Why Hot Tub Covers Get Saturated

Every traditional foam filled hot tub cover gets heavy and saturated. However the how and why might come as a surprise. It really has nothing to do with rain thus it doesn’t matter how steep the taper is, that cover will still get heavy. If it had been rain which has been making hot tub covers heavy then putting a roof over the spa would stop the cover from getting heavy.
Moisture getting trapped in the foam is precisely what eventually makes a hot tub cover too heavy to lift. However if it’s not the rain, how does the water get in there? The answer is steam beginning with the warm spa water. When water becomes steam it’s a much smaller molecule compared to a drop of water.
Steam will get into a smaller area, like say the spaces within the foam. Once it cools back down and turns into water again, it’s trapped stuck inside the foam. Once trapped in the foam the water won’t drain out so a drain hole won’t help. The only way the water could get back out of the foam would be to evaporate. In order to evaporate, the spa cover has got to be removed from the source of steam (the hot tub) and placed inside a dry, well ventilated area.
The trouble does not have anything to do with how well the cover is treated or how much vinyl protector is rubbed on it. The problem is the foam itself. The sort of foam employed in hot tub covers requires be used as insulation in DRY conditions. In particular it works well in floors, ceilings and walls (provided it can be remains dry) and it is an excellent option for refrigeration applications.
However if the very same foam is exposed to steam, the insulation it could offer is rapidly reduced to something similar to wet plywood.

Then why is foam still being utilized in hot tub covers? It’s cheap and it’s the industry standard. Though perhaps only because everybody is doing it doesn’t ensure it is the right idea.
A hundred years ago the quality method of travel was the horse. The horse had been the standard for years and years. Until anything better was developed.
A more informed idea as far as spa covers go would be the one which eliminates the foam, still insulates but stays light weight and simple to work with.
Thirty years ago, (yes really, thirty years ago) that is how the SpaCap was created. A single woman with back trouble, needed to be able to use her spa every day for therapy. She had to be able to get her cover on and off by herself without further injuring her back.
The Spa Cover she eventually came up with was light weight, very easy to use and insulated as well as a foam filled hot tub cover. Even though it has gone through many improvements through the years, the main concept and principle continues to be the very same. SpaCap.com builds custom hot tub covers for all varieties of spas including Swim Spas.
Don’t go out and purchase another foam filled hot tub cover just because that’s what your neighbors do. Visit SpaCap.com and get a hot tub cover that won’t become saturated and heavy or break and is going to make it easy for you to use your spa for years to come!

