Why would you buy a different kind of hot tub cover than the one your spa came with?
Because, Every traditional foam filled hot tub cover is going to end up the same as the one you need to replace right now!
No matter how big the taper, no matter what the foam is wrapped in, no matter how it is reinforced, Every Foam Hot Tub Cover WILL end up saturated, heavy or broken.
That is exactly the reason that we developed the SpaCap hot tub cover.
The SpaCap was developed by a single woman that needed to be able to get into her hot tub, by herself for therapy after a severe back injury.
A More Perfect Hot Tub Cover Invented
In 1976, we developed and patented the next generation of hot tub covers. The new spa cover design was easy enough for a woman to get off and on by herself. The bottom of the cover rests on the water so the weight of rain, snow or hail won't crush it. Since the water was what we want to keep warm having the cover right on it is a big improvement. At the time we would have been happy with an insulation value comparable to a traditional foam hot tub cover so we began testing the new spa cover with that in mind. What we found was better than we expected. It insulated better than any other hot tub covers no matter how thick.
Because our hot tub covers are designed to lay right on the water it also virtually eliminates cooling due to evaporation and condensation which is always present with typical rigid foam hot tub covers. This also reduced the amount of chemicals needed to keep the spa water clear. Typically steam from the warm spa water hits the bottom of a rigid foam spa cover which is colder. The steam cools, condenses back into water and drops back into the spa. The cooler condensed water cools down the spa water which makes the hot tub work harder which translates to more energy used to keep warm. Another benefit is that the insulation value of the air chambers is similar to storm windows and the overall effect resulted in a greater energy efficiency than foam spa covers.
Without foam to get heavy or break we found that our covers were typically lasting much longer than traditional hot tub covers. Most hot tub dealers expect that you will need to replace your cover every two years. Our hot tub covers were lasting an average of ten years, still insulating, still lightweight. If hot tub owners were really good at maintaining their chemicals, the cover would last fifteen to twenty years.
Armed with this information we tried to market the new spa cover through spa dealers, but they were reluctant to sell a product that doesn't wear out, when they could continue making money on other, cheaper, inferior hot tub covers that wear out and need replacing?
The History of the spa
More information about the history of spas than you ever cared to know. We just thought it was important for you to know that we are not the first generation of humans that found using a spa on a regular basis healthy and relaxing.
For the western world the earliest proponent of the spa for therapeutic purposes was Hippocrates (460-370 BC). Before that time bathing was used mainly for cleansing and hygienic reasons. However Hippocrates put forth the idea that the cause of all diseases centered around an imbalance of bodily fluids.
Considered the “Father of Medicine,” suggested perspiration, walking, massage and bathing important to maintain balance in ones physical body. Consequently, baths were often combined with sports and education. If he were alive today the doctors of the world would be hogging all his time but in fact he more likely would be at home as a fitness guru selling health club memberships.
It was this influence of the Greeks that caused the Romans to build thermal baths at mineral and natural hot springs. These spas were used for the recuperation of injured soldiers as well as recreation centers. Differing from their Greek predecessors the Romans felt that the baths themselves were more important than the gymnasiums. Whereas the Greeks liked to partake of the spa after a vigorous workout, the Romans focused on the relaxation, socializing and medical treatments. We have to wonder if the reason the Romans lasted as long as they did was because of they placed such importance on the spa.
More than just coming clean, the Romans made the spa experience a part of their society for medical treatment, worship and social gathering. Asclepiades, a Greek physician who worked in Rome, prescribed hydrotherapy for both therapeutic and preventative purposes. There were others that attributed healing and health to taking the waters such as Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) and Galen (131-201 AD). Galen preferred cold water in his treatment of diseases so as Americans we would consider his therapy sessions, “fun impaired.”
From Rome we have three separate types of bath. Baths at home (balnea), Private Baths (balnea privata), and state funded public baths (balnea publica). The aqueducts provided enough water so that every person in Rome could use 1400 liters per day. At the height of the Roman bathing culture these public bathing facilities grew into huge complexes with the capacity for thousands of people.
