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Maintaining Seaside Strata Building Tips

Wednesday February 28th, 2018

Seaside living is often the dream lifestyle for residents, but can be a nightmare for strata managers. Not only do you have to worry about salt corrosion and excessive moisture, there are a number of materials handling and health and safety risks that need to be considered too.

Thankfully, there are some best practices that you can implement to get ahead of any major issues.

When you think of ocean-side properties, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the smell of the sea breeze? The sound of seagulls circling overhead? The ease of walking down to the beach and feeling the warm sand between your toes? Or perhaps it’s the non-stop struggle of dealing with salt corrosion, excessive moisture and rusting metal?

If it’s the latter, you’ve obviously had some experience with oceanside preventative maintenance and the challenges it presents. Managing sea-facing buildings comes with some serious challenges, and it’s essential to understand these from the outset to avoid some potentially catastrophic problems.

In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about maintaining oceanside properties, including the risks of improper building management processes and some best practices to follow.

But first, forewarned is forearmed: The dangers of lax property maintenance for oceanside buildings

Buildings in coastal areas are exposed to the elements much more than those inland - sea air is more moist and contains high levels of salt, which causes common building materials like metals, wood, cement and paint to corrode much quicker than they would elsewhere.

Failing to treat your materials correctly can result in health and safety concerns. In addition to that, cracks, damp, mould build-up, and loose render can cause unsightly damage to buildings that are expensive to fix.

5 best practices for coastal strata building preventative maintenance

1. Stainless steel is an expensive necessity

Many metals, including certain types of steel, will rust quickly in coastal areas. Make sure you use stainless steel or corrosion resistant metals. They might be more costly than the alternative, but the reduction in maintenance costs will more than make up for the initial investment.

2. Treat all wood to ensure it doesn’t rot

Any builder worth their salt should know that treating wood correctly is essential to prevent it from rotting, especially in coastal areas with high levels of moisture in the air. Make sure any wood features, especially those that are structural and exposed, are treated correctly.

3. Invest in durable cladding

The materials that you select for your building - and most importantly the outside of your building - are a vital part of ensuring that it can withstand exposure. When selecting cladding materials, be aware of not just their aesthetic value, but of how well they’ll be able to stand up to the elements.

4. Get smart about the building materials you use

As we mentioned above, salt build-up can spell disaster for metals, so minimising the amount of metal you use will make property maintenance much more manageable. Consider using fibreglass framed doors and windows to avoid them from corroding - aluminium and vinyl are also options to consider, but they aren’t as rust-proof as fibreglass.

5. Make use of property maintenance experts’ services

The best way to ensure you’re prepared for the challenges that come with preventative maintenance is to partner with a maintenance contractor who has extensive experience in the field.

This article was contributed by Rob Loncar of Higgins Coatings.