Making spa cover dog safe

Close friend has just bought a used home with an indoor spa/hot tub. The cover is in decent shape except for the seam where it folds. Approximate dimensions are 7ft x 7ft.
Challenge is her dog wants to lie on top of it. Being 70 lbs+ the fear is the dog might rip through the seam ultimately falling into the spa.
Ideally a new dog safe cover would be wise. I'm guessing they are likely heavier than what she has now. Being mobility limited she needs something light weight yet durable.
I'm leaning towards a hardboard panel cut in half laid perpendicular over the spa cover. To resist sliding a couple Velcro patches should do. Slippery side down to avoid creating a traction problem.
Looking for comments, suggestions, or other improvements on this idea.
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On Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 11:18:45 AM UTC-4, Chiefjim wrote:

If it's just the seam where it folds and an old failing cover, I'd just get a piece of heavy compatible fabric and glue it in place along the seam. Or she could secure the ends of the cover, they typically have straps at either end that go over fasteners on the side of the spa. If it can't move fore and aft, that plus maybe reinforcing the seam should do it. You can buy replacement covers online for about $300.

AFAIK, they are about the same when new. New one will be lighter than the old one because they fail be absorbing water and getting heavier. It also reduces the insulation factor, but since it's inside, probably not a big deal.

That would work too, but probably less attractive.
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On Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 4:28:38 PM UTC-5, trader_4 wrote:

Being indoors in an enclosed patio area attractiveness is not a factor of concern. Keeping it safe for the dog which like to lie on top of it is.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 11 Oct 2015 16:47:18 -0700 (PDT), Chiefjim

Sew a stuffed tiger to it and the dog will run the other way.
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On Sun, 11 Oct 2015 14:28:32 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

+1
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On 10/11/2015 8:18 AM, Chiefjim wrote:

Is the spa empty?

If the spa is still full (of water), consider putting some styrofoam blocks under the cover. These are lightweight (so don't unduly increase the weight of the cover) and will *float* on the water in the spa. I.e., the *water* will support the cover (and the dog).
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On Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 4:34:51 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

I like that concept. Uncertain where to look for styrofoam blocks that would be reasonably priced?
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How about a camping air mattress or some sort of bladder?
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On 10/11/2015 4:56 PM, Chiefjim wrote:

I guess I'd think in terms of, perhaps, one of those "cheap" (inexpensive, disposable) styrofoam coolers -- the kind that invariably *break* from misuse?
Imagine taking one of those and FILLING it with that "foam in a can" stuff (used to seal around doors/windows).
You could probably do something similar with a large cardboard box lined with a plastic bag (like from the dry cleaners). Then, inject the "foam in a can" so the box provides the resulting shape for the block while the plastic liner keeps the foam from adhering to the box.
?
I *think* that foam would be as buoyant as styrofoam? No idea how it would hold up, over time, to submersion in water... (you'd also have to consider the impact any potential "disintegration" would have on the spa and its filtration system)
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On Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 9:43:43 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

Using your suggestion I'm imagining using a vacuum style storage bag to hol d the foam. The seals on those are generally pretty strong. End result wo uld be foam pillows encased in plastic bags which would provide support for the cover above. Curious whether those foam in a can products produce hea t when first expanding? If so would the open end of the bag during filling be enough to disperse it without damaging the storage bag?
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On Monday, October 12, 2015 at 8:41:03 AM UTC-4, Chiefjim wrote:

old the foam. The seals on those are generally pretty strong. End result would be foam pillows encased in plastic bags which would provide support f or the cover above. Curious whether those foam in a can products produce h eat when first expanding? If so would the open end of the bag during filli ng be enough to disperse it without damaging the storage bag?
Maybe I misunderstood the problem. From the initial description it sounded like the cover is sound, sturdy, not in danger of falling apart, but the flex material that joins the two halves in the middle was the problem. I can see that happening. The cover itself is like 5" thick and even the old ones I've seen could easily support a dog. But if the joint in the middle is falling apart, then the cover could separate, and the dog could fall in. If that's the case, reinforcing the seam and securing the ends of the cover so it can't slide solves the problem. But now seems you're on to creating custom made floatation for the whole thing from underneath, which doesn't sound very practical to me.
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On Monday, October 12, 2015 at 9:46:07 AM UTC-5, trader_4 wrote:

Actually your perception is right on. That middle seam between the two folding halves is the primary concern. Cover is old and the dog rambunctious enough where nails going through the seam and ripping it open was feared.
Happy to report my initial plan of using two pieces of hardboard (Masonite) apparently maybe all that is needed. They spread the weight out to the sides resulting in no apparent flex at the seam.
The recommendations made for under the cover flotation support will be held in reserve should things change over time.
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instead of styrofoam, use an inner tube, like the kids float in
Mark
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On 10/12/2015 5:40 AM, Chiefjim wrote:

I think that would be heavier than necessary. But, if you've got them on hand...

Note that "pillow" is a misnomer. These won't be "soft" by any stretch of the imagination! :>

Dunno. My first experience with the product (it comes in different degrees of "expandability") was for window installation. Then, learned that it shouldn't be used for such.
So, I salvaged the cans to insulate some outdoor Cu pipe that I was running through cinderblock voids. Supports the pipe and provides some thermal insulation (winter freezes).
As this was inside a block of concrete, any exothermic reaction wasn't particularly evident.
One thing I learned, though, is you use the (spray) foam all at once. Don't expect to cap the can and set it aside for another job next week.
Or, even 5 minutes from now!! The dispensing tube quickly clogs with the foam rendering the can useless. So, its an all-or-nothing experiment.
Note that many folks with pools, here, have these "noodles" (extruded cylinders/bars of urethane foam?) that float. Don't know if they are intended as toys or floatation devices for kids?
But, if the water level is high enough in the spa, you could cut those to the length/width of the spa opening and cover the water surface with them -- effectively giving you a 6" thick block of foam that you could remove in pieces (a large SOLID block would be unwieldy)
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On 10/11/2015 7:56 PM, Chiefjim wrote:

Building materials and insullation department of your hardware stores. Sold in half inch sheet of 4 x 8 feet. Might not be water proof.
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Chiefjim wrote:

Sounds like dog is not trained. Our dog wouldn't even if we wanted him to lie on anything. He is ~70lbs. Best mutt we ever had.
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On 10/11/2015 10:18 AM, Chiefjim wrote:

A Be-Lite aluminum spa cover with a hydraulic lifting system. Guaranteed to hold up to 800 lbs weight.
http://www.be-lite.com/
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Nice one. It looks like a "must have" for someone who is physically challenged and truly wants to keep the dog safe.
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