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Rain Policy and Wet Inflatables

RAIN POLICY


Your Rain Policy may vary greatly from your neighboring inflatable business and it's important to know how weather can affect your business before you take your first reservation.

You might be thinking "What Is The Big Deal about Rain?" but for safety reasons you're customers shouldn't be using an inflatable while it's wet (Unless it's an inflatable meant to be used while wet.) because wet vinyl gets slippery and a rider who jumps and expects to land a specific way but slips; now has the potential of sliding or falling on another rider injuring himself or another person.

Along with rain comes winds. Manufacturer guidelines state that an inflatable unit needs to be deflated if the winds exceed 15 - 25 mph. (For your own liability coverage you need to check manufacturer guidelines for your specific inflatable.) Wind and wind gusts are huge hazards for inflatables. The wind can pick up an inflatable and get blown 30 or more feet into the air or blown across a football field, even with the weight of several rider in it. Winds have the potential of blowing over a water slide that has over 50 gallons of water in the pool. The potential of high winds and wind gusts are not be questioned!

So what do you do if the weather man says it's going to rain? You should educate your customer and together make a decision to deliver the inflatable or not. Advice the customer that a wet unit cannot be used for safety reasons, and they would need to have the rain shower pass and towel dry off the unit before use. You would need to determine the frequency, duration and quantity of rain that is expected. A few light passing rain showers and the customer may consider taking delivery of the unit because they are sure to get enough use out of it to make the rental worth it. Or the customer may determine that there is too much rain forecasted, they won't get enough use of the unit, and decide not to rent the unit. In addition, the customer also needs to be educated about winds, and the hazards of high winds or wind gusts. Ultimately, you will need to make the decision of delivery or not, and you should always base your decision on safety!

DRYING WET INFLATABLES


You need to make sure that any wet unit is thoroughly dried before it is put into storage. Even a unit only wet from dew has the potential for mildew and odors. You will need to setup the unit on the next available/possible day. A wet unit can get mildew on it in less than a week, so don't ever think "It's going out next weekend I don't have to worry about drying it out". A unit repeatedly exposed to moisture and dew has the potential of mal-odors, which are very difficult to get rid of.

You might think it's as simple as setting a unit up to dry, and that may be possible if the unit isn't very wet or dirty. However, if the unit also got muddy then you might want to think about using a hose and rinsing the unit off. You can also wash your inflatable similar to washing a car: rinse the dirt off, wash with a large sponge, cleaning agent, and a bucket and then rinse with the hose.

Also, if you have an inflatable unit that has a slide cover or steps on it such as combo units or giant dry slides, you will need to pull up the slide cover to make sure that the space (and all adhering velcro) between the vinyl and slide cover are dry. If not, fold it over and allow to dry.

Whether you just allow the unit to dry, hose it off, or wash similar to a car. The next step is to dry your unit. You'll need to use some towels to get the large puddles of water trapped in seams or corners to expedite the drying the process. If your unit has an access zipper then go into the unit and dry up any puddles which may have formed. (Always have someone watch over the inflatable and zipper entrance while you go into the unit for safety reasons.)

Some tips to help you dry your unit: You can tip your unit a little by using your hand truck and lift it on one side to help water accumulate/drain. Another way you can remove water is by use of a leaf blower. Also, be wary about trapped water, especially if your unit was caught in heavy rain. Internal seam designs can prevent water from draining from inflatable beams and pillars. If you have gone into your unit through the access zipper and you have soaked up the puddles with towels, it is highly recommended that you double check before your final deflation.

Ultimately wet inflatables take more work! That's one reason why you receive more income for a water slide then a bounce house. They are heavier, require tedious post-rental work because you need to make sure they are thoroughly dried, and often the dirt sticks to them because they have gotten wet.

Whether your inflatable has gotten wet either from dew, rain or thoughtless customers who have used a hose with the inflatable unit. What ever the cause the resolution have to be the same. Your unit must be thoroughly dried before you put it into storage. Drying the unit may be as fast as 3 or 4 hours on a hot sunny day, or it could take 8 or more hours on a cool humid day. Either way, always make sure the vinyl, stitching and netting are thoroughly dry before permanent storage.

Is your rain policy different? Did I miss a step in the drying process? Questions? Suggestions? Difficulties? Send Them To Webmaster@Bounce-House-Business.com.

Written by Sharon Patten.
Member Name: ADB at the Moonwalkforum.com.
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