People often choose to live in these waterside homes for the fabulous view or the proximity to nature or wildlife. Still, putting aside any romantic notions about living like that, if your house is exposed to the elements, surely it needs a HIGHER LEVEL of weatherproofing than a house in a city street.
Typical problems faced by exposed or coastal properties and what to do about it.
If your house is in an exposed or coastal location, we identified a few major causes of concern and suggested courses of action where possible:
This can cause cracking, damp, and growth of mould, all of which can be costly to fix, so it is more important than ever for the homeowner to keep the outside of their home in tip-top condition.
If your home faces the sea, the chances are when it’s stormy, you get the brunt of that, with the wind perhaps also spraying your home with seawater whipped up from the foreshore, but remember one thing: Seawater isn’t just water. It’s also SALT.
That means when there is a storm, your home is battered by salt, which is forced against the walls or roof with tremendous force, and as seawater is denser than tap water, it, in effect, weighs more, compounding the potential for damage even higher. In extreme cases, the wind-driven salt can strip the paint off the walls of your house.
If your home is constantly battered by saltwater, driven against the walls, instead of running downwards like rain in a townhouse, this harms the painted surfaces of your home, including walls, doors and windows.
Regular masonry paint lasts 2 to 3 years maximum, and that is only if it is good quality and applied by a professional painter. The same quality of paint job on a house in front of the sea rarely lasts longer than 12 months. If your home costs £1,500 to £2,000 each time it is painted, can you imagine having that cost each year? Luckily there is a range of high-performance masonry coatings that are specifically designed to withstand this harsh battering by sea spray and rain and has a lifespan of around 20 years.
Sand-blasting and heavy storm
Rough sea weather can also scratch the window panes meaning that over time, your windows would become opaque and would need replacing.
If you live by the sea, on windy days the house can be pelted with sand, whipped up by the wind, which not only blocks gutters and drains, it will also erode the paint on the house. Shutters affixed to the outside wall can help protect against storms and in some cases can enhance the exterior of your house.
Living next to the sea often encourages damp and raise humidity.
One downside of living next to our coastline is the possibility of damp and the problems it can cause for your home. Unfortunately and due to our climate, rain comes in many forms, and coastal rain can also turn into drizzle, sea mist and freezing fog.
This has the effect of something akin to covering your house in a damp sponge, meaning the house has the wetness enveloped or drenched and gets into every nook and cranny. Water easily finds a way into any small defect on your houses such as cracks or hollow render, meaning in a few months, you could see the appearance of mould inside, or worse, toxic mould spores.
This saturation can also affect anything metal on the house ranging from railings or door handles to reinforced concrete, which can rust and then cause all manner of very expensive issues. So if your house is located in one of the types of area, it is paramount that you keep your home in good condition, paying special attention to keeping out the weather.
Protecting home from environmental and coastal weather hazards
Our roof, for example, if kept in good condition, should at least protect us from the rain coming into the house, but it is something that many homeowners take for granted and forget it is there until a leak occurs.
Here are five great tips to strengthen your home and avoid weather hazards from wearing down your house.
TIP ONE: Check your roof
Your roof, as above, should give you many years of trouble-free protection but it’s certainly worth getting it properly inspected by a qualified roofer every five years or so, to make sure.
If you are planning on moving house soon, the last thing you need is for the buyer’s surveyor to find a potentially costly problem on your roof that needs fixing. This also applies to the chimney.
A roof replacement can run into tens of thousands of pounds, but sometimes a special roof coating can be applied which will lengthen its life. However, roof coatings will not fix structural issues so be wary of leaflets through your door from companies saying a roof coating will fix a dilapidated roof as it is untrue.
TIP TWO: Avoid leaks
Avoid potential leaks from elsewhere by keeping all gutters and pipes clean and free of debris, especially if there are trees near your home.
Make sure all external pipes are in good condition and are lagged, which means that if your pipes have insulation around them, the water inside won’t freeze.
TIP THREE: Pay attention to your exterior walls
Make sure the walls of your house are in good order and free from cracks or loose patches of pebbledash or rendering. During wet and cold weather, if your walls absorb the water, driven further in by the wind, this will cause damp, mould and cracks, again, very expensive to fix, so a preventative measure is best.
TIP FOUR: Insulate!
Keep out nasty draughts and cold by making sure the loft is insulated. This can also apply to cavity wall insulation, which will significantly reduce heating bills, paying for itself in no time at all.
TIP FIVE: Heating, flues and chimneys need to be checked
Finally, and again something people take for granted until it breaks down, make sure your heating and all appliances are working well and the chimney if you have one, is free of debris and has been cleaned by a chimney sweep. This is especially important as when we are in winter time and snuggling up in our warm home, we are not letting fresh air, as it’s COLD of course!
This means that if there is a blockage somewhere, or a small gas leak, carbon monoxide, a deadly gas, can build up in your home, causing death. This is especially important if you are using one of those gas portable heaters, so make sure you at least let a tiny bit of fresh air in when you can, even if it’s only for a few minutes.