Leaks are the last thing that one would want to have on an air mattress. But it’s a reality and does happen. I have an air mattress, and I have patched a few leaks. The first and foremost thing, when faced with a leak, is to remove the sheets and get the bed to a place where it is easier to maneuver.
Once done, inflate the mattress and check the valve. Most often, it is the primary source of the leak. If the valve is okay, submerge your mattress in water (check for manufacturer instructions) and you can spot the leak. Once detected, use a patch kit, available in local hardware stores, to seal it. The patch kit consists of glue, sandpaper, and patches.
Deflate the mattress, once the leak is detected, use sandpaper to increase the size a bit, cut a piece of the patch (usually bigger than the hole), and apply it to the mattress. Press down the piece for a minute or two. Later on, place a heavy object on the patch and let it dry for 3 to 4 hours. Inflate the mattress afterward and check whether the patch holds and if there are any more leaks.
The first thing is to identify the source of the leak. If it is the valve leaking, then the mattress is useless. If it is not the valve, then there is hope. Identify the source by running your hand around the mattress and feeling the air. Alternatively, spray soapy water on the mattress. The bubbles will pinpoint the leak.
Once the leak is identified, deflate the mattress. If it is a small hole, then use a sealant (available in your neighborhood hardware store). Apply a few coats of sealant and let it dry. If the hole is more prominent, use duct tape. Cover the hole with the tape and allow it to stick. The use of weights can speed up the process.
Alternatively, one can use a fabric patch if the hole is located on or near the fabric section of the mattress.
If all these measures fail, go for a new mattress.
Use a bicycle sealant to patch the leak. Find the leak, let the sealant dribble over the hole and let it dry for a few hours. This usually does the trick for me. You can also opt for a rubber cement to patch the leak; however, it might be a bit messy.
You can patch the leak using Coghlan’s Airstop sealant. It is an 8ml tube and works very well for the air mattress leaks. I have used this sealant thrice on my mattress (different places), and it has always worked. It is available on Amazon.