The Effects of Salt Water On Your Home’s Exterior


Living by the coast has its benefits. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean, cool summer breezes, and much more. However, living by the Ocean has its downside as well and can take a toll on the exterior of your home. If you’re looking to maintain your home’s exterior yourself, be sure to take these tips into consideration. And if you’re looking to hire a professional to paint your home or do the upkeep for you, make sure you vet them thoroughly to see that they know what they’re doing.

Moisture Build-Up

Humidity combined with the oceanside means moisture build-up can happen faster, making mold and mildew more likely. Living near the ocean leaves your home susceptible to increased moisture build-up on the sides and roof. Mold can eat away at your paint. Power washing regularly (every few months) can help prevent mold from building up.

Sand Exposure

Depending on how close to the beach you actually live, wind and sand can also affect the exterior of your house. When sand is being constantly blown onto the exterior of your house, it can leave a scratchy effect, also wearing down your paint. Finishing your exterior paint with a sealant is one way to prevent this from happening. Though keep in mind, sealants won’t protect the paint forever and you should freshen it up on a regular basis.

Salt Water

Living near the coast, exterior paint can fade, peel and chip as a result of constant exposure to salt water. Sealants do help prevent some of these effects, however they are not a permanent fix to the problem at hand. The salt from the ocean doesn’t only affect your home during the warm summer months.

Your home is susceptible year-round as ‘sea-spray’ can occur at any time. This is when water from the ocean is lifted up by the wind, and the salt in the water doesn’t dissolve so it is carried and eventually settles on any and all structures, including your home. These minute salt crystals settle under the paint surfaces and as they build up, week-after-week, month-after-month, they eventually cause the paint on your house to slowly chip off, particularly near corners, ridges, ledges and window sills.


Like most things, the key to prevention is constant maintenance. Sealants, as discussed before, is a good way to help prevent the salt water corrosion. However it’s not the be-all and end-all. Regular maintenance is required and power washing, repainting and resealing your home’s exterior will inevitably be required, over and over again.

If you don’t mind putting in the extra work and using your elbow grease, it’s a great way to spend your summer months outside breathing in the fresh air. However, painting a house is not everyone’s cup of tea, so you can also hire professionals to take care of the ‘dirty work’ as it were for you. Be sure you vet your experts to ensure they’re familiar with the hazards of oceanside living before you hire them.

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