Waterproof Foam

09February 2023 /
waterproof foam

There are different types of waterproof foam. Foam is an extremely versatile product with a multitude of uses, both indoors and outdoors. Common sense tells us that, in particular for outdoor use, most applications will need a waterproof foam. In this article we look at waterproof foam, how it differs from other foams and how using a waterproof foam can extend or improve the longevity of your outdoor foam products.

How does waterproof foam work?

Foams are made of polyurethane and are manufactured to different densities, the denser the foam, the more the cells are packed together. Some waterproof foam types are very dense meaning that moisture and water cannot seep through.  Opposite to these dense foams is reticulated foam. Reticulated foams have an open cell structure allowing moisture and water to pass quickly through. The type of waterproof foam that F.C. Hancox supplies is Calipore foam, which is a reticulated foam.

Closed-cell vs reticulated waterproof foam

The tighter the cell structure the less likely it is that water will ingress into the foam, thus making closed-cell foam waterproof. This type of foam is commonly used in the marine industry as items such as cushion pads have the added benefit of doubling up as floatation devices. However, water can still get into the foam and if it does, it can swell, so it needs the extra protection of a watertight, waterproof cover. Another downside is that closed-cell foams are much denser so very firm and therefore can be uncomfortable to sit on.

By its nature, a closed-cell foam will probably last slightly longer than a reticulated foam, however, we believe this is far outweighed by the numerous advantages a reticulated foam provides. There is no doubt that a reticulated foam such as Calipore, especially where it is used for outdoor and marine applications, is a great choice where a waterproof foam is needed. Manufactured to high standards, as well as allowing water to pass through, the open-cell nature of Calipore foam allows for air to circulate within its structure, making it quick drying. There is the additional benefit that Calipore holds antibacterial properties that prevent fungal growth and mould development.

Care of and uses for waterproof foam

When we consider waterproof foam, we usually think about cushions for outdoor seating, garden furniture and patio furniture, but there are a wide variety of uses, including sun beds or marine seating, seating and mattresses in medical and health settings or items such as exercise matting. Please note that our Calipore foams are for outdoor use only as by their nature, they do not comply with fire regulations that apply to indoor foams.

Outdoor waterproof foam items are easy to care for, but there are actions that you can take to keep them looking good and lasting longer.

Cleaning – The great benefit of reticulated open-cell foams, such as Calipore is that they are quick drying, so large items can simply be hosed down. Smaller items can be washed with warm, soapy water or treated depending on the fabric cleaning instructions.

Storing – Whilst waterproof foam cushions can be left outside, they will last longer if stored away when not in use and many outdoor benches have built-in storage. This is helpful where the cushions will be left unused for a prolonged time.

UV-resistant fabrics – When left outside, covers can fade, so having cushions covered with a fabric that has UV protection will keep their colours longer if left out in the sun.

Renovating or upgrading outdoor items with waterproof foam

Outdoor cushions and mattresses, marine cushions or outdoor bench cushions can become tired looking, either where the fabrics have become worn or faded, or the cushions have sagged. It may be that you’ve bought second-hand and want to renovate cushions or wish to convert cushions to outdoor use. This is easy to do.

Cushion covers can be purchased commercially or homemade using the old covers for sizing or as a template. Replacing the foam could not be easier using F.C. Hancox’s foam-cut-to-size service. Simply remove the old foam from the cushion, take depth, width and length measurements and use these to order the new foam. If the cushions are an irregular shape, that’s no problem as we can cut to any size or shape.

Waterproof foam is easy to care for and takes comfort outdoors. Replacing the foam in your existing furniture and cushions can give them a new lease of life and it’s easy to do with F.C. Hancox.

Replace Your Foam

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