Know when your Hot Tub Cover is Toast

Wondering if your hot tub cover is done and needs to be replaced? Can’t understand why your energy bills are going up? Is steam spewing from under your spa cover normal? We can help.

Spa covers are one of the most essential components of ensuring your spa remains energy-efficient and keeps heat in the tub. But the question remains – How do I know when my spa cover is finished and needs to be replaced?

Spa Cover poolingTo answer this it helps to know how a cover is made:

The core of the cover is made of a foam that is trimmed to shape and is usually tapered to allow water to run off the top of the tub, much like a peaked roof. If the foams are cracked or drooping then it’s likely time to replace or getting close.

The foam is reinforced with aluminum channels stretching the width of the tub center to give it stability so that accumulation of water, snow and ice won’t collapse it. Remember spa covers are only meant to hold about 70-150 lbs so we highly recommend not walking or sitting on your cover as well as clear snow accumulation regularly. Spa Cover underside distorted

The foam core is then wrapped in a plastic vapour barrier, this ensures that the foams do not absorb water and get heavy. If the vapour barrier is breached due to chemical breakdown or is punctured or sliced it will not protect the foams from water absorption. Always leave your cover off your spa after shocking. Shocks contain oxidizers that can actually melt or burn the cover underside. Allow the tub to gas off after shocking before closing the cover. If breached the foams act like large sponges soaking up water resulting a very heavy and inefficient barrier. When replacing, consider getting a thicker or multiple vapour barriers to reduce the risk of breach.

Finally the wrapped cores are inserted into a marine-grade vinyl skin that is stitched together to form a book-like cover. The skin has a skirt to help seal around the outside edges, a cushion or rubber bumper down the center binding to seal the two (or three) halves together and finally handles and locking straps. If the stitching is starting to let go or tear the vinyl, it may be a sign of excessive wear and time to think about replacement.

We are often asked, “I see steam coming out from my cover’s center seam, is this wrong”? Actually it’s totally normal. Covers are not meant to be air tight, if they were, the resulting steam and heat build up under the cover would blow it right off. The center seam is meant to vent and allow steam to release. This happens all the time but is typically more visible during colder temperatures. Keep in mind some covers have a steam stopper pillow that is meant to reduce this, if yours does not have one or is damaged it’s another sign.

wrecked spa coverBottom line if your cover is heavy and requires lots of effort to open and close, pooling large amounts of water on its top or there is water accumulating between the skin and foam causing a large balloon of water it’s time to get a new cover. Keep in mind most covers have an average life span of 5 years, although that can vary depending on if the spa is under a structure like a gazeebo, water chemistry is kept in check and care of the cover such as clearing, cleaning and using a cover lifter instead of throwing the cover off on to the ground.

Still unsure if it needs to be replaced? Contact us today, we can help.

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