It’s Time To Replace The Hot Tub Cover

Hot Tub Covers are indispensable, to be able to keep your water warm inside of the hot tub. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Despite what your spa dealer could possibly have promised, there shall come a time when you will need a replacement hot tub cover.
What are the signs when your hot tub cover has given up the ghost? There are obvious signs, and those that won’t be so obvious indicators. Here’s 5 indicators of spa cover distress to look for.
Saggy Cover
If your foam filled hot tub cover collects water on top, you’ll need a new spa cover. This is an indication that whatever was intended regarding the reinforcement of the foam boards is being bent or broken. You will find typically a C-channel that runs along both halves of the spa cover, where they meet in order to support each side across the middle by the hinge. Some cover manufacturers may use materials like aluminum or thin steel at this point which will bend under weight (dogs, kids, snow), or (more typically) from the weight of the cover itself.
If this is the case, attempting to milk more time out of the cover is just going to set you back more as time passes by since whatever insulation value it may have had is gone at this point. Delaying the inevitable will simply cost you more in heating bills. But more importantly coming from a usage viewpoint, you are likely unlikely to care to mess with your cover when it has water on top of it. Ultimately, you’re using your hot tub less which is a sin. Which would make you a sinner.
Something to think about here. It doesn’t matter what your hot tub dealer has to say about it, if he only wants to sell you another foam filled cover, it is 100% positively going to end up just like the one you have to replace now.
It won’t matter if it is shrink wrapped in Kevlar and reinforced with titanium, if it has foam within it, it is doomed to fail.
Puddle Cover
Water is heavy, at 8 lbs per gallon, it accumulates quickly. Another case of broken reinforcement channel. Probably started out with a small crimp in the channel, which began to puddle some water, which allowed for more water … until it looks a new spa cover is in order.
Much like Saggy Cover, this is because of using foam panels as a cover for a hot tub. Foam panels will soak up moisture from the steam rising from the spa water. Nothing could prevent it except not using foam inside the cover!
The spa dealer may suggest to attempt to flip the panels over contained in the cover to add to the life. Except the zippers and the vinyl material weren’t made heavy duty enough to be opened and shut following the initial stuffing of the foam.
As soon as the cover begins a gradual puddle, it can never be reversed. It is time to order a replacement hot tub cover. Same as we already discussed above, putting it off means you will be utilizing the hot tub less (a sin) and wasting money on the heating bill.
Water Logged Spa Cover
This is a spa cover that weighs about 3x what it did when it was new. They can get so heavy that they become hazardous to use short of the aid of a Seal Team. They often also damage spa cover lifters if they get too heavy. This is because the cover lifter is not made to handle the weight of a saturated cover. Bet the dealer didn’t mention that when he sold it to you.
happens when the foam core is taking on water – and, is not draining. This does not signify that rain water has somehow gotten into your cover, or snow or various other outside source. It happens when steam rises from the warm spa water then since it’s a very small molecule, gets right into the foam. Once it gets up in the foam it cools and turns back into water, and becomes trapped because the water molecule is too big to fall out.
The best way to prevent it would be to never use a foam filled cover on your hot tub. Despite what the manufacturer claims to wrap it in or the way they package it, the foam will eventually become saturated. Period.
It is time to get a new replacement hot tub cover. Again, putting it off now is just will cost you more in heating bills and unless you have a Seal Team living with you, you aren’t going to be enjoying your spa regularly. (still a sin)
If you’d like to be clever, you can take the cover off the spa and store it in your garage for a few months. If your cover is away from the moisture and stored in a dry place, eventually the moisture within the cover will evaporate (back to a smaller molecule) and of course the foam will become light again. It will take months for it to dry completely so you must have another replacement cover so you can continue to use the spa during the time you wait. Note:The cover may still warp wildly out of shape while it dries.
If you choose to rotate your covers every three months, you might be able to make them last to the point that the materials finally come apart. See Below.
Torn & Worn Spa Cover
Whenever the fabric (marine grade vinyl on the standard foam filled spa covers) suffers from its limit of sun and weather, it becomes brittle and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, holes and tears occur that will .
Due to the fact that ALL Vinyls, even the most expensive Marine Grade, are rated by HOURS outdoors.
Using a spa cover protectant is just yet another way for cover dealers to take your money. If you want to spend every week rubbing down your hot tub cover with conditioner, go ahead but the smart thing to do would be to purchase a cover that does not have VINYL on the exterior.
Still, providing the cover isn’t heavy yet, you might to delay getting a another one immediately providing you don’t mind looking like the king of Duct Tape. If you require a few suggestions, explore some episodes of the “Red Green Show.” Red covers the finer points of Duct Tape.
Smelly Spa Cover
Musty, mildew, old wet dog – whatever your spa cover smells like, if it’s a bad odor, that probably implies that you have bacteria forming inside the hot tub cover. It probably also means the hot tub cover is water logging (see above).
Now we have crossed over from inconvenient to unhealthy.
What are you breathing in when this is what you smell?
Completely dismantling the cover, and spraying it down with Lysol won’t help! Since the source of the smell, AKA the mold and mildew are inside the foam! At most you re probably able to kill what’s on the surface of the vinyl or foam but you won’t be able to touch what’s inside the foam. Plus now your cover smells like Lysol, nothing kills the mood faster than inhaling something that reminds you of how the school janitor cleaned up vomit.

The basis of the problem? That high quality foam employed in traditional Hot Tub Covers. No matter how much a dealer may strive to sell how it is amazingly resistant to water absorption and bacteria formation, it without a doubt will still happen and they know it.
When you’re ready for a new spa cover, be sure that it’s not made with a foam core.

