Don’t let your hot tub or cover melt from reflective surfaces


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When setting up your hot tub, you might focus on details like pad size, electrical standards and spa accessories. However, one often overlooked danger is the potential damage caused by reflective surfaces such as greenhouses, clear-roofed pergolas and windows.

The risk of reflective surfaces

Windows — particularly the new low-energy, heat-reflective ones — can cause significant damage to hot tub siding, vinyl and hardcovers. The harmful reflections from these surfaces can warp and melt the foam inside hot tub covers, often creating distortion or bowing in the shape of the nearby windows.

High temperatures can cause damage

Reflected heat from windows can raise the surface temperature to 175 degrees or higher. While UV inhibitors in hot tub cover materials help protect the cover and particularly the cover color, these extreme temperatures can melt the components, with damage not limited to covers but also extending to cabinets. To avoid this, it’s recommended to install hot tubs at least 20 feet away from windows.

Hot tubs aren’t the only products that are known to be affected. Other outdoor products and even cars, as noted in this story from WSB-TV out of Atlanta, Georgia, can be severely damaged.

Real-life example of reflective damage

Rob Anderson, vice president of Olympic Hot Tub, recalls a customer who experienced melting on their cover after replacing their windows with low-energy panes. Using a heat gun, Anderson measured that the reflection from a second-story window raised the temperature to 270 degrees, melting the hot tub cover. In contrast, the

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