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How to prevent balloon decor from popping in outdoors heat?

by Lauryn
(Virginia )

Outdoor balloon decor - beautiful but tricky to work with

Outdoor balloon decor - beautiful but tricky to work with

Any suggestions on how to prevent balloons from popping when used for outdoor decor during the summer?

I did my first outdoor decor last July, and many of the balloons popped before the party got started.

ANSWER:

Hi Lauryn,

Working with balloons outdoors is always tricky, even more so when it's hot.

Here are a few pointers to prevent the balloons from popping:

1. Use light colors.
Dark colors absorb the heat from the sun more, making them expand faster. So dark colors will pop more easily then light colors.

2. Use larger balloons than required and underinflate them.
For example, use 14 inch balloons if you want to blow them up to 11 inch size.

Some balloon pros underinflate even more and report best results when they use 16 inch balloons inflated to only 10 inches. 11 inch balloons should not be inflated to more than 7.5 inches.

IMPORTANT: Always blow up the balloons to their maximum size and then deflate them to the reduced size. This way you stretch the material, making it less likely to pop.

3. Wrap frames and poles with white duct tape or modelling balloons.
This ensures that the frames and poles won't get too hot.

4. Use Qualatex Bubbles / Deco Bubbles or Anagram Crystal Clearz instead of latex balloons.
They are made from a much more durable material and therefore withstand outdoor conditions better than latex balloons. The downside: These plastic-like balloons are more expensive than latex balloons and are bad for the environment as they create non biodegradable waste.

5. Place a piece of plastic tablecloth underneath the bottom balloons.
This prevents the bottom balloons from sitting on a rough surface or getting in touch with sand corns or grass blades which can cause them to pop.

Other frequently asked questions about why balloons pop and how to prevent it:

What causes balloons to pop?


Let's start with the basics. What causes a balloon to burst? Balloons, especially latex balloons, are fragile items and need to be treated with care.

These are the four main reasons why a balloon may pop:

The balloon is overinflated.
You can over inflate balloons to a certain extent, but if the pressure inside the balloon gets too high, it will burst.

The balloon is exposed to heat or direct sunlight.
When the temperature rises, the air or helium within the balloon expands. Similar to overinflation, this increases the pressure on the balloon skin until it eventually pops.

That's why you should always underinflate balloons when working in warm or hot outdoor conditions.

The balloon gets in contact with a sharp object.
We all know that when we poke a balloon with a nail or scissors, they pop. Same happens when we squeeze them too tightly.

Make sure there are no sharp objects around when you transport your balloons or assemble the decoration at the venue. Avoid squeezing the balloons together too tightly when packing them into bags for transport.

Especially outdoors in windy weather there are lots of objects that could be blown against the balloons and cause them to pop, like sand, brick dust, twigs, pieces of plants with thorns, etc.

To avoid balloons popping, place your balloon decoration in the most wind-protected spot of the venue, if at all possible.

The balloon is faulty or of low quality.
There's always the possibility that some balloons in your batch are faulty. The only way to reduce this risk is to choose high quality balloon brands.

Are there balloons that don't pop?


The balloons most resistant to bursting are the so-called "bubble balloons." They are made from a thick, stretchy plastic that withstands higher pressure, hot weather and outdoor conditions much better than latex balloons.

Foil balloons are also less likely to pop than latex balloons.

Do balloons pop on grass?


Balloons may or may not pop on grass. It depends on the balloon quality and how fully inflated it is. Mostly it depends on the grass. If the grass blades are rigid with spiky tips, or you have thorny weeds in your lawn, then yes, it will pop your balloon.

To be on the safe side, put a plastic table cloth or other smooth surface between your balloon column or arch base and the lawn.

Do balloons pop in the heat?


Heat is one of the main reasons why balloons pop. When the temperature rises, the kinetic energy of the air particles inside the balloon rises too. That means the air molecules move faster, bump into each other and spread out.

In other words, the air or helium inside the balloon expands and increases the pressure on the balloon skin. If that pressure gets too high, the balloon will burst.

Will balloons pop overnight?


Balloons won't pop overnight unless you store them in a hot place or expose them to extreme temperature changes. If some of the balloons burst or deflate overnight, they were faulty to begin with.

How to prevent balloons from popping in the car?


First, make sure that there's enough space in your car for transporting the balloons. If you need to squeeze them together like crazy to fit, you can expect a lot of popping!

The best place for transporting balloons is the back seat. Cover any sharp objects or edges with tape or a towel. It's also a good idea to put smaller balloons into large garbage bags or special balloon bags instead of placing them one by one into the car.

Turn on air conditioning to keep the temperature inside the car steady. That's especially important on a hot day. But even on a cold day the sun pouring in through the windows can heat up the balloons and cause them to burst.

Don't open the windows to cool down the car! You don't want the balloons to float around. They could obscure your view of the mirrors and surroundings.

Can you spray hairspray on balloons?


According to the experts over at BalloonHQ.com, spraying a balloon with hairspray seals the balloon surface and keeps the air from escaping. So your balloon will stay longer fully inflated.

I am not sure that it will help with preventing the balloons from popping though.

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