I learned a very important lesson today! Latex balloons do not like Oklahoma heat!! I created some outdoor columns for an open house that turned out amazing. They were placed around 10 am on the west side of the building. Around 4:30, I received a call that my balloons were popping. She said it sounded like a popcorn machine! I thank God the owner had a great sense of humor!
I know the sun causes the balloons to deteriorate quickly and that air expands when it is heated. I also am aware of the fact that balloons are best used indoors in a climate controlled environment. After doing some research, I decided to tackle this job with not too much concern. I had done outdoor décor before without any problems. I learned a few things though! (Like don’t put balloons on the west side of a building and expect them to last all afternoon in 105 degrees!!)
Don’t get me wrong, balloons can be used successfully at an outdoor event. Just being aware of some of the limitations can help keep some heartache (and surprises) from ruining the party!
Always use lighter color balloons. Dark colors absorb the heat and make the air inside expand more quickly. This is the same concept we use when picking out our clothes for summer activities. Black or white?- go with white! You and your balloons will stay much cooler.
Helium is more temperamental than air filled balloons. Helium responds to heat and cold faster and more drastically than simple air filled balloons. Heat will cause helium to leak faster and greatly limit the float time. Use balloons with support structures rather than free floating balloons for a longer lasting effect.
Do not use water to cool off your balloons. Water will cause the balloons to be sticky when it dries causing the balloons to stick together. As the heat causes the air to expand, the balloons will not be able to move as easily and will pop.
Under inflate your balloons. This gives the balloon room to expand as the air inside expands.
Mylar or foil balloons withstand heat a lot better than latex. They don’t leak as quickly or fade as some latex balloons will.
Keep your creations shaded as much as possible. The direct UV rays from the sun will cause the balloons to deteriorate much more quickly.
Plan to place your balloons outside at the last possible minute. The less time they spend in the heat, the less chance you have of them popping.
Again, balloons are great for outdoor parties too. Limiting the time they spend in direct sun, picking lighter colors, and even picking a time later in the evening can help them last throughout the duration of your event.