How To Keep Balloons From Deflating And Popping
by Ann Mifsud
Wanting to decorate your party venue in a way that reflects your feelings towards your loved ones may translate into quite a hefty expense. Though common balloons are relatively inexpensive, sizeable balloon arrangements (and the sheer amount of balloons you would want to incorporate in them) can cost a small fortune. Thus, getting the most out of the money you spend on balloons is a very relevant matter you should look into.
Balloons deflate or pop when they are put in direct sunlight, exposed to outdoor air or inflated a lot in advance. Smaller balloons tend to deflate quicker than bigger ones and helium escapes from balloons faster than normal air. Balloon treatments make balloons last longer.
In this article we will reveal why all kinds of balloons could deflate or pop, and what can be done to prevent them from going bust for as long as possible.
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1. How Do You Keep Balloons From Deflating?
It is a matter of fact that balloons will start to deflate as soon as they are blown and tied up, even if you don’t see any visible change in them immediately.
So, what do you do to go around this problem?
Your aim should be to choose what type of balloon suits best your needs and to provide the best conditions for your balloons to survive longer.
5 Factors That Contribute To Balloon Longevity
There are 5 factors, that when looked into can provide you with a clear guide to make your balloons last longer.
Factor 1: The Material From Which The Balloon Is Made Of
Latex balloons begin to break down immediately as soon as they are inflated since they are a natural biodegradable product.
Foil or plastic balloons will last a lot longer.
Below you can see the difference between some latex balloons and a foil balloon, after a couple of days that they have been inflated.
When going for foil or plastic balloons you need to be aware however that they are more expensive and that they can be more damaging to the environment once they are discarded. The good thing is that if you’re careful these kind of balloons can be reused.
Back to latex balloons, note that pearl and metallic ones deflate faster than normal color balloons.
For a detailed description of different kinds of balloons you might be needing for your next party, check out: 15 Types Of Balloons To Enchant Your Party Venue.
Pro Tip 1: Foil balloons last longer than rubber ones.
Factor 2: The Size Of The Balloon
Larger balloons tend to deflate at a much lesser rate than smaller ones.
For example, air-filled 5″ (12cm) latex balloons stays inflated for 2 days outdoors in moderate temperatures, whilst an 11″ (28cm) one will stay up for 3 to 4 days. You can then expect a 24″ (60cm) balloon to stay in good shape for 5 to 6 days in the same conditions.
For more detailed information on how long do balloons stay inflated, go to this guide.
Pro Tip 2: The larger the balloon the longer it stays inflated.
Factor 3: The Gas Used To Fill The Balloon
Though helium-filled balloons can create a spectacular overall effect, you can be sure that they won’t last for long. Helium-filled 11″ (28cm) balloons will stay afloat for 12 to 20 hours when kept inside.
No matter what kind balloons you choose, be it rubber or foil, helium will leak out quicker than air. This is because helium molecules are much smaller than air molecules.
Pro Tip 3: Helium-filled balloons deflate quicker than air-filled ones.
Learn in detail how much do 5”, 11” and 24” rubber balloons and 18″ foil balloons last indoors and outdoors, both when filled with air and with helium, in our complete guide to how long do balloons stay inflated.
So if you want to go for air-filled balloons, you can still create impressive balloon arrangements without filling them with helium. There are many ways to hold up air-filled balloons in the form of arches, garlands and columns.
For this reason we have created a complete guide how to construct your own balloon arches.
Factor 4: The Treatments Applied To Latex Balloons
Latex balloons are made to last longer by applying one of two treatments or both.
Hi-Float Balloon Treatment
Hi-Float is a patented liquid solution that is applied on the inside to seal off pores in the latex and thus slowing down air leakage. A single squirt inside the balloon keeps it floating up to 25 times longer!
Hi-float does not work on foil (mylar) balloons and it will hamper their floating capability.
Then there is Hi-Shine.
Hi-Shine Balloon Treatment
This silicone spray is applied on the outside of the balloon to protect it from UV rays, thus slowing down oxidation (decomposition).
Applying Hi-Shine to your latex balloons prevents them from becoming matt and velvety as they start to break down as soon as they are inflated. Hi-Shine keeps them looking shiny, fresh and new.
For clear instructions how to use these treatments go to Hi-float.com.
Pro Tip 4: Balloon treatments increase the longevity of rubber balloons.
Factor 5: The Conditions To Which The Balloon Is Exposed
As a guiding principle, balloons do best in the same type of environment that people are comfortable with.
The worst you can do to shorten the life of your balloons is to expose them to direct sunlight and outside air. In these conditions balloons will only survive for a few hours. Thus it is advisable that if you are going to have your balloons outdoors, it is best to do so in the late afternoon or early evening.
Foil balloons are more resistant to outdoor environments than latex ones.
On the other hand, air-filled balloons, even latex ones, will remain unaltered to the naked eye for up to 5 days, if you are keeping them inside, out of direct sunlight and in cool, stable temperature.
This is not the case if you’re opting to fill your balloons with helium. Even when thay are set up indoors, they will generally stay up from 12 to 20 hours before they start going down.
Pro Tip 5: Balloons stay inflated for a longer time indoors. They deflate after a few hours outdoors especially in hotter conditions.
Discover how much balloons can stay inflated and/or afloat in different atmospheric conditions, both outside and indoors, whether applying treatments to them or not, by checking the already mentioned guide: How Long Do Balloons Stay Inflated?
