Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ideal Spa Covers Vs. the "other guys spa cover"

The Ideal Spa Cover is #1

All spa covers are NOT created equal!

Ideal Spa Covers have over 20 points of reinforcement. Chris Graham, owner of Discount Pool Supply in Orange County, Ca would like to share some of those points with you.

Ideal Spa Covers are CUSTOM MADE to Order. Every spa cover order is made to the customer's specifications, choice of color, and choice of foam core density. Our spa covers are NOT generic sizes "that will work". At Ideal Spa Covers all spa covers are made by hand using industrial grade machines enabling us to make the strongest, longest lasting spa cover, in a wide variety of custom sizes and shapes.

We use a proprietary blend Vinyl

Ideal Spa Covers has been in business over 25 years. This has made for a great relationship between Ideal Spa Covers and the manufacturer of the Vinyl. Over the years the formula of the Vinyl has been "tweaked" to meet the needs for our spa covers. This allows us to offer the Highest Grade of Marine Grade Vinyl that is unique to Ideal Spa Covers. Our proprietary formula for Vinyl has been treated with mold and UV inhibitors protecting it from the elements. With proper spa cover care, our customers have reported that Ideal Spa Covers last 6 to 8 years on average and up to 10 years when using 303 Aerospace Protectant every month after cleaning the spa cover.
The type of Vinyl used is the MOST important thing about a spa cover! If you use cheap Vinyl... who cares if it gets water-logged if the Vinyl is already torn/ faded? Many spa covers use a type of Vinyl that is meant to be used on furniture. This type of Vinyl will deteriorate quickly and have issues with mold due to its properties. Most Vinyl (even Marine grade Vinyl) is usually used as a type of fabric on furniture (e.g. Chairs). This type of Vinyl has a soft "cotton-like" fabric on the underside. When this is exposed to moisture it will be a great place for mold and mildew to grow. Our Vinyl doesn't have this fabric underside. UV protection is also a major concern. Even a boat that uses Vinyl for the seats is usually indoors or under a tarp when it not being used. A Vinyl spa cover is exposed to the elements 24/7. In addition to adding protection to our formula, we recommend using 303 Aerospace Protectant every month, this will reduce slow fade by 95% over fiver years! Vinyl has pores similar to the pores in skin. If these pores are allowed to become filled with dirt the vinyl will no longer be able to expand and contract with the heat of the day. Eventually the plasticizes will dry out and the Vinyl will lose its pliability and become hard and brittle. Eventually the Vinyl will tear and your spa cover will water-log the next time it rains.

Our Virgin EPS foam is tapered for maximum runoff of rain-water

When the spa cover industry was in its infancy a lot of things were done wrong. It was Ideal Spa Covers that standardized the use of tapered/ sloped foam. In the beginning the foam was 3" flat foam or a foam with only 1" of taper, 3.5" to 2.5". Ideal Spa Covers comes standard with 2" tapered designs of 4" x 2" (1# and 2# foam). And also offers Super Foam 5" x 3" (2.5# foam).
Ideal Spa Cover recently introduced a great new design... the Ultimate Waterfall spa cover featuring 5" x 2" design. The only cover with 3" of taper...50% more than the others! The new design also incorporates a seamless design around the top edges so that no moisture can penetrate the cover from the top. Heavy rains and snow melt will water-log this cover. Click for more information about the Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover .

