When you’re shopping around for an important (and expensive) item, you gotta know the lingo. Knowing what these terms mean for the quality, lifespan, and effectiveness of your hot tub cover can make a big difference in your purchase.
1. Foam Density: Hot tub covers are available in 18/25kgs densities. The higher the density, the stronger and better at retaining heat your cover will be.
2. Foam Thickness: Most cover tapers range in thickness from 4 x 2 inches to 6 x 4 inches, 10-6cm, 12-7cm and etc. Thicker foam can handle heavier loads and keep in heat more effectively.
3. R-value: The Federal Trade Commision regulates how to test for and disclose to customersthe heat resistance of foam insulation. However, no one regulates R-value for hot tub cover foam, so it isn’t consistent across manufacturers. That doesn’t stop some of them from using R-value as a selling point. Just remember density and thickness are better indicators of quality, and take R-value figures with a grain of salt.
4. Marine Grade Vinyl: The shell of your hot tub cover is made from material resistant to constant water exposure. The standard is marine grade vinyl, which is a waterproof material. However, it varies in quality. The higher the number, the stronger the vinyl, especially if it’s pre-treated for ultraviolet (UV) and mildew resistance.
5. C-Channel: A galvanized steel bar running the width of the cover helps reinforce it under heavy loads. It’s resistant to chemical corrosion, while providing a little protection for the foam panels, too.
6. Vapor Barrier: The foam core is wrapped in one or two layers of thin plastic film which help prevent moisture from soaking into the foam. Typically it’s sealed around the foam with heat. As your cover ages, the vapor barrier slowly breaks down.
7. Safety Locks: Spa covers come with as many as four locks built in. Some are a simple plastic dial, while others lock with a key. If you’ve got small children or you leave your hot tub unattended for a season, safety locks may be an important feature for your cover.
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