Swim Spa Covers that are made well and properly cared for should be able to last many years outdoors. Longer if maintained well.
These days all swim spa covers have a good warranty covering construction faults, material defects. It’s fairly standard in the industry, but here is a little secret – they almost never will need to fulfill that warranty. – What usually shortens the life of swim spa covers is from the elements they are exposed to or how they are treated.
Despite having a strong warranty, no body wants to have to make a warranty claim, and ship a hot tub cover back for repair or replacement. Keeping that in mind we have come up with this list of warranty-busting hot tub cover care tips.
Avoid these Five Enemies of Swim Spa Covers, and your cover will endure well beyond any warranty.
UV rays from the sun gives life through photosynthesis, but they also degrade most surfaces, even with UV inhibitors included in marine grade vinyl utilized on traditional spa covers. Especially in sun-drenched areas of the nation, and especially when the spa has minimal shade to shield it from the sun, UV rays can damage your spa cover. In an effort to keep your swim spa cover protected against UV rays, we suggest acquiring a hot tub cover that employs Sunbrella fabric as opposed to vinyl. Sunbrella is the only outdoor fabric rated by years in preference to ALL vinyl materials that are rated by HOURS. Even the costliest vinyl will eventually crack and disintegrate in the long run. Sunbrella won’t even FADE. We have seen Sunbrella fabric still looking new after twelve years of unprotected exposure. No vinyl will never come close warranty or otherwise.
It seems that winter wind is always an issue that could mean higher wind speeds and frequent storms. A strong wind can flip up a foam filled swim spa cover while a really strong wind can send it flying to parts unknown. This usually producing major damage to hot tub covers, most often cracking the foam cores. To prevent this from happening altogether, purchase the only hot tub cover that does not use foam. Rigid foam panels, even ones that are saturated with water will still fly very well with sufficient wind. The only types of hot tub covers, which can withstand hurricane force winds, are air filled covers. They have the ideal dome shape and no rigid surface that might allow the wind to lift. In 30 years and an abundance of covers in use all over “Tornado Alley” not ONE air filled cover has ever blown off a spa. Again, no traditional foam cover will ever hope to offer the same claim. Straps or no straps. Warranty or not. Possibly a larger danger when compared to wind itself, could possibly be large tree branches that are thrown down onto a spa. Consequently, the air filled hot tub cover delivers the advantage. Since it can “give” when struck, the air filled cover avoids damage even when a rigid cover will be crushed or skewered.
Rain and snow are obvious enemies, but add to it automatic sprinklers. If your cover is in good shape, and secured, your spa cover should shed water. If water begins to puddle on your cover, you will certainly soon be looking at a new spa cover, unless it’s an air filled cover. With an air filled hot tub cover, water pooling on the surface of the cover is simply due to the cover fasteners not being used, or the spa water level being below normal. Normally, refilling the spa or just simply securing the fasteners will restore the cover to perfect working condition. The same thing can’t be said of a foam filled cover. And despite any warranty, the sagging foam cover means you will be acquiring a replacement. Any type of roof above the spa, a patio, gazebo or pergola will help to keep your spa cover shielded from sun and rain. Unfortunately it won’t stop the foam cover from getting heavy.
Water from above is not the major enemy of swim spa covers – the moisture beneath the spa cover, the spa water, also can damage the foam, as well as grow mold and mildew. No matter if the spa cover foam cores are vacuum wrapped and heat-sealed, to keep out moisture, they all will still eventually soak up moisture. Your spa cover dealer may suggest you remove the cover completely, and allow it to air out. Only they don’t mention that drying it out completely is going to take months! Dealers realize that if your spa cover becomes waterlogged, to the point where it becomes too difficult to move, (and it always will) you are going to have to buy a new spa cover! They are looking forward to it. It’s possible to prevent it though providing you don’t replace the old saturated cover with another one exactly like it. Think Air instead of foam.
Bears have been known to be attracted to a scent present in some spa cover foam panels, (another good reason not to use it) however this is typically a rare occurrence. Most animals will not chew or scratch a spa cover. Indeed, most damage occurs with large dogs. The heat of the spa under the cover is what seems to attract dogs and cats. A small pet probably won’t do any damage, except a 50 lb. dog could weaken and damage your foam panels and reinforcement channel. Again, not with the use of an air filled cover. You can’t really blame your beloved pet for thinking the spa cover might be a really good location to lie. If it’s a rigid foam cover, it looks identical to the deck to the dog. In any case with an air filled cover, not even the dog is mistaking it for just another part of one’s deck. Also, most dogs don’t like stepping onto things that “gives” and thus they are inclined to leave it alone.
Party animals are far more likely to cause damage swim spa covers. Kids especially, and doubtless some adults; think a rigid spa resembles more deck, and ideal for walking on. Keep all “animals” off your spa cover – a great deal of weight is an enemy that attacks suddenly, destroying a spa cover instantaneously. The advantage for the air filled cover may be that it’s not flat that cannot be mistaken for more deck. Even so, no warranty on any cover can cover damage caused by someone jumping on your spa cover. Best to limit the spa privileges of animals that are big enough or dumb enough to damage your cover.
Chemicals under the spa cover, from the spa water, can be harsh to spa cover materials. Low pH or high sanitizer level, or shocking the spa and then closing the cover – all will definitely lead to a slow deterioration of seams and vinyl. This is applicable regardless of what type of cover you have. Something to take into consideration, in the event you are damaging your hot tub cover with chemicals, you’re doing exactly the same thing to your skin, hair, your spa impellors and jets. And since no cover manufacturer can control your chemicals, the damage it causes is on you, in spite of any warranty.
At Best Hot Tub Covers, we only recommend one cover, the SpaCap. For more than thirty years they have been building hot tub covers that beat all other traditional foam filled covers, hands down. They insulate better, stay lightweight and typically last years longer. Order one for your spa today at SpaCap.com.
Protect your hot tub cover and it is likely to protect your hot tub for a lot longer.