While a trampoline can definitely be a fun investment for a family, they can also be a little pricey – which is why it can be devastating for everyone in the family if they tear. For this reason, many trampolines come with a trampoline patching kit, so minor repairs can be taken care of without needing to throw out an expensive investment or needing to bring in pricey and sometimes time-consuming professionals.
As we said, most trampolines will come with their own trampoline patching kit, however, that doesn’t mean you still have it (life gets hectic – we get it). Maybe you never got one in the first place either – whatever the case may be, there are lots of options online. Amazon has all the pieces you need to make your own repair kit if you don’t have one or need more equipment than you were given, so don’t worry if the kit you got is lost somewhere in the garage or was never even there in the first place.
CAUSES OF TEARS IN A TRAMPOLINE
While the answers here may seem obvious, they will help determine what you can fix on your own versus what will need to be done by a professional. Most of the time, holes and tears in the mat of the trampoline are caused by normal age and wear – especially if you have older children who spend a decent amount of time on it, but even as the trampoline ages with minimal use, you’ll still get minor tears. Unless your trampoline’s mat tears at the beginning of its life, these tears are just a sign of normal aging and wear, not a reflection of the build of the trampoline.
Tears in the netting deal more with the use of the trampoline – one that gets used more often by older kids tends to tear faster, and that’s to be expected. The net is there to catch runaway bouncers or hold in rowdy jumpers. It is a safety feature you can expect to show wear.
PREVENTING TEARS AND HOLES
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do in the way of prevention. As you may have gathered from the previous section, holes and tears are normal signs of the age and the amount of use your trampoline gets. There are a few things to keep in mind though if you are really trying to stretch out the life of your trampoline:
- 1Sweep off your trampoline before you use it. This will only take a minute and it can not only make jumping more fun (because who likes sticks and leaves bouncing with them?) but it can also save your mat and netting from possible punctures.
- 2Consider your trampoline placement. If possible, keep your trampoline away from lots of trees, as this will not only add to the amount of debris on the mat you’ll need to sweep off, but it will also keep branches and other larger items from falling on it and damaging it (and being a danger to those jumping as well).
- 3Avoid jumping in colder weather. We know it’s much less tempting to use the trampoline in the winter months anyway, but just in case you have an avid jumper, keep in mind that the cold can make the mat more prone to tears.
- 4Inspect the mat and netting of the trampoline regularly. While this doesn’t need to be a daily event, giving your trampoline a once over every month or so (depending on use) will help you catch small holes and tears before they get bigger. We’ll go over that a bit more in the next section.
WHEN DO I NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT PATCHING?
If you’re starting to notice tears or holes, don’t be too worried if they’re small (think about the diameter of a pencil). While catching holes when they’re smaller can save you time (and trampoline patching materials) later on, not all of those tiny holes will get larger soa you could be wasting material and time.
If you’re finding those tiny holes, it’s best just to keep an eye on them. If you see any of them growing large, that is the time to patch them, as they will only continue to grow.
WHEN IS THE TRAMPOLINE MAT UNSALVAGEABLE?
This is an unfortunate possibility – and it likely will be at an earlier threshold than you would assume. For safety reasons, if your trampoline has holes or tears in the mat that are larger than about 2 or 3 inches, you’ll need to replace the mat (just the mat though – so you can save the bulk of the trampoline).
You’ll also want to replace the mat if the tears or holes are in the center of the mat and they’re bigger than that pencil diameter. This is also a safety issue as the center of the mat is by far the most heavily used portion and patching is not likely to last or keep the mat from tearing further.
Finally, if you have multiple tears (more than two or three) at the same time, you should consider replacing the trampoline mat. This is typically a sign of age for the mat and even with patching, it will continue to tear and become less safe for those using it. It will be better and safer in the long run to replace the mat after the third tear at most.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR TRAMPOLINE PATCHING
If you already have a trampoline patching kit, then you likely have everything you need, but if not, here are some things to grab before you tackle the mat or the net:
- Trampoline mat material, outdoor vinyl fabric, or outdoor canvas material
- Outdoor vinyl fabric or canvas
- Trampoline adhesive or trampoline glue if you plan on adhering the patch on
- A canvas-approved sewing needle and thick fishing yarn; a sewing machine is also very handy to have but not strictly necessary
While some of these tools may seem very specific, they are readily available on Amazon or at most outdoor supply stores. You can also check stores like Home Depot for equipment like the fishing yarn.
REPAIRING/PATCHING THE HOLE
If you have your trampoline patching kit on hand, then follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. However, if they are vague or confusing – or if you don’t have a trampoline patching kit, here are some simple steps to follow to repair the mat or netting:
REPAIRING THE MAT WITH ADHESIVE
To repair the mat of the trampoline, first make sure it is within the parameters of what is considered safe to repair yourself. If it’s larger than about 2 inches, consider taking the mat in for professional repairs or replacing the mat. Otherwise, follow these instructions:
- 1Remove the mat from the trampoline. This will likely be the most time-consuming part of the entire process, but rest assured that it shouldn’t be difficult and it is in fact necessary.
- 2Place the replacement patch over the hole (preferably on the top of the mat so there’s less chance of snagging) and glue the edges down. Trim any excess.
- 3You’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before anyone can use the trampoline as it needs time to set.
- 4Put the mat back on – again, a time-consuming process, but it is necessary or your patch won’t provide any resistance or bounce.
REPAIRING THE MAT BY SEWING
If you’re confident in your sewing abilities, you can always sew a patch on. While a sewing machine is definitely a time (and hand) saver here, it isn’t necessary depending on the size of the tear. In either case, these instructions remain the same:
- 1Remove the mat from the trampoline. It will take time but it will be worth it because otherwise, your patch will provide no resistance or bounce.
- 2Place the replacement patch over the hole on the top side to prevent snagging. Sew the edges down, going over it multiple times to provide support. Trim the excess.
- 3Put the mat back on the trampoline – it is immediately ready for use.
REPAIRING THE NETTING
A repair in the netting is done the same way as the mat – with either a sewing machine or duct tape instead of glue. For the sewing machine method, follow the same directions for sewing a patch on the mat.
For the duct tape method, you’ll layer strips of tape over the hole as a make-shift patch. Be sure to really layer them as they will only add support and help the patch last longer. It should be noted that this is more of a temporary fix than a permanent one and should be used only for small holes.
A trampoline is a pricey investment, so don’t give up on it when there’s a tear. Trampoline patching may seem like a daunting task – whether you have a repair kit or not – but it’s really very simple once you understand the parameters you can safely work within. Hopefully with the help of these instructions, repairing a hole or tear will seem much more doable and worth the time as opposed to throwing out the trampoline.