Bayside houses: 10 tips to protect yours from the elements

Written by in Lifestyle

Homes by the beach

Living by the sea, whether it be on by an ocean beach or owning a bayside house, comes with a range of benefits that can improve your mental and physical health. But how is your dream bayside home fairing in that coastal weather? Corrosion and damage from the elements when living by the sea can eventually impact your hip pocket more than a metropolitan home. Here are 10 tips for protecting your bayside house from sea spray and damaging elements.

1. Choose your materials wisely

Your choice of paints, both exterior and interior, as well as your choice of building and fixture materials will impact your beside home’s ability to withstand the elements.

Houses in Australia last, on average, 88 years for a brick home and 58 years for a timber home. However, bayside houses often incur the most severe weather that forms over the ocean and then hits the coastline at certain times of the year.

The CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Academy of Sciences have pointed to the fact that by 2030, Australia will see increases in storm surges and severe weather events as well as up to 20 per cent more months of drought. This means your bayside house stands to face both an increase in wind, rain and salt spray but also days where severe heat will affect the materials within and outside of your home.

Choose high-strength exterior paints in high-gloss or satin finishes, as low-sheen paints attract salt more.

Consider using polyurethane finishes for your timber, such as your decking, while make sure you use high quality painting materials and employ a professional painter to ensure the quality of your exterior paint work.

2. Metals are your most prized possession

Use weather-resistant metals on the exterior of your bayside home. These can include stainless steel with a chromium oxide layer, red metals such as copper, galvanised steel or aluminium. Galvanised steel is the least aesthetic of the metals but is the most resistant to the elements. Consider ways to use its aesthetic qualities (or lack thereof) to your advantage.

Alternatively, choose metals that rust naturally and work these into your architectural designs alongside other rustic materials, such as timber. 

Apply specialised sprays, which you can source for differing metal types, to regularly protect your metal from coastal spray and salt corrosion.

3. Consider appliances that may be impacted by the elements

It can be easy to focus on your walls and roof when protecting your bayside house but don’t forget the various fixtures and appliances that may surround or be attached to your home. These include things like the timber surrounding your pool, pool filtration systems, home heaters, solar panels, wiring, water tanks. If you live in a coastal area, consider protecting these appliances and fixtures from the elements through screens, wire sleeving, covers, regular washing.

4. Invest in high-quality windows and window seals

House windows

Your window cladding, choice of window glass and, finally, your choice of window seals will do a lot in protecting your home from the elements during major storms.

A lot that can go wrong in a house can start from your windows, as these the movable limbs of your home that see the most activity and so have to withstand both the elements and your use of them.

5. Secure everything on the outside

For bayside houses, loose fixtures such as on your solar panels, wiring, guttering, roof tiles and more are at the biggest risk from serious storm surges. Monitor these regularly and secure them effectively so that there is no chance that they can come loose in a storm and do major damage to either your home or a neighbour’s home.

6. Consider your feet

Living by the beach will see you often walking around in bare feet, so choose materials within and outside of your home that work in a coastal climate. Bayside houses often feature timber flooring both inside and outside, due to them being warmer underfoot in the colder months and for how easy they are to clean.

However, wood flooring can absorb moisture, of which there is plenty in bayside homes. Consider high-density timbers in your internal flooring that is more moisture-resistant.

7. Monitor your home

As you would have guessed already, protecting your home from the elements when living by the sea is all about prevention. Stay vigilant of potential causes for damage, such as overhanging trees, which would be impacted by storm surges and strong winds. Also keep an eye out on fixtures, the state of your gutters, window seals, and roof tiles for signs of damage. 

Set up reminders in your phone once a month to walk around the house and inspect the exterior of your home for damage, rust, corrosion or signs of wear.

8. Install an outdoor shower or invest in a separate laundry

Bayside houses are inevitably their own gigantic sand pits due to how much you and the pooch drag in after each afternoon walk. Sand can fill gaps in your timber flooring or cause abrasion on internal fixtures and furniture. 

To help prevent this slow longterm damage, install an outdoor shower or find other solutions like creating a walkthrough laundry in which you can wash down the dog and remove sand from your feet and clothes.

9. Wash exterior surfaces every few months

Again, set up reminders on your phone that will have you regularly washing exterior surfaces on your home. For those bayside houses that are right by the water, you will want to do this every couple of months if not monthly. Simply hosing down your house’s exterior will wash off corrosive salt that builds up from the wind. 

10. Use local expertise

Another form of prevention comes to the conversations you have on the street.

Beyond spending your money on the materials you use and the protective sprays and finishes rather than eventually spending a lot more money on major repairs, utilise the expertise of those around you.

Ask around in the neighbourhood to see what others, especially those who have lived in the area for a long time, use for protecting their bayside houses. Don’t necessarily take on the newest technology if it is not fully tested or has not had time to demonstrate its utility. Seek tried and tested technologies and materials in your fenestration.