It’s probably been 5 years since you got your hot tub and now what you have is a waterlogged spa cover. Usually, people are not aware that this happens until it happens. And like many, you probably wonder how to keep hot tub cover from getting heavy? Here are a couple of tips.
There are two main rules to follow in order to prevent your hot tub cover from getting heavy in the first few years of its purchase:
- Do not sit or place heavy objects on the cover
- Make sure your water chemistry is top notch
- Get quality vapor barrier
How Do You Fix A Waterlogged Hot Tub Cover?
Before replacing the foam core, air drying may be the solution. Proceed with caution, but rest assured, it is possible!
- Remove the spa cover. Carefully unzip the vinyl “skin” and remove each piece of the foam core.
- Place or lay the foam in a sunny part of your garden to allow air to circulate underneath.
- Turn the vinyl skin over and dry the inside of the skin with a towel. Also place it in a sunny spot.
- Spray the inside of the vinyl cover and each surface of the foam pieces with a mold inhibitor and allow to dry.
- Turn the cover over, put the foam pieces back inside and close the zipper. If the vapor barrier cover/bag tears, you can purchase new bags.
Do Not Sit Or Place Heavy Objects On The Cover
This one is a big no. The reason for it is that it can cause the cover to break. You may not notice it since it takes a long time but once the cover cracks water will slowly start to penetrate into the foam core. Eventually, it will lead to making your hot tub cover waterlogged and super heavy.
Make Sure Your Water Chemistry Is Top Notch
Another component is the water chemistry. What this translates into is really poor water balance which leads to corrosion. What corrosion does over time is that it disintegrates the vapor barrier around the foam cores.
There is also a recommendation to try to keep the cover off, weather permitting, for about an hour to two after you add chemicals to the hot tub. What this will do is it will allow the chemicals to gas out without damaging the vapor barrier. It will basically prevent the vapors from rising up from the water and decaying the vapor barrier of the hot tub cover.
Get Quality Vapor Barrier
Make sure to upgrade to the best one you can find, once you decide to get a new one. The vapor barrier is the plastic that is wrapped around the foam inside the cover. Its main purpose is to protect the foam from absorbing the water.
Once this the vapor barrier is compromised the foam inside the hot tub cover will start to absorb the water, and you will notice that your cover is starting to get heavy.
What happens next is that over time it makes the cover next to impossible to lift. Additionally, it can cause serious potential health problems since mold and mildew start to build up and grow in the foam.
Why Do Hot Tub Covers Get Heavy?
The biggest problem is moisture. It gets trapped in the foam and slowly makes the cover too heavy to lift.
Right, but how does moisture get in there? The answer is steam and evaporation of the hot tub water. Once the water is turned into steam, it becomes a much smaller molecule than a drop of water.
Steam can then easily get into a much smaller area, such as the spaces in the foam. What happens next is that once it cools back down and turns into the water again, it is then trapped inside the foam. From there, the water won’t drain out so a fancy drain hole won’t help.
The only way to get the water out of the foam would be to evaporate. Now for it to evaporate, you need to remove the hot tub cover and place it in a dry and well-ventilated area.
How Long Do Hot Tub Covers Last ?
Most original spa covers that you get with a new hot tub have a life of about 2 years. Only a high-quality cover should be able to last for at least 5 to 8 years. You have to make sure to reduce the time your cover spends being exposed to the elements such as UV from the sun and rain. In that case, it will not last as long as the hot tub itself.
Depending on the quality of the cover and your maintenance habits, it should eventually be needed for them to be replaces after several years.
Use Hot Tub Cover Cap During Bad Weather
A hot tub thermal blanket is an insulating, floating cover that lies on top of your hot tub water. Hot tub cover blankets will not only cut down on evaporation, making them a great energy saver but it will also protect your hot tub cover from snow, rain, and dirt. It will help your cover stay in good shape at least a bit longer.
Maintain Your Hot Tub Cover Throughout The Year
You may not think your hot tub cover needs a maintenance schedule, but it’s a good idea to save time for cleaning in almost every season. You can also carry out regular inspections during this time so that you can detect and repair any damage to the cover before it becomes serious.
