams? Then it is worth a trip to the workshop. 
Before we delve into the repair work, we want to point out that there is one type of damage that you cannot fix yourself: damage to the seams. A seam cannot be joined or glued. It must be sewn again to keep the air cushion strong and safe. And that can only occur in our repair department.

Self repair
No damage to the seams, but to the PVC tarp? There are two options to repair these damages. Joining with a hot air welder (you require a hot air unit for this) or glue with special PVC glue. Glue and an extra piece of PVC tarp can be found in the repair set that you have received upon the delivery of the air cushion product.

Two techniques explained
On the below images you can see how you can fix damage yourself with the following two techniques. These images derive from a presentation for ice masters on repairing boardings: but they are just as valid for the repair of an air cushion. 

First deflate the air cushion…
It is important to always remove the air from the air cushion before you carry out the repair. This allows you to fix the broken parts better. It is best to do a repair from inside out. When the inside area of an air cushion is large enough, you can climb in. Turning it inside out is also possible, but this is tricky with larger air cushions. In connection with smoke development, a repair from inside out cannot be joined, but you have to glue this with PVC glue. Not able to repair from inside out? Opt for a repair on the outside. Naturally, before you start the repair, you can always ask Sidijk how you can most effectively approach the damage. 

Yoran Wijkstra


Option 1. Join PVC tarp with a hot air welder
Requirements: Hot air unit with a wide nozzle, pressure roller, clean (wooden) surface.

Step 1. Cut a piece of tarp the size of the tear, allow the hot air welder to warm up
Step 2. Round off the corners

Step 3. Lay the piece of tarp over the tear(s)
Step 4. Place the roller in the middle of the tarp, so that the hot air welder does not blow the tarp away

Step 5. Use the hot air welder under the tarp and move from the middle to the side,
Step 6. and follow this with the roller

Step 7. Pull the sides loose to the seam.
Step 8. Place the roller on the joined part, and place the hot air welder under the tarp again.

Option 2. Glue PVC tarp with Saba PVC glue
Requirements: Saba PVC glue, pressure roller or spoon, clean (wooden) surface

Step 1. Depending on the size of the tear, cut a piece of tarp out that has a margin of at least 3 cm. of free glue space around the tear.
Step 2. Remove existing and underlying stickers, using acetone for instance.
Be careful with acetone, because it can damage the PVC tarp.
Step 3. Clean and degrease the adhesive surface as much as possible.
Step 4. Cut out sticker, a little larger than the current sticker.
Step 5. Use tape to tape over the adhesive surface.
Step 6. Add glue on both parts and allow to dry until it feels dry.
Step 7. Press sticker with a spoon for instance, from the inside out in order to get the air out.
Step 8. Then place weight on the sticker, be aware that the colour does not run on the material.
Step 9. Allow to dry for 24 hours with weight on it.
Step 10. Brush away potential glue residue with acetone.
Step 11. The product is ready for use once again.


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