In a family of boys, we have gone through one too many trampoline mats due to wear and tear … mostly tear.
To save money and avoid buying a new trampoline mat, I decided to learn how to patch a trampoline mat myself.
The best way I have found to repair a hole in a trampoline mat is to purchase a repair kit.
That way you get everything you need and don’t make the mistake I did.
A trampoline mat can be repaired easily by purchasing a trampoline repair kit and following the step-by-step instructions. The kit includes two large patches (8″ x 4″) of strong trampoline material, heavy-duty UV-resistant thread, and an industrial needle strong enough to pierce a hefty trampoline mat.
These trampoline repair kits that you can buy on Amazon work great but here are five ways you can consider depending on the type of repair you need.
I made the mistake and bought all my own supplies to fix my trampoline mat so it ended up costing more.
Buying a repair kit is the best way to quickly fix your trampoline mat. That way you won’t make the mistake and buy material that is not UV resistant.
Here are the steps that will make repairing your trampoline with a kit super easy.
- Get a friend to help and two sets of pliers. This works best with two people, one on top and one on the bottom, feeding each other the industrial needle with tough needle-nose pliers, also available on Amazon.
- Cut the patch in a circle. Make it at least 2″ larger in diameter than your tear. You want some overlap.
- Run a match or lighter carefully around your patch edges to prevent future fraying.
- Pin the patch in place so it won’t budge during “surgery.”
- Finally, the company, Bear Claw, recommends sewing around the patch with either a cross-stitch or a whip stitch (see pictures below).
There are multiple benefits to this option.
- You can repair a hole up to 4″ wide.
- You don’t even need a sewing machine. The patches can be sewn on by hand.
- It’s quick! Instead of re-ordering a new trampoline mat, paying shipping, and waiting for it to arrive, your kids can be back jumping to their hearts’ content in fifteen minutes.
- It’s cheap. At such a low cost ($15), it’s a good idea to keep a few of these trampoline mat repair kits on hand even if you don’t have a hole yet. It’s a lot less expensive than buying a new mat.
- It lasts! Reviewers said it held up to the wear of children jumping on the repair for years.
2) No-Sew Repair
If sewing is not your thing, don’t despair.
In addition to the patch kit, you’ll need a cleaner, and the company recommends isopropyl alcohol for that.
- Carefully clean both the top and bottom of the mat where adhesive will touch.
- Place the patch on the underside of the mat.
- Apply the adhesive liquid on top (the mat underneath will absorb the glue).
- Wait. Leave it untouched for 10-12 hours.
There are a couple of downsides to this method, though it is inexpensive ($7) and simple.
- It takes a lot longer than it would just to sew a patch on because you have to wait for the glue to cure.
- This only works for holes that are 3″ or smaller because that’s the size of the patch.
- If you live in a cold place, the glue may not cure correctly because it needs temperatures over 41-degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).
3) The Sew-Like-Crazy
There are some tears that can’t be fixed with a simple patch job.
If your hole is bigger than 4″ or is found in an inconvenient place like the edge of the trampoline, a simple patch won’t work.
For these next-level tears, you need next-level tools. I speak from experience when I say, this option is not for the faint of heart.
Difficulty level: HIGH. You will need a sewing machine with a powerful motor; a sewing machine needle made for denim, vinyl, and leather; and upholstery-strength thread (make sure it is UV-resistant or you will regret it).
Do not attempt this unless your machine motor is strong enough to handle thick fabrics, like the Singer Heavy Duty 4452, available from Amazon.
- Remove your trampoline mat and take it to the sewing room.
- Set up the machine. Put the UV-resistant upholstery thread in your sewing machine and thread your leather-piercing needle.
- Run a strong, tight stitch, like a cross-stitch or zig-zag stitch over the tear in your trampoline mat.
- Repeat. (You want at least two redundant layers of stitching.)
