Owning beachfront or having a home near the ocean has so many exciting advantages. Why not spend the day relaxing on the beach listening to the waves and their calming rhythm? There is nothing like taking a walk along the shoreline and feeling its surf brush against your feet. The enjoyment of having a daily view of the ocean and its blue tone horizon brings a smile to anyone’s face. All this makes life that much better.
When owning on the beach, the climate that surrounds a large body of water takes a toll on your home’s structure. Especially on its exterior and other outdoor accessories such as patio furniture and umbrellas. To prevent costly erosion, several tasks need to be performed on a routine basis. The following maintenance tips will not only help maintain your homes’ appearance but will extend its longevity as well.
Here are some maintenance tips for your beach home:
Being around larger bodies of water will create lots of moister in the air. This, in turn, will promote rust on any metal fixtures, siding and outdoor accessories that are not protected. If you don’t act, this could create a severe problem.
Fix & Prevent: To repair current surface rust, take a midgrade wet or dry sandpaper (400 to a 1,000 grit – depending if the rust has penetrated the substrate) and sand it off. To detour rust from returning, Rust-Oleum has a spray primer that should be used before a top coat is applied. If you have bare metal, apply a primer and paint the surface with either a spray or roll-on paint. Make sure the paint is an all-purpose or says, “For Metal.”
Wood is an element that is very vulnerable to moist climates. Unprotected wood that is being used for either vertical or horizontal surfaces will rot or develop mold very quickly. This can be an expensive repair if not treated appropriately.
Fix & Prevent: If there is rot present or starting to form on siding or decking, this needs immediate attention. There are two ways to approach this issue. The first choice is to replace the damaged area with new wood and treat it. If the surface is repairable, there is a product that you can inject into the wood to solidify the damaged fibers. Use ‘Plastic Wood’ to reconstruct the outside surface. Then apply a water or oil based stain to protect the surface – You can use paint as well. However, transparent, semi, or solid stain penetrates the wood for better protection.
3. Mold & Mildew
Being in a humid climate, mold, and mildew will form on almost any surface. This includes outside and inside of your home. Important things to know: mildew is white in appearance, and mold has various colors – black, blue, red, and green. Not only is this the beginning of rot, but it can also create an unhealthy environment.
Fix & Prevent: Repairing and prevention should go hand-in-hand. There are also numerous products on the market, such as “Mold Armor, Zep and Concrobium” that will eliminate mold and mildew, as well as the stains. You can use several of these products in and outside of your home. We don’t recommend using straight, or diluted bleach is it will discolor or eventually eat away at the surface. There are home, roof, and deck washes that will prevent and remove mold and mildew as well. Check with your local home improvement center for these products.
4. Outdoor accessories
Lawn furniture, umbrellas, and other yard accessories will rust and deteriorate quite rapidly if neglected. Even though these particular items aren’t as valuable as your home, they are accent pieces that do get plenty of use.
Fix & Prevention: We suggest to follow the ‘Metal and Wood’ fix and prevention methods. Another suggestion is to put away these items during non-use periods. Don’t cover or wrap these items up and leave them out. Moister will form underneath the wrapping and will create an ideal incubator for mold and mildew. If you want to keep your accessories out all year-round, you can periodically use a spray wash that will clean and protect them. There are also sprays that will protect fabrics as well.
Keeping a good coat of paint on your home, garage and out-buildings will protect against UV rays and moisture from penetrating the structures underlayment. This includes but not limited to wood, masonry, metal, and vinyl.
Fix & Prevention: If chipping starts to occur, use a scraper to remove as much of the scaling as possible. If the area isn’t extensive, apply a primer and repaint. If there is evidence of mold & mildew, use a power washer with a cleaner mix. Afterward, if the paint is still in good shape, apply a protectant, which you could also include in your cleaning mix. Make sure to read the instructions on all cleaning and protectant products and follow them accordingly.
Your home’s roof will fade quickly under the harsh daily exposure of the sun. There is really nothing you can do but maybe repaint it every other year. However, there is a way to keep it clean and free of mold. Roofs that are shaded from the day’s sunlight will most likely form mold.
Fix & Prevent: You can knock out several tasks with one simple application. Several products found at your home improvement center will perform dual purposes. For example, “Mold Armor, Jomax and Spray & Forget” provide cleaners with protectants for your home’s exterior, roof, and deck. Most of these products will remove stains created from the mold as well.
If you don’t use a professional gardener, the landscape around your home will be exposed to extreme heat and occasional dryness. Vegetation needs food and water to survive, even if you live in a humid environment.
Fix & Prevention: Depending on the soil, your plants, shrubs, and trees – especially palms, need food. For flower-bearing plants and shrubs, Miracle Grow offers many forms of fertilizers. Palms and other assorted trees need special feeds as well. We recommend fertilizing your lawn at least twice a year and possibly more. No matter if you live in a tropical – desert – moderate climate, water your landscape continuously.
8. Sealing open cracks
Having a tight seal around windows and doors keep the outside elements from finding a way in. This not only keeps out unwanted elements but also helps maintain temperature conditions inside your home. This, in turn, keeps your energy bills somewhat manageable.
Fix & Prevention: We highly recommend doing an annual inspection, which includes looking around window frames, door jams, roofs, and vents. Applying durable-exterior caulking or silicone where cracks and gaps are evident will prevent costly repairs. If wide cracks or excessive gaps are present, there are spray insulating foams that you can use. Afterward, apply caulking or silicone.
Additional maintenance tips
Things to remember:
- Power washing does not make particular clean or remove mold or mildew. It only sprays the visual coating off. The residue is still present on the surface. You will need chemicals to remove all the affected areas.
- Always do semi or annual cleaning and inspections on your water heater, furnace, and air conditioning units – including ductwork if applicable.
- Always read the instructions no matter how simple you think the application can be.
- Remember to use a hand, eye, and breathing protection when handling chemicals of any kind.
Last but not least, here is probably one of the most important things to remember, don’t always listen to what people tell you regarding certain solutions or repairs. Take time to consult with a professional or do your research. Protecting your investment and dream home can be very easy if following this periodic maintenance tips and simple repairs are done on a timely basis.
By following these maintenance tips, you will reduce high prices that can affect your economy in the long term. Additionally, your beach house will always look like new! If you’re planning to purchase property in the Riviera Maya, check out our exclusive listings here!