Inflatable decorations for your yard or porch can be an affordable way to go big for any holiday. Not only are they economical, but they are also lightweight, easy to set up and come in a variety of styles, so there’s something for everyone. For instance, you can find Halloween inflatables that are spooky, silly or simply adorable. And, when you know how to take care of them, they can bring light, color and fun to your home year after year.
Protect Inflatables From The Elements
While inflatables are typically designed for outdoor use, it’s wise to take care when setting up your inflatable decorations. Be sure to place them in a spot that will help prevent damage. If you use an extension cord, ensure it is rated for outdoor use to avoid electric shock and fire hazards.
“An important precaution for setting up your inflatables is protecting the electric fan and power cord from direct exposure to water,” advises Lance Allen, Decorative Holiday Merchant at The Home Depot, which carries a vast assortment of inflatables for every season. “Keeping them out of low areas where puddles may form is helpful as well.”
It’s also a good idea to watch out for severe weather, such as thunderstorms or heavy snowfall. In inclement weather, you should consider unplugging inflatable items and taking them inside for a bit. You’ll also want to be prepared for windy and cold conditions.
“If your inflatable deflates in winter rain or snow, let it thaw completely before trying to inflate it again,” recommends Allen. “If it becomes too windy for the safe operation of your décor, simply allow your inflatable to deflate and wait for better conditions before re-inflating. If the temperature is below 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius), the motor may temporarily stop running. The motor will begin functioning again when temperatures rise.”
Clean And Patch Them Before Storing
Before you put away your inflatables for the year, cleaning them up and checking them for any damage will make it easier to use them again next season. Many inflatable decorations include patch kits that you can apply to small holes that may develop. If not, you can use strong, waterproof tape to cover any rips or tears. And removing dirt, grime or moisture will prevent stains, mold and other problems down the road.
“We recommend you wipe it clean with a damp cloth, such as an all-purpose cleaning cloth, then check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if you should close any zippers or vents before you put your decoration away,” says Allen. “Remember to let it air dry thoroughly before storing it.”
Store Your Inflatables Away Properly
When it comes to storage, saving the original packaging intact will make it easier to put inflatables away.
“Keeping the original box and packaging your inflatable came in is great for storing it at the end of the season, and you won’t have to search for a separate storage container to place it in until next year,” Allen advises. “However, if your original packaging is missing, use a storage bin with a lid that fits snugly. Put the manual and any extra parts in small bags and add them to the bin as well.”
As for making them fit in those boxes, try rolling them up to release extra air, much like you would a sleeping bag or an air mattress. If you want to make sure your inflatables are extra-secure, check for air-tightness; seal openings on the box with tape, or place the sealable storage container into another, larger one. Don’t forget to label the bin so you know exactly what’s inside.
Store inflatables in a cool, dry place until you are ready to decorate again. And keep enjoying them as the seasons pass!
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.