FAQs

Q?

A note about Hi-Float:

A.

Hi-Float is an aqueous solution containing a special water soluble plastic. It dries inside the latex balloon to form a barrier coating which helps hold in helium. This coating greatly increases the floating life of the balloon.
Hi-Float is non-toxic, non-irritating, non-corrosive, non-flammable and biodegradable. It is very similar to the adhesive found on the back of postage stamps. Wash off the skin with water. If accidentally splashed into the eyes, flush with water for several minutes.
When used properly, Ultra Hi-Float will increase the floating life of latex balloons on average about twenty-five times.
Use only enough to coat the inside of the latex balloon – about the size of a pea. If you put in too much Hi-Float it will add weight to the balloon and will cause it not to float.

Q?

Another “tangle free” suggestion is the following technique for assembling the bouquet:

A.

1) Inflate one 11” latex balloon and tie to a single ribbon.
2) Inflate three balloons and tie to individual ribbons.
3) Group the three balloons together and pull your hand up the ribbons until your hand reaches the necks of the balloons. Position this cluster under the single balloon and ribbon so that the four balloons fit snugly together. Tie a knot with all four ribbons to hold this cluster together.
4) Position another group of three balloons with ribbons snuggly against the first group. Tie another knot to attach all seven balloons together. Continue adding and tying on clusters of three until the bouquet is of the desired size.

Q?

Preparing helium bouquets for delivery:

A.

A common mistake made during a helium delivery is arriving at the delivery location with a bunch of tangled balloons. Here are some tips to help you arrive with a beautiful bouquet.

1) The most important step is to be sure that all of the balloons are tightly nestled evenly together in the bouquet. Gather all the ribbons of the balloons in your hand. Pull the ribbons until the base of all the balloons rest on or very near your hand – the balloons should be snug in the bunch – so snug that they cannot move.
2) Put a tight temporary clip or twist tie onto the middle of the bunch. A Velcro clip or Quickie clip works well.
3) Some balloon artist put the bouquets in large delivery bags. This will also help reduce oxidation.
4) Do not remove the bag or temporary clip until you are inside the building where you are delivering to bouquet.

Q?

Care and Handling of your latex balloons:

A.

Storage: Store in a cool, dry place out of direct light. Exposure of uninflated balloons to air and light causes them to become brittle and discolored. Balloons exposed to these conditions may break when inflated. Balloons should be at room temperature (70°) before inflating.

Q?

Proper Inflation with air or helium:

A.

For outdoor use in warm weather – over inflate, and then let some of the air/helium out of the balloons before closing with a tie or sealing device. This stretches the latex and allows the air/helium to expand in the heat when either taking outdoors or inflating outdoors.

For outdoor use in cool weather – If the balloons are inflated indoors and taken outside when it is cool, the balloons will shrink in size and not float as long. If the balloons are inflated outdoors, for use outdoors, the balloons should be inflated slowly to full and proper inflation. They will not stay up as long as balloons used indoors.

Q?

Latex balloon appearance:

A.

Balloons will form a white frosty finish from exposure to light and humid air (ozone). Standard and pearlized balloons look best for extended exposure to these conditions because their opaque finish disguises this frosty look.

Q?

Float time for helium filled balloons:

A.

Float time is affected by the conditions of the room. Balloons used in humid and outdoor conditions will last the shortest amount of time. Approximate float times are for Standard, Crystal and Decorator colors. Pearlized balloons do not float as long. Balloons sealed with a valve or clip do not float as long as hand tied balloons because of the added weight.

9” – 8 to 16 hours
11” – 12 to 22 hours
14” – 26 to 40 hours
16” & 17” – 32 to 51 hours

What causes balloons to break?
1) Over inflating
2) Static electricity
3) Expansion in hot, outdoor conditions
4) Extreme temperature changes
5) Inserting onto inflator nozzle improperly
6) Contact with sharp objects!

Q?

Tips for working with balloons:

A.

The shape of the balloon should be round to slightly pear-shape. Ribbons are prettier than string. Make sure balloons and ribbons are color coordinated.
Eleven (11) inch is the preferred balloon size for bouquets. Nine (9) inch are used for air sculpture work. Sixteen (16) inch are used to make a greater impact.
Professionals use templates or automatic sizers to make sure each balloon is the same size, especially for columns, arches and sculpture work.
Most professional decorators hand tie latex balloons. Most foil balloons 18” and larger have a self sealing valve.

Q?

Common decorating mistakes:

A.

Overblown balloons – Prestretch the latex using an air inflator. This is especially helpful when using pearlized latex.
Stubby ribbon tails – Curling the tails (and even the necks if left long) adds a “finished” look to your bouquet. Always try to curl along the natural curve of the ribbon.
Weight-less balloons – This occurs if balloons are under inflated (an 11” inflated to a 7”) or too much Hi-Float is used.
Mal-sized balloons – Keeping balloons the same size gives your columns and bouquets a consistent look throughout your design.
Poor color combinations – To ensure that you meet your customer’s color choices, show them inflated latex samples and tape a piece of the ribbon color to your decorating worksheet.

Q?

Making a template:

A.

Sizing balloons is an important skill to learn in order to present a professional finished product. You may choose to invest in automatic sizers or premade templates. But if you are just starting out a template can be as simple as cutting holes in a cardboard box.

1) Make or buy an open box made out of particle board, cardboard, plywood or plexiglass.
2) Make a template frame. These are flat squares of board, plexiglass, foam core or heavy cardboard that covers the top of the open box, extending about one inch on all sides.
3) Using a compass, trace circles of different sizes on the template frames. You may want to make your smallest circle at 3” and proceed in 1” inch increments up to 16”.
4) Cut out the circles you have drawn. This should leave an open circle to use as your template frames which you will use to size your latex balloons.Be sure to smooth your edges to avoid popping the latex.
5) To use the template box, inflate a balloon and pinch the neck closed. Place the balloon upside down over the desired size template opening. Allow the balloon to deflate until the balloon center fits the template opening.