There are only a few reasons why your MuckMat Pro (or LakeMat Pro) might bubble up, typically in the center of your mat. It’s either assembly/installation, trapped gases, natural springs, water displacement or… a turtle. The most common is trapped gases.
Warmer water releases more gas during the summer when most people first install their mats.
Methane is created from decaying weeds on your lakebed. It’s odorless and accounts for the largest share of gases released. Hydrogen sulfide, (smells like rotten eggs) comes from organic materials decaying in muck where there’s little or no oxygen. Things decay slowly under muck.
Some lakes have natural springs where water flows up through lake bottoms, creating pressure on anything above it.
Water Volume (temporary change)
Think of this as a “micro tsunami.” A large volume of water from out deep rolls into a small area. A real tsunami makes for riveting footage on the news. A micro tsunami isn’t noticeable unless your mat is in too shallow. Water volume imbalance is temporary, caused by a quick rise in lake levels from flooding. As water levels stop rising, water volume equals out, your mat should flatten out.
Yes, turtles. For some reason, turtles occasionally decide that being under the edge of a mat makes a great home. I’ve seen it happen three times and heard of a few more. Somehow turtle activities create small bubbles.
Our patented MuckMat Pro and LakeMat Pro fabric is gas-permeable, plus we add gas-release flaps geometrically across the entire surface of the mats. They’re designed to dissipate gases efficiently. Yet under low pressure, enough gas can collect in small pockets to form bubbles. In time they’ll dissipate completely. Meanwhile here are some solutions.
Check Your Assembly & Installation.
Did you place your Mat in water at least 18-inches deep?
The fabric may stretch up to 12”. If it’s placed in water that’s too shallow, it can rise and break the surface.
Did you fasten the fabric to the grid along the center of the mat with the zip-ties provided?
The MuckMat Pro grid helps hold the fabric down. This step is often overlooked.
Is the frame still connected all the way around your Mat?
If it came apart during installation, it can’t hold your mat taunt.
Solutions for Trapped Gas Bubbles
If your lake is warming and you have weeds and muck, you’ll can have gases temporarily trapped under your mat. If your mat is in shallow water, these bubbles can break the surface. The XL size mats have the most stretch because there’s more fabric to stretch, and its 24-foot frame has more flex than shorter frames, so they can be more likely to bubble up.
The area most likely to bubble is near the center of a mat. Bubbles don’t hurt anything, but they look weird. Here’s what you can do.
1 If possible, move it to deeper water, or
2 If feasible, walk on it often to force out the bubbles, or
3 Put temporary weights on the area that bubbles up, like flat patio stones, bags of sand, etc. or
4 If you can, put sand on it. One-yard of sand weighs 3,300 pounds. Plus sand will make it look and feel like a natural lake bottom, or
5 Be patient. Most gases will dissipate within three to four weeks.
6 If you have a “LakeMat Pro,” use the plastic stakes provided to hold it down while the gases dissipate.
Solutions to Natural Spring Bubbles
If your bubbling hasn’t improved after four weeks, you may have a spring. You’ll know immediately by slicing a slit in the center of the bubble - the water rushing through it will be much colder than the surrounding lake water. If so, it’s a natural spring.
I (LakeMat inventor Doug Fast) have a spring in my beach. I have a MuckMat that kept bubbling in one spot. After a year of being annoyed by it, I poked a hole it and freezing water (50°) came rushing out. Springs near shore aren’t common, but they’re not rare either. Here’s what you can do.
1 Slice a hole over the spring. It won’t hurt your mat, the non-woven fabric can’t unravel or tear. The spring water will pass through the new opening you’ve made.
2 Put sand over the area. The spring water will flow through the sand, but won’t have enough pressure to lift your mat.
Solution to Turtle Bubbles
1 Enjoy it. Turtles are cool, they won’t hurt you and they’re fun to watch.