Have you ever thanked your hot tub cover for all the hard work it does? A spa cover doesn’t have the same appeal as massage jets or mood lighting, yet it’s just as essential. It has the important job of protecting your acrylic shell from UV damage, trapping in heat, and preventing moisture from escaping. Your hot tub cover will work hard for around 6-8 years before it needs to be replaced. It’s unlikely to have a dramatic failure, but here are five signs that it’s time to replace your hot tub cover.
This issue is the most obvious – your cover literally won’t fit anymore. Called “cupping,” the cover can warp to the point where it no longer seals. This will be especially noticeable at the corners and along the middle seam– like a plastic container lid that just won’t snap in place. Without a proper fit, heat and water evaporation will be free to escape.
Sagging occurs when the vinyl fabric becomes stretched. This commonly happens when snowfall, ice, debris, or rainwater is allowed to pool in the center. All that excess weight distorts the fabric. Another clue is if your stitching is starting to come loose.
Your cover vinyl has a big task withstanding all four seasons of Iowa weather. Over time, the fluctuations of extreme heat and cold, rain and snow, and even harsh sunlight will degrade the cover. This can cause the vinyl to become cracked, ripped, punctured, or discolored. It’s the same issue you see in cars with vinyl seats.
This wear-and-tear not only looks unattractive, but it’s a sign that deterioration has started. Any weak points in the vinyl will likely turn into a rip – penetrations that make your hot tub consume more energy just to stay nice and toasty.
Holes and cracks are also an indication that your inner insulation is getting waterlogged. If your cover is getting heavier and heavier to move, it’s not because you need to hit the gym! Instead, you have an insulation issue.
This inner material is made from foam. It’s wrapped in a plastic liner that acts as a vapor barrier. It works like the lid on a pot, collecting condensation so it falls back into the hot tub. But when that protection fails, the foam starts absorbing water. Imagine if the insulation in your home walls was always soaked with water – it wouldn’t have the ability to retain heat.
Odor is another sign your cover insulation has been compromised. All that trapped moisture can start harboring mold and bacteria. That’s the last thing you want hovering over your hot tub water. Unfortunately, there’s not an effective way to get airflow into this dense material to dry it out or spray cleaner to kill germs.
5) Broken Parts
Even though a hot tub cover is simple to operate, it still has a number of parts that can malfunction over time. Everything from the hinges, handles, and snaps to tie-down straps and safety locks can all break. Sometimes it happens from a high gust of wind or a bad storm. Occasionally parts fail because of user abuse or error (we know, accidents happen …). Some of these individual components can be replaced, but if a number of them are broken, it’s easier to get a new cover.