Aquatic inflatables are, without question, a staple for making your summers memorable and fun. What happens when summer ends though? It’s time to pack up for the winter – but there is more to the take-down process than deflating and storing them in the garage until next year. We created this handy guide on how to winterize your inflatables to ensure their structural integrity and overall longevity, so you can enjoy them for years to come.
How To Winterize Your Inflatables – Cleaning
Water Inflatables should never be cleaned while they are still in the water. There are all kinds of debris that can attach itself to your inflatables and cleaning products entering the water can be harmful to swimmers and the environment. Instead, place them on a clean surface such as a tarp or plastic sheet. Make sure there is nothing beneath the tarp such as rocks and sticks. A hose, a soft brush or cloth, and some soapy water are sufficient for removing debris but heavy stains will require specialized cleaning solutions. Inflatables should be rinsed with fresh water and left to air dry.
While you clean your inflatables you should inspect them for any signs of damage like leaks, which can be identified by small bubbles gathering on the surface. Check the valves as well, and remove any debris or other unwanted objects that you find.
Products like Recresol will provide long-lasting protection against algae, fungus, bacteria, mold, and mildew. Allow your inflatables to dry completely after applying any antimicrobial agents, as lingering fluid can lead to mold and mildew buildup while they are in storage.
How To Winterize Your Inflatables – Storage
Deflation is always the first step. The only way to be certain that all air has been removed is to use reverse mode on equipment like an electric pump or shop vacuum. When your inflatables are completely deflated you can fold them into the desired proper width to accommodate your storage space; doing so in thirds is a good rule of thumb. Roll them up and cover them in the manufacturer’s protective carrying case. If you have misplaced it you can use straps or rope to secure them inside a tarp.
Keep your stored inflatables in a clean and dry space, away from direct sunlight. It is recommended that you throw in a few mothballs to deter any rodents from nibbling while they are packed up. Store them in an area that will not drop below 40℉ (or 5℃). However, if this is not possible you should keep them in a place where they will not be disturbed until next year for installation.
How To Winterize Your Inflatables – Repairs
Give your inflatables a final inspection for signs of damage. Regardless of whether it’s serious or normal wear and tear, make sure to address it before packing it away. Not only does this prevent them from being potentially exacerbated while in storage, but it also leaves you with one less thing to worry about next year on opening day. Your owner’s manual should include instructions on how to address minor holes or leaks, as will most repair kits. However, you can always contact a professional to make sure that the job is done right, as improper handling during maintenance work can worsen the issue.
Proper Usage and Care
It is important to be mindful of the dos, but we need to stress the importance of the don’ts as well. Preparing your inflatables for winter, and maintenance, in general, requires that you remember to never drag inflatables over rough surfaces. This can cause holes and leaks, namely in the folded parts. You should also never use any type of high-pressure cleaning equipment on your inflatables, as this can damage the vinyl.
Do you have further questions on how to winterize your inflatables? That’s what we’re here for. Water Warrior Services does more than sell and install aquatic inflatables. We also offer maintenance and repair work, help you keep your inflatables clean, and simplify the take down process. Get in touch with our team today and tell us how we can help you prepare your inflatables for the approaching change in seasons.