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The Impact of Salt Air: Choosing the Right Windows and Doors for Coastal Homes

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Living by the sea offers a unique blend of breezy tranquility and natural beauty, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Among these is the corrosive nature of salt air, which can wreak havoc on the exterior of homes—particularly windows and doors. Understanding how to select materials that can withstand the saline onslaught is crucial for any coastal homeowner.

Understanding the Impact of Salt Air

Salt air carries corrosive salts that can aggressively attack and degrade various building materials. Over time, the persistent exposure can lead to significant damage, affecting not only the aesthetic appearance of homes but also their structural integrity.

The Science

When thinking about the science behind salt air corrosion, it’s helpful to imagine the process as a slow but steady battle against materials. The salty sea breeze carries with it tiny particles of salt—sodium chloride—which, when deposited on surfaces, have the ability to attract and retain moisture.

This moisture allows for the occurrence of reactions that accelerate the rate of corrosion on metal parts of windows and doors. 

For wood, the constant presence of salt and moisture can lead to rot and warping.

The effects of this process are not immediately evident, but over time, paint may start to bubble, wood may weaken, and metals may rust, leading to costly repairs and replacements for homeowners.

Materials Matter: Best Choices for Coastal Homes

Windows

When selecting windows for coastal homes, it’s essential to prioritize materials that have inherent resistance to corrosion. Vinyl windows are a popular choice due to their durability and minimal maintenance requirements. They do not rust, corrode, or require repainting.

Vinyl Windows:

Offering superb resistance to salt air corrosion, vinyl windows are a practical option. They provide excellent insulation and require minimal upkeep.

Worker installing vinyl window indoors, closeup view

Aluminum Windows:

Aluminum windows, when given a protective treatment, stand up well against the elements. Mindful maintenance is required to maintain their resilience.

Wood Windows:

Although wood possesses natural beauty, it requires diligent care and the application of protective sealants to withstand the challenging marine environment. We think this is the hardest to maintain. 

Doors

Fiberglass Doors:

Fiberglass, known for its durability, stands strong against the corrosive effects of salt air, which can cause warping and rust in other materials. It’s an ideal choice for various applications.

Steel Doors:

Coated steel doors can offer robustness if properly maintained. They provide a secure barrier against both intruders and the elements.

At Toms River door & window, we recommend our lineup of full steel doors for most applications. 

Wooden Doors:

Similar to wood windows, wood doors cast a classic look, yet they demand considerable treatment and maintenance to maintain their integrity in coastal climates.

Hardware and Accessories

Hardware for coastal homes should prioritize rust resistance; stainless steel stands out in this regard. 

When selecting locks, handles, and hinges, homeowners should opt for materials and treatments designed to endure the coastal conditions.

Maintenance Tips for Coastal Windows and Doors

Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring that coastal windows and doors continue to perform optimally amid the relentless exposure to salt air and other marine elements. Regular care can significantly extend the life of these components, maintaining their appearance, function, and reliability.

Here are some valuable tips and best practices for homeowners to protect their investment and keep their homes looking pristine and well-preserved:

Professional Installation: A Key Factor

To fully capitalize on the materials’ protective properties, professional installation is imperative. A correctly installed window or door can drastically extend its service life in even the most demanding coastal environments.

Ensuring that your coastal home is protected against the relentless forces of nature not only depends on selecting the right materials but also requires professional installation. A certified local installer has the expertise necessary to correctly fit windows and doors, optimizing their protective benefits and extending their longevity.

For residents of Ocean & Monmouth County New Jersey, we're here to provide that professional expertise.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for high-quality installation services that will safeguard your home for years to come. With our assistance, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that your coastal sanctuary stands strong against the elements. Contact us today for an installation you can trust.

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