Background Reading: 3-R: Environmental Attack
-Consider what kind of environmental attack will happen where the hot tub will be placed – it is south-facing with lots of hot sun, or will it be perpetually wet in the shade all winter long? Will snow slide off the roof onto it the cover? Is it in a place that will get lots of whipping wind?
-choose a cover with high quality clip locks to hold down the cover in high winds.
-Tongue & groove skirting is good for extreme temperature swings because there’s some play as the materials swell and shrink with the heat and cold. Solid printed panels may pull at the fastening screws and break off when they shrink and bulge & bow when hot.
-For wet environments, choose a marine-grade vinyl hot tub cover that’s tapered to repel water, and dress it frequently so it beads water better.
-Avoid cabinets with perimeter sills and horizontal lines where water can pool and seep into the gaps and seams of the cladding,
-If you go with synthetic skirting, make sure the slats are held together by something more substantial than pressboard (on the interior side), which can swell, rot and fall apart.
-For snowy/icy weather, choose a thicker cover that can bear some weight
-For hot direct sun, avoid black covers and skirting which absorb the heat, and choose tongue & groove skirting to allow shrinking and contracting of the individual slats without straining or buckling the panel.
-For extremely cold weather, wood might be a better choice than plastic skirting, which can get brittle and crack easily if bumped while frozen.