Havenmade Inc.
 Broomfield, Co 80023
(303)-404-AAAH! (2224)
EMAIL spatips@spaspecialist.com

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Spa Care Tips
published on the web by
Havenmade Inc.
Copyright 1997-2008

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Spa Covers and Sunlight

Some scientists say we have a hole in our ozone layer, letting in more ultraviolet light from the sun. If you don't take care of your spa cover, you'll have holes in it!

We have always had ultraviolet light from the sun. When your spa is in Colorado or other mountain states, it get more ultraviolet light than the spa covers at sea level. The air is also very dry compared to the lowlands.

If you own a standard vinyl cover with the styrofoam core, you probably spent from $250 to $475 for it. Even though it is designed to withstand sunlight and all sorts of weather, you may want to increase its life a little, and keep the foam insulation functioning fully.

If your spa is in direct sunlight, you can expect to get a life of 4 to 7 years, if you care for it properly. A cover kept either inside or under a roof, with little or no sunlight, can expect to last from 5 to 10 years when you care for it properly.

The spa manufacturer and the materials used make a huge difference in the durability of a spa cover. Here is a list of preferred manufacturing methods
and materials:

1. Marine grade vinyl of a good density and with strong reinforcement.

2. Two pound density foam core. (Doesn't droop as quickly as one or one and one half (1.5) pound density. The actual weight of 2 pound density foam helps to keep the cover sealed to the top of the spa. )

3. The styrofoam core is completely wrapped and heat sealed in 3 mil vinyl or greater.

4. Metal reinforcement in the foam core at the middle where it hinges.

5. All of the outer vinyl is sewn with an appropriate strong non-organic thread. Heat sealed seams on vinyl covers seem to break down much faster especially in direct Colorado sunlight.

6. Locking tie-downs designed to keep little children out of the spa.

7. Skirts that breathe (let in some air). Spa covers that have a continuous skirt tend to overheat the upper spa acrylic and cause cracks. It is much better to have splits in the skirt.

8. The cover should have at least 1.5 inches or 2 inches of taper for adequate water runoff.

If you have any questions as to why we recommend the above list, just contact us at covers@spaspecialist.com

When you attach the cover clips to the spa be sure to allow for the cover to shrink. If it is exposed to full sunlight you can expect an 8 Ft. cover to shrink about 1/2 inch all the way around as it gets older. It is sort of like shrink wrap. If you attach them tight, you will have to adjust the cover clips after a few months.

Many people never bother to read the warranty or instructions that came with the cover. You can invalidate your warranty by treating the cover improperly.

Almost all cover manufacturers recommend a cover treatment be applied to the cover regularly. The only product we recommend is 303 Protectant, made by 303 Products, Incorporated. If your spa is in direct sunlight, you should apply the product once every month. It sort of revitalizes the plastic vinyl and works like a sun screen for the cover. Don't wait to apply this product, you will shorten the life and looks of your cover.

Always use a closed cell foam thermal blanket on top of the spa water. Cut it to fit the spa with the spa at the proper level. When you cut it, try to make your mistakes towards the "too big" size. It is better to have the blanket press into the wall, than to have gaps.

If you use a thermal blanket, you can add years to the life of your "hard cover". Instead of 3 to 6 years you can get 5 to 10 years. It greatly slows the deterioration by keeping the chemicals and ozone from "eating" the cover away. It also helps keep the foam from becoming saturated so fast. When you lift your "hard cover" you will notice that the only place that is wet is near the outer edge where the thermal blanket meets the wall of the spa. See the blanket

A thermal blanket also has the effect of increasing the insulation by more than R10. Even though the foam is usually rated at R4, the effective insulation is over R10 because it: 1. Stops evaporative cooling, and 2. Creates a large dead air space between the water and the cover.

I personally prefer a spa which is open to the world. I don't care for a roof over my spa. It greatly lessens my enjoyment of the spa experience. Even at below zero weather and snowing, when I am in my spa, I don't feel the cold or the snow. When I get out, my body temperature has been raised, and I don't feel cold at all. My spa sits out in our yard about 35Ft from the back door and is exposed to direct Colorado sunlight (and cold winter). I greatly enjoy the stars and the moon at night. I usually go in at night, although the morning is also very nice. I believe my cover gets the worst treatment of all, and it seems to hold up quite well with proper treatment. It requires monthly 303 treatments, and I always use a thermal blanket.

If your spa has a larger cover, one that is difficult for one person to remove and replace, it may be getting some abuse just from using it. If you are sitting your cover (no matter what size) down on the ground, or a concrete surface, that too will cause some abuse. Most people think using a cover this way is OK, and it is if you don't mind replacing your cover way too often.

For the longest life, become the proud owner of and user of a cover lifter that causes minimal cover wear and tear. The best ones I have used are The Easy Lifter, The Super Lift II, The Cover Lift, and the Cover Valet. My favorites are the Super Lift II and the Cover Lift, made by Ideal. A good cover lifter will outlast several covers, and make each cover last much longer. The cover lifter should be installed by someone who is familiar with them or likes to read and follow instructions. You could wind up with all sorts of holes drilled in the wrong place.

Simply by sitting your cover down on the ground causes holes in the cover surface after a while. If you wear through to the inner liner, water begins to rapidly saturate the foam core. Even a small hole of one eithth of an inch or less allows a lot of water vapor to enter. The water vapor coming off the spa is a gas, that gets into some tiny little holes. Once the cover is water saturated, it is worthless; has almost no insulation. It becomes a block of ice in the winter, and the only help it does is the same as the roof on an igloo. "Heavy man heavy"! It weighs "a ton".

Once the water is inside the foam, it starts to smell and the fragrance is "o de de skunk". When people ask me why their cover is worn out after a couple of years, I tell them. Many cover sales people seem only to want to sale a cover, and not to serve the customer's best interest by educating them.

Not only does the cover lifter device save the covers, but it saves your back from lifting the cover on and off the spa. I know of some people who never remove the cover completely, they just fold it over in half, and use half of the spa. I like to use all the seats in my spa even if I am the only one in it.

If you are interested we do offer the best standard 2 pound density covers available, and the cover liftrers to go with them. We stock the thermal blanket material at a very reasonable price. We ship anywhere, take any credit card or any method of monitary exchange. E-mail us order@spaspecialist.com We will get back to you right away.

Call toll free 1-888-478-2224

If you have questions about anything dealing with spas contact us. We offer the best spas for any cold climate (or anywhere). Don't forget to order our 64 page booklet "How Spas are Made". It's $19.95 e-book. You shouldn't buy a spa without reading it!


Havenmade Inc.

Broomfield, Colorado.


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