5 reasons that you’ll need a new spa cover – in case you were curious about your own hot tub cover making it another year. Don’t wait. It’s your basic instinct saying something important – hot tub season is coming! Make ready now!

Hot Tub Covers and the R-Value

The Myth of R-Value and traditional foam filled Hot Tub Covers.

R-value is a form of measurement of the ability to resist heat transfer for materials like the fiberglass insulation in your house or maybe the insulating foam in hot tub covers. The intent is that, the greater the R-value, the better the heat storage and, heat retention would be the primary job of any hot tub cover.

Most industries using R-values are regulated by FTC standards. Commercially sold insulation must pass independent tests created by American Standards and Testing Methods (ASTM) so as to be advertised or marked using their R-Value.

The Misled Masses: As there is no FTC recognized independent test for spa covers, So ANY stated R-value stated by a spa cover dealer is in reality an unregulated, unmonitored “interpretation” of a given insulation value. It is open to misrepresentation and abuse, from adding the R-value of an air space between the water and the bottom of the cover, spacing between the vinyl and the cover insulation, or simply blatantly inflating the fictitious number. Some hot tub dealers state exclusively the known R-value of the insulation itself, but of course that doesn’t mean that it was tested and endorsed to use in hot tub cover applications.

The R-value of the actual foam insulation, no matter the density, is ONLY rated for use in DRY building applications! Which signifies the fact that the R rating of the foam is only applicable should it happen to be applied in a wall, attic or floor. Because should it were to be used in a moist environment, that type of insulation would fail quickly.

R-value

Foam Density and Foam Thickness.

These two factors that spa cover dealers claim affect the R-value of a spa cover, when in fact that R rating itself has nothing to do with the foam when it is used in a hot tub cover. Actually, it is as misleading as the idea that a taper on the cover will really keep it from getting heavy.

True, the foam density and thickness would have a bearing on the insulation properties In the event the Usage of the foam were in compliance with the designed use of a completely DRY environment.

Regardless if the dealer claims his spa covers are made with the most costly spa cover foam (rigid cellular polystyrene thermal insulation) available, resists breakage, vapor absorption and chemical damage more than all the others they’ve tested. The truth is, R factor is NOT something they test, and RESISTING breakage and saturation are not the same as AVOIDING it altogether.

When looking for and comparing spa covers, ALL claims associated with R-value of a cover that has foam are totally unsubstantiated. Foam Density and Foam Thickness do not have any ADDED R VALUE, since the foam is not designed to be applied over a wet environment. Most spa cover dealers repeat exactly the same numbers and consequently hot tub owners have been trained to believe the lie. Some dealers employ some fancy charts to substantiate their claims, however the main point is those claims cannot be in accordance to the ASTM.

Myth Busted!

R-value testing of materials is completed at room temperature, and doesn’t take into account moisture and vapor. In the spa environment, there is hot water and good amounts of steamy moisture. Each of which will dramatically reduce the R-value of any foam. A spa at 105 degrees will defeat the R-value of any foam tested to use in a dry application.

Don’t allow the R-value of foam be considered the measurement for spa cover quality. Instead search for a spa cover with NO FOAM. A hot tub covers that use air filled chambers as an alternative for rigid foam boards will out preform any other, in any test or real hot tub application. (Hello, SpaCap)

 

Don’t be fooled by claims of high density and weight, vacuum wrapped in sheets of heat welded polyethylene, sealed in heavy gauge marine grade vinyl, with chemical resistant scrim and stitching. It won’t insulate as well. It will definitely still become saturated, warped or broken. It truly was obsolete thirty years ago.

Choosing the Best Hot Tub Cover

Your hot tub cover will protect your water from debris, animals, and some airborne bacteria, while also trapping the heat inside and saving you money. Naturally you want to get the most cover for your money. You want a cover that will do the job and last a long time. The following are a few tips for picking out your hot tub cover.

