Your Structure vs. Salt Water
Oceanfront living is a great luxury most only dream of. However, if you live on the ocean, it certainly comes with a price. Storm surges, extreme wind, and salty air are a constant threat to any oceanfront structure.
What are some preventative measures that can be taken?
The best preventative measure that can be taken is: REGULAR VISUAL INSPECTIONS. We cannot stress this one enough. Just having the property manager or maintenance superintendent do a full visual walk through of your property every 6 months can identify small discrepancies before they become major, costly problems. Hire an experienced and qualified contract to perform periodic maintenance as necessary to avoid large rehab projects which will cause a large impact to the building.
What are some discrepancies to look for?
If you notice any cracking or rust stains, that is a telltale sign of corrosion and deterioration. If your property has balconies or a pool deck be sure to look at the railings and other components. These are constantly exposed to the elements so they may rust or deteriorate much quicker than a property that is not on the ocean.
“If you see something, say something.”
Are there special building materials that help to slow down corrosion?
Yes. In a corrosive environment, such as the beach, we would advise using industrial paints, which offer greater protection than standard steel paints. A high solids polyamide epoxy as a primer (such as Macropoxy 646 by Sherwin Williams) with a durable, UV resistant, compatible topcoat (such as Acrolon 218 HS by Sherwin Williams). There are other products and manufacturers, but these are products that are commonly used for steel painting and protection.
Additionally, you want to make sure that materials such as railings or privacy fences are secured using galvanized, or preferably stainless-steel fasteners which are more resistant to corrosion.
If you see signs of deterioration on any part of you building or parking structure, call a professional engineer or contractor to take a closer look. Fixing an issue early on means less cost and less chance of further damage or injury.