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Q. How long to covers last?
        We have replaced covers under 1 yr old and over 12 years old. On average the typical life span is usually 4-6 years with a heat savings payback in as short as 1year. The smallest thinnest covers last the longest and the thicker and bigger the cover the shorter the life expectancy.

Q. Why do large thick cover have a shorter life expectancy?
        Being large and bulky increases the likeliness of damage while being placed or removed from the spa. More importantly, the bigger and thicker the cover the more water vapour it can hold, kind of like a larger bucket out in the rain. If you have two different sized buckets and place them both out in the rain, they both get 5" of water in them which weights more... the large bucket because it has more surface area to trap more water.

Q. Should I remove the foam core inserts to dry them out?
        If I was not ethical, and wanted to sell you a new cover the answer would be, yes! However the correct answer to this question is; As the cover ages there is an increased likeliness the vinyl will shrink (particularly if wet to start with) if the vinyl shrinks it will become difficult, if not impossible to get the foam core inserts back in the vinyl. If you want to remove inserts we suggest replacing the heaviest insert with a new foam core. Dry the core you removed out (this may take months) when your satisfied with its weight, rewrap the foam and use it on the opposite side of the spa. This will allow you to rotate the inserts without the risk of shrinkage.

Q. How can I improve the life of my cover?
        Chemicals diligence is one factor, High sanitizer levels (chlorine, bromine and ozone) tend to deteriorate the poly wrap around a cover to the point that it is not a very good vapour seal anymore. Until science invents poly wrap that is not affected by sanitizers there is little we can do. The other factors; Temperature of water, the hotter, the more vapour penetration. A floating cover on the water under your hard cover also can add several years of life. However there is an issue here, the cost of a bubble cover is usually $20-$40 for a typical spa ($20 through us). It will last about 1 year and will need replacing, over 5 years that is $100. What did it save you? A typical spa cover is only $300-$350. I haven't even talked about the hassle of removing and replacing this additional cover each time the tub is used. Finally another large factor is penetration holes in the poly wrap. If the cover get a puncture hole, repair it ASAP as this will usually allow a cover to water log in as little as one year. Makes that SuperGuard cover look good with aluminum shielding instead of poly.

Q. My vinyl is in good shape but the insert are heavy or broken.
or  My inserts are in good shape but the vinyl is deteriorating.

        When your getting into replacing both inserts at the same time consider a whole new cover. The price of two inserts ($110-$180 per side) quickly approaches the price of a new cover anyway. We often see the vinyl was not in as good of shape as the customer thought and after a couple years the vinyl now needs to be replaced but the inserts are ok (this occurs visa versa too). Guess what the vinyl bag without the inserts is almost the price of a whole new cover ($250-$300) Total cost after all replaced near $600 with an expected 2-4 years left in the foam core inserts life, which need we mention will be superceded by the vinyl's life.

Q. What should I do if my cover smells moldy or musty?
         Increase your sanitizer levels to maintain daily 3-5 ppm (parts per million) chlorine or bromine in your spa water (slightly less if ozone is in use). Moldy smelling covers are directly linked to insufficient sanitizer levels too frequently. Wiping down, hosing out, using 1 part bleach to 20 parts water, all work but are only addressing a symptom of another problem. You need to increase your sanitizer levels in your spa water. They will gas off the tub surface and kill mold before it grows. To much sanitizer as mentioned above can also damage your cover. Test frequently, be diligent.

Q. What kind of foam do you use?
        My experience most manufacturers use basically the same sources for foam, poly, vinyl, etc... The difference in price and quality from one manufacturer to another is the attention to detail, workman ship and the amount of extra material used to produce the cover. This is why we have no issues showing you how well our covers are made and the attention to detail. When you shop around you will see the difference. There are manufacturers out there that don't even show pictures of a finished cover out there. What does that tell you? See our features page on Dorlon covers. There you will see nylon web reinforced handles, hinge, lock kits. You will also see we use aluminum C-channels instead if steel. Aluminum is, stronger, lighter and more corrosion resistant to even galvanized steel. We don't use it for its price because it is much more expensive to use. To answer your question, the foam is a type 2, closed cell foam that is water proof (but not vapour proof).

Q. What does foam density have to do with? 
        The largest factor to do with foam density is the strength of the cover. Yes, there is improved insulation with higher density covers. Yes, there is reduced water absorption too. However the trade off for density is a heavier cover from day one. The absorption of water should not be a deciding factor in choosing density as the cover starts out heavier. If it is insulating value you are looking for, the largest factor there is thickness. We suggest you strongly consider higher density foams if your cover is large (over 90 inches) and or weight loads like several feet of snow is common in your area. (See cover specs)

Q. How much do I save adding an inch of thickness to the cover?
        This is a good question, Common knowledge tells us the thicker a cover the better it insulates and the more you will save. This is true, to some degree. Keep in mind, the thicker and larger a cover the shorter the life expectancy...there goes some of your savings. Keep this in mind, 50% or more of your heat lose is water turning to steam. Put a sheet of plastic on your spa and you cut your heating cost in half. Close your air controls when the spa is not in use, air coming through the jets displaces the insulating air pocket between the water and the cover reducing any covers efficiency to almost half, because that air pocket normally reaches a certain humidity level threshold and stops the water from vaporizing further. If you displace the air out from under the cover and replace it with cooler less humid air the spa water will continue to vaporize from the surface reducing the heat savings. 

I like to look at thicker covers in this manner. Sitting in your spa for an extra few minutes or opening the cover to test or add chemicals to the water, you lose as much or more heat that way than from a couple extra 'R' value over the course of a month. 

Too thin of a cover will collapse with minimal weight and will not provide very good insulating value, too thick and you risk shorter life, bulkiness and extra redundant cost in the purchase price. This is one of many reasons why I like 4x2" tapered or 3" flat covers. They are middle of the road. not too thick not too thin.

Q. What do you recommend a good value, well built, spa cover?

For those of you don't have time to discover the differences in spa covers, or prefer a simpler method of choosing a cover. Our most popular, best valued covers are...

3" Flat (for undercover applications) Dorlon EconoGuard @ $360


4x2" Tapered (outside applications, exposed to weather) 
Dorlon EconoGuard also at $360

If your spa covers dimensions exceed 84" in length or width to a max of 96" there is a $20 surcharge.

If you exceed 90" we highly recommend  high density foam for only $20 more as it is stronger and can handle the span of your cover much better.

So, for example, if your looking for the best value for the dollar a spa cover that is say, 92" x 94" cover with 6" Radius corners for outside, we would suggest a Dorlon EconoGuard 4x2" tapered in high density foam at $400 ($360+20+20). 

Remember we cover the first $20 of shipping costs also.

There is no better value in BC, bar none! How to measure to order.

or contact us by skipping to this page.

Q. Are your prices Canadian or American dollars?
        Canadian... And we help with shipping costs, (Free local delivery). There are additional discounts and coupons on our web site to save you even more. Those you have to look for and work for a little. They are your reward for reading our site and saving us time answering questions that are already online.


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Last modified: March 14, 2012

British Columbia Arms  Based in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada.

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