Background Reading: none required
An original, good quality cover replacement can cost close to $1000 – even more in certain cases. You can sometimes get aftermarket ones for less, but you get what you pay for, so ideally, it’s best to start off with a used cover that has plenty of life left in it.
–Check for obvious holes, stubborn stains and UV damage (is it chalky or shiny?)
-Does water bead and roll off, or does water film/accumulate/pool on the surface?
-Check the folding seam for signs of tearing/ripping (especially at each end)
-Feel/squeeze/bunch-up the skirt (the curtain part that hangs down). Is it pliable or stiff and brittle?
-Does the cover feel heavy to lift (a sign of saturated insulation)?
-Lift each side separately. Does one side feel heavier than the other? If so, one panel is compromised.
-When you lift the cover, do it from each corner, not the middle. Does it twist and warp (indicating broken or fatigued panels)?
-Check the underbelly; does it have chemical burn (bleached and/or blistered), and/or does it sag low?
-Inspect the span between the panels and along and zippers, look for mildew/moss, and/or signs of deterioration.
-Physically remove the cover yourself, to see how heavy/easy it is to put on and off with one person.
-Does it come with a cover lifter?