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Staying Ahead of Salt Corrosion


You’re nearing the end of your mystery novel and finally find some time to head out to the lanai, book in hand, to discover “who done it.” Focused on settling in and getting started, you plop down on the lounge and are caught off guard when the metal legs give way. You crash to the floor. It doesn’t take long to discover what happened—judging from the looks of things salt corrosion is to blame.

Keeping abreast of salt accumulation is something that all homeowners should make a top priority when living near the ocean. Salt corrosion affects pretty much everything—unless it’s made out of plastic—and it’s especially hard on most metal surfaces.

Salt corrosion erodes your bank account

Protecting your home and belongings from salt corrosion may be the simplest of home maintenance tasks. All it requires is grabbing a power washer and blasting the exterior of your home and outdoor living area a couple of times a year.


That’s about all there is to it.

When salt accumulates on outdoor surfaces, it eventually causes extensive damage. And, that, of course, adversely affects your bank account.

Now you see it, but clean so you don’t

It’s best to just schedule power washing the premises periodically throughout the year. That’s because salt starts to deteriorate surfaces immediately. There’s no sense in waiting for visible evidence. It shortens the lifespan of your stuff.

It eventually threatens the integrity of your home too.

Once salt corrosion adversely affects the wood or metal around your windows, for instance, it allows moisture to seep into the interior of your home. It travels deeper into the framing—leaving a prime environment for mold and mildew to thrive. A dark, damp environment coupled with Florida’s hot, humid atmosphere creates a ticking time bomb scenario. One filled with rot and decay. Things can become extremely expensive by the time you’re even aware of the damage that’s been done.

Metal roofs aren’t a traditional look for homes around here, but they’re becoming more popular. Your contractor will be able to guide you in choosing the best option. Aluminum and zinc resist salt corrosion, but treated steel painted with a protective coating of special paint can be a slightly less expensive option.

If your lanai or gazebo is screened-in, it’s a good idea to keep them free of any tiny deposits of build-up within the mesh grids. Salt corrosion weakens the materials, which, again, shortens the life of your enclosure.

If you need a job to keep the kids busy, fill up a bucket with soapy water and pass out the scrub brushes! Have them scrub down the furniture and tables while they’re at it. The garden hose nozzle will apply enough pressure to whisk the soap away. And, you won’t have to worry about anyone succumbing to the temptation to jet blast their little brother.

Other tips to maintain your home

Overall, it isn’t hard to stay ahead of salt corrosion. All you need to do is commit to washing it away. Experts recommend that Florida homeowners powerwash their homes two or three times a year.

There are a few other tips we can pass along:

• Repaint your house from time to time
• Avoid purchasing metal surfaces when possible
• Store smaller objects indoors
• Keep windows closed and clean them routinely
• Use fiberglass for doors and windows

Routinely inspecting your property will enable you to discover any damage from salt, wind, or age. Catching damage early keeps your home in sound condition and your money in the bank.

That’s a win-win in our book.

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