Why does one spa cover performs perfectly for 10 or even 20 years, while another completely disintegrates after only 2 years? The answer is simple - they are vastly different in quality. So what makes a good Spa Cover ?
If a Cover Manufacturer uses good materials and commits to quality work practices, then the result will be a good Spa Cover. Let's look specifically at what is required to create such a product.
Australian Spa Cover Manufacturers have been adjusting their practices in response to market and climatic conditions for decades. Our weather is as harsh as any on earth. Scorching summers, high winds, frosts in winter, hail. Living life as a spa cover is not easy.
In recent years there has been a huge shift toward importing cheap Chinese spas into Australia. Each spa usually comes with a Chinese spa cover. At first this posed a real threat to the survival of the local Cover Manufacturers. Some saw the writing on the wall and closed down, while others scaled back or cut production costs in response to the dwindling local market.
The major spa suppliers in Australia were quick to embrace the Chinese covers because they were cheap and it increased their margin. Who cares about the quality?
Then an amazing thing happened. After less than two years these imports started breaking down. As a consequence there now exists a burgeoning local replacement market as spa owners need to upgrade their covers to something that can cope with Australian conditions.
Why does an imported or locally produced production-line cover differ so much from a locally produced hand-made one?
Perhaps the most significant difference is in the materials used to create a cover. The quality of the vinyl and it's UV resistance rating. The polypropylene underside, it's denier rating, moisture, mould, heat and chemical resistance. The stitching, it's UV, moisture and chemical resistance. The plastic membrane used to encase the polystyrene inlays. The Polystyrene itself, it's moisture resistance and durability rating. The lock strap webbing quality and the degree of UV resistance of the plastic locks.
These are all areas in which a Manufacturer can cut costs either by design or through lack of experience. If you buy a cheap cover, then it's performance and longevity has been compromised by one or even all of the factors listed above.
WORKMANSHIP & WORK PRACTICES
The skill level, experience, training, manufacturing methods and even the morale of employees is also a factor in determining the final quality of a spa cover.
Apart from workmanship, manufacturing techniques and equipment also play a major role in the outcome when building a spa cover.
Design and cutting techniques, moisture-sealing components, foam shaping, quality control and boxing are all important stages in the overall process.
So in conclusion, there are many facets to creating a good cover. They depend on experience and attention to detail plus a desire to produce something of worth.
If you're reading this, then chances are you've already experienced the early demise of a spa cover. Hopefully your next cover will be locally hand-made.