The Fit

Make sure it fits. Your hot tub cover should fit snugly over all sides of the hot tub, and should rest very close to or on the surface of the water. If the sides are loose, then animals could crawl in to get to the warmth or the hot water will evaporate and escape.

If it is too high off the surface of the water, hot water will evaporate, cling to the underside of the cover, then cool and drop back down into the water, lowering its overall temperature. Not to mention that the evaporation and condensation cycle would tend to release or use up the spa chemicals.

Ideally, the bottom of the cover would be on the water surface since that is what we want to keep warm.

Because we have been in this hot tub cover business a while, we have seen every manner of ill fitting, broken, taped, tarp covered, and otherwise “beyond it’s normal life span” attempt to put off getting a replacement cover.

Heavy Hot Tub Covers keep people out of the spa
If your cover looks like this you’re probably not using the hot tub today

This not only looks terrible but it costs you money because all of these efforts don’t really help. If you’re going to drain your spa and get rid of it, fine. But if you intend to keep using it, investing in the right cover is going to help.

The Insulation

Make sure it traps heat efficiently. As we stated before, a hot tub cover that sits up on the edge of the spa, several inches off the water surface, will trap evaporating water and cause it to condense and cool, then fall back into the spa lowering the temperature of the water.

What also occurs is the foam inside a traditional cover absorbs steam because it is a small molecule than water, then the water vapor condenses and becomes trapped in the foam material over time. Once the spaces in the foam have been filled with moisture whatever insulation value it did have is gone. A water logged cover has the same insulation value as a sheet of plywood.

Hot ub Cover held down with sand bags
If this is how you keep your hot tub cover in place you need a new cover!

The moisture also causes the cover to slowly become heavy until it either can’t be lifted or breaks under its own weight.

It gets worse. One of the other adverse effects of the saturated cover sitting way off the water surface, the cover will freeze when the outdoor temperature is below freezing. Because the outside of the cover is actually in contact with the freezing temperature outside and not in contact with the spa water it becomes a solid block of ice.

From the outside it may appear to be doing a great job insulating because snow will pile up on top of the cover. That’s because snow doesn’t mind sitting on ice. Unfortunately, your spa is working harder than ever trying to keep the spa water heated underneath that frozen cover.

To avoid the spa cover from becoming a solid block of ice over your hot tub in winter, you need to get one that does not sit up on the top of the edge of the spa, several inches off the water surface. You need a cover that won’t soak up moisture and freeze. A cover that will insulate the water at the water surface, like the SpaCap.

SpaCap hot tub cover in winter conditions
SpaCap on duty in winter

Weather Proof

Make sure it’s weather proof. If your hot tub is stored outside and not under shelter, then the cover must be durable enough to withstand rain, wind, snow, and potentially hail or winter precipitation. The cover must also prevent rainwater and wind from getting into the hot tub and cooling down the water.

So you need to have a cover that can keep the rain and debris running off, with a taper or better yet a dome shape

The tapered cover, is usually sold with the idea that it will keep the rain running off and because of that it won’t get heavy. If that were true, no tapered foam filled hot tub cover would ever get heavy. But it isn’t true because the do get heavy.

Every tapered, foam filled cover ever sold will get heavy because the moisture doesn’t come from outside the hot tub. In fact the only way to insure that a foam filled hot tub cover won’t get heavy is to never use it. If you never put it over hot water where steam can infiltrate into the foam it will never get heavy.

So if no foam filled hot tub cover ever made can keep from soaking up moisture once it’s in place over warm water, the solution is NOT to buy another foam filled spa cover, but to get one that does not use foam panels. The SpaCap are the only hot tub covers that won’t saturate.

Let’s talk for a minute about spa cover lifters because a lot of hot tub owners have fallen for the idea that a lifter will be the solution to a heavy cover. But it is not, because every lifter ever made is designed to work with a light weight cover.

Think about it. You still have to flop half the cover over the bar before the lifter is used. In most cases, that first lift is the one that is beyond hot tub owners. But if you did manage to open it halfway and then push the lifter hard enough to move a heavy cover, something has to give.

