Winter Hot Tub Fun

winter snowHot tubs are traditionally associated with summer, but the fun doesn’t have to end once winter arrives. In fact, winter can be a great time to uncover the hot tub again – especially because hot water is an irresistible temptation once the temperature drops. However, there are a few crucial things you need to know about upkeep if you’re going to keep your hot tub open during cold weather. Read on for a few tips for making your hot tub a hot spot this winter.

Level Out

Chlorine and pH levels always need to be checked, but more so during the winter. Winter is cold and flu season, so all kinds of germs are rampant. Check your pH and chlorine levels at least twice daily to ensure any microorganisms are eliminated. Require guests and family members to bathe or shower before using the hot tub, and don’t open the tub on days when it’s freezing or below. Anyone who is ill or recovering from an illness should stay out of the tub.

Clear the Way

Trekking to the hot tub can be dangerous if there’s snow on the ground or your hot tub area is slippery from rain. Always clear an easily accessible path to the hot tub, and don’t go out alone. Children and teens especially should not be out unsupervised. Encourage guests to wear shoes until they actually reach the hot tub area and remove them just before entering the tub.

Invest in a Towel Warmer

Swimsuits hold water against the body, which is one reason why you feel cold after stepping out of a hot tub. Further, when leaving the tub, your body temperature naturally drops. To ensure your guests don’t freeze, install a towel warmer in or near the hot tub area. This will encourage guests not to hurry through the hot tub experience. As a bonus, a warm towel may give more incentive to shower or bathe after use.

Don’t Forget the Cover

One crucial factor that can really dampen your enjoyment is attempting to get a heavy, frozen hot tub cover off and back onto the spa. Traditional rigid foam filled Hot Tub Covers will always end up saturated and that water inside the foam cover will freeze essentially you’ll end up with a block of ice over your spa. Not to mention that moving a heavy cover when there can be ice around the hot tub can be dangerous. Avoid the hassle by visiting SpaCap.com and ordering a custom made, lightweight hot tub covers that won’t get heavy or break.

Beautify Your Spa

Everyone enjoys a spa, and part of the experience revolves around the aesthetics. If your hot tub is in a stark, boring, or dirty area, guests and family members won’t want to use it. You’ll end up with an unused luxury item and a pile of wasted money. Fortunately, plenty of ways exist to brighten up your patio space and entice guests to use the spa. We’ve detailed three of the top ways below.

Slatted Fencing

Fencing isn’t normally considered decorative, but it has big advantages over some other options you might consider. First and foremost, fencing provides privacy. Being able to duck behind a fence or securely close a gate offers spa users the feeling of retreating to their own private hideaway. Fencing can also block noise and insects, two of the biggest deterrents to relaxation while in the hot tub.

Finally, fencing is a big help for more modest guests or guests who have particular uses for the spa. Modest guests won’t have to worry about being walked in on. Lovers can enjoy each other’s company in peace, and exercisers can complete their routines without being ogled. (Caution: when exercising in the tub, always use a spotter).

Decorative Furniture

Patio furniture is always a big draw for guests, especially if your patio also comes with a spa. You can decorate your patio with any theme you like, including tiki, Mexican, or English garden. Hardware and specialty stores sell many varieties of lanterns, coffee tables, chairs, and more. Some homeowners also choose to use decorative flooring to draw people to the patio and spa. Stone is a popular choice, since it evokes associations with castles or ancient homes in Greece and Rome.

Lighting

You must always be careful when placing lighting around your hot tub. Consider tiki-style lighting, which is sold by many different hardware retailers. Chinese or Japanese garden lanterns are also a popular choice. For fall and winter, consider Christmas lights to create a cheerful and relaxing atmosphere.

Spa Cover

Why do everything you can to make your spa area awesome and settle for a boring hot tub cover? At SpaCap.com, we build designer Hot Tub Covers with Sunbrella outdoor fabric. Sunbrella is not only long lasting and color fast but available in a wide range of colors that can really set off your spa.

Gazebo or Canopy

Many people love the idea of overhead hot tub décor. The problem is that when faced with the two most popular options – gazebo and canopy – they encounter a tough decision. Both sound wonderful, but which one is right for their particular hot tub? If you’ve been asking yourself that question, don’t despair. We’re here to help clear up the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can make the right decision.