- If you weren’t able to find UV-resistant thread, use a UV-resistant spray made for fabrics, and apply generously. (The sun will eat through even the strongest thread and make your beautiful stitching brittle.)
- Replace the mat on your trampoline frame.
There are obvious drawbacks to this option.
- It’s tool-intensive. If you don’t already have the tools you need, it could be expensive.
- It’s time-intensive. Setting up the machine and going over trouble areas twice could take a long time, depending on how bad your tears are and how many there are.
- It’s potentially fragile. If you don’t protect your thread from the sun, the stitching won’t hold up against jumping. It might be necessary to reapply a UV-resistant spray seasonally.
4) Flex-Tape Tramp Repair
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to experiment, you could try Flex Tape Rubberized Waterproof Tape, available from Amazon.
It comes in a roll that is 4″ wide and 5′ long and is just the right color for most trampoline mats: black.
The maker claims it can be applied on wet or dry surfaces, even under water. I still wouldn’t recommend repairing your trampoline in the rain.
But if you try it, let me know how it goes!
The company says, “Flex Tape’s bond increases with time and pressure. Withstands extreme temperature and weather conditions.”
- Apply the flex tape to your trampoline mat hole or tear.
- Repeat on the underside of the trampoline mat.
- Seal with the Flex Seal Spray Rubber Sealant Coating, also available from Amazon. (The spray is also touted as weather-proof in hot or cold weather.)
- Let dry according to directions on the can.
There are definite benefits to this option.
- It’s quick. This is even faster than the quick sew option.
- It lasts. The company claims it will last for years.
- It’s weatherproof.
- It’s inexpensive. Together, the seal spray and flex tape are under $50, less than the cost of a new mat, and you’ll have tape and spray to spare for future fixes.
- It’s better than duct tape.
5) Hire A Professional
If, after looking at your DIY repair options, you are overwhelmed by the prospect of fixing it yourself, you can always call a professional in.
They will take your whole mat, repair it professionally, and return it almost as good as new.
- Find the nearest trampoline repair center. Or ship it to the Trampoline Pro Shop in Georgia.
- Choose between three price points: 1) Hole Patch ($25); 2) Basic Resew ($60); and 3) Complete Rebuild ($85).
- Fork over the dough and wait patiently.
Aside from the one downside (the cost), there are mostly benefits to this option.
- You don’t have to work so hard. Someone else will do it.
- You can be confident it will be done well.
- It’s not that expensive compared with buying a new mat.
10 Mat Maintenance Tips
- Bring your mat inside during the winter.
- Use a UV protective spray in spring before the sunniest days begin.
- Don’t allow gravel or sand on the mat.
- Replace springs immediately when they over-stretch, rust, or pop out.
- Repair holes immediately when they appear, before they grow in size.
- Don’t try to repair a trampoline mat more than ten years old.
- Don’t go over the weight capacity of the mat. One at a time is the best rule.
- Take shoes off before jumping.
- Put a safety pad over the springs to protect both the springs and jumpers.
- Use the right length of springs. Shorter springs are fine for kids; longer springs are needed for higher weights.
10 Trampoline Safety Tips
- Don’t jump on a wet trampoline; it’s slippery.
- Jump, but don’t flip. Serious injuries, even death, happen when people accidentally flip off the trampoline.
- Don’t go over the weight capacity of the mat. If the mat touches the ground, it can cause leg and spine injuries.
- Consider installing an in-ground trampoline to avoid accidental falls off the edge.
- Use a safety net around the entire trampoline.
- Place a safety pad over the springs.
- Landscape with grass, rather than rocks or cement, around the trampoline.
- Place the trampoline far from trees, walls, roofs, light poles, and electrical poles.
- Check your pockets for sharp objects before jumping.
- Jump in the middle, not by the springs.
I hope those tips were helpful so you can take better care of your trampoline.
When your kids are rough and make a tear you can save a ton of money by repairing it yourself.