Either the spa cover will rip itself apart because it can’t hold it’s own weight or the lifter will rip itself off the hot tub cabinet. So a “lifter” is NOT the answer to a cover you can’t lift.

The only hot tub cover that won’t become saturated is the one with no foam. You need a spa cover that uses air chambers to do the insulating instead. The SpaCap.

If your spa cover is trying to make a bridge over the spa, then a heavy wet snow load will crush it. If the bottom of your spa cover rests on the water, it can transfer the weight of the snow and handle almost any snow load. In thirty years of building the SpaCap hot tub covers, and selling them in mountain retreats all over the world, not one has ever been crushed by snow.

If your spa cover has a rigid surface, the wind can eventually lift it off the spa and take it to parts unknown.

The physics of this are fairly simple, wind hits the side of the spa and then goes up and over. As the wind sweeps over the top of the spa it creates a vacuum above the rigid foam cover until it lifts it off the hot tub. Once it does the following wind pushes into the space below the cover and the water surface. As the air rushes in it compresses in the space until it pops the rigid cover up. At that point, lift off has occurred and the hot tub cover has become a wing.

Depending on the strength of the wind the cover can fly for miles.

The reason is that the rigid cover presents a surface that the wind can lift making it a wing.

This is where the natural dome shape of the SpaCap makes all the difference. There is no rigid surface for the wind to create lift. The natural dome shape just redirects the winds harmlessly away. Even Hurricane force winds won’t budge it.

In the past thirty years, hundreds of SpaCap hot tub covers have been sold in Tornado Alley and in areas that get hurricanes. Not ONE SpaCap has EVER flown away. They are the only truly Wind Proof Hot Tub Covers.

Pet Safe

Make sure it’s animal proof. Pets and wild animals are sometimes drawn to hot tubs by their heat, and some very small animals will even try to make their homes inside of a thick hot tub cover. Other animals crawl underneath the cover seeking warmth and end up falling in the water and drowning. Make sure the cover doesn’t allow any space for animals to go underneath it, and make sure it is made of material that animals can’t chew through to make their home.

Let’s face it, no cover is perfectly animal proof. But the SpaCap can handle more animal problems than any foam cover ever could. We used to say that no animal has ever damaged one. But in the last thirty years there have been some persistent creatures. There was a bear in Whistler BC that decided he wanted to take a dip in the spa. There was a raccoon in Bellevue WA that tore one up so he could wash his food. In both cases no traditional foam filled cover would have been able to do better.

All total, far more animals have damaged foam filled spa covers than the SpaCap.

More information about hot tub covers is available at SpaCap.

Hot Tub Covers and When To Replace Them

Hot tub covers are imperative, if you want to keep that water warm inside the hot tub. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Despite what your spa dealer could possibly have promised, there shall come a season that you are going to be in need of a replacement hot tub cover.

What are the indications when your hot tub cover has given up the ghost? There may be obvious signs, as well as some that are not so obvious indicators. Here are 5 signs of hot tub cover distress to take into consideration.

Saggy CoverBroken Hot Tub Covers

If your foam filled hot tub cover collects water on the surface, you’ll need a new spa cover. This signifies that whatever was provided in terms of the reinforcement of the foam boards is now bent or broken. You’ll find typically a C-channel that runs along both halves of the spa cover, where they meet at the hinge. Some cover manufacturers will use materials like aluminum or thin steel at this point, which will bend under weight (dogs, kids, snow), or (more typically) due to the weight of the cover itself.

If this is the case, attempting to milk a longer time from the cover is just going to end up costing you more going forward since whatever insulation value it might possibly have possessed is gone at this stage. Delaying the inevitable will simply cost you more in your energy bills. But more importantly considering a usage point of view, you are likely unlikely to wish to mess with your cover when it has water on top of it. Ultimately, you’re using your hot tub less, which is certainly a sin. Do not be a sinner.

Something to think about here. No matter what your hot tub dealer has to say about it, if he only wants to sell you another foam filled cover, it is 100% absolutely going to turn out to be just like the one you have to replace now.