Appearance

Both gazebos and canopies are beautiful, and can be chosen to fit any theme you like. For example, many canopies have fringed ends or decorative ribbons, putting one in the setting of an Arabian caravan or a bedroom in an English manor house. Gazebos can be made with silk or silk-rayon combinations and undergirded with the sturdiness of wood or steel. Both options can also be used for total privacy and relaxation, though for privacy, a gazebo might be the better choice. Gazebos can be outfitted with doors or drapes that open and close, while canopies may provide more shade and shadow than privacy.

Stability

Nothing ruins a hot tub party or a private getaway faster than a canopy or gazebo crashing onto the water. Unfortunately, this can happen with flimsy materials. In addition, certain materials like rayon and silk can soak up water and are difficult to wash or repair. When considering a canopy or gazebo, ensure your option isn’t simply a piece of cloth. Look for sturdy fabrics like cotton or colored canvas with silk or lace embellishments. When considering a gazebo, look for those made with strong woods like mahogany or oak.

Cost

Canopies and gazebos are both expensive, and size doesn’t always influence the price. For example, a cheap “instant patio canopy” can cost $100, while a well-built gazebo could cost more than $400. Before purchasing a gazebo or canopy, decide how much you’ll actually use it and what the benefits will be. Canopies and gazebos are beautiful, but should be purchased with an equal mix of aesthetics and practicality in mind.

Ease of Access

With all hot tub accessories, it’s important to leave plenty of space to walk around the spa and ensure the hot tub can easily be covered. You may have seen Hot Tubs displayed at a fair of home show that had a quaint looking “Tea House” type gazebo that was fitted right to the spa cabinet. They look great on the showroom floor but they are a real nightmare in reality. They don’t allow enough access to remove or replace ANY cover with ease. Anything that inhibits the opening and closing of the hot tub will eventually be the reason you don’t use the spa. Don’t fall for cute, make sure you choice leaves you enough room to easily walk around at least three sides of your hot tub.

At SpaCap.com, they have been building custom Swim Spa Covers for years. Because of that, they have been contacted many times about building covers for all kinds of hot tubs in all kinds of layouts. They have had to tell owners that their limited access is not enough to easily use one of their hot tub covers (or ANY cover). So before you decide on how to best add an overhead covering to your hot tub area, take a serious look at how you use your spa and don’t do anything that might interfere with that especially just for the sake of decor.

A nice alternative is the patio umbrella that mounts on it’s own pedestal but swings out over the spa when in use or retracts out of the way for storage. This makes it easy to cover your hot tub when you want while giving you a quick easy option to remove it when you would rather look at the stars.

One more thought in closing, in most parts of the country, heavy rain, hail, wind or snow can be a concern. Most gazebos and Canopies are not built to withstand these so you’ll want to make sure you have them disassembled and stored before the storms come.

Landscaping Around Your Hot Tub

New hot tub owners often come home almost as excited as new parents. They’ve done their research, chosen the right hot tub, and now it’s arrived. They can picture all the hot tub parties, all the relaxing evenings, and the way their tense muscles will finally relax – but wait. What about landscaping? Doing so around a hot tub can be tricky. The temptation is to overdo it, so guests’ eyes will immediately be drawn to the area. Too much, though, and guests will feel overwhelmed. We’ve provided some tips to help you ensure quality landscaping around your hot tub.

Listen to Your Mother

Mother Nature, that is. Plants are a great way to provide creative landscaping, but you must be aware of your climate and your plants’ needs. For example, cacti and cactus flowers will do well in the Southwest, but don’t make the mistake of trying to move them to Florida. Yes, Florida is still the South, but it’s far more wet and humid. On the other hand, it’s best to use hardy, sturdy plants if you live in New England. Evergreens are a wonderful choice; think of the fun hot tub party guests might have decorating an outdoor tree in the wintertime. You might also try chrysanthemums or certain types of asters.

Use Stair Steps

By this, we don’t mean literal stairs. We’re suggesting you place plants at different levels. For example, you could have a couple of hanging baskets, but also place smaller plants on the upper ledges of the hot tub. You can also use rocks, flagstones, or bricks to create a unique pathway to the hot tub. If you have young children or loved ones who are elderly or have disabilities, include railings, and always be sure to incorporate plenty of space for walking around the spa.

Try a Theme

If your family members or guests are coming to your hot tub for a relaxing getaway, consider landscaping with a theme in mind. Perhaps you live in an area where Chinese or Japanese influence is heavy. Try using a stone walkway, Chinese lanterns, or a few bonsai trees near the tub for atmosphere. If an English garden look is more your style, consider wildflowers, roses, or topiaries.

