Repairing Airtrack: this is how you fix a leak [+ repair tips]

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  July 19, 2022

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Inflatables for gymnastics and other activities are stronger than ever before; but they are not indestructible.

Repair Airtrack - this is how you fix a leak [+ repair tips]

In bad circumstances, it is also possible the strongest Airtracks cracks or may be punctured.

Even though it's rare, you might like to know that most Air tracks can be repaired.

You can read step-by-step below how to do this.

How to fix a hole in a Air track?

If air is leaking through the material or a seam due to a tear or hole, proceed as follows:

Step 1: locate the hole in the mat

You often know right away.

If you have moved your mat and it has accidentally come into contact with a sharp object, you will feel a tear and hear the air expel immediately from your mat.

In other cases it is much more difficult to find the hole. In such cases, add a little warm soapy water and pour it over the surface of your mat.

The hole will show itself under the soapy water.

Step 2: Clean and dry the surface

You added the water with the soap. Now it's time to exfoliate lightly.

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Clean the area around the hole to make sure the patch you'll be applying in the following steps stays in place.

Clean the surface with a little isopropyl alcohol on a cloth.

You only need to clean the part you plan to tape.

Step 3: Choose the repair method

When we talk about an inflatable Airmat repair, you really only have two solutions.

You can choose from a patch (also called a 'patch', made of vinyl) or a liquid sealant.

In both cases glue is used, and which choice you make depends on the situation.

A liquid sealant is available in pour or spray form.

It is better to use the cast product for larger holes, but for repairing your inflatable mat, you should ideally choose a piece of cloth.

On the other hand, spray sealing products can be used, but only to seal micro-holes.

For larger holes, a piece of cloth will be needed. The kit that comes with the mat contains two components: adhesive and the patch itself.

The patch should be of a similar material to your Airtrack, so in most cases it will be vinyl.

Step 4: Correct Size & Adjustment of the Patch

When you buy a kit (like this Tear-Aid vinyl set) used to repair your mat, it is important to make sure the patch covers the entire hole.

You don't want the piece to be too big, because then you'll need more glue.

If necessary, cut the patch to the ideal size, leaving a few inches on each side of the hole for the glue to stick.

If the adhesive in the kit doesn't seem right, switch to a commercial adhesive such as AirHead.

Please note that most adhesives have a limited lifespan (usually about 1 year unopened).

Please check the expiration date on the adhesive packaging before proceeding.

Step 5: Apply the glue

Whatever type of repair you go for, you will always have to apply glue. Here's how:

If you use spray, this itself is both the glue and the patch in one. You just spray the liquid over the hole and wait for it to dry.

If using a rag or patch, apply glue to the hole in the mat first. Then apply the glue to one side of your patch.

Go for a thin layer. You can also use a round paintbrush.

To then repair a hole in your AirTrack with a piece of cloth and glue, there is a method to make the pasting as good as possible.

Clean the surface with a little isopropyl alcohol applied to a cloth. This is essential for good adhesion.

Line the area to be glued with tape. The tape will protect the mat from spilled glue.

Press the tape firmly onto the mat to prevent glue from getting under the tape.

Apply the adhesive to both the mat and patch, preferably using a standard round paintbrush.

The glue should cover the entire surface, but should not be too thick. A thin layer gives the best adhesion.

Check that the glue covers the entire surface. Make sure 100% that the edges are glued down properly!

Remove the tape as soon as you are done applying the adhesive to avoid lines of dried glue appearing under the edge of the tape.

Wait for the glue to dry. Check the stickiness with your finger; the glue should not stick to your finger.

Depending on the room temperature and the brand of the adhesive, this can take 5 – 20 minutes.

Once the glue has dried, proceed to the next step. However, don't wait too long!

Hold the patch firmly and stretch it as you press it onto the mat. Start at the most critical point (usually the top).

Rub from the center to remove the remaining air. Then rub all the edges to adhere the patch properly.

