Once you've bought a hot tub for your home, there's no going back. Spending even an hour soaking in one once a week does amazing things for your mood and your health. It's also a great place to spend time with your friends and family as you take in the sunset. 

However, you need to take extra care of your hot tub or you'll run into problems such as algae or worse. One way to keep it clean and running efficiently is by utilizing swim spa covers. Your hot tub or spa most likely came with one, but there's never a bad time to buy an upgrade.

Here's everything you need to know about hot tub covers and why they're important. 

Everything You Need to Know About Swim Spa Covers

What Are Swim Spa Covers?

As the name implies, swim spa covers fit over the top of your spa or hot tub. They may take the shape of a flat, solid cover or something more like a tarp. You use them to preserve your hot tub and the water held inside of them. 

There are a variety of spa cover materials ranging from vinyl fabric to more solid products made with a foam core. You can also find aluminum spa covers, and some come with a hot tub cover lifter. 

The most obvious use of a hot tub cover is to protect it from debris and dirt getting into your water. That way, you won't have to worry about refilling it every time it's used. 

However, both swim spas and hot tubs can fall victim to the same problems when neglected. They could develop problems with their motors. Algae and bacteria can get into the water and make it dangerous and uncomfortable to use. 

Benefits of a Quality Hot Tub Cover

Hot tub covers do a lot more for owners than keep dirt and debris from getting into your water. 

First, they create a safe hot tub by reducing the number of bacteria you're soaking in. The water in a hot tub doesn't get hot enough to sterilize it, so chlorine in addition to a cover is essential for keeping it clean. This will also keep your filter from getting too dirty or damaged. 

In addition, using a quality hot tub cover can help save money on your electric bill. Covers are designed to hold the heat inside your hot tub. It's more energy efficient to seal it up whenever you leave the tub if you intend on using it again later. 

Along the same lines, a cover will reduce how much you spend on your water bill. Hot water naturally evaporates as steam. If you cover the tub when you're done using it, the steam will turn back into the water you'll use in the future. 

Finally, a hot tub cover will keep any surprise visitors out of your water. This is especially useful if you go a few days without using it. 

woman lifting hot tub cover off hot tub

Cover Care and Maintenance

Even though swim spa covers are made to protect your spa and hot tub, you still need to take care of them as well if you want them to last long. 

Always remove debris as soon as you can. Don't leave it for days at a time, or it could develop some kind of damage. This helps avoid water absorption into the foam material that should otherwise be contained by the vinyl exterior material. 

There are cleaners designed specifically for hot tub covers that won't eat away at the material. You'll also want to use UV protection spray to prevent discoloration and cracking of the vinyl. 

After it's clean, look for any rips or tears. You can use a standard vinyl repair kit to patch up any holes. 

Safety locks can help prevent a hot tub cover from going flying when hit by a strong wind. Owners should also take the cover off at least once a week for an hour to keep the chemicals in the hot tub from damaging it. 

When to Buy a Replacement Cover

Most hot tub covers will last you around four to five years if treated well. However, there are numerous factors that can speed up their replacement. It could be anything from physical tears, and winter weather to UV damage, and it depends on the type of cover. 

One sign that you need a new cover is if yours has gotten heavier. If you notice that it's weighing more than it used to, that's probably because the foam core has absorbed some water. The barrier around the foam core keeps that from happening, which means it's been punctured or damaged in some way. 

Another sign of damage is if water begins to pool on the top of your cover. This shows that your cover has begun to sag in the middle, usually as a result of letting weight sit on them for long periods of time. 

In either case, your best bet is to look for a replacement as soon as possible. 

hot tub cover lifter

How to Choose a Hot Tub Cover

When looking for new spa protection, try to find a quality hot tub cover that won't break down too quickly. 

To begin with, you need to find a cover that matches the size and shape of your spa or hot tub. If you have a combination swim spa and hot tub, you may need to get two separate covers or one specially made for your unit. 

Next, get a cover that's at least three inches thick. Anything thinner will bend and break easier. 

Last, pick something with a good vinyl material. Options like marine-grade vinyl are resistant to UV rays, water, and tearing. There's also a variety of colors available. 

Protect Your Investment

Hot tubs and swim spas are pricey investments that should last you at least the next big chunk of your life. Swim spa covers are one of the ways you can ensure they don't break down sooner rather than later. It's important to know how to use one and care for it. 

If you need a new hot tub or swim spa, look no further than Swim Spas Denver. Our professionals have over twenty years of experience and can help you make the right choice. Contact us to learn more and to set up a consultation.