The Sunshine Effect:
How Balloons survive outdoors
Balloons have great curb appeal! They are excellent for grand openings, corporate events, parades, and more! During the Covid-19 pandemic, birthday parades and drive-by celebrations have become one of the hottest trends. What better way to stand out than balloons! These 8 foot tall yard numbers have become an excellent way to let everyone know where the party is! But balloons and sunshine don’t always mix well.
Latex balloons are made from a natural substance tapped from rubber trees. Latex is a 100% Biodegradable, natural substance that breaks down both in sunlight and water. When balloons are outside and exposed to sunlight, and/or heat they get a lovely velvet sheen, caused by oxidation. Usually you notice this within the first 1-2 hours that the balloons are outdoors. Over time, they may pop in the sun.
How can you help your balloons last longer outdoors?
Here are some tips for latex displays:
- Choose lighter colors. Darker colors absorb the sunlight, getting hotter quicker, causing them to have a shorter life span. White balloons show less signs of oxidation, and will reflect the sun’s rays thereby lasting longer.
- Place the display in the shade whenever possible. It drastically increases the life of an outdoor balloon display. If you plan on having your balloons outdoors for a few days, try and take them inside overnight.
- Install the display as close to the event time as possible. This allows it to look its best for your guests.
- Professional balloon decorators have a few tricks to help extend the life of outdoor balloons. We pre-inflate outdoor balloons to stretch the latex so it has room to expand when exposed to the heat and sun. When we create your decor we try to under inflate the balloon to maximize its ability to stretch. Often, depending on your needs, we will use a size larger than generally needed to extend the life of your decor.
Foil balloons usually last longer outdoors. The temperature does affect the foil balloon whether it is air filled or helium filled. When it is cold, the gasses contract, and when it is hot, the gasses expand. Don’t worry if indoors or in the morning when it is cooler, the balloons look a bit deflated; as it gets hotter during the day, they will expand and look full. This expansion could cause the balloon to pop, though it is less likely than with latex balloons. Try and take foil balloons inside at night if you can.
By following these helpful hints, you can know what to expect and hopefully have your decor last a long time!