Spring is Almost Here. Are You Planning for Summer Yet?
As the winter weather begins to fade, you might find yourself thinking about getting your bounce house out of storage. Let’s discuss getting inflatables out of the garage and into the sun again.
Most people probably know it’s nearly spring based on the calendar—it starts March 19th this year, on the vernal equinox—or by the slowly relenting winter weather. But me? I’ve got other indicators that spring is around the corner.
My spouse asks if we should go on a big camping trip this summer, or take the kids to a theme park. My parents are scheming to enlist those very same kids for an onslaught of weekend pre-season gardening chores. And then I find a notification on social media from the parents’ group that the school’s Egg Hunt Jamboree is in its early planning phase and needs volunteers to get it across the line.
The kids have a far less subtle way of letting me know spring is here. They fight against the oppression of me telling them they need to wear a jacket because in their eyes, 42 degrees is “basically tropical.” They ask what our family plans are for spring break. And then comes the bounce house.
Can we get it out of the garage? Can we set it up this weekend? The snow won’t hurt it, will it? Pleeease?
And now we can add that to my list of spring clean up tasks: Getting our Vinyl Crossover bounce house out of storage and ready for a summer of play. But thankfully, it’s not nearly as difficult as it might seem at first glance.
Let’s Do a Springtime De-Grime!
A small retail bounce house for toddlers and young kids weighs 40 or 50 pounds. If it managed to survive the summer and early fall, Getting it set up is a cinch. But Pogo doesn’t sell flimsy little retail bouncers. We’ve got the big dogs here.
Pogo’s Vinyl Crossover™ inflatables are nearly as heavy duty as our big commercial inflatables. And if you’re reading this article, you surely know already that these aren’t built for five or six uses in one summer like those cheap retail nylon and polyester bounce houses. They’re built for frequent use over multiple summers. And that means these are bigger, heavier, and more challenging to clean and store.
Taking these heavy duty inflatables out of storage and getting them ready for the summer isn’t as easy as yanking them out of a box and tossing them in your yard. We need to thoroughly inspect and clean them, and repair them if that’s needed. So let’s roll up our sleeves and start our inflatable spring clean up, shall we?
Step 1 - Getting our Bounce House Out of Storage
Hopefully, you’ve been keeping your bounce house in a dry, clutter-free, moderately warm place. We keep ours in our attached garage; it’s a heated space and it stays dry year-round, and we keep it up on a wooden pallet just in case the garage does see any water.
We’re also careful not to use the top of the rolled up bouncer as another storage space. It’s easy to nonchalantly set something on there—groceries while emptying the trunk, or a toolbox, or what have you—but we’ve afixed a sign just above it that reads “BOUNCE HOUSE. DON’T PUT YOUR JUNK HERE!” And thankfully, everyone has obliged. This year, anyway.
Now comes the hard part: we need to find enough dry, clean space to roll out the bounce house completely. And later on we’ll need to blow it up, too (but not just yet). This isn’t much of a problem on a mild, dry day if you lay out a large waterproof tarp first. And thankfully, we’re starting to see more and more of those mild, dry days as we near the end of winter.
A few tips for getting your bounce house out of storage:
- Get help from someone. Your significant other, a friend, a neighbor … any adult will do. This is definitely a job for two or more grown ups!
- Do you own a hand truck or dolly? If not, it’s a good idea to invest in one now.
- Make sure you’re clear on all sides. You don’t want to start pulling the bounce house out of the corner only to find a dozen things are leaning up against it.
- Be sure the storage bag is still properly in place. Don’t remove it until you’re ready to roll the bounce house or inflatable water slide out.
Step 2 - The End of Winter Bounce House Inspection
Once you’ve gotten the bounce house fully rolled out, it’s time to do a quick inspection of the full unit. Take your time and carefully examine the bounce house from top to bottom. You’re looking for:
- Damage: rips, tears, punctures, etc. Be sure to carefully check the seams, the easy deflation zippers, and the inflation tubes. Also look at the seams where side netting and our No Jump Top™ netting is sewn in.
- Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew can destroy a bounce house, and it’s more likely to develop while in storage than at any other time of its lifespan. Be sure to thoroughly inspect the bounce house for mold and mildew, and take adequate steps to remove it should you find any.
- Dirtiness: Inspect the unit for any dirtiness you may have missed when you cleaned it before putting it into storage. You may need to give the bounce house a thorough cleaning before anyone uses it again.
- Plug in your blower, but do not attach it to your bounce house yet. Turn it on and let it run for a minute or two, to test it a little and make sure it’s still working fine
- Count up your inflatable stakes and other inflatable accessories and make sure you aren’t missing anything
Step 3 - Repairs and the Big Spring Clean Up
Should you happen to find any damage, now is the best time to get it repaired. Bounce house repair is fairly straightforward, and Pogo Bounce House carries everything you need to patch and repair your bounce house on the fly. We carry all sorts of inflatable repair kits including patch kits, sewing awls and needles, vinyl adhesives, and more.
Once you’re done with repairs and patching (if you needed to do any), it’s time to connect your air blower and inflate your bounce house. This will help with our next step—cleaning the bouncer—and will help us ensure there isn’t any damage that was missed prior.
Now for our big spring clean up (which may not be very big at all for some of you). If the bounce house is visibly dirty, we recommend giving it a good, thorough deep cleaning from top to bottom. You’ll want to remove mold and mildew from the bounce house too, if there is any. If the bounce house looks clean already, just give it a good and generous once-over with bleach free disinfectant wipes.
Be sure to let the bounce house dry thoroughly before putting it back in storage. Unless your kids are like mine, of course, and harass you until you finally relent and let them play for an hour. Those puppy dog eyes should be banned by the Geneva Convention, but I digress.
Step 4 - Summertime Storage
All done with your spring clean up and prep? Let’s put the bounce house back in storage. Only this time, we’re going to focus less on storage, and more on accessible storage. After all, you’re going to be using this bounce house on the regular in the very near future, right?
One of the biggest mistakes I made my first year of owning a Vinyl Crossover bounce house was putting it too deep in storage after my big spring clean up. I had nested the bounce house into a much larger garage spring cleaning project, only to then bury the bounce house behind a bunch of other stuff.
Fast forward to my daughter’s birthday party in April—a gorgeous day in the upper 50’s or lower 60’s. We set up the bounce house for her party … eventually. It took nearly a full hour to move things around enough that we could get the bounce house out.
The moral of the story? When you put your bounce house back in storage, keep it accessible. Keep your hand truck or dolly nearby, if you have the space for that. We’re now entering the season where patches of nice weather will challenge winter’s frozen grasp on our outdoor activities. You’ll never know when the temperature might rise, the ground might dry, and the kids will start to shout in unison “Bounce house! Bounce house! Bounce house!”
Summertime is Bounce Time!
Now that we’ve done our repairs and a spring clean up, your Vinyl Crossover bounce house is ready for a busy, bouncy summer of aerial thrills. You’ll be setting it up for all sorts of events; birthdays, barbecues, anniversaries, block parties, church functions, you name it. How much mileage you get out of your Vinyl Crossover bouncer this summer is really a matter of personal ambition more than anything else.
We hope you and your family have a safe, fun, exciting summer using your bounce house. And if you have any questions, or if you need to find any replacement parts or anything, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 716-566-5806. We would love to help you find what you’re looking for!
Have some interesting spring clean up photos? Is there advice you’d like to share with others? Do you have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to comment below or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!