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Living right beside the ocean is a dream many people long for and work their whole lives to achieve. The definition of “made it” usually includes a house that comes with its very own soundtrack, i.e. the crashing waves of the ocean on the shore.


There are, however, a few realities of owning a seaside home, in particular, rust, corrosion and mildew. This is a result of the reaction between iron, oxygen and water or air moisture. There are, of course, certain preservation tips you can implement to ensure the longevity of your home.


3 ways to keep your seaside home in tiptop shape

1.     Rust prevention

As mentioned above, rust is caused by a reaction between iron, oxygen and water or air moisture. If these conditions are left untreated on metalwork such as windows and garden gates that are not primed or painted, the rust spreads and will continue to ‘flake’ the steel, leaving large holes and gaps.


Fittings and steel manufactured parts on seaside homes are the number one target for rust due to the prevalence of humidity and coastal spray. To prevent rust, ensure all steel fittings are diligently primed and painted. You can also regularly inspect potential problem areas for signs of surface damage where air or moisture could start a reaction and form rust on the steel.


It is highly advisable to use fibreglass framed windows and doors and avoid metal parts, where possible. Aluminium can also be used as an alternative, but it is not as anti-corrosive as fibreglass. If you have to use metal parts, hot-dipped metal galvanised or stainless steel fasteners can be used.

2.     Damp and mildew

Winter in Cape Town is a prime time to be on the lookout for any signs of damp or mildew growth. With a constant stream of rainy days and strong winds, a house near the sea is particularly prone to dampness.


Mildew is a fungus that loves moisture and will grow quickly on a damp surface. It therefore important to ensure that your house is as dry as possible. On the interior, pay attention to dark corners that could accumulate damp.


To prevent any potential dampness, first check the exterior of the house for any broken or blocked pipes as well any leaks or holes on the roof.


This should be the first part of the house you inspect, as this is essentially where damp gets into the interior. You should check that there is proper ventilation in the house (i.e. extractor fans) to prevent damp.


3.     Sun damage

While you may be lapping up the glorious sun in your seaside home, your outdoor furniture is taking a beating. Sun damage on outdoor furniture can be potentially irreversible, so it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent this.


Apply UV-protection spray to your outdoor furniture for optimum protection. You can cover your outdoor furniture when not in use and some patio sets even come with their own specially fitted covers. You can also opt for lighter furniture where the effects of the sun will not be as readily noticed.


Although the maintenance of your seaside home can sometimes seem like a hassle, the views, sounds and smells that surround you are all worth it. By applying a few preventative measures you can ensure the longevity of your home for years to come.