Your Hot Tub Cover or Swim Spa Cover not only keeps debris, animals and unsupervised children out of your spa, it is also an integral part of your heat retention system. Take good care of your hot tub cover and if will pay off in the end. You can prevent cracking, fading, sagging and water absorption by following some simple steps listed below.
How to Keep your Spa Cover in good condition:
1 – Get protection! If you’re lucky enough to live in a sunny location, a quality UVA/UVB vinyl protectant is mandatory. Apply as directed – 3 to 4 times a year. DO NOT use ‘Armor All’ brand protector as it contains petroleum distillates and damages vinyl long-term. A quality saddle soap or marine application protector is good for the vinyl.
2 – Clean your Hot Tub Cover at least 3 times a year. There are several cleaners for marine grade vinyl on the market, but we like to use more muscle than chemicals ourselves and often just pull out regular dish soap and a scrub brush and use a circular motion, with extra attention on stains, to get the job done, then rinse and rinse and rinse so there is no residue of soap on the hot tub cover before replacing it on your spa. If you use soap, be very sure that there are absolutely no holes in the cover in which the soap can seep into. We sometimes use vinegar to clean our hot tub covers, if they don’t look like they require hot soapy water, or rinse with vinegar, then water, because you do not want soap in your spa water at all, as it clouds the water very easily, which then often makes a water change necessary. (This clouding is also why it is so important that hot tub users make sure that there is absolutely no residual laundry detergent in there swimsuits).
3 – If you use Bromine, keep the levels to a MINIMUM, as the gas trapped under the cover will “orange peel” the underside and make it brittle.
4 – When you shock weekly, it’s very important to leave your cover open/off for a jet run cycle (15-20 min.) so expelled gases can escape. This protects the underside of your cover, as well as clears your water for clarity.
5 – Inspect cover for cuts/pokes through vinyl, breaching the inner plastic vapor barrier. This plastic bag envelopes the foam core, keeping it dry. As soon as a small hole is made, the foam cores are so dry, they will wick in moisture slowly and get heavier and heavier, causing extended wear and tear to your cover. Repair the plastic liner with something like good quality clear postal mailing tape. Repair cuts/holes in the vinyl with a good quality vinyl repair kit. Most cuts can be glued from the back side by adding a small scrap over cut and putting tape on front side, pulling it back into shape. A good vinyl glue (VPL) can be found at most auto parts stores. You can also use a seam sealer for extra protection.
6 – Remove your foam cores (they all zipper out at the hinge) and flip them over and put them back in to reverse the ‘sag‘. This should be done once a year, or twice a year if your tub is 7′ or bigger.