If your hot tub cover is worn, torn, faded, or heavy – it’s time to look for a replacement. With so many options to choose from, finding the right hot tub cover for your climate and budget can seem overwhelming. We will walk you through the different types of hot tub covers and help you determine the right match for your needs!
Foam Core Density & Thickness
One of the most important features of a durable hot tub cover is the type of foam used. Quality cover cores are made from 100% virgin closed-cell polystyrene foam. Cheap covers are made from many different types of recycled foam, called “re-grind”. While re-grind is cheap to manufacture and allows retailers to sell at a cheaper price, this type of foam soaks up water very quickly and cannot withstand rain or snowfall.
The Right Core for your Climate
If you want a cover that lasts, pick a quality manufacturer and purchase the right foam density and thickness for your climate:
As foam density and thickness increase, so does the strength of the cover. For this reason, it doesn’t pay to purchase a lesser model than what your climate requires. A thin cover in a rainy or snowy climate will not only provide less than adequate insulation, and will fail in a short time under the weight of rain and/or snow.
Less expensive spa cover jacket’s are made out of vinyl. Vinyl quality is variable, but better vinyl covers use 28 oz. Marine Grade Vinyl intended for outdoor use (commonly used for boat upholstery), which is resistant to sun damage.
Better covers, such as DuraTherm, use WeatherShield Outdoor Fabric. WeatherShield is an extremely durable fabric that is 3 times stronger and weighs 25% less than marine grade vinyl. In addition, this fabric holds up to UV rays much better than vinyl.
While jacket material quality is important, maintenance is equally important to ensure cover longevity.
The vapor barrier in a spa cover is the plastic wrapping around the foam cores. While quality foam is water resistant on its own, having an additional vapor barrier (or two) around the foam helps to prevent water from collecting between the closed-cell foam beads.
A quality vapor barrier is made from 6 mil clear or blue transparent plastic. Black plastic is cheaper, lower quality and does not hold up as well.
Center Reinforcement (C Channel)
The center of every spa cover has two metal reinforcements, one inserted into each piece of foam. This reinforcement keeps the cover rigid and strong.
Some cheaper covers use aluminum or PVC material for their c channel. A quality C Channel is made from 20 gauge galvanized steel, which is much stronger than aluminum or PVC.
The material on the bottom of the cover facing the water, the scrim, is just as important as the top side of the cover. Some cheaper covers use a flimsy woven mesh (like a window screen).
Quality DuraTherm covers incorporate woven fibers laminated in vinyl, which creates a very strong, chemical-resistant sheet. We add grommeted drain holes in key locations to allow condensed steam back into the spa.
Heavy-Duty Wind Straps and Locks
Important for keeping your cover secured to the tub, the straps and locks are another area requiring special attention. Heavy-duty straps and locking buckles are the standard for DuraTherm Covers.
Although you may not like the hassle of securing and locking your cover each time you use it, it’s important for the safety of children, animals, and your spa. Not to mention, local building codes frequently require locks on hot tubs if not fenced in.
Have questions about finding the right hot tub cover? Post your question or comment below!