can a saturated hot tub cover be dried out

Over time, a worn hot tub cover can become waterlogged. This happens when tears in the vinyl cover allow water to get in. Sure you can just buy a new one. But for those on a budget, it’s not uncommon to wonder can a hot tub cover be dried out?

Having dealt with this at my last house, this is what I learned:

Yes, a waterlogged hot tub cover can be dried out. First, remove the foam inserts and allow them to dry fully, cleaning them if necessary. Then allow the vinyl cover to fully dry out. Lastly, any tears or holes in the vinyl need to be patched to prevent water from entering the cover again.

But that’s just a quick overview.

First of all, how badly is it damaged? Is the cover sagging in the middle? Is there a moldy smell coming off it? If this is the case, you should probably have attended to it a long time ago. Covers that are too far gone will most likely need to be replaced.

But, if it is not so bad, it may be it is worth saving. Let’s dive in and figure out if that’s possible!

— Jon Chapman (@RichsForTheHome) March 9, 2015

Why do spa covers get waterlogged?

Spa covers are usually made up of thick pieces of insulation foam—often encased in polythene (plastic sheeting). The foam then gets sandwiched between two layers of vinyl, with the joints zipped or stitched and sealed.

Over time, exposure to the elements will cause the vinyl to break down. This, together with the constant lifting puts stress on the material and cracks will start to appear.

This is especially true when hot tub owners don’t use a hot tub cover lifter. Remember, hot tub covers are upwards of 75 lbs. It can be very hard to gently set them on the ground when you open it.

When they repeatedly get dumped on the ground, the weight of the cover can cause tiny rips and tears at the seams of the cover. But the plastic sheeting encasing the foam inserts can also get torn.

Water can get in through these tears, or it can enter through the underside due to water vapor from the warm water in the tub.

How waterlogged the cover gets depends on the kind of foam used for the inserts.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) will easily become waterlogged as the air in the foam expands, allowing water vapor to enter and condense as it meets the cooler outside air.

Styrofoam is a closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam (XPS}, which in itself is not as prone to saturation but water vapor can still get trapped between the core and the polythene covering.

If the Styrofoam is damaged through wear and tear, it is also possible for water to enter cracks.

Not only does saturation make the top heavier and more difficult to handle, but the thermal properties become seriously compromised, making them far less efficient and increasing the running cost of your hot tub.


— punksmiteye (@bpsmiteye) May 14, 2020

Will waterlogged Styrofoam dry out?

In a recent article, I discussed the ways to deal with this. But the cover and inserts will dry out once removed from the hot tub and set aside for a while. Just click that link to read more on that process on my site.

This is usually a good time to drain your hot tub and clean the tub.

Remove the Styrofoam core and turn the vinyl inside-out so it can dry on the inside first—this is the most important step. Otherwise, you will trap moisture inside the cover once you’re done.

Dry both the foam core and the cover in full sun if you can, otherwise, an indoor space like a garage can work as well.

This will work but it will take longer. Inside a garage, space heaters may be used to speed up the process but don’t place them too close as it could damage the vinyl or even set fire to the foam!

Our #CoverCleaner

— The Cover Guy (@TheCOVERGuy) October 23, 2019

How do you fix a waterlogged spa cover?

First off, you will have to dry out the foam insulation. This usually involves removing the core and allowing it to dry naturally (see above).

Then you need to find out why the cover became waterlogged and address that. In a recent article, I explained how to fix holes and small tears in a spa cover using a repair kit. This is a simple DIY job that could save hundreds of dollars.

Just click that link to read how to do it on my site. But here is a quick overview:

Patching up torn vinyl is an easy job. You just need the right materials and the right technique. The key to success is the adhesive.

Don’t just use any old adhesive. Vinyl contains oils that combine with most glues to make it gooey and lose its bond, so you need something with a built-in inhibitor, which is why I recommend Tear-Aid (click to see the current price on Amazon).

The Tear-Aid repair kit contains everything you need to repair to your hot tub cover perfectly.

