Main­tain­ing your coastal hol­i­day home es­sen­tial

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

Own­ing a sec­ond home on the coast is not just highly de­sired, but ac­tu­ally some­thing that many peo­ple are in­vest­ing in. Of­ten, these are ini­tially for hol­i­days and get­aways and then later be­come the re­tire­ment home.

The Se­eff Prop­erty Group says that these homes are gen­er­ally sit­u­ated quite a dis­tance from where you are based and since you are not there all the time to take care of it, they re­quire ad­di­tional fo­cus. Aside from se­cu­rity and keep­ing an eye on the prop­erty, coastal homes tend to re­quire ad­di­tional main­te­nance.

Sa­muel Se­eff, chair­man of the group, says that your prop­erty is your most valu­able as­set and main­tain­ing it in a good state of re­pair is vi­tal. Coastal prop­erty does not come cheap ei­ther, and aside from keep­ing the prop­erty main­tained for your own use, it is vi­tal that it is in tip-top con­di­tion if you want to sell it. Buy­ers will quickly spot wa­ter dam­age, damp and rust prob­lems and look to dis­count your ask­ing price.

Prop­erty on the coast is ex­posed to sea air which cre­ates ad­di­tional main­te­nance needs. The Cape win­ter sea­son brings long bouts of rain (dur­ing a good rain sea­son that is), while the sum­mer brings fairly strong winds, all of which have an erod­ing ef­fect.

Se­eff high­lights a few ar­eas to bear in mind:

Metal and rust

The sea air pro­motes rust and it is best to use met­als that are stain­less steel or coated for pro­tec­tion. Re­gard­less of the ma­te­rial, met­als should be washed reg­u­larly to re­move the residue that could cause rust. Non-re­sis­tant met­als should be painted for pro­tec­tion and you should do a reg­u­lar check to see if it needs a touch-up or re­paint. Any rust found, should be cleaned off and a new coat of pro­tec­tion ap­plied to the metal.

Win­dows

Liv­ing on the coast means that you will want to use as much glass as pos­si­ble for big win­dows and doors to en­sure you can max­imise and en­joy the views. Given the con­stant sea air, glass and win­dows on the coast tend to be­come dirty, muggy or foggy quite quickly and them clean and clear.

Wood

there­fore need to be cleaned reg­u­larly to keep

While wood is of­ten pre­ferred for coastal homes, it is more sen­si­tive to nat­u­ral el­e­ments such as wa­ter and salt ero­sion. Wooden doors, win­dows and other fin­ishes should be checked and treated reg­u­larly to pre­vent de­te­ri­o­ra­tion and rot­ting wood.

Wa­ter­proof­ing

Given that most coastal ar­eas tend to be rainy in ad­di­tion to the gen­er­ally higher lev­els of mois­ture, homes need to be looked after in terms of wa­ter dam­age, damp and wa­ter­proof­ing. It is al­ways ad­vis­able to catch the prob­lem early and at­tend to the re­pairs be­cause wa­ter dam­age can be­come very costly if ne­glected.

Sun dam­age

A coastal home is also likely to suf­fer the ef­fects of sun dam­age. Be sure to do a reg­u­lar check and en­sure that out­door fur­ni­ture is stored away from di­rect sun­light. Fab­rics gen­er­ally tend to fade in di­rect sun­light, but the heat is also very da­m­ag­ing to fur­ni­ture and ex­te­ri­ors. While a sea­side home might re­quire a lit­tle more main­te­nance, the proper pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures and reg­u­lar main­te­nance will en­sure that you can en­joy your home while it re­tains and grows in value, says Se­eff.

Mildew

Coastal prop­erty is more prone to mildew and rooms can be­come very damp if left closed for long pe­ri­ods. This means that mildew can de­velop on fur­ni­ture and soft fur­nish­ings, but also on other sur­faces, in­clud­ing walls and cup­boards. Aside from air­ing out your coastal home, en­sure it is cleaned reg­u­larly and all sur­faces wiped down with a spe­cial clean­ing prod­uct to keep it free from mildew de­vel­op­ment.

Paint

The ex­te­rior of your home will also need dili­gent main­te­nance be­cause mois­ture in the air and from rain can seep into cracks in the paint and plas­ter and cause ma­jor dam­age. Use qual­ity paint suit­able for coastal prop­erty and en­sure you do a check at least an­nu­ally for any cracks, dam­age or ar­eas that need at­ten­tion.

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