Q: Jason, I have a Large 36×15 Chimney Balloon and over the period of 1 week it tends to get soft and let outside air blow by it. It doesn’t get totally limp or fall from the chimney. Is this normal? RP
A: RP, No it is not normal. The Chimney Balloon is designed to be airtight and should only need a little extra air every 12 months. It probably has a small pin-hole at the seams and as it loses a little air pressure the pinhole closes and keeps it from going totally limp. The Poly tri-laminate that makes up the balloon portion of the Chimney Balloon is a very tough material that resists stretching and abrasions very well but occasionally a sharp bit of metal or hardware in the flue can puncture all 3 layers of a Chimney Balloon and cause this to happen.
The fix is very easy. Find the hole, cut an oval patch out of some thick gauge packaging tape, and tape over the hole. The toughest part is finding the hole. What our testing and return personnel does to find and patch a pinhole is:
They inflate the Chimney Balloon with a cordless air pump until it is drum tight full. Then they pass the Chimney Balloon under a showerhead to make sure all the soot residue has been removed, and they dry the Chimney Balloon off with a rag.
Then they hold the Chimney Balloon about 3 inches from their eyelashes and pass the entire surface of the Chimney Balloon past their eyelash. The cheek and the eye are so sensitive to air currents that it will be easy to sense when the pinhole passes by the eye or cheek and blows air at it. they then inspect that area closely with a flashlight to find the exact spot that the hole is at.
They cut an oval patch out of very thick gauge 3M packaging tape and they place the patch over the hole so there are no bubbles or wrinkles under the patch.
Then they let the Chimney Balloon set for 48 hours fully inflated to make sure it doesn’t lose any air.
If you want to do this on your own you are welcome to do it yourself. Or you can mail it to our return testing lab with a note explaining the situation. They will be happy to do it for you and return it to you free-of-charge. Here is the link to the contact info for our return lab: http://www.chimneyballoon.us/contactus.html