Hot tub covers are imperative, if you want to keep that water warm inside the hot tub. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Despite what your spa dealer could possibly have promised, there shall come a season that you are going to be in need of a replacement hot tub cover.
What are the indications when hot tub covers have given up the ghost? There may be obvious signs, as well as some that are not so obvious indicators. Here are 5 signs of hot tub cover distress to take into consideration.
Saggy Hot Tub Covers
When foam filled hot tub covers collect water on the surface, it’s time for a new spa cover. This signifies that whatever was provided in terms of the reinforcement of the foam boards is now bent or broken. Typically a C-channel that runs along both halves of the spa cover, where they meet at the hinge. Some cover manufacturers will use materials like aluminum or thin steel at this point, which will bend under weight (dogs, kids, snow), or (more typically) due to the weight of the cover itself.
If this is the case, attempting to milk a longer time from the cover is just going to end up costing more going forward since whatever insulation value it might possibly have possessed is gone at this stage. Delaying the inevitable will simply cost more in energy bills. But more importantly considering a usage point of view, the spa owner is unlikely to wish to mess with the cover when it has water on top of it. Ultimately, they’re using the hot tub less, which is certainly a sin. Don’t be a sinner.
Something to think about here. No matter what a hot tub dealer has to say about it, if he only sells foam filled hot tub covers, it is 100% absolutely certain that every one of them will turn out the same way either too heavy to lift, or broken.
It won’t matter whether it is shrink wrapped in Kevlar and reinforced with titanium, if it has foam inside, it is doomed to fail.
Water is heavy, at 8 lbs. per gallon, it can add up quickly. Another case of broken reinforcement channel. Probably started out with a small crimp in the channel, which commenced to puddle some water, and a lot more water – and now it appears like a new hot tub cover is in order.
Just like Saggy Cover, this is due to using foam panels above a hot tub. Foam panels will saturate from the steam coming off the spa water. Not one thing will prevent it other than not using foam within your cover!
The spa dealer may suggest you to attempt to flip the panels over inside the cover to add to its useful life. Except the zippers as well as the vinyl material weren’t made to be opened and shut beyond the initial stuffing of the foam.
Once a cover begins a gradual puddle, it may never be reversed. It’s time to order a replacement hot tub cover. As we said above, putting it off means you’ll be making use of the hot tub less (a sin) and wasting money on the heating bill.
Water Logged Hot Tub Cover
This may be a hot tub cover that weighs about 3x what it did when it was new. They often get so heavy that they become next to impossible to use short of the aid of a Seal Team. They can also damage spa cover lifters once they get too heavy. That’s because the cover lifter is not made to handle a heavy cover. Bet the dealer didn’t mention that when he sold it to you.
When the foam core is taking on water – and, is not draining. This does not signify that rain water has somehow gotten into your cover, or snow or another outside source. It happens when steam rises from the warm spa water then since it’s a very small molecule, gets right into the foam. Once it gets inside of the foam it cools and turns back into water, and becomes trapped because of the fact that the water molecule is too big to drop out.
The best way to prevent it would be to never use a foam filled cover on the hot tub. Despite what the manufacturer claims to wrap it in or the way they package it, the foam will eventually become saturated. Period.
It is time for a new replacement hot tub cover. Again, putting it off at this point is just going to cost you more in your energy consumption and unless you have a Seal Team living with you, you aren’t going to be using your spa very often. (Still a sin)
If you want to be clever, you can take the cover from your spa and store it in your garage for several months. As soon as the cover is away from the moisture and being stored inside a dry place, eventually the moisture within the cover will evaporate (back to a smaller molecule) and of course the foam will become light again. It takes months for it to dry completely in which case you must have another replacement cover for your spa while you wait. Note: The cover may still warp wildly out of shape while it dries.
If you choose to rotate your covers every three months, you may be capable of making them last until the materials begin to come apart. See Below.
Torn Hot Tub Covers
Whenever the fabric (marine grade vinyl on the standard foam filled hot tub covers) is exposed to its limit of sun and weather, it becomes brittle and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, holes and tears happen that will.
Because ALL Vinyl, even the most costly Marine Grade, are rated by HOURS outdoors.
Using a spa cover protectant is just another way for cover dealers to take your money. If you would like to spend on weekly basis rubbing down your hot tub cover with conditioner, be our guest but the smart thing to do would be to buy the cover that does not have VINYL on the outside. Like say the SpaCap hot tub covers that use Sunbrella Marine fabric, which is rated by YEARS outdoors.
Still, if the cover isn’t heavy yet, you might to postpone acquiring another right away providing you don’t mind the look of Duct Tape. If you would like a few suggestions, check out some episodes of the “Red Green Show.” Red covers the finer points of Duct Tape.
Smelly Hot Tub Covers
Musty, mildew, old wet dog – whatever your hot tub cover smells like, if it’s a bad odor, that probably implies that you now have bacteria forming inside the hot tub cover. It probably also means the cover is water logging (see above).
Now we have crossed over from inconvenient to unhealthy.
What are you inhaling when this is what you smell?
Completely dismantling of the cover, and spraying it down with Lysol won’t help! Since the source of the smell, AKA the mold and mildew are stuck inside the foam! The best you might be able to accomplish would be to kill what’s on the outside of the vinyl or foam even so you are not going to touch what’s inside the foam. Plus now your cover smells like Lysol, nothing kills the mood faster than inhaling something that reminds you of how the school janitor cleaned up vomit.
The origin of the problem? That high quality foam employed in traditional hot tub covers. Despite how much a dealer may attempt to sell how it is extremely resistant to water absorption and bacteria formation, it will still happen and they understand it.
When you happen to be ready for a brand new spa cover, make sure that it’s not made using a foam core.
If you were curious about your hot tub cover making it another year, don’t wait. It’s your basic instinct telling you something important – hot tub season is coming! Get ready now!