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Shopping For Spa Covers?

Dec 30, 2007
Has Mother Nature wrecked your spa cover? If you need a new spa cover because your old foam cover was damaged by the elements, consider something different. The typical rigid foam filled hot tub cover covered with vinyl is doomed to end up heavy or broken no matter how well you treat it.

No matter what you treat it with all vinyl is rated by hours outdoors. Really top quality marine grade vinyl is rated for 1500 hours outdoors. That equates to about one hundred days of sunshine. I know what you are thinking, why would anybody put vinyl on something that is meant to be used outside? But that is not even the most common failure of the typical rigid foam filled spa cover.

What generally happens before the vinyl falls apart is that the foam gets so heavy you can not lift your spa cover by yourself. No matter how it is wrapped and sealed inside the cover, the foam fills with water. What happens is the little air spaces in the foam that are supposed to help the foam insulate your spa get filled up moisture. Here is a tip why the whole foam cover is doomed, if you never put the cover on your spa, it would never get heavy. If you just took a brand new spa cover out and put it on your picnic table instead of your spa, the vinyl would fall apart before the cover got heavy.

Why? Because the hot spa water is way below the bottom of the rigid foam spa cover. Some of that warm spa water turns to steam and rises up. Steam molecules are smaller than water. The steam works its way into the little crevices and spaces in the foam where it condenses back into liquid. If you live in an area that gets snow, the snow will land on the saturated foam and freeze the water inside it.

How? because just as heat rises, cold sinks. When it comes in direct contact with the foam it freezes the moisture. The warm spa water is not in direct contact with the bottom of the spa cover so it is in a loosing battle trying to beat the cold. The steam rises from the water, hits the bottom of the now frozen spa cover, condenses and falls back into the water below working like a radiator to actually cool the water.

You may look out at the snow piled on your frozen spa cover and think you have great insulation. But you would be wrong. Snow sits perfectly on a frozen pond too. It does not mean the pond water is still warm. So why does anybody still sell rigid foam covers? Well two reasons really. First, it has been the standard of the industry for nearly thirty years. When the acrylic spa began to be sold in the states, it needed to be covered with something to keep the debris out and to assist in keeping the water warm. Foam boards covered with vinyl was cheap and since everybody was selling the same thing it was all they needed to offer. Remember definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome.

The second reason is worse in my opinion. Spa dealers know that the cover they are sending you home with will need to be replaced again because it will end up the same as the one you are replacing now. They know that like clockwork every couple years you are going to need to get another cover if you intend on using your spa on a regular basis.

So what are your choices? Thanks to the internet you now have the world at your finger tips. Look on line for a different kind of spa cover. Find a spa cover that is not covered with vinyl that is rated by hours if your spa is outdoors. There are Spa Covers available factory direct that do not use rigid foam that is just going to end up to heavy to lift. If you plan on using your spa for the rest of your life like I do, you owe it to yourself to get a better kind of spa cover.
About the Author
The Author is a business owner with more than twenty years experience. A former Police Sgt, Pilot, Heavy Equipment Operator, Trained Mechanic that has written technical manuals and short stories. An accomplished motorcycle rider he enjoys riding the back roads of Washington on his Harley Davidson, with his wife riding copilot. Please visit SpaCap.com Spa Covers.
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