How Long Do Balloons Stay Inflated?
You can prepare most of your party decoration items from as much before as your schedule permits, especially if the celebration is going to be held indoors. There is one exception, however. Balloons.
2. Why Do Balloons Pop And How To Prevent Them From Doing So?
Balloons are considerably a fragile item and they need to be treated with care if they are to serve their purpose until the last guest has left the party. At times balloons pop because they are faulty or of inferior quality. But on other instances they burst because of the lack of attention or misuse on the part of the user.
We are listing here the main reasons why your balloons are popping and what you need to do about each one of them to prevent popping as much as possible.
A. Punctured balloons
Balloons may have been punctured, for instance, when trying to get them through doorways. Be careful how you carry balloons especially through narrow spaces. Door knobs and hinges are notorious balloon poppers.
Balloons may have been transported in an inappropriate way, for example, when too many inflated balloons are squeezed into a small car. Try to, either transport them in a bigger car, ask someone to get them for you or just inflate them wherever the party is taking place.
If this is not possible and you really need to carry your balloons in a car make sure to go through the: Best 7 Tips To Transport Balloons Safely.
C. Balloons left in a vehicle overnight
Though perfect conditions may not effect your balloons, it is not advisable to leave them in the car overnight. If it gets too hot they can pop! If it’s too cold, they can “deflate” or sag, especially if they’re filled with helium.
Also, keep in mind that helium-filled balloons won’t stay up for long, even in the most perfect conditions. So it is best if you inflate balloons with helium as closest to the start of the event as possible.
In any case, if you wish to have your balloons ready from before anyway, get them into your house and if you want to hide them, find a cool, dark place as described above.
D. Hot Temperature
Balloons may have been placed where the temperature is either too hot or where it varies a lot as time passes. Direct sunlight will surely burst your balloons in a matter of few minutes. Helium-filled balloons may also pop in these conditions since helium molecules expand with heat.
Check out: How Long Do Balloons Stay Inflated?
E. Human misuse
Balloons may have been damaged when used or mis-used by children (and adults) before a party for instance. Give your kids balloons to play with and keep aside those with which you’ll be decorating your venue.
F. Treatment wrongly applied
Balloons treated with Hi-Float, may have been put in bags before the treatment has been allowed to dry properly. There will be a risk they will burst when they are removed from the bags.
So, let treatments such as Hi-float take their time to dry completely. In warm conditions, it takes about an hour for Hi-Float to dry in an 11” (28cm) balloon. Using too much Hi-Float can also be detrimental to balloons. A single squirt of this treatment will be enough. Check how Hi-Float can be used properly, here.
G. Static electricity and sound vibration
Balloons can also pop due to static electricity and sound vibration. Keep them clear from electronic equipment such as big TV screens and don’t put them directly in front of large speakers.
H. Faulty product
Balloon pop can also be the result of a faulty product. There is no doubt that a percentage of balloons are likely to fail. So choosing a high quality product will certainly reduce the balloon failure rate.
Qualatex, who are renowned for their good quality balloons, report a failure rate of 10% for their balloons. So it is best to invest in some good variety of balloons, try some of them before and have some extra to compensate for any loss on the day.
Last but not least and obvious as it may sound, balloons pop because they may have been over-inflated. Just fill them up to the size that they have been designed for.
Pro Tip: Cut a hole in a cardboard sheet with the diameter equivalent to the recommended size of the balloon. Check if the balloon is over or under inflated by passing it through the hole.
Let’s go over some more frequently asked questions about balloons…
3. Will Balloons Deflate Overnight?
The short answer is no, especially if you follow the above guidelines regarding the 5 factors that contribute to the deflation of balloons.
Having said that, we highly recommend that balloons are set in place, as close as possible to the start of the event.
However, if it is really necessary to have your balloons ready a day before, make sure that you follow the above guidelines.
4. How Do You Store Balloons Overnight?
So let’s say that you need to have balloons blown up the night before your party kicks off.
Store your balloons in large plastic bags overnight. You can also use purposely made balloon bags to preserve your balloons for later use. Large trash bags with holes in them will do the trick as well.
Keep the balloons in a dark place at a fairly constant cool temperature. For instance, it would be ideal if you store them under a staircase, in a cupboard or in a garage. Do not keep them in a warm or brightly illuminated space.
5. Does Hairspray Make Balloons Last Longer?
Hairspray can be sprayed on the outside of latex balloons after they are inflated. It acts like a sealant that keeps the air or helium in for longer.
Hi-Shine silicone spray (mentioned above) works in the same way.
Furthermore, any silicone lubricant found in stores in the auto departments will do fine as well.
Concluding thoughts about keeping balloons from popping and deflating
When it comes to balloon decor for your special occasion at home or in hired venue, keeping them intact for as long as possible is a priority. In this article we have revealed the 5 factors that contribute to the longevity of your balloons.
Our aim is to help you in preventing balloons from getting deflated as much as possible and to lay out the best possible conditions to stop them from popping and deflating.
In this article you can also find what causes balloons to burst and what steps can you take in order to preserve your balloons as much as possible.
We have also provided you links to our other articles in this series to help you more get the best out of your balloons. Here they are again…
All Articles About Balloon Care
Click to go straight to exclusive information about balloons.
Hi I'm Ann
Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea. Discover more...
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