Chapter 3 Topics

3-R: Exposure to the Elements


Nature’s a witch. Moisture, freezing temperatures and UV rays work hard to try turning your hot tub back into dirt.

Nature relentlessly conspires to reduce everything to its basic elements, and British Columbia has some very extreme weather to help make that happen.  

Vancouver gets about 2,351 mm (92.6 inches) of rain annually. But that’s nothing compared to Henderson Lake (on Vancouver Island), which receives more rainfall than any other place in North America. It gets about 7,296 mm (over 287 inches) of precipitation annually – that’s over 23 feet of rainfall!  The area actually holds the record for the most rainfall in a year, ever!  Back in 1997, it got 9,307 mm (366.42 inches, over 30 ½ feet) of rain.

Lytton BC was known for consistently being hotter than anywhere else in the province. According to the National Post, on June 29, 2021 the temperature reached 49.5 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). That not only broke the record for the all-time highest temperature in Canada, but it was hotter than the historical high temperature of any single country in North America and Europe.

When my father was a child, Smith River BC hit minus 59 degrees C (minus 74.2 F).  On that day it was colder than the North Pole, and about as cold as the surface of Mars. 

Tofino (West Coast of Vancouver Island) is notoriously windy, and oceanfront properties get blasted by wet salty wind all year long.  Back in January 2018, waves up to 10 meters (33 feet) were reported, with wind speeds as high as 144 kmph (about 90 mph).

Hot tubs do better when they’re under cover and/or sheltered from the elements. Rot/deterioration, rust, mildew/moss, ice damage, UV exposure and other environmental attack issues can significantly reduce the life expectancy of a hot tub.  Extreme temperature swings shrink and swell the skirting in such a way that it can buckle/bulge when hot, then pull/strain taut against the screws when cold, which can cause damage and prematurely wear out the skirt panels.  Covers take the worst beating since they lie horizontally facing the sky. 

Some cabinets and covers are more weather-resistant than others.  It depends on the brand.