How to Patch Vinyl Inflatable – Step-by-Step Guide 2020

One of the major downsides of having a vinyl inflatable pool, mattress, or other items is the presence of holes or leaks. This problem may hinder you from utilizing and experience the benefits of those inflatable. Fortunately, there are various ways on how to patch vinyl inflatable and repair them all the way out.

As we go along, we will share to you the proper way of patching up vinyl inflatable with or without water on it. Moreover, with this article, you may able to know the different types of patches suitable for your needs. Check this step-by-step guide below and address your vinyl inflatable problems immediately.  

Step-by-Step Process on How to Patch Vinyl Inflatable

Generally, damage in a vinyl inflatable is one of the major hindrances for an inflatable pool owner. Vinyl pools have various advantages that come along with it. However, one biggest downside that it has is the possibility of the occurrence of tears or holes. Fortunately, there are easy solutions to address this problem. Here is a step-by-step guide process on how to patch vinyl inflatable.

Patching Vinyl Inflatable Step #1: INFLATE THE INFLATABLE

In the market, there are various models of inflatable blowers available. Some of it basically includes an alligator clip for about 12 volts. Moreover, big vinyl inflatable has a large hole for deflation and smaller valve for inflation. So, in case you found out that there is a hole or tear around the vinyl inflatable, The first thing to do as part of the process on how to patch vinyl inflatable is to inflate it.    

Patching Vinyl Inflatable Step #2: SIMPLY CAP IT

After the completion of the inflation process of the vinyl inflatable, it is actually a good idea to seal the intake hole with the thumb as you look for the cap. Typically, all of the vinyl inflatables includes a rubber plug and a screw cap. In order to secure the air filled inside the vinyl inflatable, the next step on how to patch vinyl inflatable is to cap it on.

Patching Vinyl Inflatable Step #3: LOOK FOR THE LEAKS

Now that the vinyl inflatable has air inside, it is actually the best time to find for the leaks. Below are some of the helpful ways that will definitely help you to determine the hole or tear within the vinyl inflatable.

1. Bucket Test

Initially, in the Bucket Test, fill the bucket with 5-gallon of water. Set the bucket the steps of the pool. Moreover, ensure that the water level of the bucket has the same level as that of the water inside the pool. Afterwards, put an indicator for the water level within the bucket using a painter’s tape. This will generally monitor the changes that will take place.

How to patch vinyl inflatable

The next thing to do is to switch the pump off. After 24 hours, come back and check on it. This time, compute for the difference of the water into the bucket and into the pool. In case the water inside the bucket is relatively higher compared to the water into the pool, this basically means that the vinyl inflatable pool has a leak. It calls for a celebration if the water level is at the same level.  

2. Food Coloring

This next leak finding method works by simply walking around the vinyl inflatable pool. Along with this, determine spots that look squishy. When you find this kind of spots, then it’s time to apply food coloring over it. A result of sweeping food coloring that flows with the leaking water indicates the presence of a hole or tear. 

3. Soapy Water

Another way to find the leak is the use of soapy water. Generally, paint it over the vinyl inflatable pool and check for the presence of bubbles. Once there is an occurrence of bubbles, it simply means that there is a leak or hole around.

However, in case you cannot locate any holes and that the vinyl inflatable pool is still leaking, then better to look for the electrical filtration system instead. Or, if you opt for a better solution, ask for the assistance of a service provider.

Patching Vinyl Inflatable Step #4: DRY AND MARK

Moreover, drying the vinyl inflatable and marking the leaks is the next step on how to patch vinyl inflatable. The moment you find holes or leaks wipe it out immediately and let it dry. Afterwards, draw a pointing arrow going to the leak. A simple sharpie marker would generally do a great job of marking a slightly damp surface.

So, before moving on the next step on how to patch vinyl inflatable, hung the item under the sun and let it dry completely. Once entirely dried, it is now time to move on to the next step.

Patching Vinyl Inflatable Step #5: ROUGH IT UP AND CUT THOSE PATCHES

Usually, the most common way to rough up the vinyl inflatable is through the use of the sandpaper. Moreover, rough up the leak area as well as using sandpaper. Check the following tips on roughing up process that might be helpful for you.


Generally, do the degreasing process in case that the source of the patch is a shower curtain. Another thing is if either the patch or vinyl inflatable is just newly purchased. These items are actually greasy that’s why it calls for a degreasing process. 

