Is the salt air and climate at the beach a big problem for home maintenance?
There is no question that the salt air is corrosive. Outside fixtures and hardware don’t last long here. Even stainless steel rusts at the beach, it just takes a lot longer to rust! When home shopping on the Coast, if you find a house where the owner spent the extra money to use stainless steel hardware in construction, pay attention to that feature. There is tremendous value in that kind of quality and pride of ownership.
Besides corrosion, wind driven rain can wreak havoc on your siding. Our winter storms can drive horizontal rain into the tiniest cracks and crevices in the exterior of your home, therefore caulking every year becomes mandatory. Moisture collecting behind the siding can cause rot in the wood sheathing or substrate. If allowed to continue this can result in a very expensive repair job when its discovered.
Another frequent maintenance item cause by the high wind involves thermopane windows. The vacuum seals are easily compromised causing foggy moisture between the double panes. While some home inspectors suggest this is more of a cosmetic issue than a critical repair item, when you have a view of the ocean you don’t want it compromised by a cloudy window.
Finally, rodents are continually looking for ways to get warm and cozy in your crawlspace and can make a terrible smelly mess of everything. Keeping the grates on your foundation vents in good shape will help keep the critters out of your house. However, they are pretty smart and sometimes will still invade by burrowing down into the sand from outside your foundation and come back up on the inside!
If you are right on the beach, the sandblast effect can also require more frequent painting. Why do you think we all love that weathered Cape Cod look with natural cedar shingle siding? Yes! Then you don’t have to paint every 3 years.
I hope this isn’t scaring you away from having a house at the beach. I promise that the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. Think of the incredible sights and sounds and smells, and the fresh cool air, and the relaxed and casual ambiance of just being at the beach. Hakunah Matata!