It won’t matter whether it is shrink wrapped in Kevlar and reinforced with titanium, if it has foam inside, it is doomed to fail.

Puddle CoverSaggy Hot Tub Covers

Water is heavy, at 8 lbs. per gallon, it can add up quickly. Another case of broken reinforcement channel. Probably started out with a small crimp in the channel, which commenced to puddle some water, and a lot more water – and now it appears like a new hot tub cover is in order.

Just like Saggy Cover, this is due to using foam panels above a hot tub. Foam panels will saturate from the steam coming off the spa water. Not one thing will prevent it other than not using foam within your cover!

The spa dealer may suggest you to attempt to flip the panels over inside the cover to add to its useful life. Except the zippers as well as the vinyl material weren’t made to be opened and shut beyond the initial stuffing of the foam.

Once a cover begins a gradual puddle, it may never be reversed. It’s time to order a replacement hot tub cover. As we said above, putting it off means you’ll be making use of the hot tub less (a sin) and wasting money on the heating bill.

Water Logged Hot Tub Covers

This may be a hot tub cover that weighs about 3x what it did when it was new. They often get so heavy that they become next to impossible to use short of the aid of a Seal Team. They can also damage spa cover lifters once they get too heavy. That’s because the cover lifter is not made to handle a heavy cover. Bet the dealer didn’t mention that when he sold it to you.

When the foam core is taking on water – and, is not draining. This does not signify that rain water has somehow gotten into your cover, or snow or another outside source. It happens when steam rises from the warm spa water then since it’s a very small molecule, gets right into the foam. Once it gets inside of the foam it cools and turns back into water, and becomes trapped because of the fact that the water molecule is too big to drop out.

The best way to prevent it would be to never use a foam filled cover on the hot tub. Despite what the manufacturer claims to wrap it in or the way they package it, the foam will eventually become saturated. Period.

It is time for a new replacement hot tub cover. Again, putting it off at this point is just going to cost you more in your energy consumption and unless you have a Seal Team living with you, you aren’t going to be using your spa very often. (Still a sin)

If you want to be clever, you can take the cover from your spa and store it in your garage for several months. As soon as the cover is away from the moisture and being stored inside a dry place, eventually the moisture within the cover will evaporate (back to a smaller molecule) and of course the foam will become light again. It takes months for it to dry completely in which case you must have another replacement cover for your spa while you wait. Note: The cover may still warp wildly out of shape while it dries.

If you choose to rotate your covers every three months, you may be capable of making them last until the materials begin to come apart. See Below.

Torn Hot Tub Covers

torn-spa-cover

Whenever the fabric (marine grade vinyl on the standard foam filled hot tub covers) is exposed to its limit of sun and weather, it becomes brittle and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, holes and tears happen that will.

Because ALL Vinyl, even the most costly Marine Grade, are rated by HOURS outdoors.

Using a spa cover protectant is just another way for cover dealers to take your money. If you would like to spend on weekly basis rubbing down your hot tub cover with conditioner, be our guest but the smart thing to do would be to buy the cover that does not have VINYL on the outside. Like say the SpaCap hot tub covers that use Sunbrella Marine fabric, which is rated by YEARS outdoors.

Still, if the cover isn’t heavy yet, you might to postpone acquiring another right away providing you don’t mind the look of Duct Tape. If you would like a few suggestions, check out some episodes of the “Red Green Show.” Red covers the finer points of Duct Tape.

Smelly Hot Tub Covers

Musty, mildew, old wet dog – whatever your hot tub cover smells like, if it’s a bad odor, that probably implies that you now have bacteria forming inside the hot tub cover. It probably also means the cover is water logging (see above).

Now we have crossed over from inconvenient to unhealthy.

What are you inhaling when this is what you smell?

Completely dismantling of the cover, and spraying it down with Lysol won’t help! Since the source of the smell, AKA the mold and mildew are stuck inside the foam! The best you might be able to accomplish would be to kill what’s on the outside of the vinyl or foam even so you are not going to touch what’s inside the foam. Plus now your cover smells like Lysol, nothing kills the mood faster than inhaling something that reminds you of how the school janitor cleaned up vomit.

