Every portable basketball hoop owner hopes that his hoop can last for years. And it really would be like that – if the people would take care of it.
But life happens and fixing a crack in a portable basketball hoop base is sometimes the last thing on your mind.
I’ve had experience with this when I got stupid after a few days of not sleeping. What happened is that I cut around the base of a portable basketball system discharge side. I gave a really nice slice in it when my tire got stuck on the edge of the garden (it’s a big hump) and went right into the corner of the base.
In short, to repair a basketball base directly drip the patch over the top of the cracked surface and for about ¼ beyond each end of that area. Repeat that on the opposite side and lightly sand those spots until they are fair to the base.
Most bases today are made out of high-density polyethylene. It’s the plastic that should be flexible enough to expand with the water when it freezes, but as you can see for yourself – sometimes isn’t.
One of the things that’s most certain about polyethylene is that is quite difficult to fix. Fortunately, it’s a material that usually needs no repair and can last a long time, but there will be times.
A structural repair on polyethylene can be tricky to perform if the crack is extensive, but it’s doable. Without further ado, we’ll now go over the four best ways to fix a broken portable basketball hoop base. Get to work!
1. Use adhesive or resin
Sadly, no strong adhesive can be used in conjunction with fiberglass cloth to build a solid patch over a crack. Adhesives are making such claims, but results are still not reliable.
However, if your hoop is laid down due to such a crack and you don’t even think to replace it, there’s not much to lose in trying some of the new adhesives on the market. For instance, I was surprised at how effective was this epoxy resin coating for wood in combo with a simple cloth.
Enhanced results regarding getting adhesion between patch and basketball hoop base are achieved by first sanding the base surface to create a texture and then “flaming” the base in the crack spot to repair it.
Heating consists of passing a torch or open flame back and forth over the base surface, keeping the heat moving at all times and moving it before the polyethylene shows any sign of melting. For best results, continue with the repair shortly after heating the surface.
1. The patching method consists of plating a layer of adhesive or resin on the interior of the base over the crack and extending about 1” beyond the edges of the break.
2. Then take a cut to fit a piece of fiberglass material and attach it into the glue or resin you just placed on the base. Clear Casting Resin With Catalyst will do the work.
3. Spread a layer of glue over the patch cloth and lay the second patch on top of the first, making possible for the edges to overlap the first layer by around an inch.
4. Repeat the third step to make it safer.
5. Continue adding layers until the base is consistently stiff between repaired area and unrepaired area.
6. Place all patch layers on the interior of the base, and the exterior of the crack should be coated by the polyethylene drip method described earlier. Putting patch layers on the base surface is just asking for them to be peeled off by encountering sandbars, sandbars or other interferences on the water.
2. Use heat to patch it up (the best move)
This is truly the hardest option, but it’s definitely worth it. Start off by getting assistance as you have to move very fast. Fix your workspace so that everything is easy to reach.
Polyethylene can distend, bend, distort, deflect, etc., very quickly (actually, it’s one of the reasons for its durability), absorbing the impact by flexing away from it.
I use Seekone heavy duty hot air gun all the time for this kind of work.
Once you have filled the holes with it from the melted patch, pour water on the patch to cure it.
The material and tools
Some sort of patch
We had an old trashed base we could cut up. The only other material I know that will hold well are those big 50-gallon barrels. Make sure you wash it out well! The goal is to find material as elastic as the polyethylene so that it can flex and distort equally and not move from the base.
This is mandatory. If you don’t have any, get it on Amazon.
Heat gun or blow torch
Using a blow torch isn’t great but works.
A water bottle
Safety first, don’t set anything on fire.
Large metal spoon or putty knife
A pair of pliers
Begin flaming the patch by consistently moving blow torch or heat gun over it. If you hold the heat gun over it for more than 6-7 seconds, you will burn it.
Hold it over the patch for a few seconds, then check the patch. When it begins to melt, spread the fluid out towards the pilot holes. You must force the liquid poly into the holes so the patch will attach to the damaged area.
1. Put on the gloves
2. Ignite the torch or power the heat gun
3. Keep the patch at a corner with the pliers
4. Melt the patch to the extent that it is droopy but watch out not to burn a hole in it. It’s easy to do it with a torch. A little challenging to do with the gun. I use slow extensive motions across the patch area.
5. Sweep the torch all over the outer edges of the hole enough so that the plastic starts to turn a different color. For example, my base turned green.
6. You have to work so fast, while both the patch and the base are still hot. The hoop base needs to be pretty sticky. You’ll have to hold the patch and press it to the hoop. Even with gloves on it can get a bit hot!
3. Use fiberglass-reinforced caulk or sealant (easiest option)
Stuff You’ll Need:
• Quick-setting fiberglass-reinforced caulk or sealant
• Damp cloth
1. Locate the leaking or rupture. Go over the entire base, pressing smoothly with your hand. Look to see a crack or break when pressure is used. Make sure you find all the leaks.
2. Drain the base of your portable basketball system, whether it’s Spalding or Lifetime. Turn it sideways and let the sand or water run out until it is at a level below the cracked surface.
3. Wipe it with a damp cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Make sure the surface is free of any debris, sand particles, and moisture. Allow the rupture to dry completely.
4. Fill the crack with caulk. Press and knead it firmly into the crevice. You should use enough caulk to cover the edges plus 1 to 2 inches. Press the caulk even and straighten the edges.
5. Wait an hour, then smoothly sand the caulk. A coat of paint can help hide the fixed spot.
Tips & Warnings
• If you move your basketball hoop often, think to find a more permanent place for it and leaving it there.
• If moisture or sand is in the rupture before you apply the caulk, the seal will not hold.
4. Concrete, silicone, and alternatives
Do you want to know what the simplest solution for all this is? It’s to fill it or patch it from the inside with concrete. It’s a good patching material, has no tendency to leak, it’s permanent, and you won’t have to worry about freezing.
And an 80-pound bag of concrete (95-105 pounds when hydrated) is cheaper than anything. You can even put the concrete mix in without adding water, then pour the water in, slosh it back and forth and forget about it.
Some could argue that you shouldn’t use concrete because then you couldn’t move the hoop easily. It’s a valid argument, but have you ever tried to move one of these things with 100lbs of water sloshing around on the inside?