Homeowners experience a tremendous impact adapting to life near the ocean. With the serenity of living in an oceanfront home, comes dealing with issues arising from salt air. The closer your home is to the beach the effects are more prevalent. In addition, the ocean air combined with Hawaii’s high humidity means more salt crystals. As they form, sea-salt aerosols are known to increase in size when humidity rises.
Paint on a home near the beach takes a wallop. Over time, the appearance and texture of the paint begin to change. An accumulation of salt particles on the surface causes paint to deteriorate faster. During summer months of increased humidity, the moisture can add more trouble to the salt crystals left on the paint. Paint damage intensifies if left untreated. Also, when salt deposits are not adequately removed prior to painting, efflorescence (water in salt aerosols evaporate) recurs or paint fails to adhere. Salt crystals can also form on and erode concrete, brick, and stucco surfaces.
Windows of your house are also affected by ocean air. A white residue can build up on the window glass. If overlooked for a long period, the glass weakens and the metal or aluminum frames will show signs of corrosion. When it rains, water can seep through gaps around the casings. Moisture issues can arise and increase the time (and cost) spent on maintaining your home. Screen and sliding doors are also vulnerable to damage caused by sea-salt aerosols, especially if the materials are made of metal.
Metal components are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of salt air. In fact, sea-salt aerosols combined with Hawaii’s humidity, accelerates corrosion of metal objects and structures. Metal items, such as barbecue grills, bikes, tools, and air conditioners are just some examples of what crystalline salt eat away at. An ocean breeze can also render damage to automobiles. Extra precaution must be taken to preserve the life of your car. Aluminum, a source of metal, is also prone to deteriorate in ocean environments. Interestingly, as stainless steel is noted for its corrosion resistance, this metal succumbs to corrosion in certain atmospheric conditions. Its protective layer (chromium oxide) can break up in salt air. Stainless steel just does a better job of tolerating salt.