Styrofoam Spa Covers and Heated Outdoor Spas are Not Compatible.
Expanded PolyStyrene foam may have some useful purpose but most agree being tossed into America’s landfills as water soaked spa covers should never be one of them. The average useful insulating life of an EPS foam/vinyl spa cover is less than one year largely due to interstitial gaps between the foam beads that store water. Spa cover companies sell thick vapor barriers they claim protect the foam from condensation while water saturation from heated outdoor spas is inevitable. Open cell Expanded Polystyrene should not be used for insulating a spa outdoors because water vapor retention renders it with little or no insulating value. But what’s even more compelling is mixing spa oxidizing agents with vinyl and EPS foam which off gases harmful VOC’s that pollutes the air you’re breathing.
EPS Foam spa covers retain water and waste energy
Heated spa water expands the air in the foam until cooler ambient weather condenses it creating water vapor inside the core. A water saturated foam cover is a conductor, not an insulator and could cost up to 3 times more to operate a spa on standby ready power. Compounding the problem, this wasteful use of styrene foam also renders it non-recyclable as wet foam can harbor micro-organisms and mold spores. Other HCFC foams have been found to be 1000+ times more damaging to our planet than CO2. EPS foam hot tub covers lose insulating value as water condenses in sealed cores becoming heavy and unmanageable. Many water heavy foam spa covers remain in use for years with a negative R-value as conductors while spa owners pay even more money for this energy loss.
EPS Foam Spa Covers Environmental Issues
Carelessly discarded, styrene foam can end up adrift in the ocean for 500 years poisoning marine and avian life as it is resistant to photolysis…when sequestered in an engineered landfill from aquifers and soil, 20 centuries.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reluctant to set guidelines for the use of styrene prompting citizens to unite against EPS foam and ban it from food and beverage containers in communities all over the globe…the EPA classifies styrene a, “Class A” probable carcinogen. One 7’ x 7’ EPS foam spa cover is equivalent to 3520 Styrofoam cups! North Americans discard approximately 165,000 spa covers per month…annually that would equal enough 4” tall Styrofoam cups laid end to end to circle the globe at the equator more than 17 times!
EPS Foam Hot Tub Covers Release harmful chemicals
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information warns EPS foam and PVC vinyl become unstable chemical compounds when exposed to strong oxidizers and a health risk releasing dangerous and harmful VOC’s. (Strong oxidizers include spa water sanitizers – chlorine, bromine, ozone and hydrogen peroxide)
- Styrene Monomer
In March 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified styrene as a possible carcinogen to humans (Group 2B) due to “inadequate evidence in humans” and, “limited evidence in animals”. With new data on genetic and related effects, together with evidence styrene metabolizes in humans and animals to styrene oxide for which there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals, the IARC re-classified styrene as a probable carcinogen in humans (Group 2A), with sufficient evidence to recommend the change.
The best spa cover replacement is TheAirframe.
The Airframe spa cover has been designed with state of the art engineering which is comprised of banded aluminum frames with layered chambers of air that insulate amid radiant barriers, covered with attractive outdoor, water-repellent fabric. The Airframe sustainable spa cover design is recyclable, repairable and built to withstand the elements without becoming water saturated. The pliable surfaces meet ASTM regulations for safety and don’t break like EPS foam board covers. Cover tie downs are durable cables linked to stainless steel and aluminum hardware. The Airframe does not contain harmful petroleum based PVC Vinyl or dangerous VOC’s other spa covers do. (NO styrene, benzene, pentane or PVC). The Airframe is simply the best spa ever made. Learn More