Not Too Close

It’s easy to get carried away and put plants right up to the spa on every side but this is a mistake. You have to leave room for access, removing and replacing hot tub covers as well as maintenance if the spa needs to be worked on. Besides, when you’re in the hot tub you want to enjoy the landscaping. If it’s all crowded around the spa it won’t be very pleasing or relaxing. Think of the view from the spa and try to keep an open, uncluttered, peaceful area. Remember, plants grow.

Using Your Hot Tub in the Morning

Start your day in the Hot TubPeople often think of relaxing in the hot tub after a hard day of work or strenuous exercise. The hot water relaxes muscles and increases circulation, making for a great warm-down activity. This also means they can help users wake up in the morning and physically prepare for the day by opening up blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.

Hot tubs have both a relaxing and stimulating effect on the body. When a person submerges in hot water, his or her body temperature is raised, preventing the body from cooling itself through perspiration. In some cases the process is similar to exercise in a hot and humid climate, where sweat does not evaporate and cool the body. In the body’s effort to lower its temperature, it dilates the blood vessels below the skin; a process known as vasodilation. This will lower the body’s blood pressure slightly and may lower heart rate as well.

The increase in blood flow will relieve tight or sore muscles, and doing simple exercises and stretches in the hot tub first thing in the morning can relieve any tension from the day before. A few simple exercises to increase blood flow and heart rate will balance out the relaxing effects of the hot tub and leave a person invigorated and ready to face the day. People struggling with chronic pain or joint discomfort can also benefit from soaking in hot tubs, as the increased blood flow and warm temperatures often provide relief. Those with injuries like bruises, however, should avoid the hot tub, as the increased blood flow may cause swelling.

Another benefit of morning hot tubbing is a sense of peace and mental calm. The hot tub’s relaxing effects and the rhythmic sound of the bubbles and jets will slowly wake a person up and provide a perfect environment for meditation.

Finally, a number of people prepare for their days by drinking coffee and eating a healthy breakfast. If you enjoy a hot tub while drinking your coffee or shortly after eating breakfast, your dilated blood vessels will spread the nutrients and caffeine through your system much faster.

One thing that can stop you from getting the benefit from your hot tub is a heavy cover. It happens slowly over time but eventually every rigid foam filled spa cover ever made will become saturated with water and too heavy to lift. Before you even realize it your starting to avoid getting into your spa just because you dread removing and replacing the cover.

At SpaCap.com we have been building the worlds best hot tub covers for years. A few years ago while we were shooting a commercial the technicians in the control booth asked, “Who are your target market?” Explaining that our goal was to reach people that have a spa but they don’t use it as often as they once did because the cover is too heavy.

One of the technicians said, “That’s me. When my wife uses the spa, she leaves the cover off until I get home because it takes two of us to lift it back onto the hot tub.” The other one added, “My parents just gave me their spa, it works perfectly, they just stopped using it because the cover made it to hard to get into. All it needed was a new cover!”

Don’t let a heavy hot tub cover keep you from getting into your spa. Get one of the Next Generation in Hot Tub Covers from SpaCap.com and get back to enjoying your spa.

Hot Tubs Help Reduce Stress

Do you like ending the day with a long soak in a hot bath? Maybe a hot tub is the right home addition for you! One of the best ways to alleviate stress after a long day at the office is to soak in hot water and let anxiety drift away with the steam.

1. It Automatically Makes You Happier

Scientific communities often suggest soaking in hot water releases higher levels of the happy hormone, dopamine. When this hormone is released, we automatically become less stressed and more relaxed. Instead of continuing to focus on the events of the day, respond to emails, or do more work, cut out time in the evening to truly relax. Your mind will immediately respond to the soothing benefits of a hot tub spa.

2. The Body Loves It

Medical communities always recommend warm water immersion for relaxing the muscles and minimizing cardiovascular stress. This combination of anxiety-reducing elements leads to better sleep, improved posture, and less overall stress. Get a tub with powerful jets and find the perfect sitting spot where the jets can provide a massage while you soak. To help the muscles relax even more, try adding a glass of wine, candles, and gentle music to serenade you in the background.

3. Your Nose Can’t Say No

Adding a few drops of essential oils to the tub will revolutionize your experience. Certain scents are known for triggering different types of relaxation and stress-reducing affects, so adding this element to your spa soak is the final element to guarantee less anxiety. Aromatherapy oils like lavender are especially popular for increasing relaxation.

With a hot tub spa, a warm bath is taken to a whole new level. Hydrotherapy is an effective way to keep your mind and body balanced during the stress of a demanding job and busy personal affairs.

