How To Buy And Care For A Hot Tub Cover

How_to_Buy_and_Care_for_a_Hot_Tub_Cover

With a plethora of options available for hot tub owners, finding and buying the perfect hot tub covers that will meet their needs and budget can be quite overwhelming. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry because we have here a quick guide to help you out. We also threw in some hot tub and spa cover maintenance tips to help you get the best out of this investment and keep it from becoming an unnecessary recurring expense.

How to Buy a Hot Tub Cover

There are quite a few factors that need to be considered when it comes to choosing a cover for your hot tub or your spa. The ones listed below are by no means complete, but they should be enough to get you started on your quest for finding the best hot tub cover for you.

Shape and Size

When choosing a hot tub cover, one of the first things you need to consider is the shape and the size of your hot tub. Obviously, you’ll want a cover that will fit your hot tub perfectly; otherwise, the cover won’t be able to fully protect your hot tub. Also, when taking the measurements, be sure to factor in the different add-ons and accessories installed in your hot tub.

If you have an old hot tub cover, you may be tempted to just follow its measurements. This isn’t generally recommended since it may have shrunk or loosened up after all those years of using it. That said, it is still best to take the measurements directly out of the hot tub.

Thickness and Density

Hot tub covers are filled with closed-cell foam which comes in various degrees of thickness and density. If you want a sturdy and durable hot tub cover, you’ll want to get a hot tub made with high-quality foam and has a thickness that ranges from 3 to 6 inches. In most cases, this should be thick enough to hold a significant amount of snow and your dog’s weight should he or she decide to take a nap on top of your hot tub cover.

When it comes to density (which is usually between 1lb. and 2lbs.), the choice will generally depend on several factors. However, you should always remember that the denser the foam is, the higher the R-Value of the spa cover. This means that it will have better-insulating properties than one with a lower R-Value.

This is an important consideration because a less insulating hot tub cover is less energy-efficient during the colder months of the year. This can overwork your hot tub heater, exposing it to potential damage and an increase in your electricity bills. If you live in an area with warmer temperatures a hot tub cover with a density of 1-1.5 lbs. will do. Alternatively, if you live in colder places where the temperature can drop significantly, then you’ll want a denser hot tub cover. There are also specially designed hot tub covers that have better insulation properties, which are worth the investment if you live in places with really cold temperatures and want to reduce your hot tub electricity consumption.

Hot Tub Cover Skin

The skin or fabric of hot tub covers is generally made from high-quality marine-grade vinyl which is resistant to humidity and moisture. However, you’ll want to look beyond these and consider other factors that may affect your hot tub cover.

For instance, experts would recommend that you choose a vinyl that has UV inhibitors to protect your hot tub cover from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun. You should also choose a vinyl skin that has been coated with mold and mildew inhibitors for obvious reasons. Lastly, you’ll want to choose a vinyl skin whose color complements your hot tub and fits nicely with your backyard design or outdoor furniture. Some manufacturers may only have limited color options, but others can offer you plenty of color choices if you look hard enough.

Cover Lifter

When choosing a hot tub cover, you’ll want to make sure that it fits and works well with your existing cover lifter. Thick and high-density hot tub covers can be rather heavy and difficult to move. They may even lead to injuries for hot tub owners who are suffering from back injuries.

If you don’t have a cover lifter, you should seriously consider getting one now. These lifters are automatic, making opening and closing your hot tub cover much easier with a simple press of a button.

Hot Tub Cover Reinforcements

Hot tub cover reinforcements are generally not required. Still, you should consider getting hot tub covers with reinforcements especially in the high-stress areas of the cover. Some hot tub covers are reinforced with steel, and although they are the strongest type of reinforcement available, they can also add a significant amount of weight to your hot cover. However, if you have a cover lifter, this shouldn’t really be a problem.

Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier refers to the plastic wrapping around the foam cores. Even though the foam used in hot tub covers are resistant to water, this plastic barrier provides the foam with additional protection against moisture. There are several types of plastic used as vapor barriers, but in general, the clear blue transparent plastic is of better quality than the cheap black ones. That said, consider going for the former instead of the latter when looking at the vapor barrier for your hot tub cover.

Hot Tub Cover Locks

Hot tub covers can be fitted with lock straps which may be necessary if you have kids around the house. These lock straps hold the hot tub cover in place and keep children from opening the cover and accidentally falling into the hot tub. Talk to your hot tub cover maker or manufacturer to know which type and how many lock straps are best for your hot tub.

How to Take Care of Your Hot Tub Cover

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Hot tub covers are exposed to various elements all year round, and this exposure will eventually affect your cover’s integrity. That said, proper maintenance will be necessary so that you can prolong your hot tub cover’s service life and get the most out of your investment.

