How to Protect Foam From Moisture & UV Damage
It's a very common question. "How do I protect the foam inside my cushion from water or sunlight damage?" Lucky for you, Sailrite® has the answers! Foam can be expensive, so you want to keep it as protected as possible in order to increase its longevity and usefulness. Let's discuss all the ways you can protect your foam from moisture and UV damage, and which methods we recommend for various cushion applications.
First, let's go over all the products you can use to protect your foam. Then, we'll discuss how and when to use them, as well as when you would not want to use a particular product with your foam assembly.
Cushion Wrap Silk Film
Cushion Wrap Silk Film is a noiseless plastic silk film that you can wrap around your foam to protect it from moisture. Silk film is designed to be silent so you will not hear it crinkling when you sit on your cushion assembly. The thin, waterproof plastic film acts as a moisture barrier and protects your cushion foam from getting wet.
An added bonus of silk film is that it also makes foam insertion easy and struggle-free. You no longer have to wrestle the foam into the cover and hope you get the foam properly situated. How does it work? Simply cover and tuck the silk film loosely around the foam. Then insert a vacuum hose into the open end of the film and place it against the foam. Turn the vacuum on and watch as it sucks the air out of the foam and compresses it by up to 70%. Easily insert the foam into the cover and it will expand back to its full size when the vacuum is removed. Check out our video "Using Silk Film to Shrink Foam" (#300060XHT) to see this process in action!
When to Use:
- Use with High Density and Medium Density Polyurethane Foams to protect the foam from moisture.
- Use to help your foam into the cushion casing.
- Make sure the foam is completely covered in the silk film and no areas are left exposed to water penetration, especially the top of the cushion.
When Not to Use:
- Don't use silk film with Dry Fast Foam as Dry Fast is intended to let the water run through it and dry out quickly. Silk film can be used to help insert the foam into the cushion cover, but then it must be removed after insertion.
Polyester batting is a bonded 100% polyester cushion wrap that is nonallergenic and mildew resistant. When wrapped and glued around foam, polyester batting adds a nice, plump look to your cushion. It's a popular product a lot of DIYers use because it really makes a visible difference in the plumpness of your cushion. It can take a DIY cushion from average-looking to professional appearance.
Though not a moisture barrier like Cushion Wrap Silk Film, batting drains very well. In fact, when paired with Dry Fast Foam, it aids in the water-draining and quick-drying qualities of Dry Fast. It also helps protect foam from UV damage, which is a great feature for outdoor cushions. This is a great combination for an outdoor cushion for your patio where you'll leave it outside all summer season. You can use Cushion Wrap Silk Film as an aid in inserting batting-wrapped foam into your cushion cover, but do not leave the silk film in. Silk Film must be removed otherwise it interferes with the quick-drying abilities of the batting and Dry Fast.
When to Use:
- Adds extra plumpness to cushion assemblies.
- Protects foam from UV damage. Adhere batting to foam with a spray adhesive (#120464).
- Helps "fill out" cushion cover so there are no wrinkles in the cover.
- Pair with Dry Fast without hindering the foam's water-draining properties.
When Not to Use:
- Don't pair with Closed Cell Foam
Other Foam Resources
Be sure to read our blog "How to Choose an Outdoor Foam" (#300481XHT) to learn which types of foam we recommend for patio cushions, pontoon and powerboat seating, sailboat cabin and cockpit cushions, and more. If you're searching for the best materials for outdoor patio cushions, we have two fantastic resources. If you're interested in making cushions from woven upholstery fabric, check out "The Best Fabric, Foam & Thread for Outdoor Cushions" (#300454XHT). The blog breaks down each material — fabric, foam, notions and more — to give you a foolproof recipe for a long-lasting outdoor cushion. If you prefer the look of vinyl or faux leather cushions, "The Best Vinyl, Foam & Thread for Outdoor Cushions" (#300455XHT) has the answers you're looking for.