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Old 02-13-2013, 01:48 PM #1
kobuta
 
 
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to clean or not to clean (bunkers)

Hi everyone!

I own a field, in Italy, where we have had airball for two years.
we bought a new field at the time, and it is now almost completely wrecked.
most bunkers have holes, and only last 15 minutes before deflating completely...

we have always washed our bunkers, after every use, with hose and this tool I'm not sure what to call


I'm sure some bunkers have been damaged by refs being too energetic about the cleaning, but still it seems weird that they are now all completely broken down.

the fact is we have seen fields close to us use their airball bunkers with less problems for almost a decade. They are almost completely white on the sides, because they never cleaned them BUT THEY ARE STILL UP!

now we have a new set of bunkers, in another field, and we are wondering whether it is worth cleaning them or not.
The main reason to stop doing it is that it is a cost for us (we have to pay the refs to clean)
and some of our refs are now telling me they think we should stop cleaning the bunkers because "the white layer may protect the bunkers from the sun"


what do you think?

thank you
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:17 PM #2
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Interesting theory. I personally have never seen an airball field last more than two seasons outdoors without problems. Indoors hasn't been much better in my experience. Other than the old style ones with the duct fans and tubes lol. Those lasted forever.


Are you making sure to bleed the bunkers when it gets too hot to let excess pressure out?
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:11 PM #3
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You're probably running into issues from refs dragging the bunkers around on hard dirt/rocks.. Overinflating them (or not letting air out when it gets hot out) or from improperly storing them. (maybe you've got field mice eating holes in them?) Are you storing them inside somewhere out of the sunlight or just leave them up/out on the field 24/7?

We put our bunkers inside of a large bread style truck at the end of the day.

Also make sure your refs aren't going too crazy with degreasers or power washers. They shouldn't need much pressure at the end of the day if you frequently clean them, and they stay on top of squeegeeing the bunkers during the day.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:50 AM #4
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Consider this I have noticed since I switched paint my bunkers have lasted longer. Some paints contain to many aditives, titanium dioxade (the white stains this will oxidate the matterial from the bunker and dry them faster) and starch yes that gluee stuff that makes it harder to get off the bunker or you never can.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:29 PM #5
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Basically if you want the bunkers to last, you really do need to clean it, then deflate it and store it somewhere dry and room temperature or as close as you can get. Constant heating and cooling will just destroy the welded seams, as it does for almost any type of material.

I wish there was some way to repair the seams other than glue. Re-welding would be sweet. Or course the field makers don't want that lol.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:46 AM #6
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We use TearAid. It is a roll of tape that seals vinyl. You just cut the length you need, clean the bunker with an alcohol/water mixture and apply the tape. We have even used it on the seams and works great! Also it is instant, instead I the glue that honestly needs to set for close to 5 days to work correctly.

It is a little more expensive then the glue, but the ease of use and the fact that you can apply it during a game and works instantly easily offsets the price.

Make sure to get Type B, as it is for vinyl http://www.tear-aid.com
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:14 PM #7
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Thank you everyone for your replies

what we usually do is wipe them clean, with a hose, but without power washers.

also we have never put them away...they have been there the whole time in the sun! never realised it was such an issue!

also yes, we may have had a few rat problems, I'm sure it's part of the problem, but what we are wondering is wether we should clean the bunkers or not, considering the biggest problems are with the seams, we can't even repair them with the glue!

also someone mentioned the white residue (titanium dioxide) makes the bunkers dry quicker... a friend of mine who is a chemist told me the opposite: not to clean the bunkers 'cos the white stuff protects them from the sun (but I don't really trust what he says ) so do you have any proof of this?
Can anyone else confirm this opinion?

that Tear-Aid tape looks great! I've found it in europe too so I think I'll try it!
the problem is: how do you clean the bunker to apply the tape? does the alcohol/water mixture you talk about remove the white residue/starch?
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:11 PM #8
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Look up the thread in here about patching bunkers. You need to inflate them, wash them with some kind of degreasing agent (thoroughly scrubbing off any debris) then dry. Then typically you lightly sand the areas and apply a patch with the proper adhesive.

I paraphrased but that's essentially how it works. Sometimes you end up with bunkers that are so badly blown out they just aren't worth fixing.. Those ones you can cut up and use as material for patching other bunkers.

From my experience with bunkers, when they get left out in the sun a lot, and not cleaned, the vinyl dries out and starts to flake off when a ball hits it. This creates a **** ton of leaks as the material literally gets blown off the bunker and the surface is no longer suitable for repairing because you can't get the glue and patch to adhere- as all the vinyl flakes off.

I don't think the Titanium Dioxide is a big concern. The concern is cleaning the actual paint off of the bunker, and keeping them stored out of the elements/away from critters when not being used.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:03 PM #9
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This works!
They only ship to the lower 48 states however.







Paintball Bunker Solution
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:18 PM #10
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^^^The Paintball Bunker Solution works well for cleaning bunkers. If you're really good, you can find the main ingredient in it and create your own "solution" for much cheaper.

And as mentioned before, certain brands of paint are better on your bunkers (and netting for that matter too). Valken is especially bad. Every time I've seen someone sneak Valken paint in, it leaves a wax like residue on the bunkers. But, with the new GI Sportz paints, the paint dries to an almost chalk dust material and it brushes right off very easily.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:48 AM #11
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we use a bunker wash that you can add to a pressure washer. we use one that is a vinyl cleaner, protector and a mold inhibitor. our bunkers stay out on the field 24/7 but they are not overinflated and pressure is released when necessary.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:02 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectPb View Post
^^^The Paintball Bunker Solution works well for cleaning bunkers. If you're really good, you can find the main ingredient in it and create your own "solution" for much cheaper.

And as mentioned before, certain brands of paint are better on your bunkers (and netting for that matter too). Valken is especially bad. Every time I've seen someone sneak Valken paint in, it leaves a wax like residue on the bunkers. But, with the new GI Sportz paints, the paint dries to an almost chalk dust material and it brushes right off very easily.
Valken Infinity is the only paint that does this, it is also the cheapest paint they carry. All other grades of Valken do not have oil and do not leave behind the wax residue. I clean 4 different types of Valken paint off my airball bunkers using water with ease. They still look brand new.
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