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10 Important Tips for buying & owning a Spa Cover that should not only save you money & time but also give you better use out of your cover
SPA COVER LOCKING CLIPS
Don't install locking clips too tightly.
This is very important to the long term safety efficiency of your cover.
Make sure you allow at least a centimetre or two of slack in the strap.
STORING YOUR SPA COVER
When storing your cover away from the spa, fold it in half and leave it standing up with the hinge or zip area facing downward ( handles up ).
This will help allow any condensation or moisture that has built up between the outer cover and the foam inlays to drain out through the zips.
You may even choose to open the zips. Be careful when using the zips not to damage the plastic inside.
SPA COVER ZIPS
Spray the zip starts ( zip slider area ) with a silicon spray every 6 months. This will help prevent the build-up of dirt, grime or moss that will eventually seize the zips.
SPA COVER HANDLES
Avoid using the handles. It is much easier to manoeuvre the cover by picking it up by the skirt. Your cover will live a longer and happier life if you think of the handles as completely useless.
SPA COVER PROTECTION
The marine vinyl covering on your spa cover is UV stable but the polypropylene underside ( the material on your spa cover that faces the water ) is not.
For this reason, when storing your cover away from the spa, do not leave it in full sun. Store in the shade or cover it with something. This underside material will happily live with continual moisture, chemicals and heat but it won't last long in the sun.
SPA COVERS & DOGS
Puppies love spa covers. They see them as a huge chewable toy. If you have a dog under 12 months old and it has access to your spa area when you're not there, then there is always the chance you'll come home to a horrible mess of vinyl, polystyrene and plastic. This is common and should be considered before spending your hard earned money on a spa cover.
SPA COVER STRENGTH
If you can afford to do so, a higher density ( stronger foam inlays ) spa cover is certainly preferable. Although these covers are slightly heavier ( approximately 5 kg heavier for the average spa ) the benefits will probably outweigh any disadvantages.
A high density cover will support more weight if there is a chance that children or pets will walk across it. A high density cover is sturdier for handling and less easily damaged. It will retain marginally more heat in the spa. Most importantly, it is unlikely to absorb moisture and become heavy through time.
If your spa is in a protected area and always handled with care then a standard density cover will do the job ok.
CLEANING YOUR SPA COVER
Don't spend money on a vinyl cleaner. There are various preparations available through pool shops, spa cover manufacturers and hardware stores that will help keep your spa cover clean. Of course they work but so does dish-washing liquid, luke warm water and a light brush or cloth.
Apart from a clean spa cover being more aesthetically pleasing, if the cover is exposed to the sun it will deteriorate quicker if dirty.
SPA COVER VINYL
Before purchasing a spa cover always check the quality of the supplier's vinyl. It should be a genuine marine-grade vinyl. Thickness, texture and suppleness are all factors in determining vinyl quality. "Only the good die young" does not apply to spa covers.
SPA COVER VINYL PROTECTION
Vinyl Protectants are preparations designed to protect your cover and make cleaning easier. They are available from pool and spa shops, hardware stores or directly from cover manufacturers. A vinyl protectant works to protect vinyl in much the same way as suntan lotion protects our skin.
All the literature available on these chemicals ( whether silicon or water based ) will tell you how important it is to use them.
I am personally not convinced that they are such a great idea.
If you do choose to use a protectant then please consider these points:
Only apply the protectant to cool vinyl. In the evening is best, when the next day is forecast below 18 deg and no rain.
Don't use protectant for the first time on ageing vinyl. Begin using in the first 3 months of owning your cover.
Use regularly, the more the better. If you apply infrequently it will probably do more harm than good. If you are not an organised person who works faithfully to a diary then its probably better not to use a protectant.
When used properly a vinyl protectant can almost certainly prolong a cover's life. If applied spasmodically it will potentially dry the vinyl out more quickly and create cracking.