So, in order to degrease the new patch or vinyl inflatable, scrub them using a detergent. Moreover, there is oily stuff that generally coats those plastic substances. Degrease the oil by using water sheets over it. Another way of degreasing is through wiping off through alcohol or greaseless solvent.

Patch material supply

There are various sources of patch materials. Generally, you can find them within the four corners of your home. Patches may basically vary from a totally damaged air mattress, shower curtains, umbrellas, to raincoats. Moreover, thin ply of PVC material will also do the job.

Types of patches

Aside from various sources, there are also other types of patches available in the market.

  • Waterproof tape – this looks like duct tape; generally, it is perfect for underwater use. In addition, it is UV resistant and transparent making it look elegant underwater.
  • Vinyl patch kit – if you are looking for ways on how to patch vinyl inflatable with bigger tears, this patch is actually the ideal one. Moreover, it may also last for longer use and typically include big chunks of vinyl and adhesive really suitable underwater.
  • Peel-and-Stick – another type of patch is this one that comes from vinyl material. Typically, its purpose it to cover holes or tears within the swimming pools. The round sticker version is advantageous as it cannot peel up easily. 

Compatibility of the patch material

Looking for a patch material needs to consider its compatibility with vinyl. Keep in mind that PVC is having a hard time sticking over the urethane or vice versa. 

Shape the patch material

Generally, patches that have round shape are easier to attach over a vinyl inflatable. The reason for this is that square and rectangular patches have corners that may peel up. However, always remember that patches are highly unpredictable. 

There are instances in which they can hold things together for a long period of time, while there are times that simple patch repairs can only last for a few days. That’s why it is better to have a regular check over the patch on a weekly basis.

Patching Vinyl Inflatable Step #6: APPLY THE GLUE AND THE PATCH

Now that you have the patch with you, it is time to stick it over the vinyl inflatable. As part of the way on how to patch vinyl inflatable, basically swipe off the glue over those patches and around the leak area. While still wet, attach the patch down over the holes of the vinyl inflatable. Hardly squish it and work out over the bubbles.

Patching Vinyl Inflatable Step #7: CLAMP

Clamping is the best way to maximize the contact of the vinyl inflatable and the patches. In addition, you can also use some book stacks and place them over it. Check on it after an hour if it already holds and works fine.

In case the patch still leaks, the best way to do is to heat it using an iron or hot air gun. If this doesn’t work for the second time around, peel the patch off and start again from the beginning. Yet, this process may also be applicable for repairing holes for inflatable boats and mattresses of vinyl material.

How to Patch Vinyl Inflatable Pool with Water Inside

Basically, above-ground pools or vinyl inflatable pools have repair kit inclusion in the package. The primary purpose of this is to immediately address any damage within the side or base of the pool. Actually, the material of these pools is durable PVC that may last for years and resist the pressure of the water weight pressing against it.

But, there is always an end for everything. The vinyl inflatable pool weakens after years of continuous water pressure, chemical deterioration, and sun exposure degradation. Moreover, at some time, you will find something that pinches holes either on the bottom or side of the vinyl inflatable pool. One way to resolve this is to learn how to patch a vinyl inflatable pool using epoxy without draining the water out of the pool.

  1. Initially, look for areas that have the presence of holes or tears.
  2. Basically, clean the surrounding area of the hole using a cloth. Cover at least 3 inches wider to the hole when cleaning. This will generally eliminate dirt and contaminants like oils.
  3. From the material, cut out a patch with a measurement of 1 inch bigger from the hole.
  4. Generally, evenly distribute the cement on the entire patch area to be attached over the vinyl inflatable.
  5. However, to bring the patch underwater, fold it in half where the cemented part is facing inside. Once already there in the hole area, open the patch and attach it to the hole. Put a little pressure over it to make it work.
  6. Moreover, also place a patch over the wall of the outside portion of the vinyl inflatable pool. Yet, keep in mind that the patch on the inside and outside should have the same size.
  7. Using a cloth, clean the surrounding area of the hole and dry out the surface completely.
  8. Lastly, attach the patch over the hole. Smooth it along coming from the center portion to the outside.

Final Thoughts

How to patch vinyl inflatable materials entail various steps and material compatibility with the vinyl. Moreover, part of the process of patching the vinyl inflatable is finding for the presence of holes or tears. This step is actually tedious but it comes with different techniques on identifying the leaks or holes easily. By following the steps properly, you can conveniently repair and patch up things over your vinyl inflatable.

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