Common Issues, Damages and Solutions with Foil Balloons

Modified on Wed, 3 Aug, 2022 at 7:07 PM

If you have any issues with a foil balloon purchased from Bargain Balloons, please look over the list of solutions below. 

Standard Foil Balloons with Self-Sealing Valves  (for air-fill foil balloons without self-sealing valves, click here)



Solutions and Tips

Hole in balloon

The smallest pinhole can cause a balloon to pop or deflate quickly. Some holes are too small to see with the naked eye. If you cannot see the hole in the balloon, try pressing on the balloon, while feeling around in order to figure out where the air is escaping. In many cases, there may not be a hole. Instead, the air may be escaping from the self-sealing valve. Please read the solution below about balloons losing air quickly.

You can try taping over the hole, but this is unlikely to stop the balloon from deflating because helium and air pressure will lift up the tape and the air or helium will escape. If there is no hole, you might have damaged the self-sealing valve by using the wrong nozzle to inflate the balloons. Only use the balloon nozzle recommended to inflate foil balloons. See more details on balloon nozzles.

If you use the wrong equipment to inflate a foil balloon, the self-sealing valve can expand or tear and will no longer work.

Seam of balloon not sealed

The manufacturer heat seals two pieces of film together to make a foil balloon. In rare cases, the machine will fail to make a complete heat-seal, leaving part of the balloon unsealed. In other cases, the seal may look finished, but the balloon will pop when under pressure once inflated.

Unless you can find a way to heat seal the balloon together, there is no real solution to this issue. This is a manufacturing defect and errors like this often occur in batches. If you ordered a large quantity of the same balloons, you may want to try using a balloon further down the batch you received, until you find balloons that do not have the defect. 

The balloon will not inflate or the opening seems sealed.

Customers often ask what to do about foil balloons that do not inflate, yet appear sealed. In most cases the balloon is inflatable, and the customer is not inflating the balloon properly. Manufacturer defects do happen but are a rare occurrence.

  1. Be sure you are using the long, thin, brass tipped inflation nozzle that is meant to be used for foil balloons. The rubber nozzle is only meant for latex or Bubble Balloons and it will be harder and almost impossible to inflate a foil balloon. 
  2. When inflating foil balloons ensure you completely unfold them and hold them completely open so it does not get stuck and inflates smoothly. If you start inflating it while it's folded or creased in any way it can cause the balloon to rip or tear due to extra pressure pockets inside the balloon.
  3. Some manufacturers cut a hole into the tail of balloon and it can appear that the nozzle is inserted into the valve. Many times, this is not the case because the hole is not the opening to the valve. You sometimes have to keep reinserting the brass tip of the nozzle into the hole a few times to find the opening to the valve. A balloon inflation nozzle needs to be inside the valve or else it will not inflate. 
  4. The location manufacturer’s self-sealing valve varies from balloon to balloon. The valve can be found higher, lower, uncommon locations, and in multiple locations.
  5. Another way to find the valve is to try inserting a straw into the hole and down into valve. If the straw does not pass into the self-sealing valve and into the balloon, try inserting the straw behind, in front, in between, under, over the top, to the left or to the right and keep trying. If you get the straw to enter into the balloon, then this is where you must fill the balloon. 
  6. In rare cases the valve may be stuck together 

Do not give up. Try several times and the solutions listed above, before deciding the balloon is defective. Balloons that do not inflate are not common.

Missing self-sealing valve

It is a rare occurrence but can happen when no self-sealing valve is manufactured into the balloon.

It is important to know that most balloons 16 inches or smaller do not have a self-sealing valve and require heat sealing.

Run  your hand over the tail of the balloon and feel for a difference in elevated texture– this is the valve. 

You can also try heat sealing it. Learn about heat sealing balloons.

The balloon deflates too quickly

This is a sign that there is a hole in the balloon, or the helium is leaking from the self-sealing valve.

Unfortunately, there is no real solution for balloons with holes in them.

If helium or air is escaping from the self-sealing valve:

  1. Always use the correct nozzle when inflating foil balloons
  2. Hold the balloon valve straight when inserting the nozzle in order to avoid damaging the valve.
  3. Try flattening the self-sealing valve to help complete and open the seal.
  4. Always tie the ribbon below the self-sealing valve, to avoid damage
  5. Slowly inflate balloons to avoid damage
  6. Balloons appear deflated when brought to a cooler location. It is recommended to inflate balloons in the same temperature/location the balloon will be used in. See this article on using foil balloons outdoors.

Balloon pops

Balloons pop during or after inflation.

  1. Always use the correct nozzle when inflating foil balloons; Inflators meant to only inflate latex balloons do not control helium flow.
  2. Did you over-inflate the balloon? It is suggested to use an auto-fill inflator when inflating foil balloons. Otherwise, you will have to guess when the balloon is full and you may over-inflate balloons and damage the valve.
  3. Inflate foil balloons slowly and let the smaller parts of the balloon inflate before inflating the other body parts.
  4. A fully inflated balloon should yield slightly when pushed on. If the balloon does not have any flex, it is over-inflated. 

Other reasons why balloons pop:

  1. If a balloon pops when it touches the ceiling, the ceiling may be a rough surface. 
  2. Foil balloons outdoors can pop with exposure to high temperatures. High temperatures and exposure to the sun can cause the balloon to pop.

Balloons are stuck together

This happens when the ink did not dry before the next step of the manufacturing process of the balloon.  

In most cases, the balloon can be peeled apart with little or no damage. 

It is very important to store balloons in a dry location.

My balloon will not float

Some balloons will not float in elevations 4000 ft or higher.

  1. Is the balloon supposed to float with helium? Some balloons are air-fill only. Check your invoice. The title of the balloons normally read "Air-fill Only", for balloons that do not float with helium.
  2. Did you fully inflate the balloon?
  3. Have you added a heavy string or ribbon to the balloon? Ribbon or add-ons added between the floor and the balloon will act as additional weight. See this article.
  4. Are you using a 60/40 mix? This can cause floating issues.
  5. If you are using a disposable tank. See the pros and cons of using a disposable tank.
  6. Is your helium supplier supplying you with quality helium? Helium prices have increased significantly and some suppliers have begun adding more nitrogen or other gases into their tanks. 

See this article about helium. 

Nitrogen and helium do not mix well. The supplier needs to mix helium and nitrogen in the appropriate mix.  Nitrogen weighs the same as air. 

Streaks/discoloration or missing ink on balloon

This is normally a manufacturing defect.

Balloons should always be able to inflate regardless of printing defects. Do not fold foil balloons because they get easily scratched and the ink can transfer to another balloon.

The balloon is not floating upright

Once you add a ribbon and a weight, the balloon should float upright.

A few balloons (like jumbo letter and number balloons) have two tie points. In order to keep the balloon upright, you will have to tie a ribbon and weight to each tie point.

Balloons in higher elevations can experience issues floating upright. This issue is not common, but balloons in higher elevations might float slightly to one side. This is not a manufacturer defect.

Using the correct nozzle is very important when inflating balloons.



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