After the winter season, it’s time for a deep clean, whether you’ve used your hot tub or not. One of the most common causes of a deteriorating vinyl cover, besides the elements, is the use of the wrong cleaner. Look specifically for something made for vinyl care and avoid anything that contains alcohol, bleach, detergent, washing-up liquid, and oil.
- Start by spraying the entire cover with a garden hose to rinse off loose dirt and debris.
- Then spray the entire cover down with your vinyl cleaner. Pay particular attention to areas with encrusted dirt, let the cleaner rest for a few minutes before scrubbing it clean.
- Rinse out your sponge as needed to prevent dirt from simply smudging.
- Rinse the cover again when you have finished cleaning.
- Then let it dry before spraying on a layer of the protective agent so that it looks good for the rest of the season.
Make sure you check your cover thoroughly at this time as well, including for damage that has occurred in winter.
After half of the summer months, give your hot tub cover another cleaning and maintenance test. If your hot tub has been actively used, you should also make sure that the cover is opened to look for mold and mildew inside.
Before turning off the hot tub for the winter months or going into the colder months of the year, make sure nothing is worn or replaced. Do another thorough cleaning to ensure that there are no deposits and bacteria sitting and festering throughout the winter.
You can also purchase additional winter cover at this time. If you place this cover over the normal thermal cover, the wear it suffers during the cold season will be reduced.
Can A Hot Tub Cover Be Repaired?
Yes. There are a few ways you can easily repair the vinyl plate if there are small cracks. Depending on the severity, you can use a vinyl cement that covers the repair and also fits into the top. These types of cement are generally quite strong and are a good general repair method.
Small elastomer patch products, such as a tear-aid vinyl patch, can also be purchased in specialty stores. These are easy to apply to a clean vinyl surface and very effective.
You could also use colored tape to cover the holes, but the tape should always be a temporary solution.
Can You Only Replace The Foam In A Hot Tub Cover And Not The Whole Cover?
Yes. The cost of the foam itself is about 60-70% of the new cover. That means you will save about 30-40% if you decide to replace the foam and not the whole cover.
Here you need to know about the R-value of a foam. The insulating core of almost all hot tub covers is EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). The insulating value of the foam is very specific and is listed in the table below. Please note that the R-value shown is for 1 inch of thickness.
R-value describes a material’s resistance to the flow of heat. Having higher R-value means that the heat that travels or conducts through a material will do so at a much slower rate. Better insulating materials tend to have better R-values.
How Much Do Hot Tub Covers Cost
If you are in need of a new hot tub cover, or you simply need a backup one, then you definitely need to research on how much money you should invest in your new cover. Keep in mind that if you go with a cheaper one, you might need to replace it sooner than later.
The hot tub cover price usually starts from $300 for a custom made replacement spa cover 4″- 2″ taper, all the way to $600 to the same custom made replacement spa cover that is 4″- 6″ taper.
How Do You Measure For A Hot Tub Cover
Using a Carpenter’s Square
Place the square firmly against the spa rim at the corner. The radius is the measurement between the inside corner of the square and the point where the curve of the spa corner first touches the square. If you don’t have a carpenter’s square handy, you can use any straight edge and a ruler.
Using a Straight Edge & Ruler
Place any straight edge firmly against the spa rim at the corner and a ruler or tape measure perpendicular to the straight edge. The radius is the measurement between the extended corner of the spa and the point where the curve of the spa corner first touches the ruler.
Hot tub covers that don’t absorb water
While this sounds like an interesting idea, I’m afraid we still don’t have an adequate cover that doesn’t absorb water.
About a year ago, a company made this statement, Seattle Spa Covers. But after about a year and a half, it went out of business because of a large number of warranty claims for water-absorbing covers.
There is simply no way to improve a “quality” cover that is made today, in a cost effective manner. Would you be willing to pay three times as much for a warranty that will last twice as long? Good quality coverage should last 5 to 8 years. Poor quality coverage should last 2 to 3 years.