The clear patch conforms to any shape so it works on corners. And it is flexible so it is great along the hinged areas. It is also see-thru, so it works with any color vinyl, and UV resistant so it won’t crack under constant sunlight.

Take these steps once the cover has dried out and the foam reinstated:

  • Thoroughly clean the vinyl cover
  • Roughen up the area on each side of the tear or around the hole using light grade sandpaper
  • Wipe away any residue with a dry cloth
  • Cut the patch to shape or size. Always do a dry run first to make sure you’ve got the right fit
  • Use the alcohol preparation pads supplied with the kit to apply a thin film around the tear or hole
  • Apply the patch using firm pressure. It will bond within seconds so make sure you position it right first time—you don’t get a second chance!

And that’s it, you’re good to go. It is always best to leave it a few hours until the patch has fully cured, so use this time to prepare your hot tub for the next session.

A collage of “before” photos. We got rid of our hot tub, so I am harvesting the foam from the cover. I see at least 3 new tombstones.

— Wallace Manor Haunt (@Wallace_Manor) April 11, 2020

Can I replace the foam in my hot tub cover?

If the foam is damaged, it is possible to replace it.

Most hot tub covers have a zipper, which allows the foam to be removed, but if not, you are probably looking at a replacement.

The foam must be precisely the same size and thickness as the original, and always use a material that is suitable for hot tub use such as Styrofoam.

It is not worth skimping on cost, because inch for inch this is the most efficient in terms of energy and strength.

Most companies, however, want to sell you the whole cover. After all, that’s a bigger sale for them. And they don’t have to mess with returns from people who don’t measure their inserts correctly.

So you may have to Google around for a while to find a company that will sell just the inserts. You can start your journey, however, at Beyond Nice (not an affiliate link)as they do sell custom inserts. 

Checking with your dealer or hot tub manufacturer is also a good idea.

I mentioned at the top that not using a hot tub cover lifter was the 2nd biggest cause of damage to hot tub covers (following sun damage).

In this recent article, I looked at some great hot tub cover lifters to suit all situations and most budgets.

They can be free-standing or attached to your hot tub, manual, or automatic. They are quick and simple to install and will save you so much trouble as well as help increase the life span of the cover through reduced strain.

Just click that link to read more on my site.

The poly plastic film used to wrap and protect the cut foam (used inside the hot tub cover) from moisture damage is extremely important.

— Tub & Deck Tech (@TubandDecktech) February 8, 2017

How often should you replace your hot tub cover?

Hot tub covers don’t last forever, but you should get between 5 and 7 years out of one if you look after it. In a recent article, I discussed this in more detail.

I even get into 2 crucial tips to extend the life of your cover by about 3 years. Just click that link to read it on my site.

Exposure to the sun’s UV rays and constant manual lifting is the main causes of damage. And if you can reduce these in some way, your cover should last another 3 years.

The best way to protect from the sun is to provide shelter of some kind.

But if you like to sit out and look at the stars while you’re soaking up the bubbles, then you should consider coating the vinyl with 303 UV Protectant (click to see the current price on Amazon).

There are other products out there, but this is, in my opinion, the best as it will also work on the acrylic shell of the hot tub too.

A monthly treatment is all you need to keep the vinyl supple.

Regular cleaning to remove dirt and leaves is always a good idea. Dead leaves will trap moisture and increase mold growth. They can also harbor insects that could damage the surface of the cover.

Also, clean off large amounts of snow in winter. That weight can easily cause the foam inserts to become permanently warped inwards.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about waterlogged covers?

Well, to answer the original question, yes, waterlogged hot tub covers can be dried out and be given a new lease of life, but prevention is better than any cure.

Regular cleaning of your cover and treating with a UV protectant will extend the life of your hot tub cover by at least 3 years, so it is well worth the effort.

Avoiding damage in the first place is the best way of preventing a waterlogged cover. As I said earlier, most of the strain on the cover is caused by constant lifting. And this can be reduced by investing in a cover lifter.