If necessary, use a roller or a rounded spatula to improve adhesion.

Apply pressure to the patch using a weight and let it dry for at least 12 hours.

What do you pay attention to when pasting?

Avoid messing with glue. Glue cannot be completely removed once dry.

When you're going to repair a large tear, keep the glue from dripping into the hole, as the fibers inside can stick together.

If this happens, a dent may form that cannot be repaired!

When repairing larger holes, place a piece of paper under the area where you will glue (inside the mat) to prevent glue from dripping through the hole on the inside of the mat.

If you accidentally can't get the paper out afterwards, that's no problem.

Always follow the instructions on the packaging and wear protective clothing.

If for some reason you don't have glue at home, you can again go for, for example, AirHead glue.

Step 6: Apply Pressure

Now that the patch is in the right place, it is important to ensure that it adheres well and stays in place.

To do this, apply regular pressure to the patch.

This is especially important for seam repair, where the patch will bend over an angle. Wait two to three minutes before removing your hand and releasing the pressure.

Step 7: Check the Patch

After letting the glue dry for about two to three hours, check that the patch is working and that the hole is sealed.

You do this through the following three steps. Hang in there, you're almost there!

Step 1: Reapply soapy water

Inflate the mat to the desired pressure then apply a small amount of soapy water again to test for leaks.

Step 2: Check for air bubbles

If air bubbles come out of the patch again, unfortunately there is still a leak.

Dry the surface, let the air out of the mat and proceed to the next step.

If no air bubbles come out, you have applied the patch correctly and your mat is ready for use again!

Step 3: Apply glue

Apply a small amount of glue to the edge where it is still leaking and then heat it with a hair dryer. Let dry for 4 hours and then test again.

Is the hole sealed properly now? Well done! If not, you will unfortunately have to seek the help of a professional.

Where in the AirTrack mat can air leak?

If air leaks from your mat, it can happen in several places:

  • Through the material
  • Through the seams
  • Through the gray valve
  • Through the black valve

What other parts of an AirTrack can be damaged?

Then there are also components of the mat that could possibly be damaged:

  • Handles
  • Velcro fastener
  • D-rings
  • Banner
  • Damage due to transport, bag is damaged

Which components could possibly malfunction?

Certain components can also malfunction in the event of a breakdown. Then there is:

  • A fault in blower (pump) or
  • A malfunction in the pressure gauge

Repair gray valves from Airtrack

If there is no air leaking from the fabric or seams, it may be seeping out of the gray valve.

Valves are a critical part of any inflatable object. Although they are strong, they are still vulnerable to damage.

First check whether all valves are properly closed.

With gray valves, the pin must be in the 'up' position at all times, except when deflating the mat.

The gray valve consists of 3 parts: an inner part, an outer part and the cap.

The outer part is vulnerable to damage if heavy objects fall on the valve.

Using the key of the gray valve, the outer part and the cap can be easily replaced.

The inner part cannot be easily replaced, but damage to the inside is rare. If it does occur, contact a professional.

How do you repair the gray valve of an Airtrack mat?

Remove the cap from the valve and insert the key into the valve. Twist off the top part while holding the back part (which is in the mat).

  1. Hold the back section in place and screw on the new top section. Use the key to lock it properly.
  2. Inflate the mat and check that the new valve is airtight.

Repair black valves from Airtrack

If the gray valve is not the problem either, check if there is something wrong with the black valve.

If necessary, check again with soapy water exactly where the leak is coming from.

If the leak is between the cap and the valve itself, check if the L-shaped seal is damaged. If so, replace it and check again.

If the L-shaped seal is intact, check the internal threads for damage.

If it is indeed damaged, you have two options:

Use an external heating element. This requires experience and involves certain risks.

Rather, contact a professional for this method or try the next option.

Replacing the valve. Contact the manufacturer for a replacement valve and repair manual.

What about warranty and repair service?

