Your hot tub is a wonderful investment, so we know you’ve been diligent about regularly testing the chemical levels of the water, keeping it clean and filled sufficiently, and making sure the water circulates (or checking that the auto-circulate feature is working). After all, keeping up with that basic maintenance will help prevent the need for a call to your local spa repair person. But, if you focus on your hot tube and skip over the cover, you’re leaving out a vital part of hot tub maintenance.
It’s just a cover, right?
There’s a reason your new hot tub came with a cover, and that reason extends beyond keeping leaves from blowing into the water. Yes, it keeps debris out when your hot tub isn’t in use, but it also provides a really valuable function: it keeps heat in. One of the number one ways to keep costs down with a hot tub is to make sure you have a well-insulating cover because keeping heat in means your hot tub doesn’t have to work as hard or use up as much energy. A good hot tub cover will both help keep operating expenses down and help extend the life of your hot tub overall — that’s a lot of savings for what often feels like an innocuous add-on. However, if you want to get the most out of your hot tub, you’ll need to give the cover a bit of TLC.
Keep It Clean
This is a pretty easy step but will go miles toward prolonging the life of your cover (and your hot tub). First, start by keeping it clean. That doesn’t necessarily mean making sure it’s dust-free and shining everyday. Instead, take a few minutes to give the cover a once-over when you go out to clean and check on your hot tub. Sweep the twigs and leaves away, and definitely make sure to brush snow off — especially those heavy, damp spring snows we experience here in Northern Colorado. The weight of snow can be enough to damage or break the cover, so don’t let it build up.
At least once a month, give the cover a more thorough cleaning. This includes sweeping off debris, hosing it down to rinse off dust and pollen, and conditioning the exterior. The vinyl used for hot tub covers is a slightly different variation made to stand up to the elements, so make sure you’re using a hot tub cover-specific cleaner/conditioner to protect rather than damage.
Check For Damage
The interior insulation is what does most of the heavy lifting to help your hot tub function properly; the exterior, then, protects the interior. When you’re going through your basic cleaning routine, take an extra couple of minutes to check for tears or frayed spots in the exterior. Those breaks in the vinyl are openings for moisture and pests to get inside and wreck that insulating core, so be sure to patch them as soon as you find them.
In addition, you should occasionally take the foam core out of the cover and check it for damage. As long as you keep up on cover maintenance, this only needs to be done once a year or so. Check for pests that may have burrowed their way in, and carefully check the plastic that wraps the core. This is the vapor barrier, and prevents the core from absorbing water, growing mildew, and generally getting destroyed. If you find holes, make sure the core isn’t waterlogged, then patch them.
Let Your Hot Tub Breathe
Okay, letting it breathe may sound a bit facetious, but for the health of your hot tub cover, it’s important to pop the top and let your cover dry out a bit. When the cover is on, there’s a swirling layer of hot, moist, chemical-laden steam between the water and the cover. The chemicals are necessary for the water in your hot tub, but they are also a major cause of damage to covers. At least once a week, remove the cover and let it air out for an hour or more. While you’re at it, make sure there isn’t any build-up, and clean it off if there is.
Summit Spas of Windsor, Colorado is your local source for all things related to hot tubs and spas. Give us a call with questions or spa service needs, or come by to check out our range of new and reconditioned hot tubs!