Are you wondering how long a hot tub cover lasts and what factors affect its longevity? It’s a significant consideration for any hot tub owner, given that a quality cover is not just an accessory but a necessity for maintaining your hot tub’s efficiency and safety.
Well, we’ll be going over:
- What factors influence the lifespan of a hot tub cover, such as exposure to elements and quality of materials?
- Signs that indicate when to replace your hot tub cover and where to find replacements.
- Tips for extending the life of a hot tub cover, including maintenance and the use of cover lifters.
Let’s dive in to understand how to maximize the life of your hot tub cover and ensure your hot tub remains a relaxing and hygienic oasis for years to come.
Hot tub covers typically last 4-7 years outdoors, with lifespan affected by quality, usage, and environmental factors. Proper care and protection from UV rays and extreme weather can extend their life. Replacement is needed when covers become waterlogged or damaged, with costs averaging around $1 per week over their lifespan.
How long does a hot tub cover last?
Naturally how long a hot tub cover or spa cover will last depends on a few factors such as:
Is the hot tub inside or outside?
Outside, a hot tub cover will have to cope with extremes of weather in all likelihood. If the hot tub is inside or under a shelter, it will be exposed to much less stress.
If outside, is it in the sun for much of the day?
The sun’s ultraviolet light is a big factor in how long a hot tub cover will last. UV light breaks down plastics (including vinyl) and will also rot the stitching. So, if your hot tub is situated where it will constantly be in sunlight during summer, that will considerably lower the lifespan.
If outside, do you live somewhere with very low winter temperatures?
If you live in an area with a temperate climate, where temperatures rarely, if ever, drop below freezing so that snow and other extremes of weather are unlikely to affect the hot tub it will, unsurprisingly, last longer. If the hot tub cover is constantly frozen, it will deteriorate quickly.
My first hot tub, when I lived in the UK, was in a conservatory (glass-enclosed garden room). It never got wet let alone froze so it had a gentle life. I sold the hot tub with the cover before I left the UK after I had owned it for 8 years and, to be honest, it still looked like a new hot tub cover.
The quality of the hot tub cover
All hot tub covers are not created equal. Some are made using heavy-duty materials, while others are much more flimsy, with weak stitching and poor-quality zippers.
A well-made cover will last longer than a poor-quality one but that is hardly rocket science.
When to replace and where to buy a new hot tub cover
If you have tried to patch your old hot tub’s cover or dry it out when it becomes waterlogged but nothing seems to make any difference it is probably time to bite the bullet and buy a new hot tub cover.
Many hot tub owners take the opportunity to buy thicker hot tub covers
You can also buy replacement hot tub covers on Amazon – various are available to choose from.
Why do hot tub covers fail?
Undoubtedly, the biggest killer of hot tub covers is UV radiation from the sun. It can severely damage the vinyl, making it more likely to crack and split. You can use a UV-protecting spray on the upper surfaces of the cover from time to time to help reduce this damage from UV radiation.
Hot tub chemicals inevitably affect the hot tub covers over time. Chlorine and other chemicals can give off strong chemical vapors that can be quite harsh on the materials from which hot tub covers are made. It is a good idea to remove the cover and wash it down with fresh water to remove any chemicals from time to time.
Misuse is another big reason why hot tub covers can fail, particularly if they are slid off of the hot tub and allowed to land heavily on the ground. This can cause damage to the edges and corners. Using a hot tub lifter can solve this.
Damage can occur if the hot tub is outside during storms etc when high winds can cause falling debris or tree branches to fall on the hot tub cover. Also, being constantly exposed to cold weather, snow, and ice will cause failures in time.
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Can a hot tub cover lifter extend the life of a hot tub cover?
Using a hot tub cover lifter to remove your cover will certainly help reduce potential damage to it and will, therefore, make it last longer.
Many people fold one half over the other half, then slide the hot tub cover off the hot tub and stand it up on its end against a wall or something else. This is not the best way to remove and store a cover when the hot tub is in use. It can damage the seams and the corners of the cover over time.
You can read my review of the best hot tub cover lifters here.
Why is my hot tub cover getting heavy?
The most likely explanation for your hot tub cover getting heavy is that the foam core is becoming waterlogged when it rains.
My hot tub cover does this and can accumulate quite a substantial amount of water inside, which sloshes around when I lift the lid. Fortunately, where I live, we only get rain for a few months each year.
If there are holes in the underside of the cover, it is also possible for water to get inside due to the evaporation of the hot tub water.
When this happens, a hot tub cover can become so heavy that, if you are not careful when opening it, there is a good chance that it may break.
How do you fix a waterlogged hot tub cover?
The only way I have found to remove the water is to drill a few small holes strategically on the underside of the cover, allowing the water to drain away slowly. I still have to occasionally move the cover around to get most of the water out through the small holes I have drilled, particularly after heavy rain.
Another method, assuming the cover has zippers, is to unzip them and lift the cover to make the water run out of the unzipped opening.
Perhaps the most efficient way to dry it out completely is, on a sunny day, to lay the hot tub cover on a paved surface, undo the zippers and remove the foam core. This can then dry out completely in the sun and warm air before putting it back
If the foam core becomes too waterlogged, the hot tub cover’s insulating ability will be lowered. So the hot tub water will cool quicker and your electricity bill will increase as the hot tub heater works harder to keep the temperature up.
Your best action may be to consider replacing the cover’s insulating foam. See below.
Can you repair a hot tub cover?
This depends on how damaged the cover is but yes, you can to some degree. My wife successfully repaired our cover 2 years ago after a few of the seams came apart and it is still holding up well.
If it is a small vinyl tear, you can stick a patch over it. Vinyl repair kits are available in many home improvement stores. Follow the instructions on the kit for best results as you will want the repair to be waterproof.
I live in a very popular area with wind and kite surfers. A friend of mine took his old hot tub cover to a local company that repairs sails and kites and they made a completely new cover using the old one as a pattern. They did a very good job and quite economically too.
Can you replace the foam in a hot tub cover?
You can easily replace the foam core in a hot tub cover.
You should buy foam insulation with a high density and insulation rating. Obviously, you will need to measure the dimensions of the old insulating foam. You can cut it quite easily or request the supplier you use to cut it to size.
In most good quality hot tub covers, the core is wrapped/sealed in a plastic vapor barrier, which allows moisture out but not in. If you can, cover the new foam in some of this vapor barrier and seal it with a good foam sealer, then all the better.
Also read: How often to shock a hot tub
I have had hot tubs for over 20 years and a pool for the last 10 years. I had to learn how to clean, maintain and fix them the hard way. Since then I have helped many friends and neighbors with their pools and now I want to share everything I have learned with you. About Me