Hot Tub covers… you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right? Well, not really. Most hot tub covers are created with the same basic structural concept, but there can be a world of difference from one to the next. Before you buy, be sure you know these 6 things to protect your investment and your family!
What is the Hot Tub Cover Made Of?
Hot tub covers are typically made from solid foam cores, sealed in plastic cases to avoid water absorption, and enclosed into vinyl covers. They are generally built to fold at a hinge point to aid in the removal process and are tapered in height from the center to the outside edge to aid in shedding water and snow. That’s about where the similarities end.
What’s Under the Cover?
Foam core is the foundation of a hot tub cover. The foam core of a hot tub cover can be one, two, or even more pieces of foam. The density/weight affects the R value, which is the measurement of energy efficiency. This density (along with the depth, or thickness of the foam) also impacts the ‘load’ or weight the hot tub cover can handle (such as snow) before the foam core breaks down. Most hot tub covers are not built to withstand the weight of a person sitting or walking on them. That goes for large pets, too. You’ll find foam cores range from 1lb to 2lbs. The 1 lb cover will include more pockets of air and will offer less insulation and weight bearing capacity than a 2 lb cover.
Check the Pitch
The taper is also an important aspect of the foam core and can differ from one cover to the next. This concept works a lot like the pitch of your roof: The steeper the taper, the better the shedding capacity, though you’re not likely to find any hot tub covers out there with a pitch comparable to the roof on your house. A 2” taper from center to edge is fairly typical for most covers. If you find one with less of a taper, keep looking. And while consideration of the taper is important, equally important is the depth of the foam at each end of that taper. This depth plays a roll in the insulating factor – or R value, and also has a say in how much weight it will bear. Think snow, rain and ice.
Is it Sealed Properly?
Any hot tub cover worth a dime ensures that the foam core is encased in a good heavy gauge poly wrapper. If it’s not, it will take on water right through that gorgeous vinyl cover. And that’s a problem. A water-logged cover becomes very heavy, very quickly and is very difficult to remove so you can get into your hot tub and enjoy it. Plus, all that water sitting in the core reduces the effectiveness of the insulating factor dramatically, leading to larger electric bills.
Check the Hot Tub Cover Hinge
And while we’re talking electric bills and escaping heat vapors: pay attention to the hinged area of the hot tub cover. They are not all equal! This is a prime area where heat can escape from the tub. You’ll want to make sure your hot tub cover deals with minimizing heat loss from the hinge area.
On the Outside
That Gorgeous Vinyl Cover offers more than what meets the eye – if you know what to look for. Most hot tub covers are made with a Marine grade vinyl, treated to be resistant to mildew and UV rays to minimize fading. If the one you’re looking at doesn’t, then keep looking! Most manufacturers offer a variety of colors so you can match your tub, your house or even your landscaping. Some differences to look for would include quality, reinforced stitching, single, or double stitched. Does it have an insulated skirt to cover the lip and seal of the hot tub? Does it have built-in safety locks? Not only do they keep little ones out (and safe), they keep your cover in place on a blustery day!
A good hot tub cover will keep your family and pets safe. It will protect your hot tub and help keep energy costs down. It’s worth it to invest in a quality cover from the beginning as it will save you money and aggravation in the long run.
Marquis®’ DuraCover® is double insulated foam core, includes a 2” taper, has double stitching and an exclusive linear heat seal that runs the entire length of the cover to trap heat. Learn more about one of the top hot tub covers in the industry.