Spa and hot tub covers are indispensable, if you want to keep the heat in the tub – but they don’t last forever. Despite recent advances in materials used, creating stronger and lighter covers, there will come a time when you will need a replacement spa cover.
How do you know when a spa cover has given up the ghost? There are obvious signs, and there are not so obvious indicators. Can you get another year, or a few more months out of the current spa cover? Here’s 5 signs of spa cover distress to look for.
If your spa collects water on the surface, you may need a new spa cover. This indicates that the reinforcement channel is bent or broken. This is a C-channel that runs along both halves of the spa cover, where they meet at the hinge. Lower grade materials like aluminum or thin steel at this point can bend under weight (dogs, kids, snow), or from many openings and closings.
I know of someone (who shall remain nameless! 😉 who built a PVC support thingy that he placed inside the spa, and it brought his spa cover up level again. But eventually, he also had to buy a new spa cover. This time he bought a Hottubworks spa cover, an engineered steel channel that will hold up to most anything.
Water is heavy, at 8 lbs per gallon, it adds up quick. Another case of broken reinforcement channel. Probably started as a small crimp in the channel, which began to puddle some water, and then some more water … and now it looks like a new spa cover is in order.
Once a cover begins a gradual puddle, it can be hard to prevent it from getting worse. If you catch it early, you can flip the foam cores over to extend the life of a puddle cover.
Buy a quality spa cover to start, use it gently, and keep heavy dogs, kids and snow loads greater than 8 inches off of the spa cover.
Water Logged Spa Cover
This is a spa cover that now weighs about 3x what it did when it was new. They can get so heavy that they become almost impossible to move for petite gals like myself. They can also damage spa cover lifters when they get too heavy.
What has likely happened is that the foam core wrap has become pierced, is taking on water – and, is not draining.
Our spa covers are double wrapped in 6 mil sheeting, with heat sealed edges to keep moisture out.
If you find a puncture in the core wrap, seal it up with clear tape. Removing the foam cores and allowing the spa cover to fully drain and dry can help for a time. If it repeats, it may be time for a new spa cover!
Torn & Worn Spa Cover
When the fabric (marine grade vinyl on our spa covers) suffers from too much sun and weather, it becomes brittle and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, holes and tears will develop that will let in moisture.
Using a spa cover protectant like our Spa Cover Conditioner & Protectant will keep your spa cover clean, and it will keep it supple and soft. Similar to using Armor All on your car’s dashboard to prevent cracking, your spa cover will benefit in the same way from a regular conditioning.
Small rips and tears in the material can be sealed up with – I dare say, Duct Tape of all things. It won’t be pretty, but it may get you by for another year, if the foam cores, wrap and channels are in good shape.
Smelly Spa Cover
Musty, mildewy, old wet dog – whatever your spa cover smells like, if it’s a bad odor, that probably means that you have bacteria forming inside the spa cover. It probably also means that the cover is water logging (see above). Are you removing your spa cover regularly to allow it to breathe?
A complete dismantling of the cover, by carefully removing the foam cores from the outer vinyl covering. Turn the vinyl inside out and spray it down with Lysol. Now your cover smells like Lysol, not sure which is worse, but at least you’ve killed 99% of the bacteria on the fabric.
The high quality foam used in our spa covers is extremely resistant to water absorption and bacteria formation. When you are ready for a new spa cover, make sure it’s not made with cheaper and less dense foam cores.
5 reasons that you need a new spa cover – in case you were wondering about your own hot tub cover making it another year. This time of year – late summer into fall, is the busiest time of year for spa cover sales. It’s that instinctual preparedness clock that we all have that tells us to get ready – winter is coming!
Hot Tub Works