Hot tub covers are one of the most important parts of your hot tub, keeping out foreign objects and debris that can damage the liner or clog the jets. This is especially true if it is kept outside on a patio or deck in the natural elements. In these conditions, however, your cover can go through extreme changes between hot and cold and wet and dry, which can lead to severe damage over time. Learn what you can do to prevent damage over time and how you can repair it when it does happen.
You might not think that your hot tub cover will need a maintenance schedule, but it is a good idea to set time aside in almost every season to clean it. You can also conduct regular inspections during this time so that you can catch and repair any damage to the cover before it gets severe.
After the winter season, whether you used your hot tub or not, it's time to perform a deep cleaning. One of the most common causes of a deteriorating vinyl cover, besides the elements, is using the wrong type of cleaner. Look specifically for something made for vinyl care, and avoid anything containing alcohol, bleach, detergent, dish soap, and oil.
Start by spraying the entire cover with a garden hose to rinse away loose dirt and debris. Then, spray the entire cover down with your vinyl cleaner. Pay special attention to areas with caked on debris, letting the cleanser sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it clean. Keep rinsing your sponge as needed so you don't simply smear dirt around. Rinse the cover once more when you're finished cleaning. Then, let it dry before you spray on a coat of protectant to keep it looking good for the rest of the season.
Tip: Caked on sap or pitch can be removed by rubbing a little olive oil into it. Make sure that all the residue is gone once you're finished.
Make sure you also check your cover thoroughly at this time as well for any damage that may have occurred over the winter.
Halfway through the summer months, give your hot tub cover another cleaning and maintenance check. If your hot tub has been in active use, you should also make sure to unzip the cover to check for any mold and mildew inside.
Before you put the hot tub away for the winter months, or head into the colder season, make sure that there is nothing that is wearing, or needs replacing. Perform another thorough cleaning as well to make sure no debris and bacteria will sit and fester throughout the winter. Also, you can purchase an additional cover for the winter at this time. Placing this over the regular thermal cover will reduce the amount of wear and tear it has to suffer during the cold season.
There are a few ways you can easily repair the vinyl top if there are some small tears. Depending on the severity, you can use a vinyl cement that will cover the repair and also blend in with the top. These cements are generally pretty strong and are a good overall repair method. Small elastomeric patch products, such as a Tear-Aid Vinyl Patch, can be purchased at specialty spa stores as well. These are easy to apply to a clean vinyl surface and very effective.
You could also use some colored duct tape to cover the holes, but duct tape should only ever be a temporary solution.
For large tears, simple patching won't be enough. However, this still doesn't mean you'll need to replace the entire hot tub cover. Instead, send the measurements of the vinyl to the cover manufacturer for a replacement.
Rusted Side Clasps
Over time the side clasps will begin to rust and can eventually wear out and break. If this happens, you can cut out the broken clasp, and sew in a replacement part from any major spa company.
Waterlogged Hot Tub Cover
If the vapor barrier inside the vinyl shell has been ripped, the foam inside can become quickly waterlogged. Remove the foam padding from the vinyl and set aside in a dry place so that the water can evaporate. Once dry, replace the foam padding and use strong tape to repair the rip on the vapor barrier. In the event that this repair doesn't work, it might be time to consider buying a new cover.