AirTrack Factory, the world's largest manufacturer of 'air' products and the maker of the best AirTracks, uses a heavy sports DWF in their products, which ensures that all mats can be used for years.

Other AirTracks that can be found online may use different techniques and materials in the manufacture of their products.

At AirTrack Factory they believe they make the best AirTrack mats. That's why you get a 5-year warranty against production errors with every AirFloor.

If something is wrong with your product, the brand offers a free repair kit, because most damage can easily be repaired yourself.

If the repair seems to be a bit more complicated, you can visit the AirTrack Factory in Nijmegen, where they can carry out the repair for you.

Repairing Airtrack: this is how you work

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 22, 2022

A play theme in your mailbox every month?

Fun play tips, activity books and more, with the first email being our free mini-guide "educational toys"

We will only use your email address for this newsletter and respect you privacy

I enjoy writing these articles for my readers, you guys. I don't accept payment for writing reviews, my opinion on products is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something through one of the links I may be able to receive a commission on that. More information

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Inflatable installations for gymnastics and other activities such as Air track mats are stronger than ever before; but they are not indestructible.

In bad conditions, even the strongest Air tracks can tear or get holes in them.

Even though it's rare, you might like to know that most Air tracks can be repaired.

How do you repair a hole in an Air track?

You can read step-by-step below how to do this.

Step 1: locate the hole in the mat

You often know right away. If you have moved your mat and it has accidentally come into contact with a sharp object, you will feel a tear and hear the air expel immediately from your mat.

In other cases it is much more difficult to find the hole. In such cases, add a little warm soapy water and pour it over the surface of your mat.

The hole will show itself under the soapy water.

Step 2: Clean and dry the surface

You added the water with the soap. Now it's time to exfoliate lightly.

Clean the area around the hole to make sure the patch or glue sticks properly.

You only need to clean the part you plan to tape.

Step 3: Choose the repair method

When we talk about an inflatable Air mat repair, you really only have two solutions.

You can choose from a patch (also called a 'patch', made of vinyl) or a liquid sealant.

In both cases glue is used, and which choice you make depends on the situation.

A liquid sealant is available in pour or spray form.

It is better to use the cast product for larger holes, but for repairing your inflatable mat, you should ideally choose a piece of cloth.

On the other hand, spray sealing products can be used, but only to seal micro-holes.

For larger holes, a piece of cloth will be needed. The kit that comes with the mat contains two components: adhesive and the patch itself.

The patch should be of a similar material to your Air track, so in most cases it will be vinyl.

Step 4: Correct Size & Adjustment of the Patch

When using a kit to repair your mat, it's important to make sure the patch covers the entire hole.

You don't want the piece to be too big, because then you'll need more glue.

If necessary, cut the patch to the ideal size, leaving a few inches on each side of the hole for the glue to stick.

If the adhesive in the kit doesn't seem right, switch to a commercial adhesive such as AirHead.

Step 5: Apply the glue and let it dry

Whatever type of repair you are going for, you will need to apply glue. Here's how:

If you use spray, the sealant itself is both the glue and the patch.

If using a rag or patch, apply glue to the hole in the mat. Then apply the glue to one side of your patch.

In the case of a spray, simply spray the liquid over the hole and wait for it to dry.

If for some reason you don't have glue, you can again go for AirHead glue.

Step 6: Apply Pressure

Now that the patch is in the right place, it is important to ensure that it adheres well and stays in place.

To do this, apply regular pressure to the patch.

This is especially important for seam repair, where the patch will bend over an angle. Wait two to three minutes before removing your hand and releasing the pressure.

Step 7: Check the Patch

After letting the glue dry for about two to three hours, check that the patch is working and that the hole is indeed sealed.

You do this by testing for the presence of air with a small amount of water.

If it works, skip to step 8.

Step 8: Re-inflate the mat

We have arrived at the last step!

It's time to inflate the mat again and see if it holds the air.

If so, well done! If not, you will unfortunately have to seek the help of a professional.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.