Most people dream of living by the ocean and if you’re living in Newcastle you might be lucky enough to be close to the surf or in the historic east side. As great as living by the ocean may be few people think of the damage this salty environment can cause on your house.
The fresh salt air is certainly a drawcard but before you buy your new property, a Building and Pest Inspection is essential to understand the affect that salt may have had on your new home.
Interestingly, salt deterioration isn’t ageist. It’s true that buildings over the age of 50 may show more signs of wear but salt deterioration can also affect newer builds. Salt can also affect buildings up to 3 kilometres from the sea so it’s important to be aware of the damage it can cause.
Salt deterioration attacks the structural integrity of a building and to understand the damage this salty air has caused on your property, a building and pest inspection carried out by local Novocastrian is best.
We’ve compiled a simple guide to help you understand what salt air can do to your house.
Salt can work away at the soft lime mortar transforming it into dust which is pretty serious considering that it is in charge of holding your bricks together. This deterioration can span the width of your brickwork and in serious case the disintegration of mortar can cause collapse of external walls.
Surface deterioration is also a problem for houses made in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This is because our bricks back then were not built to be salt tolerant. Salt attacks decays brickwork as soluble salts form crystals within the pores of the bricks and as they grow the surface decays.
A wall tie ties the internal wall to the external wall. Salty air can often cause wall ties to rust and deteriorate which can trigger the external brickwork to move away from the main building. If the brick is left unrestrained a complete collapse can occur.
Salt deterioration can cause holes in roof tiles, especially in tiles made of Terracotta. Salt deterioration of terracotta roof tiles can cause leakages to occur so it is important to have a Building Inspection done prior to buying.
Buildings near salt water are prone to concrete cancer as the salt in the air accelerates the rusting process of the reinforcing steel inside the concrete. There has been a long history of balconies built prior to 1985 collapsing due to the extreme rusting and spalling of concrete.
Many of these issues can be fixed and it’s worth fixing them to live so close to the sea. To understand what damage the sea has caused to your property, call us to come and conduct a building and pest inspection.
Photo by Patrick Quinn-Graham