The origin of the problem? That high quality foam employed in traditional hot tub covers. Despite how much a dealer may attempt to sell how it is extremely resistant to water absorption and bacteria formation, it will still happen and they understand it.

When you happen to be ready for a brand new spa cover, make sure that it’s not made using a foam core.

If you were curious about your hot tub cover making it another year, don’t wait. It’s your basic instinct telling you something important – hot tub season is coming! Get ready now!

UglyHotTubCover

Hot Tub Covers and Hail Damage

We get a lot of inquiries from spa owners that are replacing their Hot Tub Covers due to hail damage. Traditional rigid foam covers get hammered by hail because they don’t absorb impact very well. As people who live in areas of heavy hail storms know, anything rigid is going to take a pounding.

The solution to this would be something that is able to give or absorb impacts. In Hollywood when a stunt man falls from a great height, he wants to land on something that will absorb his impact like an air bag. The air bags the stunt man lands on are designed made from the same materials as the SpaCap.

Now the stunt air bag is designed to open and release air when it “catches” the stunt person so please don’t use your SpaCap this way. However if your house is on fire and you have to jump out of the window to save your life aiming for the SpaCap would probably save your life.

However you are a little bigger than the typical hail stone and the damage from you jumping on Hot Tub Covers would not be covered by the warranty. But no matter how fierce the storm or the hail stone the SpaCap will give or catch it without damage. We have tested it by driving golf balls into it, dropping bowling balls on them and just having them in use around the country in areas that get severe hail storms.

We do a brisk business replacing foam filled covers crushed after a storm but so far not even one of the SpaCap hot tub covers have ever been damaged by hail.

Hot Tub Covers and Sun Damage

Hot Tub Covers vs SunIf you own a hot tub in Texas, Arizona or at altitude in the Rockies you know what sun exposure can do to vinyl hot tub covers.

The reason is all vinyls are rated by hours outdoors. Normally 1500 hrs outdoors is pretty standard which amounts to about 100 days if you only count daylight hours. Makes it seem kind of silly to put vinyl on anything that’s going to be outdoors.

Vinyl will always crack and fall apart eventually if it is exposed to temperature extremes and or UV. That’s why Sunbrella™ was invented. It has been the gold standard in outdoor fabric for more than forty five years.

Sunbrella™ is manufactured by Glen Raven Mills here in the USA. Made from acrylic fiber woven into a canvas like fabric it offers the breathability of canvas without the shrinkage, rotting or fading. One of the great advantages of breathable fabric is that it does not trap moisture in like vinyl where it can grow mildew. If rigid foam hot tub covers smell like mildew, the vinyl on the outside is one of the reasons why. Since acrylic is the same stuff most spas are made of Sunbrella™ is incredibly durable.

Sunbrella™ doesn’t crack in cold like vinyl, or fade like canvas. If you live near a marina every boat top you see out there in a bright color is Sunbrella™. Anything else would fade out quickly, even the paint on the boat will fade before the Sunbrella™ will.

Years ago a neighbor came in and wanted us to repair his sail cover. His sail cover had been on his sail boat for twelve years, through all the weather the northwest pacific coast could through at it. For those of you who don’t know sailing, the typical sail material needs to be protected from exposure when not in use so it is bundled and covered with a sail cover. The sail cover is the shield that covers the expensive sail from damage.

Our neighbors sail cover was made from Sea Grass Green Sunbrella™ which is a bold, fairly bright green. We explained to him that if it were patched the cover with new material it would look terrible because new bright material would stick out like a sore thumb on the faded older material. We laid a piece of new material on his old cover to prove the point.

To our astonishment the only difference between the two was his was a little dirty. Once it was cleaned and patched, there was no difference between the new fabric and the old even after constant exposure for twelve years. If your spa is outdoors and your tired of replacing spa covers due to sun damage you really need to get the only spa cover that is offered in Sunbrella™ fabric the SpaCap.