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Helium Filled Balloon Arches

by Jill
(Chicago Illinois)

Outdoor String-of-Peals Arch with Large Balloons (found on Pinterest)

Outdoor String-of-Peals Arch with Large Balloons (found on Pinterest)

I have a customer who always asks us to build a helium filled balloon arch for her. This customer needs the arch to last 30 hours. Last time we built her the arch, even treated with ultra hi float, the arch fell within 20 hours.

I believe humidity played a factor in why it didn't last. This was for a trade show last July in Chicago so a hot humid day and the loading dock doors constantly open.

I have tried to sell them an air filled arch but they won't do it. I was thinking of going up to 16 inch balloons for them this March, but not sure if I should walk away from the job so my business isn't hurt by the bad reviews, or if a 16 inch balloon will hold up for the 30 hours they need. I would of course treat the balloons with Ultra Hi-Float again.

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Reply to Val (Outdoor Columns)
by: Margit

Hi Val,

Are you using dark or light colors for your balloons? Dark colored balloons pop easier as they expand more in the heat than light colors.

I don't think that it matters if you use 11" or 16" balloons. The most important thing is that you under inflate them by at least 2 inches.

Another good idea is to stretch the latex balloons first, i.e. inflate them to their full size and then deflate them again.

I've answered a similar question about balloons popping outdoors here.

Outdoor Columns
by: Val

Where i live during the summer time people always want balloon columns. What size would you recommended me to use? 11" or 16"?

I under inflate my balloons so it gives them room to expand but before i finish they are popping like crazy.

Floating Times
by: Margit

Hi Jill,

That's unfortunate that your client insists on a helium filled balloon arch. Outdoors, air-filled arches with a sturdy frame are for sure the better choice.

According to the Qualatex Helium Chart, the average float time for a 16" latex balloon is 30+ hours; for a 11" balloon it's between 16 and 24 hours.

The chart says that floating times vary depending on temperature and atmospheric conditions, but it also says there that the times are conservative estimates.

Indoors, a treated 11 inch balloon floats much longer than what you experienced. In an experiment we did, the balloon treated with Ultra Hi-Float stayed up for 5 days.

So I think you should be good with the 16" balloons. Just be extra diligent when applying the hi-float.

You could even consider using larger balloons, as in the example I uploaded.


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