Swim Spa Covers Considerations

If you need to replace your swim spa cover this year, there are few important things you should consider. A swim spa cover is your spa’s first line of defense against debris and harsh weather conditions and is the key to saving on energy costs as a well-insulated cover will prevent heat from escaping from the swim spa when it’s not in use.

Here’s what you should know before buying a new swim spa cover.

When to Replace a Swim Spa Cover

A typical foam filled swim spa cover usually needs to be replaced every two to three years.

Look for any rips or tears in the vinyl, check the underside of the cover and look for deterioration from mold build-up and chemicals. A replacement swim spa cover is needed if your old one is heavy and waterlogged and a struggle to remove. This is a clear sign that the foam cores are saturated with water.


All vinyls are rated by HOURS outdoors. Sunbrella is rated by YEARS outdoors. Your new swim spa cover should be covered in Sunbrella that will be more resistant to UV damage, fading and discoloration from the sun than vinyl ever could be. By the way mildew inhibitors in the vinyl will never prevent the build-up of mold that causes those unpleasant odors. The spaces in the foam, and in between the layers of plastic are a near perfect breeding ground for mildew. No amount of cleaning will get rid of it.


A typical foam filled swim spa cover will be from four to six inches thick. Foam cover dealers like to push thicker covers saying they will stand up better to the elements. But the truth is the thickness has nothing to do with why the cover gets heavy or fails. It’s the steam from the spa. If the cover getting heavy was caused by the weather then a roof over the spa would stop it from getting heavy. Thicker foam would do a better job insulating if it were used in dry conditions. However as soon as it is put in use over a source of steam the insulation value will always go down quickly.

So what’s a better solution? Well it would be better to have the cover lay right on the water since that’s what we are trying to keep warm. Since air is the best insulator, it should use layers of air to insulate. It should have a natural dome shape so wind and weather will flow easily away. The layers of air are the key to keeping heat from escaping from your spa, therefore saving you money on energy costs.

If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow during the winter, a rigid foam cover will always fail under a heavy wet snow load. Whereas an air filled swim spa cover that rests right on the water will be able to withstand a much greater snow load, as well as providing greater insulation.


Locking straps on a spa cover will not only keep it from blowing off during heavy winds, but they are a good safety feature to have to keep small children and pets from getting into the hot tub when you’re not around.


Choosing the right color for your spa cover is a fun but important decision, as they can enhance and complement your surroundings. Fortunately, Sunbrella is available in about 80 different colors. Instead of choosing between some shade of gray or brown you actually get exactly the color you want. And Sunbrella won’t fade for years. It will still be just as bright ten years after you first put it on your spa.

So before you go out a purchase another foam filled swim spa cover that will just end up like the one you need to replace now, check out the Swim Spa Covers from SpaCap.com.

Spa Covers and Sunbrella

If you have a hot tub in Texas, Arizona or at altitude in the Rockies you know just what sun exposure can do to vinyl spa covers

The reason is all vinyls are rated by hours outdoors. Generally 1500 hours outdoors which amounts to about 100 days if you only count daytime hours. Which if you think about it, is kind of foolish to put vinyl on anything that’s most likely to be outdoors.

Vinyl covered spa covers will always split and fall apart at some point if it is subjected to temperature level extremes and or UV. That’s why Sunbrella ™ was designed. It has been the gold standard in outdoor material for more than forty five years.

Sunbrella ™ is made by Glen Raven Mills here in the USA. Made from acrylic fiber woven into a canvas like material it provides the breathability of canvas without the shrinking, decomposing or fading. Among the terrific advantages of breathable material is that it does not trap dampness in like vinyl where it could create mold and mildew. If rigid foam spa covers odor like mold, the vinyl on the outside is just one of the reasons why. Given that acrylic is also what most spas are made from,  Sunbrella ™ is exceptionally durable.

Sunbrella ™ doesn’t crack in the cold like vinyl, or fade like canvas. If you live near a marina every boat top you see in an intense color is Sunbrella ™. Anything else would certainly fade quickly, even the paint on the boat will discolor before the Sunbrella ™ will.

Years ago a next-door neighbor came to our shop and asked me to fix his sail cover. His sail cover had actually been in use on his sail boat for twelve years, with all the weather condition the northwest pacific coast could throw at it. For those of you that do not know sailing, the normal sail product has to be shielded from direct exposure when not being used so it is packed and covered with a sail cover. The sail cover is the guard that covers the expensive sail material from damage that would be caused by exposure.

Our neighbors sail cover was made from Sea Grass Green Sunbrella ™ which is an intense, rather bright green. I explained to him that if I repaired the cover with new material it would look dreadful due to the fact that brand-new material would certainly standout like a sore thumb on the faded older fabric. I laid a piece of brand-new Sunbrella on his old cover to prove my point.

To my astonishment the only distinction in between the two was his was a little dirty. Once it was cleaned and repaired, there was no difference in between the new fabric and the old even after constant direct exposure for twelve years. If your spa is outdoors and also your sick of replacing hot tub covers you truly need to buy the only spa cover that is offered in Sunbrella ™ fabric from SpaCap.com.