Your hot tub is the best place to be when the weather turns chilly, keeping you relaxed and toasty warm even when the season turns to cold. Before winter strikes with a vengeance, it’s a good idea to have a look at your hot tub cover to see how it’s faring.
Why do I need to replace my hot tub cover?
The thermal cover for your hot tub plays an extremely important role in keeping the heat in and the elements (and debris) out. Without a good cover, you’ll quickly find heat escapes from your hot tub and your energy costs rise as your spa struggles to maintain its high temperature. As your thermal cover is keeping moisture and condensation in the hot tub, you’ll also quickly find water levels falling quickly if your cover isn’t able to keep up. Having to frequently top up your hot tub to compensate for a poor cover can cause fluctuating water chemistry levels that can be hard to keep up with. To keep your hot tub functioning efficiently, having a proper thermal cover is essential.
How often should I replace my cover?
Hot tub covers will generally need to be replaced about every 5-7 years, however this number can vary wildly depending on your local weather conditions, how exposed your hot tub is to the elements, and more importantly, how well the hot tub cover is taken care of. If you’re wondering if it might be time to replace your insulated spa cover, read on to see what signs you should watch for.
How do I know if I need a new thermal cover?
A few times a year, have a look at your hot tub cover to check for any of these signs that it might be time for a replacement:
- It’s cracked or ripping. The UV rays from the sun, as well as rain and snow, can weaken the top layer of your hot tub cover as it’s exposed to the elements over time. Once the top material starts to crack or rip, the inner insulating foam becomes subject to the elements and will rapidly start absorbing moisture. Not only will this cause your cover to become extremely heavy and full of water, it also allows heat to escape through the thermal foam.
- Your hot tub cover is heavy. Even if you can’t see cracks or rips in the top layer, if you notice your spa cover becoming heavier over time it is likely absorbing moisture. The vapour barrier in the cover can degrade over time, which leads to an excess of moisture being absorbed into the foam. Once your cover becomes heavy, it loses its insulating power and can become very difficult to remove from your spa when it’s time for a relaxing soak.
- You smell something funny. The only thing you should be smelling from your hot tub is chemicals. If something smells off, it’s possible the odor is coming from mold growth within the cover itself. Once your hot tub cover begins to degrade and absorb moisture into the foam, in addition to growing heavier, it becomes the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow. If you notice mold growth on the outside layer of the cover it can be cleaned, however once it reaches the inner foam core it’s time for a new cover.
- Stitching is coming apart. Once your hot tub cover starts to absorb moisture and get heavier, the stitching in the cover will have a hard time holding things together and will likely start to tear or break down.
- Sagging center or pooling water. This is a major red flag that means it’s definitely time to replace your hot tub cover. Also referred to as a “cupped” cover, a sagging centre that collects water puddles usually happens due to heavy snow or ice sitting on the cover for long periods of time that cause the structure of the cover itself to warp. If the cover is cupping, it can’t adequately seal the edges of the hot tub which leads to substantial heat loss and moisture escaping. Plus if water continues to pool on top of the cover, the problem will only get progressively worse and will cause the cover to absorb a substantial amount of moisture and can even start to leak rainfall or snow into your hot tub water, wreaking havoc on your water chemistry.
How can I extend the life of my spa cover?
You’ve got a beautiful new protective spa cover, now it’s time to make sure it lasts!
- Use your cover clips! Keeping your hot tub locked makes sure it stays snugly sealed in place and doesn’t move, even with high winds and stormy weather.
- Balance your water. If your water’s pH is acidic or you consistently have too high sanitizer levels, the fabric and coating on the underside of the cover can begin to degrade over time.
- Keep your hot tub cover off during water care. Specifically while using a shock on your hot tub water, allow the chemicals to circulate for at least 30 minutes so that the chemical vapours aren’t released directly onto the underside of your cover.
- Protect against UV rays. If your hot tub doesn’t live in a gazebo or covered area, try using a UV protecting cover conditioner to help protect your cover against cracking and discolouration from constant UV exposure.
- Keep your cover clear. Don’t allow snow or ice to build up on your cover, always make sure the spa top is cleared off. Just be careful using a shovel around or on the cover, as the sharp edges can lead to rips and tears and disrupt the integrity of your cover as well.
- Use a cover cap. Cover caps are exactly what they sound like - a cover for your cover. These caps cover the top of your instulated cover to protect it from moisture seeping in and debris falling on it, and are available in longer options to protect your spa sides as well. If you live in an area with a lot of snow and rain, these are a great option to maintain the moisture barrier of your spa cover. These come in a variety of sizes, so make sure you measure to find the correct fit for your spa.