Need one more way to reduce stress while using your hot tub? Decide to  be done wrestling heavy hot tub covers. Check out the custom made hot tub covers from SpaCap.com and order one for yourself. Get back to enjoying your hot tub instead of dreading trying to get the spa cover off and on.  Call SpaCap to learn more about getting your very own stress-reducing hot tub cover!

Can Swim Spa Covers Be “Green”?

All this talk about going green, saving energy and saving the planet. As it relates to Swim Spa Covers, the most important thing we can do is to not create more waste that will just end up clogging our land fills. Consider this for a minute… There are 10 million spa owners in the USA, and each one of them uses a typical rigid foam spa cover on their hot tub. For the sake of this demonstration each foam cover is only two inches thick and every spa is eight feet by eight feet. That would mean each spa cover contained about 10.666 cubic feet of foam per spa cover. For the rest of this example we will use 10.5 cubic feet per cover however keep in mind that the average swim spa cover contains twice as much.

If each cover on every spa becomes saturated within two years and needs to be replaced that would mean that we would be adding 52.5 million cubic feet of waste to our landfills in just hot tub covers every year.
If it takes two and a half covers worth of foam to make up one cubic yard that translates to 4 million cubic yards of waste added to our land fills every two years just in spa covers.
Used hot tub covers waste enough foam to build the Giza Pyramid every six years
There are 11 million Cubic yards of stone in the Great Pyramid at Giza, we are adding enough foam to build a duplicate in our landfills just from used hot tub covers every six years conservatively. There are four and a half million cubic yards of concrete in Hoover Dam. So we could clog a river with our discarded foam filled spa covers every two years. Or we could build a two lane highway of discarded foam filled spa covers from Seattle Washington to Miami Florida every two years.

Remember, for this example we were using a two inch thick foam spa cover. Most foam filled spa covers are not two inches thick anymore. If all those old foam covers were four inches thick all these calculations would be double. If they were tapered spa covers, say from six inches down to two, it still doubles the amount, so the highway or dam could be built every year instead of every two years.
But we are just being conservative so we want to stick with two inches thick. If we ripped the covers in half and laid those pieces end to end we could circle the earth at the equator on used spa covers every two years.

Heck with parking lots, in a few years we could pave the entire planet with foam just from saturated foam spa covers from the USA alone.

So what is the solution? Well, how about a better spa cove?. What if there were a spa cover that did a better job insulating, did not get saturated, heavy, break or blow away in the wind? Good news, you do not have to quit using your spa to save the earth. You just need to get a SpaCap Hot Tub Cover that does not use foam to insulate. There would be two major advantages to doing so. First the spa cover that did not use rigid foam to insulate would last longer. Since what always fails in the typical spa cover is the foam, either breaking or getting so saturated that you cannot lift it, a spa cover that did not use foam would tend to last longer.

Second, if the new type of spa cover does not use rigid foam it will also be a lot more friendly to the environment when it does come time to discard it. Less trash, less waste, less land fill, not that is what going green is all about.

SpaCap uses a patented design to solve all of the following:

  • As easy to use
  • Light Weight
  • Sheds Moisture
  • Won’t fly away
  • Won’t break under a snowload
  • Won’t be damaged by hail
  • Insulates Better
  • Sunbrella fabric rated by years not hours

Finding Your Swim Spa’s Maintenance Balance

Keeping your swim spa in tip-top shape requires occasional maintenance and care. One of the most important things to do is to drain and refill your hot tub regularly. However, there is a fine line between not draining enough and draining too often. Let’s take a look at how to tell when the time is right.

Avoid Draining Too Often

While draining and refilling your tub frequently (think once every couple days or so) isn’t going to harm the hot tub, it’s a huge waste of your time; not to mention a waste of water. Figure in current problems like drought in certain parts of the country to remember the importance of conscientiousness water usage.

Drain Often Enough

On the other hand, not draining your hot tub often enough can cause unsanitary problems and severely hinder your ability to take advantage of your investment. It’s important to drain on an appropriate schedule to avoid bacterial growth, potential infections on the skin and in the ears, mold, films on the water, and other unpleasant issues.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to drain and refill:

  • Foamy, filmy, or discolored hot tub water.
  • Water that smells “off” or unusual in any way.
  • Mold buildup from lack of hot tub use.

Proper Maintenance requires considering how many bathers tend to use the hot tub at once, as well as how often they use it. To figure out how these factors fit in, consider not only how often you use your tub but also how you use it.

