Tough Materials for Coastal Climates
Salt air, sun, and sea often mean harsh treatment for oceanfront digs. We gathered the best hardy materials, tips, and ideas for rock-solid coastal homes.
Note: Steel is one of the costliest roofing materials, so think about whether you're up for investing more now to save long term.
Note: Wood products are naturally more susceptible to plant growth and decay, so consider installing pre-treated shingles on your home.
Note: While tile roofs stand up to the elements, individual tiles may crack and need replacement.
Note: The natural stone material can be very heavy, so you may need to install an extra support system if applying to an existing home. Plus, the product is pricey, so it's a long-run investment.
Note: White oak floors have a pattern that may be too noticeable for some tastes. (For lighter lines, try maple.)
Note: Because of concrete's hardiness, it will likely be colder and less comfortable than wood, so try sea grass rugs to warm it up.
Note: Reclaimed wood flooring has become so popular that high demand and scarcity of supply can sometimes make it very costly.
Note: A higher density means a much heavier product, so porcelain may take longer to install and require stronger support underneath.
2. Clean first: The most important step as you prep is to rid your home's surfaces of salt spray and moisture that can prevent paint from adhering well, Spillane says. For a quick DIY cleanser, try mixing 3 quarts warm water with 1 quart household bleach, and adding 1 cup Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), a heavy-duty cleansing powder available at home improvement stores.
3. Smooth it out: If you're applying paint to an exterior for the first time—or if the existing paint is badly weathered—it's a good idea to apply a primer soon after the clean surface is dry, Spillane says. Primers smooth out the grain of natural wood and seal any imperfections in painted wood. If the existing paint is in good shape, skip the primer and apply two coats of paint for a sleek job.