A: Water has managed to get into the foam core of the cover. As it becomes more saturated with water vapour/water its weight increases, and will continue doing so to the point where it will be almost impossible to lift - we have seen some covers weighing in excess of 110kg!
A: It can be the result of several factors, but primarily it is because water is continually evaporating from the surface of your hot tub and then condensing on the underside of your cover; the water contains chemicals and over time this constant bombardment of chemically charged vapour degrades the plastic material that 'wraps' the core insulation. Eventually the 'wrap' will break down and water vapour will swiftly start to penetrate the open-cell core insulation.
A: Once water ingression has taken place, a new cover is the only real solution. If your cover is becoming water-logged, it's best not to delay the buying decision too long, because:
1. You're Burning Cash. Once saturated your cover has lost up to 90% of its thermal value, meaning that your electricity costs will be much higher than necessary. Much higher! - don't underestimate what this means in real terms - the cover protects heat loss from the area of the tub which loses most heat, i.e. 'the top'. Depending on hot tub settings, other insulation standards of your particular hot tub & outside temperatures this could be costing you anything from £40 - £100 a month in wasted energy costs.
2. You'll save your cover lifter. If you have a cover lifter fitted (which you really should have) it will be the next thing to break - Cover Lifters are simply not designed to cope with saturated covers, they will ultimately bend and break. Note: Never buy a cover lifter to try and handle a saturated cover.
3. Heavy covers can be a serious health & safety hazard. You can easily cause yourself an injury in the process of trying to lift or move a heavy, saturated cover. Furthermore, If your hot tub is used within a business like a holiday cottage/lodge/hotel etc. - a heavy cover could result in legal action if a guest suffers from trying to use it. (Note: Never - be tempted to open the cover and balance it on one edge leaning against a fence etc. The cover could easily fall causing injury or drowning).
A: This is a very difficult question to answer definitively as there are a number of variables, not least the quality of the cover in the first place, the type of environment it is being used in, ancillary equipment (floating covers, cover lifters etc.,) and how well it is treated. We have supplied replacement covers for some Chinese spas that were less than a year old, while other, better made products have been known to last 8 years plus! We speak to hundreds of customers in the process of supplying their new covers and the average lifetime generally seems to be 3 to 5 years.
A: There are steps that you can take as responsible owners that will prolong the life of your hot tub cover. These include; using a cover-lifter, leaving the cover open when 'shocking' your tub, treating the vinyl with a UV stabiliser, preventing people and animals climbing on it. For more information take a look at our Cover Care Guide.
A: If you are buying like for like then paying the cheapest price is clearly sensible, but buying a cover on price alone is liable to prove a false economy. A quality cover might cost you £25 or £50 more - add a few options and maybe it will cost £100 more - a small price to pay for many more years of service and a daily saving in energy costs! A good quality cover with PREMIUM INSULATION, DOUBLE ENCAPSULATED CORE & FLOATING COVER can easily save £2.50 per week on the running costs of an average hot tub. This amounts to almost £650.00 over 5 years! That's what we would call a prudent purchase.
A: In a word NO. Hot tub manufacturers get covers made for them by hot tub cover factories (often requesting a basic specification). They just apply a large profit margin & possibly the name of the 'brand'! Don't waste your money!
A: No! Quality varies from company to company - some great covers are made in North American factories and some rubbish covers are also made there. The situation in the UK is no different! The recipe for a good cover is 'first rate ingredients' - designed for the outdoors (these should come from the marine industry) & competent sewing & upholstery skills which are used in the cover manufacturing process - the UK has an abundance of workers skilled in processes. There are also some 'logistical' problems in sourcing from the USA - primarily being delivery time! Some companies are rather 'optimistic' on their delivery times - quoting 4-6 or 6-8 weeks; we understand delivery often runs to 10-12 weeks. Apart from the distance involved, if they don't have enough products to justify a container then they have to wait until they do! Just think, what happens if your order is wrong or damaged when it arrives?
A: The fact is that most companies only tell you half the story! The EPS insulation material used in covers - the 'core' - can vary a great deal. You will read about, amongst others 1.0 Lb foam 1.5Lb foam & 2Lb foam (meaning the weight of a cubic foot of the material) - think of 'density' here. Technology has progressed - you don't need to put 8" of fibre-glass insulation in your loft anymore - you can use 2" of Kingspan! The same applies to EPS insulation - some companies just don't move with the times and continue to use the same old product!
Of course extra thickness when combined with extra density does make a big difference - the ideal combination for an energy saving cover. In conclusion, thickness alone is not a guarantee of better thermal value or strength - unless the density of the EPS is good as well - you need to be aware of all factors to make a comparison!
A: Covers are designed solely, to insulate, stop debris (leaves etc) getting into the spa water & prevent small children and animals from entering the water. They are NOT designed for being stood on (2 legs or 4!). They will cope with the (reasonable) weight of snow* because although it can be heavy, the weight is evenly distributed over a wide surface area. If you ( or your dogs) need to walk on the cover, then purchase our walk on cover option. NOTE * Snow-loads in 'Alpine' regions not included in this statement. If a substantial snow-load is to be left un-cleared then it is very prudent to select 'walk-on' option.