Use a Cover cap

Cover caps are basically a ‘cover’ for your hot tub cover. These caps act like a tarp that protects your hot tub cover from the elements, particularly from rain and snow. Made from tough and durable woven polyethylene, cover caps can help limit the damages on your hot tub cover caused by condensation, fluctuating freezing and thawing conditions, and others.

Clean Your Hot Tub Cover Regularly

Although made from sturdy marine-grade vinyl, you’ll still want to be careful when cleaning your hot tub cover. This means avoiding the use of harsh detergents, alcohol-based products, and strong acids like bleach. You’ll also want to avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners when wiping or brushing your hot tub covers as these items will strip the clear top coating of vinyl and cause it to fade, crack, deteriorate and eventually require replacement. Some manufacturers will recommend using a cleaning agent that is specifically designed for hot tub covers, and it will be in your best interest to follow their advice.

Apply a Conditioner

Aside from regular cleaning, you should also apply some conditioner to your hot tub cover to protect it from the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can inflict some serious damage on your hot tub cover, causing its colors to fade or drying up the fabric until it becomes dry and brittle. How often you should apply a conditioner on your hot tub cover will vary depending on the product, but generally applying a conditioner should be done at least 3 to 4 times annually.

Avoid Tree Saps

When you had your hot tub installed, you probably spent a significant amount of time determining the best place where to put your hot tub in your backyard. If you talked to an expert then, you may have been advised against putting it next to or under a tree. If you followed this advice, then you can skip this part and move on to the next tip; otherwise, you should definitely continue reading to know why.

Trees like pine, maple, birch, and others are prone to drop sap that sticks to any surface it touches and forms an unsightly, sticky, hard-crusted blob that’s difficult to remove from whatever surface the sap has touched, including your hot tub cover. It is possible to remove dried-up tree saps on hot tub covers, though they will require a considerable amount of time, effort, and patience. That is why you’ll want to place your hot tub and hot tub cover away from trees as much as possible.

Preventing Mold and Mildew

Since hot tubs are generally warm and moist, one can expect hot tub covers to be susceptible to mold and mildew growth. But is that possible considering that there is nothing organic in the hot tub cover for these organisms to grow on? Well, yes it is, and two reasons for this are improper chemical levels on the hot tub water and not airing the hot tub cover enough.

Hot tub specialists will generally recommend that you open your cover at least twice a week. This should be enough time to let the cover dry out and ‘breathe’. Also, keeping a properly balanced hot tub water ensures that enough chemicals are going around to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

If you see any mold or mildew on your hot tub cover, you can clean them using any regular hot tub cover cleaner and a rag or sponge. However, if the infestation is too severe, you’ll to unzip the cover and clean inside the vinyl fabric and the foam core.

Also, although most high-quality hot tub covers are already pre-treated with an anti-mold agent, you should still apply a protectant to provide your cover with additional protection. Treating the area with a protectant will coat the surface and help prevent these organisms from growing back.

Winter Cover Maintenance

Falling snow can easily pile up on top of your hot tub cover during the winter months. Although high-quality hot tub covers with reinforcements can handle a heavy load of snow, you should still clear them up to prevent any weight-related damage.

When clearing the snow from your hot tub cover, you should use a broom or a brush. Never use a shovel to remove the snow from your hot tub cover since this could lead to a rip or a tear in the cover.

Thermal bubble blanket

We talked a lot about protecting the upper portion of your hot tub cover, the one that’s exposed to all the elements. But what about underneath it? One suggestion to protect the underside of your hot tub cover is to use a thermal blanket. These floating blankets do not only protect your hot tub cover from moisture rising from the water inside the hot tub, but it also helps to reduce your hot tub’s energy consumption.

Protection from Chemicals

Hot tub chemicals can also cause damage to your hot tub cover. Over-chlorination or bromination, excessive ozone contact, or imbalanced water chemistry in your hot tub can all have an adverse effect, especially on the hot tub cover’s fabric or skin.

When you add hot tub chemicals or shock your hot tub, you should leave the cover open for at least half an hour to allow the chemicals to oxidize, circulate and prevent odor build upon the underside of the cover.

Globo Surf Overview

Hot tub covers are essential as they help maintain bot tub heat, keep out dirt and debris, and provide a layer of safety by preventing children from accidentally falling into a hot tub. And it doesn’t matter if you have a new or used hot tub – a hot tub or spa cover is necessary to protect it and improve its lifespan. Buying a new hot tub cover can be quite expensive, but the savings that come from a new hot tub cover is definitely well worth the price.

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Sources

  1. Hot tub & Spa Cover Buying Guide, eBay
  2. Top Ten Spa Cover Care Tips, Hot Tub Works
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!