How can I repair a puncture in my PVC inflatable?

NOTE: The following instructions are for patching a basic leak on a PVC inflatable, typically a puncture or cut.  More complicated repairs such as those near seams and corners, may require special repair techniques. If so, please contact Aquaglide for additional instructions.


Helpful items and where to find them:


Solvent - Don’t skip the solvent. It’s important to clean surfaces with solvent before making a long-lasting repair. MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) is the best solvent for PVC repairs, but acetone will also work. Rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes (for traveling & med kits) work in a pinch, but is not nearly as good at removing oils on the surface that will spoil adhesion. In North America, all of these products can be found online and at local hardware or home repair stores.


Miscellaneous - For Tear-Aid or Reinforced patch you will need sharp scissors or a razor knife, a bit of sandpaper (medium grit), pencil or china marker. A clean rag is helpful for any repair. You may also want liquid dish soap & sponge (to find a sneaky leak), and a respirator and gloves (to keep the solvent away from you).


Tear-Aid – Tear-Aid Type B is a self-adhesive patch material that’s widely available online and at nationwide retail outlets like Walmart, Ace Hardware, REI and more. Great for relatively long-term repair of punctures on all types of PVC products. Clear, non-toxic and easy to use.


Aquaseal FD – This is a liquid sealant that can be oozed into very small cracks, edges and pinholes. Widely available online and at nationwide retail outlets like Walmart, West Marine, REI and more. This stuff is a little messy to work with and may be best applied using a small plastic irrigation syringe from the drug or hardware store.


Shoe Goo, Clear – Yup, seriously. This is a very thick vinyl-based adhesive that can be used for quick, short-term plugging of small holes on low pressure items. Widely available online and at nationwide retail outlets like Walmart, Lowes, Walgreens, Dick’s, REI and more. 


Fabric Reinforced PVC – Reinforced PVC, or tarpaulin, is commercial grade material that is the basis for most of Aquaglide’s Duratex products. The strongest and most durable repair for Duratex items is generally to patch with material of the same type. This material can be found in the repair kit included with your Aquaglide product or purchased from an Aquaglide distributor. In a pinch, similar material can be found online, or at marine stores where RIB dinghies or whitewater rafts are sold or serviced. If you go this route, DO NOT to use patch material or glue intended for Hypalon, which looks almost identical, but will result in a gooey mess when combined with PVC.


Contact Adhesive - For those choosing to repair with a reinforced PVC patch, using good glue is critical. We recommend and HH-66 vinyl adhesive, which is available through Aquaglide, and also widely available online, through Walmart and many local auto parts stores where it is used to adhere auto emblems. The 4oz and 8oz sizes typically have an applicator brush in the cap – perfect! If not, you’ll need a small disposable brush.

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request



Please sign in to leave a comment.