Everything you need to know to repair a hot tub cover

Read on to learn how to repair a hot tub cover hole, leak, or tear.

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Owning a hot tub isn't all about fun—it definitely requires a bit of responsibility, too! Just like any appliance, the different parts of a hot tub can run into issues. Hot tub covers are prone to problems since they protect your tub from external elements.

So what happens if your hot tub gets a tear, leaks, or has a hole? Can you repair hot tub covers? Generally, if the damage isn’t that extensive, hot tub cover repair is possible. Immediately fixing it will prevent things from getting worse. But if your cover is already worn-out and doesn’t serve its purpose anymore, consider replacing it.

Read on to learn how to repair a hot tub cover hole, leak, or tear.

What do I need to repair my hot tub cover?

outdoor hot tub with covering

Depending on the damage, you may need to grab a few tools and supplies to repair your hot tub cover. Check out the lists below.

What you need to fix a small tear on the seam

  • Vinyl repair patch

  • Adhesive 

  • Rubbing alcohol 

What you need to fix a hole

  • Polythene patch for one or two small holes; or

  • Polythene sheets for several holes

What you need to fix a cracked foam core

  • New foam core of the same size

What you need to fix a waterlogged spa cover

  • Anti-mould and anti-mildew agent

What you need to replace the vinyl covering

  • Large sheet of unbacked vinyl

  • Contact cement can

  • A large spreader

How do you repair a ripped spa cover?

Prolonged usage usually causes rips or tears. This results in water entering the cover, especially in outdoor hot tubs. Durability is also affected as a small tear could worsen whenever the cover is lifted. 

  1. Clean the area near the rip with rubbing alcohol.

  2. Prepare the vinyl patch. Make sure it’s at least 2.54 cm (1 in) bigger than the tear in all directions. 

  3. Apply the adhesive to the leather patch and the area around the tear.

  4. Place the leather patch directly on top of the tear.

  5. Flat out wrinkles or air bubbles to ensure the patch is securely in place.

  6. The edges should be smoothly pasted and shouldn’t protrude out. If so, you must ensure that any space is tightly closed.

  7. Leave it to cure.

How do you fix a hole/leak in a hot tub’s vapour barrier?

hot tub with an open foam core cover

The vapour barrier is the one that blocks the vapour from the hot water entering the foam core. Any tear or hole in the vapour barrier will allow water to seep into the foam core. When this happens, the tub cover becomes heavy due to water logging. Regularly examine your vapour barrier to check for holes. Doing this can prevent further damage.

  1. Instead of duct tape, use a polythene patch to cover the holes in the vapour barrier. They can withstand heat and steam compared to duct tape. 

  2. In case of several holes, remove the foam core first and use polythene sheets or a tarp to cover it before putting back the foam core.

  3. When adding chemicals to the hot tub water, keep it open for at least 30 minutes before closing it. If you don’t do this, the gases produced by chemicals such as chlorine or bromine stay inside and eat up the vapour barrier.

How to replace a cracked foam core

outdoor tub with folded foam core cover

If the hot tub’s foam core gets cracked, patching up will not solve the damage. You may need to replace it with a new foam core. 

To do this, measure the old core size to know what new foam core to purchase. Fair warning, this can be challenging and costly. Experts usually recommend that you get a new cover instead.

You might like to read: How to maintain a hot tub

How to fix a heavy hot tub cover

leather hot tub cover

Any small tear in the cover or a hole in the vapour barrier will let water seep in, causing waterlogging. If your hot tub has a waterfall feature, it may cause water to get into your cover. Waterlogging makes it difficult to lift the cover. Plus, it causes mould and stinking.

If waterlogging is already heavy, get a new hot tub cover. But if you notice the issue early, you can still fix it.

  1. Take out the foam core and dry it by standing it vertically in the shade or under the sun. This allows the trapped water inside the foam to evaporate.

  2. Once dry, prevent further issues by spraying it with anti-mould and anti-mildew agents.

  3. Flip the foam core to reverse any sagging due to residual water content when you put it back on the cover.

  4. Ensure that the foam is well insulated with a plastic covering that serves as the vapour barrier. 

  5. Any holes in the cover should be sealed to prevent further issues.

Replacing the vinyl covering

vinyl hot tub covering

Recover your spa top with new marine-grade vinyl. 

  1. Use a large sheet of unbacked vinyl, a can of contact cement, and a large spreader. 

  2. Cover over the entire top of the spa cover and the sides as well. This may cover many holes or thin areas all at once.

Protect your hot tub

If you’ve discovered that your hot tub cover’s broken, it’s best to repair it immediately to prevent further damage. It can certainly take up a lot of time and effort, though. Depending on the issue, it can take up to a full day to repair it.

Hot tub cover and maintenance shouldn’t be a stressful task. You can leave the repair to a Tasker if you need it fixed in a jiffy.

Book a hot tub repair professional through Airtasker and focus on preparing your next at-home spa session in your tub.

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FAQs on repairing a hot tub cover

Flex Seal can work on other leak issues in the household, but it may not provide a durable repair to your hot tub cover because it is exposed to heat and steam. 

Choose a foam core that is thick, dense, and has 100% closed-cell polystyrene. This retains heat better than cheaper foam coats made of recycled foam. Quality foam core provides better insulation to the tub.

Check your hot tub cover periodically to know if issues need attention. Note that an outdoor hot tub is exposed to weather conditions such as sunlight—which can lead to discolouration and wearing out. The cover can turn porous, which lets water seep into the foam core during a rainy day. You can also check this hot tub maintenance guide for more info.

Use a dye or food colouring to colour the water. Look for the darker water in the tub, as this indicates the leak location.

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