While they’re not likely to break the bank, having to buy a brand-new cover for your hot tub or swim spa is definitely one of the pricier purchases you’ll make as a spa owner. In one of our previous blog posts, we learned that, on average, a hot tub cover will last anywhere from 5–7 years.
The key takeaway from that statement is the words “on average.” As with most things, the better you care for your cover, the longer it will last. To that end, here are six simple tips that can extend the life of your hot tub cover by up to three years!
1. Clean your spa cover regularly
If you don’t use your hot tub for an extended period of time, it can be easy for dirt, debris, and other outdoor grime to accumulate on your cover. Over time, these particulates can begin to eat away at the protective coating of your cover.
To avoid this, clean off your cover at least once a month (or as needed) with mild liquid dish soap and a sponge, ultra mitt, or soft-bristled brush. Then simply hose off the cover and dry with a towel.
2. Apply a vinyl protectant spray
The vast majority of hot tub covers these days are made from vinyl, a hardy, weather-resistant material that can withstand almost anything you throw at it—for a time. However, if you want your cover to outlast the rest, you’ll want to apply a specially formulated conditioner for maximum protection.
For under $20, you can pick up a bottle of vinyl and plastic cover protectant spray that will help extend the life of your cover. This easy-to-use product prevents oxidation, fading, and cracking, and will keep your spa cover looking like new for longer than you ever thought possible.
3. Use a cover lift to prevent damage
This one may seem obvious, but if you’re manually removing your cover and placing it on the ground each time you use your hot tub, it’s going to accumulate much more wear and tear. On the flip side, a properly installed cover lift applies minimal strain on the cover during the removal process and keeps it up off the ground the entire time you’re in your hot tub.
Want to purchase a cover lift, but you’re not sure which one to get? Our handy cover lift flowchart makes it easy to find the perfect style for your needs and preferences.
4. Avoid extreme exposure to the elements
While a cover is designed to keep your hot tub protected and the water inside clean, if left alone against the harsh elements, your investment isn’t going to last especially long.
UV rays can cause the most damage in the form of cracking and fading, so try to keep it out of the sun at least part of the day. Place your hot tub under the eaves of your house or beneath a gazebo or another spa enclosure if you can.
In Minnesota and other cold-climate states, we have the other extreme to worry about too. If you don’t plan to use your hot tub during the winter months (though you really should!), place a tarp over your cover to keep it dry and free of damaging frost. Be sure not to let snow accumulate over 3–4 inches on your cover either, as the extra weight can buckle even a newer cover.
5. Keep kids and pets off the cover
Modern hot tub covers are incredibly strong and durable, but even so, they’re not designed to be a piece of additional outdoor furniture.
Try to discourage your guests from sitting along the edges, and keep kids from crawling around on top, especially towards the middle. Not only is this a safety concern, but it also introduces more dirt that you’ll have to clean off later.
Pets should also be kept away from your spa cover if at all possible. Large animals, such as dogs, can strain the cover the same as kids and adults, whereas smaller pets, such cats, can scratch up the fabric with their claws.
6. Don’t forget about the underside
While most people focus their attention on the exterior of the cover, since that’s the most visible part, all your efforts could be in vain if you totally ignore the bottom. Since the underside is close to the water and rarely exposed to fresh air, it harbors the perfect conditions for a slight odor and a touch of mold.
To remedy this, simply spray a mild chlorine solution on the underside of your cover each time you clean your hot tub. It also helps to let it air out once in a while on a nice, dry day, even if you don’t intend to use your spa.
Too little, too late? That’s okay!
If you’re reading these tips and your current hot tub cover is too far gone for preventable measures, that’s alright. You can start fresh with a new one from Cal Spas of Minnesota.
Our hot tub and swim spa covers come in multiple sizes and colors and are made with marine-grade vinyl, steel reinforcement, and an extra dense “extreme climate” foam core for maximum longevity. Even better, they all come with a full 3-year warranty!
Stop into one of our convenient Twin Cities locations to shop our selection of spa covers today.