More people using your spa means you will have to add more chemicals to the water. You will also need additional chemicals if your spa is used often. This adds more substance to the spa, requiring it to be drained more frequently. Estimate based on your spa’s capacity in gallons, how many people use the spa at once, and how often they use it.

 

Help maintain your spa when not in use by protecting it with a durable, light weight spa cover from SpaCap.com!

Solutions For Cloudy Spa Water

Is your hot tub water looking a little off? If you’re noticing cloudy spa water, there are a number of potential causes, and each requires a different solution. Read on to learn more about what makes spa water look cloudy and how to fix it.Clear Spa Water

 

While the effect of many problems is the same, it’s important to identify and treat the source issue to avoid a recurrence. The first step is to check your water for a variety of causes, such as:

  • A dirty filter. The first test for any hot tub water problem is to examine its filters. The fix may be as simple as cleaning your filter in cleaning solution, washing it, and returning it to its original setting. If you use disposable filters, replace the existing one. A clean water filter will ideally clear away the cloudiness within the next few hours.
  • An unbalanced pH. If your water is too alkaline or too acidic, it may develop a cloudy appearance. Calcium hardness also contributes to this problem. Test your water for alkalinity, pH, and calcium levels, and use balancing products to adjust.
  • Chlorine or Bromine. Many hot tub owners prefer bromine or chlorine for killing off microorganisms and algae, but these solutions can cause damage to skin, hair hot tub parts and hot tub covers. We recommend switching to PristineBlue  and pay closer attention to your water’s pH level.
  • Dissolved contaminants. If you enter your hot tub wearing skin lotion, body butter, or other outside products, you’re actively contributing to cloudy water. To prevent this problem, rinse yourself off before entering the tub and tie up any long hair. If the water is already contaminated, use a shock or clarifier to rid the tub of buildup.
  • Water circulation. If you have switched from traditional rigid foam spa covers, to a custom made hot tub cover from SpaCap.com, you’ll need to change your hot tub to run on the timer rather than the thermostat. Under a foam cover, the water would cool down faster and the thermostat would kick the pump on to re-heat the spa water. The spa water would circulate while it was being heated. Under a SpaCap hot tub cover, the water won’t cool down enough to have the pump run long enough to circulate the water to keep it clear. Switching the spa to run on the timer will allow the water to circulate for two to three hours at a time for two to three times per day and only heat the water as it needs to during that time. You’ll still save money because you’ll be heating the water less often but circulate it enough to keep clear.

If all else fails, it may be time to empty the tub and refill it. Before refilling, ensure the tub itself is clean and free of mineral deposits. Start again with fresh water.

More Reasons to get a Swim Spa

Swim Spa What if you could swim any time you wanted and take a dip in the hot tub without giving up a section of your property? A hybrid of swimming pools and hot tubs, a swim spa provides an innovative alternative to traditional home leisure options. Large enough to hold multiple people and long enough to practice swimming, the design and engineering of a swim spa offers owners the best of both worlds.

Exercise

Water exercises help many individuals relieve joint and muscle pain while burning calories and promoting weight loss. While a hot tub is comfortable and relaxing, the average tub isn’t large enough to perform exercises or practice swimming. In contrast, swimming pools provide an optimal environment for exercising, but require more space. A perfect compromise, swim spas feature the same soothing jets and warmth as a hot tub while allowing room to swim, exercise, and play games.

Convenient

Not all homeowners are comfortable dedicating a plot of land to an in-ground pool while others would prefer a simpler solution. Swim spas, being compact and portable, can be placed outdoors or indoors in a location most convenient for the owner. For property owners facing cold winters, the option of swimming indoors is enticing. Because swim spas are smaller than traditional pools and portable, they appeal to homeowners who seek luxury without compromising comfort.

You Can Take It With You

Unlike an in-ground pool, most swim spas can be taken with you when you move. In addition to enjoying the ability to swim in all seasons, you never have to say goodbye to this investment. Requiring less overall maintenance than a traditional swimming pool, swim spas quickly pay for themselves by providing ongoing functionality.

Compared to a swimming pool, swim spas are smaller in size and require fewer chemicals and less time to maintain. For budget conscious homeowners, swim spas are an ideal alternative to hot tubs and in-ground swimming pools.

Which benefit do you value most? Why?

When it comes to Swim Spa Covers, nobody makes a better cover than SpaCap.com. If you own a swim spa, check out the custom made covers today.