Questions to Ask and Things to Consider
It’s easy to pick a moonwalk company based on price alone you can always go through the phone book and choose the lowest cost provider in your area. But is that the best thing for your party? There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a rental company for your event that you may not even realize! Here are a few things to ask when you start to comparison shop:
The first thing you should find out from a prospective rental company is whether or not they are insured. Moonwalk rental insurance covers liability in case of an accident where the moonwalk company is at fault. It does not typically cover injuries or minor accidents that happen while the moonwalk is under your supervision. So why should you care? A company that has made the effort to get insurance has made a commitment to a safe operation. It shows longevity (fly-by-night companies don’t bother with the expense of insurance) and a concern both for your safety and the long-term success of their own company. In some states (but not all) insurance is required by state regulations. An inflatable rental company operating without insurance is operating illegally in those states. In states without regulations, inflatable operators should still be insured.
Does your prospective rental company offer delivery? Is there an additional charge? Moonwalks are heavy, bulky, and awkward to move and setup. They require proper securing, either with stakes or sandbags and there may be state-regulated minimum requirements on the size of the stakes or the weight of the sandbags. If you are picking up the moonwalk yourself, be sure the operator reviews safety and setup instructions with you to ensure that you have a safe and fun experience with your moonwalk. In most areas, you can find companies with delivery included or for a small additional charge. It’s not just about the money or convenience, but the safety of your children and their guests. Consider having a professional set up your inflatable bounce house or slide for your own peace of mind.
Bounce houses get really dirty they are outside in all types if weather! You will typically find do-it-yourself places or inexpensive operators don’t take the time to properly clean and sanitize the bounce, although some do. Ask about their cleaning policies.
Yes, this is important. Bounces are active places full of little people bouncing against the floors, walls, and pillars in hot conditions- often face first and loving it! You want to feel secure that the surfaces they are coming in contact with are clean and germ-free. Companies that properly clean and sanitize their inflatable units ensure that germs don’t spread from one party to the next, not to mention the fact that your party-goers won’t go home with black socks!
Attended vs Unattended
Many companies will have an attendant who will stay for the duration of your party and supervise the moonbounce often it’s included in the fee quoted. Be sure to ask about an attendant if the rental fee seems high for your area- it could be those extra man-hours that drive the price up but as many event-organizers will tell you it’s well worth it! If the company doesn’t offer attended rentals or you aren’t interested in paying the extra fees, make sure the delivery company reviews operating and safety procedures with you before they leave; things like what to do if it rains or gets windy, what to do if the power goes out, how many kids are allowed at a time, etc. Bounces are fun and safe, but it’s best to be prepared in case the weather changes or anything else unexpected happens.
Inflatables can’t be set up on a slope. It’s just not safe. You’ll need a relatively flat area at least 5′ bigger all around than the size of the inflatable. It’s best to make sure you have enough room ahead of time by measuring or at least walking off the area so that you don’t have to rearrange your plans at the last minute. Check for bushes or tree branches in the way and make sure there are no power lines or overhanging branches overhead. Clear the area of rocks, twigs, pinecones, or other obstructions and check for fire ant hills, dog leave-behinds, or anything else that might be in the way. Do you have an irrigation system? Let your moonwalk rental company know that upfront. They may choose to secure the unit with sandbags instead of stakes if you are unsure where the irrigation lines are.
Moonwalks are impressive, exciting, and fun! Your house or business will be the center of attention when the bounce house is up and running, so enjoy it and get lots of pictures of those little ones having the time of their lives. They’ll always remember it and so will you
Deposits vary by area- in highly competitive areas, you may not be required to send in a deposit but in most areas of the country rental companies do require a deposit of some sort- a credit card number or a mailed deposit. This ensures the equipment you want is reserved for the date and time you requested. Find out under what conditions your deposit is refundable. How long do you have to cancel? How are weather cancellations handled? What about refunds or re-scheduling? While we want to believe our party will go off smoothly, reality is that the weather may not cooperate or the birthday child may be sick, or any of a number of things can happen that might cause you to cancel or reschedule. If a deposit is required, make sure you get it in on time or you may lose your reservation!
Typically, if you rent a moonwalk, you are expected to provide an electrical outlet. Be sure to test outdoor outlets as they are likely to go bad and if you don’t use them often, you may not be aware they don’t work until time for setup! Plug a hair dryer into the outlet and let it run at high a few minutes to test. For events that aren’t near an electrical source, you’ll need a generator. Many rental companies have them or can get them for you- if not you can pick one up yourself at a local rental store. Make sure you know how to operate it and how long a tank of gas will last if you are doing it yourself.