Signs You Need a New Hot Tub Cover
November 2, 2017
Plus tips for spa cover repair, care, and replacement
Many hot tub owners and prospective owners are concerned about efficiency and cost when it comes to running their spa. Did you know that one of your best defenses against a costly electric bill has nothing to do with the hot tub itself?
A hot tub cover helps the water stay warm, keeps your water clear and chemicals working efficiently, and protects against water loss due to evaporation. While spa covers are quite sturdy and can stand up to changes in weather, they do lose their effectiveness over time.
Wondering when to replace the cover and when it can be repaired? Depending on how the cover has deteriorated, heat can leak from the spa at the hinges and at the spa shell’s rim. If the cover no longer has a tight seal around the shell, consider replacing it. It may be possible to repair minor damage, but it’s important to make sure any repair efforts will be worth the trouble and will actually extend the life of the spa cover.
Signs of a Damaged Hot Tub Cover
Knowing the signs of damage can help you keep your spa cover in optimal condition.
The Vinyl is Damaged
If the vinyl exterior of your spa cover is torn, cracked, flaking, or brittle, don’t ignore the damage! Cracks, flaking, and a brittle surface can mean the vinyl is wearing out due to age and exposure to weather.
Can it be repaired?
Small tears in the vinyl on the outside of the cover may be fixed with a vinyl repair kit, or with a patch or tape. Just make sure the damage hasn’t otherwise compromised the integrity of the cover.
The Cover is Waterlogged
If the cover has become abnormally heavy, this probably means the foam core has become waterlogged – it’s absorbed water from the tub. This is usually due to a tear or hole forming in the vinyl on the underside of the cover.
…and it smells weird.
If your hot tub cover smells strange, it is likely a result of waterlogging. The foam core likely absorbed some of your hot tub’s water and any chemicals or other particulates that were in it. If the situation goes unaddressed, it won’t be long before mold or mildew grows inside the cover.
Can it be repaired?
We have had customers try to repair their waterlogged spa cover, but we think you should know it’s definitely not an easy task. The foam is not easy to take out of the vinyl, or put back in, because of the very tight fit the cover is designed to have. Expect to invest some time and elbow grease should you choose to take on this project.
If you’re feeling brave, you can dry out your cover by removing the foam core, spraying it with disinfectant, and allowing it to dry out completely. Before putting the foam core back inside the cover, make sure to towel dry and disinfect the inside of the vinyl so there’s no chance for moisture to remain inside. Of course, before putting the cover back on the spa, you’ll want to repair any damage to the vinyl that led to waterlogging in the first place.
It is possible to buy foam core replacements, but it can cost almost as much as buying a new cover. If you’re not confident you can bring your cover back to a useful state, or you don’t want to go through the hassle, it will be worth the investment to replace the cover entirely.
How Long Will a Hot Tub Cover Last?
If the spa cover is properly cared for and doesn’t sustain significant damage, it should last 5 to 7 years. Below are some tips for getting a long lifespan from your cover.
Protect Your Hot Tub Cover
Prevent damage to your hot tub cover through regular maintenance. This includes keeping the vinyl clean; avoiding the buildup of rain, snow, or ice; and otherwise avoiding bearing too much weight on the hot tub cover, such as people sitting or climbing on it. We recommend using 303 Aerospace Protectant to clean the vinyl and protect it from cracking and fading due to sun exposure.
Hot Tub Cover Lifters
Another way to make sure your cover lasts is to install a hot tub cover lifter. These make it easy to remove the cover, store it securely while the spa is in use, and put it back on when you’re done – essentially simplifying the on/off process to two steps. The less the cover is jostled over time, the better the chances of it staying in good shape and structurally sound.
Hot Tub Cover Replacement
If it’s time to replace your hot tub cover, we’ve got you covered. We can custom order a new one to the exact dimensions of your spa so it is a tight fit.
We carry several different options:
- Standard cover with 4″ – 2″ foam
- Premium cover with 5″ – 3″ foam
- Elite cover with 6″ – 4″ foam (66% more efficient than a standard cover)
- Walk-on fiber reinforced cover (5 year foam warranty)
Give us a call or stop by one of our 5 West Michigan locations to discuss a replacement hot tub cover.