If all else fails and the damage is too great to be repaired, then it is probably time to bite the bullet and go for a new cover, but if this is the case, think about the points made above to get the most out of it.

Just click on the links to see previous posts on my site.

Photos which require attribution:

Ice in Phoenix by Adam is licensed under CC2.0

Photo of author

Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

Thank you for visiting

Leave a Comment

Business Finance

About Us

Business Finance News is a brand oriented to business owners and dedicated to analyzing and comparing the cost and conditions of B2B procurement of goods and services through free quotes delivered by business partners.


Address 5050 Quorum Drive, (75254) Dallas TX

telephone 844-368-6072


A personal loan is a medium term loan with a fixed interest rate that is repaid in equal monthly payments and it's usually limited to 24 months. Loan offers and eligibility depend on your individual credit profile. Our lenders can help you obtain as much as $3,000 depending on the lender, your state and your financial situation.

The owner and operator of is not a lender and is not involved into making credit decisions associated with lending or making loan offers. Instead, the website is designed only for a matching service, which enables the users contact with the lenders and third parties. The website does not charge any fees for its service, nor does it oblige any user to initiate contact with any of the lenders or third parties or accept any loan product or service offered by the lenders. All the data concerning personal loan products and the industry is presented on the website for information purposes only. does not endorse any particular lender, nor does it represent or is responsible for the actions or inactions of the lenders. does not collect, store or has access to the information regarding the fees and charges associated with the contacting lenders and/or any loan products. Online personal loans are not available in all the states. Not all the lenders in the network can provide the loans up to $3,000. cannot guarantee that the user of the website will be approved by any lender or for any loan product, will be matched with a lender, or if matched, will receive a personal loan offer on the terms requested in the online form. The lenders may need to perform credit check via one or more credit bureaus, including but not limited to major credit bureaus in order to determine credit reliability and the scopes of credit products to offer. The lenders in the network may need to perform additional verifications, including but not limited to social security number, driver license number, national ID or other identification documents. The terms and scopes of loan products vary from lender to lender and can depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the state of residence and credit standing of the applicant, as well as the terms determined by each lender individually. 


APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is the loan rate calculated for the annual term. Since is not a lender and has no information regarding the terms and other details of personal loan products offered by lenders individually, cannot provide the exact APR charged for any loan product offered by the lenders. The APRs greatly vary from lender to lender, state to state and depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the credit standing of an applicant. Additional charges associated with the loan offer, including but not limited to origination fees, late payment, non-payment charges and penalties, as well as non-financial actions, such as late payment reporting and debt collection actions, may be applied by the lenders. These financial and non-financial actions have nothing to do with, and has no information regaining whatsoever actions may be taken by the lenders. All the financial and non-financial charges and actions are to be disclosed in any particular loan agreement in a clear and transparent manner. The APR is calculated as the annual charge and is not a financial charge for a personal loan product. 

Late Payment Implications

It is highly recommended to contact the lender if late payment is expected or considered possible. In this case, late payment fees and charges may be implied. Federal and state regulations are determined for the cases of late payment and may vary from case to case. All the details concerning the procedures and costs associated with late payment are disclosed in loan agreement and should be reviewed prior to signing any related document. 

Non-payment Implications

Financial and non-financial penalties may be implied in cases of non-payment or missed payment. Fees and other financial charges for late payment are to be disclosed in loan agreement. Additional actions related to non-payment, such as renewals, may be implied upon given consent. The terms of renewal are to be disclosed in each loan agreement individually. Additional charges and fees associated with renewal may be applied. 

Debt collection practices and other related procedures may be performed. All the actions related to these practices are adjusted to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulations and other applicable federal and state laws in order to protect consumers from unfair lending and negative borrowing experience. The majority of lenders do not refer to outside collection agencies and attempt to collect the debt via in-house means. 

Non-payment and late payment may have negative impact on the borrowers’ credit standing and downgrade their credit scores, as the lenders may report delinquency to credit bureaus, including but not limited to Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. In this case the results of non-payment and late payment may be recorded and remain in credit reports for the determined amount of time.