Can You Fix a Torn Hot Tub Cover? (Yes; here’s what to do!)

Every hot tub owner has, or will eventually have to deal with wear and tear on their hot tub cover. So if you’ve ever wondered can you fix a torn hot tub cover? The answer is yes.

Here’s what I’ve learned in researching that:

Fix a torn hot tub cover first by cleaning the area around the tear with rubbing alcohol. Then apply a vinyl repair patch extending 1 inch beyond the tear. Press firmly to adhere the patch & ensure no air bubbles are present. Then check to see if the plastic is torn on the inside of the cover (patch if necessary).

But don’t worry. We’ll get into the details, examine what wears the cover out (and how to slow that). But we’ll also talk about when it’s time to replace your cover.

So let’s keep going!

Want an easy way to get the hot tub lid on and off?

There’s nothing better than using a hot tub cover lifter with hydraulics. And no, they don’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. They come in all prices ranges even down to around 50 dollars!

In a recent article, I examine the 11 best ones and organize them by the ease of installation, the shape of the lid, how much space is needed behind the hot tub and by budget.

It’s a must-read if you don’t have a cover lifter yet! Just click that link to read it on my site.

What can cause a tear in my hot tub cover?

Lots of things can cause your hot tub cover to wear, tear, or generate holes over time.

The big thing for my hot tub cover at our last house was the fact that we didn’t have a hot tub cover lifter. My daughters and even my wife had a hard time getting the cover on and off if they were using it while I was at work.

After all, a hot tub cover is heavy! Depending on the size of your hot tub cover, it could weight anywhere from 35-70 lbs. 45 lbs, however, is probably more the average.

So they would basically just fold the top in half and then push it to the edge of the hot tub and let it slide down the side. But being as heavy as it was, the weight of the cover would definitely put stress on the edges and middle of the cover where the fold is.

Other things that can damage your hot tub cover include:

  • The sun (not so much tears, but the extreme heat can fade and weaken the vinyl cover)
  • Storms (especially high wind that might blow objects onto the lid)
  • Setting a hot drink down on the lid
  • Slipping into the tub during winter and freezing to the hot tub shell

Since I mentioned that not having a hot tub cover lifter was what did the most damage to my hot tub cover at our last house, I wanted to mention that at the house where we live now, I learned that lesson and bought a lifter.

I did a lot of research first and read a lot of reviews, and finally settled on the Cover Valet Spa Cover Lift(just click the link to check current price on Amazon).

Some cover lifters screw into the sides of the tub which wouldn’t work for my plastic-sided tub. Others had terrible reviews. This one is almost all 5-star reviews, an Amazon’s Choice product has hundreds of reviews and comes with free shipping!

The best part is this thing was cheap (well under $200) and I installed it in under 10 minutes.

Admittedly this one is designed to slide under the tub, but feeling lazy and not wanting to drain the tub, I didn’t do that (but you could). Instead, I left the bottom plate off and screwed it into a 2×6 board that was about 2′ long and then I screwed that into my deck that the hot tub sits on and it works great.

My wife and daughters can easily get the lid on and off and I could do it one-handed.

How do you fix a hole in a hot tub cover?

In many cases, small holes or tears in a hot tub cover don’t have to mean replacing the whole thing.

That can cost hundreds of dollars and can usually be avoided IF you fix the hole or tear before it gets worse. For fixing small holes or tears, I LOVE the product Tear-Aid Vinyl Repair Patch Kit (click to see the current price on Amazon).

Here, we’re going to walk through the steps of how to use this product to fix your hot tub vinyl cover.

Because the patch is see-through, you don’t have to worry about matching your hot tub cover color. And because the patch is both airtight but flexible, it will keep the tear from getting worse.

The really cool thing is how many other uses you might find for this, from inflatable pool toys and tubes to camping tents, air mattresses, and much more.

Here are the steps to follow to fix your hole or tear:

1. Clean the area around the tear

The Tear-Aid Kit comes with packages of alcohol pads. Open one and gently wipe the entire area around the hole or the tear. Make sure to get at least 1 inch around the area to be repaired.

The patch will have a harder time sticking to dirt, grime, or residue from hot tub chemicals.

2. Cut the patch to the right size

Your kit comes with a few different sizes. Find the one that best fits the size of your hole or tear and trim with scissors if necessary. You want the patch to go at least an inch past the hole or tear in every direction.

You can use multiple patches for large repairs but overlap your patches by 1 inch also.

3. Peel and stick the patch over the hole 

The patches are peel and stick.

Start by peeling back a small amount of one side of the patch and placing 1 inch away from one side of the hole or tear. Press that exposed side of the patch onto the cover. Then slowly begin to peel the remaining paper backing away as you continue to press the patch onto your cover.

When done, press vigorously on the entire patch to ensure good adhesion and ensuring that no air bubbles are under the patch.

4. Unzip the cover and see if the hole or tear also tore the plastic on the inside

Many holes and tears will just affect the outside of your hot tub vinyl cover.

However, sometimes, especially if we’ve let the hole or tear get worse over time, the plastic that wraps the foam inserts underneath may be torn also.