This focus of the bath was such an important part of the Roman society that everywhere the legions went they built their own in every land they conquered. We can find examples all over Europe as a testament to value they gave water therapy.
Eventually the Romans became more focused on the bath for relaxation and pleasure. Not that pleasure is a bad thing but if you don’t get out of the spa once and a while to take care of business we know from history that it could lead to the collapse of your empire.
History of the Spa, The Dark Ages
Believe it or not the rise of Christianity was also the decline of the bathing culture. You can’t really blame the Christians though since by this time the baths had fallen from their place of the healthy lifestyle to true dens of iniquity. The Dark Ages were not only dark, they also smelled pretty bad.
With the fall of the Roman Empire bathing was officially banned. Spiritual cleansing was deemed more important than the medicinal bath. Some of the bath complexes themselves were converted to churches while some of the elite aristocrat class could still take advantage of taking the waters. The general population became adverse to going anywhere near the water. It was not uncommon for people to go for years without bathing. Makes you glad you didn’t live back then doesn't it.
From the 13th century on, the baths began gradually to come back into favor. As the Moors began to spread their influence across Europe the public baths were rebuilt and once again the medicinal value of the bath as well as for relaxation came back into vogue.
Fear of disease and a lack of understanding about how it was spread led to another decline of the public baths in the 16th century. However some Italian doctors found some of the lost texts on ancient medical treatments and the therapeutic value of the water. By the end of the 1500’s two of them Bacci and Minardo had published articles revisiting the value of the bath for sound healthy living. Bacci believed that in order to truly benefit a person needed to be able to to lead a quiet orderly life in pleasant surroundings with good food and wine. Unfortunately that ruled out most of the population since they had neither the time for leisure or the money for the other ingredients.
At the turn of the 19th century, spas were being rediscovered and the bathing culture again grew to include more of the masses. Doctors were convinced that Mother Nature had a remedy for everything that ailed us in the form of some mineral spring. The principles of the medicinal use of thermal water (balneotherapy) and Hydrotherapy were published by Kneipp and Priessnitz. Kneipp took a holistic approach to the treatment of disease. While the spas and resorts focused on serving the wealthy, Kneipp focused his attention on on the common man.
With the interest in mineral waters and the development of hotels at springs were popular all over Europe and North America. Every spa resort had its own village sprout up around it complete with theater, casino and promenades alongside the bathing facility. The spa resorts became the place to be and be seen for the elite and a place for the artists to get their creative juices flowing. Baden Baden, Germany became the most glamorous spa resort in Europe.
The Modern Era Hot Tub
In the 1940's people began to take interest in the hot tub used in Japan which was a primarily a round wooden soaking tub. Not content to just sit and soak the Jacuzzi Brothers added a pump to move the water and in 1956 what we would recognize as a modern hot tub was born. From that time to the present there have been many manufacturers of hot tubs with many makes, models and innovations some good and some not so good but the spas and hot tubs produced since then would mark the beginning of a billion dollar industry.
As the popularity of hot tubs grew and more manufacturers started building them more home owners were able to purchase them. There are an estimated ten million hot tubs in use in the United States. Unfortunately while there have been many developments in the tubs themselves the hot tub covers sold with them have stayed pretty much the same. Virtually every hot tub sold across the country come with a rigid foam cover.
Despite what the spa dealer may say, they know that the average foam filled hot tub cover will need to be replaced every couple years. It will either get too heavy to lift, become damaged or blow away. Since every hot tub has to have a cover this built in obsolescence is money in the bank to spa dealers. It keeps customers coming back for covers, chemicals and hopefully the dealer can entice you to trade in your old spa for a newer more expensive model.
That's where the SpaCap hot tub covers come in. As we stated above, they were invented by a woman that needed to be able to get into her hot tub by herself for back therapy. As with many great inventions, it was developed from necessity.