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Friday, August 18, 2006

Mice wrecked our foam insulation! Please help!

Question:

"We have discovered mice/rats have made a mess of our foam insulation in our jacuzzi spa. We removed all foam sections. They were loose and encased in plastic. We need to replace the insulation but aren't sure what to use.
Please help! Thank you so much."

Answer:

Wow! I can only imagine the mess, so I hope you have been able to get rid of the critters once and for all...

I would start by contacting the manufacturer because they should be able to tell you what insulation they use. They may be able to recommend a source for the type of foam that they provide, or may even be able to sell you replacement pieces if they are pre-molded.

There are many types of spray-on insulating foam on the market, including some that you can buy at your local hardware store, but you really should talk with your manufacturer first. Spaying foam directly onto the underside of a hot tub can be an incredibly messy job, and can also create a huge problem later when a fitting starts to leak. Finding the source of the leak usually means ripping out the sprayed-on foam, which can cause even more damage to the hot tub's components (and make more of a mess than the mice made). You should also beware of the expanding types of foam, because they can cause a lot of damage when they expand if you put too much into a confined space.

A better alternative is to insulate the outer walls of the cabinet and create a trapped pocket of air inside, which will further insulate the hot tub. You can buy flat sheets of hot tub insulation and cut them to fit just inside the cabinet walls. High-quality hot tub manufacturers take this approach, so it is definitely worth investigating.

Hope this advice helps and gets you back into your hot tub soon, and good luck!

: )

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