In these cases, to ensure you get the maximum life out of your hot tub cover, you’ll want to patch that plastic also.

So start by unzipping the cover. Ideally, you won’t have to remove the whole cover, but that will depend on where the tear is and how long it is.

You’ll follow the exact same steps to patch the plastic that you just followed here.

So if you need to fix your hot tub cover, don’t wait! Those tears always get worse over time. Get your Tear-Aid Vinyl Repair Patch Kit today!

Check it out on Amazon.

How do I protect my hot tub cover?

Periodically, it pays to really clean your hot tub cover and add a protectant to it to keep it looking good and lasting a long time.

After all, not only does this thing sit on top of what is essentially a hot spring, but in many cases, it’s exposed directly to the elements 24/7.

The sun, the high and low temperatures, wind, and the frequent opening and closing of your tub lid all take a toll.

Here’s what you need to do and how often you should do it:

  • Clean with vinegar – Wipe the entire surface of the hot tub cover with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Use a 10 (water) to 1 (vinegar) ratio.
  • Use a vinyl protectant – Once it’s been cleaned with vinegar, which removes the dirt, grime, hot tub chemical residue, now its time to help moisturize, UV protect, and help prevent fading and cracking.

There’s actually no better product on the planet for hot tub covers than 303 UV Protectant (click to learn more on Amazon).

303 brand is the ultimate protectant for vinyl, fiberglass (so it works on your shell too), plastic, rubber or leather.

So like the tear product I mentioned above, this product will have lots of uses around your house too (and easily replaces the inferior Armor All which you shouldn’t use on vinyl at all due to the silicone in it).

Thousands of near-perfect reviews can’t be wrong. In fact, why not read some of those reviews on Amazon?

I recommend cleaning and protecting your hot tub cover once a month.

If your tub is indoors, in a screened-in porch, or otherwise better protected from the elements you could push that to quarterly. But the 15 minutes you might spend doing this monthly is a way better investment of your time and money than having to buy a new cover for your tub every couple of years!

How long do hot tub covers last?

This can vary quite a bit. But under normal wear and tear, you can expect your hot tub cover to last between 5-7 years.

We’ve already covered how to patch holes and tears and how to maintain a good cover. Of course, it also hopefully goes without saying that kids should not be walking or jumping on a hot tub cover.

But here are some things that can make your hot tub cover wear out faster:

  • Excess snow accumulates on the lid in winter – The added weight of lots of snow or ice can cause the foam to start to bend down which is known as cupping. Once your foam inserts are no longer flat, it’s time to replace them
  • Waterlogged covers  – Torn plastic on the inside allows the cover to fill with water. The added weight puts extra wear and tear on the seams of the cover

One other thing to consider is that when your cover no longer fits the tub well, you’re letting excess heat out of it. When that happens, your energy bills can go up!

The best way to get your hot tub lid to last longer is to cover it with a polyester spa cover.

I know it sounds funny that I’m suggesting you cover your cover. But hear me out. This is a fabric cover you just slip over your existing foam and vinyl hot tub cover. They are waterproof, UV resistant and protect your expensive cover (this is not expensive) from wind, rain, snow, birds, hail, etc.

While there are a lot of hot tub sizes, the ULTCOVER Waterproof 600D (click to check price on Amazon) is designed to fit most square hot tubs up to 85 inches and it has elastic cords to adjust to your tub size.

Other sizes are available too!

It also has a 3-year warranty! I personally wouldn’t put this on every day during the seasons when I’m using my tub frequently. But during summer and winter, when I’m less apt to use my tub daily, this is a great thing to put on to protect your cover!

When should I replace my hot tub cover?

Replace your cover under the following circumstances:

  • You see excess mildew on the cover or underside that doesn’t come off with cleaning. That means the mildew has rooted in the vinyl or fabric
  • You have multiple tears or holes that are too large to be successfully patched
  • It’s torn around the seams
  • The cover is always waterlogged

Those signs indicate a cover that’s probably beyond the scope of your ability to fix it.

While you could just leave it as is, you risk damaging the foam inserts inside the vinyl cover as they get more exposure to the elements, hot tub chemicals, or mildew.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about whether you can fix a torn hot tub cover?

In this article, we took a look at the world of hot tub covers.

We examined what puts the most wear and tear on them, how long they last, on average, and when to know that it’s time to replace it.

Specifically, though, we answered the question can you fix a torn hot tub cover?

That answer is yes, and we walked you through the steps of just how to do that. And believe me, that’s a whole lot cheaper than buying a new one!

How long have you had your hot tub cover?

Want an easy way to get the hot tub lid on and off?

There’s nothing better than using a hot tub cover lifter with hydraulics. And no, they don’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. They come in all prices ranges even down to around 50 dollars!

In a recent article, I examine the 11 best ones and organize them by the ease of installation, the shape of the lid, how much space is needed behind the hot tub and by budget.

It’s a must-read if you don’t have a cover lifter yet! Just click that link to read it on my site.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, hot tub lover, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market.

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