When to Replace a Hot Tub Cover

Hot Tub Cover ReplacementA good hot tub cover is just as important as the hot tub itself. Think about it. Investing in a hot tub cover not only protects your hot tub from outside elements, but it can also save you money. Your hot tub cover can maintain the water temperature and keep any dirt and debris from getting in and messing with the water chemistry. A high quality hot tub cover can last you several years too. However, a hot tub cover does eventually need to be replaced. So when should I replace my hot tub cover? We’ll cover the key signs that help determine when it’s time to replace.


A hot tub cover can become victim to something called “waterlogging.” Waterlogging in a hot tub cover means that the inner foam of the cover has absorbed so much water that it’s been compromised. Compromised with what? A waterlogged hot tub cover means that it’s basically become an environment of bacteria and mildew and has now turned into a health hazard. This can also present the danger that other parts of your hot tub can become damaged. So it’s important to identify a waterlogged hot tub cover and knowing it should be replaced sooner than later.

Quick tip: Try lifting up your suspected waterlogged hot tub cover. If it takes the whole gang to lift it up, all signs point that your hot tub cover has a whole lot of unwanted stored water.

A waterlogged hot tub cover means that it’s not doing its job. A hot tub cover’s main job is to insulate against heat loss. If your cover is full of water instead of air, then it’s basically letting out all of the heat out of your hot tub.

Too Much Wear and Tear

A hot tub cover will have the usual wear and tear, such as fading colors and cosmetic damage. However, if your hot tub cover has several cracks then you’re dealing with something more than just aesthetic damage. Think about it, if your hot tub is located outside and in direct sunlight, your cover will start to wear and crack from the constant exposure. Natural elements like rain and snow will also affect a hot tub cover in the long run.

When the vinyl on the outside of your hot tub cover cracks, it exposes the inner foam and other materials. If those cracks start to resemble holes, then you’re exposing your hot tub to outside elements–basically canceling out the purpose of a hot tub cover. Your hot tub cover will also become more susceptible to waterlogging as we mentioned above.

Quick tip: A good rule of thumb is to periodically check your hot tub cover for signs of unusual wear and tear. There are several ways to elongate the life of a hot tub cover (more on that later).

Sagging or Warped

Hot tub cover look a bit bent out of shape? If your cover is sagging, whether in the middle or towards a certain side, that is not a good sign, I’m afraid. A hot tub cover that looks saggy or warped means that the structure has been compromised. And that can lead into more problems. (I know, I know, I’m just the bearer of bad news here…) A sagging or warped hot tub cover is indicative that the foam core is broken and is no longer structurally sound. If your hot tub cover is not structurally sound, then it will not hold up to rain or snow that falls upon it.

What’s That Smell?

Is there a lingering smell permeating your hot tub? If you’re getting a whiff of something other than the smell of vinyl and hot tub chemicals or fragrances, then you’ve got some investigating to do. If your hot tub cover has a funky smell, then it could mean a lot of things. One of those things can be mold, bacteria and fungi. That’s right. If your hot tub cover is beginning to absorb water, then you’re talking about water that is just sitting there, collecting all sorts of nasties. Not only that, but these nasties are beginning to smell. Unfortunately, there’s no real solution to a smelly hot tub cover but to just replace it completely. A gross smell can turn a relaxing experience into a stinky one (pun totally intended).

Quick tip: Don’t try to mask a smelly hot tub cover with fragrances or household products. This can be considered a short term solution, but it’s one we definitely don’t recommend.

How to Extend the Life of Your Cover

Getting the most out of a hot tub cover is the mission here. And there are several things you can do to keep your hot tub cover from having a shorter lifespan.

Treat your hot tub cover like the gentle flower it is.
Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But it is advised that you treat a hot tub cover as gently as possible despite how heavy and large they look. When removing or placing on top, always make sure you have the assistance you need for a smooth transition.

Don’t treat your hot tub cover like a coffee table.
Just because there’s a flat, sturdy surface doesn’t mean you can put stuff on it. Keep in mind that anything with a considerable amount of weight placed on the hot tub cover can cause it to stretch and sag. You hot tub cover is not a table, so don’t treat it like one. In weather related situations, always make a point to remove the debris as carefully as possible. Take snow/ice for example. If snow/ice accumulates on your cover, start by pouring warm water before removing. Hastily removing such ice or snow can tear the vinyl.

Clean your cover regularly.
You wash your car regularly, right? (If you don’t, you definitely should.) Do the same for your hot tub cover. You can easily do this with mild soap solutions or even baking soda. A little TLC goes a long way. Your hot tub cover will thank you for it.

There you have it. A trusty article that should help better understand the importance of a hot tub cover and the signs to spot when it’s time to replace. Did you know PoolSupplyWorld has a variety of hot tub covers to choose from? Check them out here! We also have some hot tubs for purchase, too. Hot tubs are a great health investment, if we say so ourselves.

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Rachel Godoy
Rachel enjoys talking pool shop and sharing her knowledge of the industry to anyone who's willing to listen. Aside from her love of pools, Rachel enjoys travelling the world, watching under the radar films, playing video games, and fostering animals of all kinds.