Background Reading: 6-N: Skirting & Base
Don’t let an ugly cabinet put you off, and don’t let a nice-looking cabinet trick you into assuming that it’s in good shape. An ugly cabinet can often easily be repainted to look like new, and sometimes a pretty exterior surface doesn’t tell the whole story.
-If the hot tub has a horizontal sill (small protruding shelf) along the top and/or bottom, push down hard in the middle and on the corners to see if there’s any flex.
-Check the side(s) that get least exposure to air, such as against the wall, or sunk into a deck. Those areas most often never get treated/repainted, and remain moist longer, which accelerates deterioration.
-The bottom few inches of the side panels are the most likely to be rotten/damaged. Check for crumbling wood, rat-access holes and flaking off paint.
-Check under the corners of the skirt for gaps which may allow rats to enter. If your finger can fit, so can a mouse.
-Consider the condition of the surface – is it rough and worn, or can it be refinished if needs be?
-Carefully inspect the base perimeter (the part the comes in contact with the pad), all the way around, poking suspicious areas with a sharp object (like your keys or a screwdriver) to check for punky wood rot.