The VPB 3000 Vapor Proof Barrier exclusive to Ideal Spa Covers

Protecting the foam from becoming water-logged should be a simple concept and standard on all spa covers. Unfortunately it's not. 
For Ideal Spa Covers the concept is simple.We create a Vapor Proof Barrier. We use a proprietary blend of 4 mil thick plastic, wrap it around the foam panel and vacuum seal it by machine. When a spa cover is on a heated spa IT WILL PICK UP MOISTURE. The steam rises up through the stitches of ALL spa covers. Because our spa covers use the VPB 3000 Vapor Proof Barrier the steam remains separated from the foam. As it cools, it condenses back to water and drains out the drain holes.
In my experience of selling this cover since 1997 I have found this is ALL that is required to keep an Ideal spa cover from water-logging.
The "other guys spa covers" advertise a few "interesting" options. They suggest "double wrap" of the cover. The problem with this idea is two-fold...
If the steam can penetrate their regular, run of the mil, off the shelf , polyethylene plastic, what good will putting a 2nd layer around it do? Nothing, it will just delay it. The plastic is actually porous to the point that steam can penetrate it, but it will hold water. In actuality the steam will still penetrate the first layer of plastic and then become trapped forever between the sheets when the moisture condenses. The foam at this point isnt water-logged, technically... but the cover is getting heavier.
In addition to the VPB 3000 being an unique formula of plastic the Ideal Spa Cover also uses industrial grade machines to vacuum seal the plastic. Vacuum sealing of the plastic removes the air between the VPB 3000 and the foam. Very important because the air around us has moisture in it. And on a very humid day there can be a lot of moisture trapped next to the foam. When the air is heated and cooled inside of the spa cover this trapped moisture will condense into water and be trapped forever. And sealed with an industrial strength machine ensures that the seal will be done evenly throughout with the proper pressure providing a seal that is 100% sealed. When done by hand with a "seal-o-meal" hand-held sealer uneven pressure can cause burns in the plastic and incomplete seals which will cause the cover to fail prematurely and water-log. Some "other guys spa covers" just tape the plastic closed. This is the worst thing that you can do! You are just guaranteeing that the steam is going to get trapped the first time the cover is on the heated spa. And its just going to get worse from there. Over the years I have seen many design "tweaks", most of which involve copying the Ideal Spa Cover design. My favorite "interesting" option is a spa cover that offers NO barrier from the steam. In fact they make no attempt to protect the foam from moisture. Be it steam or water. The design I am referring to uses a "mesh web" bottom material. Ideal Spa Covers uses industrial strength sheet of double ply poly-laminate with drain holes. The mesh-web bottom design exposes the unsealed foam to moisture and they acknowledge this and say it will just run out. If you have ever owned and had to replace an old spa cover you know how badly they can water-log and that they never really dry out. And they sure don't dry out over night while the cover is on the heated spa.

Certified Safety Cover ASTM f 1346-91

Ideal Spa Covers are certified to be safety covers for children under the age of 5 years. Spa covers are not intended to be walked on or sat on. The spa cover when locked is supposed to prevent drowning by preventing the child from crawling under the spa cover. All Ideal Spa Covers (96" x 96") are certified as a safety cover ASTM 1346-91 when ordered with four (4) locking tie-downs. Recently you may have tried to sell or refinance your home and found out that your spa is NOT compliant with local safety regulations. You may have been told that a fence will be required and/ or door alarms on the patio doors. An Ideal Spa Cover w/ Tie Downs will solve this expensive problem. When used properly our spa covers will pass the ASTM requirement and have the required ASTM # stamped on every cover. If it doesn't have the ASTM stamp the cover will not pass inspection.

In a Nutshell....

Ideal Spa Covers are simply better than the competition because of the quality of the craftsmanship and use of the highest quality materials. And by taking the next step to work with the manufacturer's of the materials, Ideal Spa Covers surpasses the quality of the competition with its use of proprietary blends. Forcing the "other guys spa covers" to produce an inferior spa cover. On the outside "theirs" appears similar to Ideal Spa Covers, but on the inside "they" sell you a Model T and Ideal sells the "Cadillac of Spa Covers".

A few of the other things Ideal Spa Covers incorporates into their cover

  • Tear Free Padded Handles (slightly offset) Made of same material/ color as spa cover. Fiver layers thick for added strength. (Not Nylon. Nylon rots in the sun)
  • Double Reinforced Folding Hinge - Allows for strength at the hinge (keeps foam panels pressed firmly against each other preventing heat loss through hinge). NO need for "full length thermal seal do-dad thing-a-ma-jig" the other guys are selling.
  • Dual Purpose Heat Seal Gaskets - When the spa cover is on the spa the gaskets eliminate loss of heat at the spa edges. When the spa cover is taken off, the gaskets double as a great resting place for the cover. Simply place the cover upright and rest on the padded gaskets.
  • Commercial Grade Nylon Zipper - At the beginning of the summer it is a good idea to take the foam out of the vinyl and let everything air out for a few hours. While the foam is out, wipe off the VPB 3000 plastic barrier. It may have moisture on it as well as mildew. A high quality zipper will enable you reassemble the spa cover easily.
  • Double Ply Poly-Laminate - The bottom of the spa cover is NOT the same as the colored portion of the spa cover. Since the bottom of the spa cover will be exposed to harsh fumes from the sanitizers it is important to have a strong material to withstand the abuse. We use a light grey color since the fumes will "bleach" out the color eventually.
  • LIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE - Call Discount Pool Supply 9am to 5pm (PST) and Chris, the owner will answer all of your questions about spa covers. And since he has been in the business for over 25 years he can answer all of your pool/spa questions as well. For more information click here  Spa Cover Information.