Salt Damage On Coffs Harbour Homes

Coffs Harbour Jetty

For those seeking a sea change, the laid-back beachy lifestyle around Coffs Harbour is what city dweller’s dreams are made of. Whilst having the South Pacific Ocean on your doorstep can be magical for long walks on the beach and boating, the effects of this salty environment can wreak havoc on properties close to the shore.

Properties in Coffs Harbour and in neighbouring towns like Sawtell, Toormina, Korora and Moonee Beach all show signs of varying degrees of salt deterioration so it’s important before buying in these coastal areas so have a building and pest inspection completed to understand what salt has the effect on your future property. Coffs Harbour shore

Prolonged exposure to salt can lead to devastating outcomes and surely you’ve seen in the news stories of beachside balconies collapsing, shop fronts crumbling and brick walls decaying. Buildings don’t have to be right on the ocean either, salty winds have been shown to affect buildings up to 1 to 3 kilometres away from the shore.

Take a look at some of the ways salt can damage your home.


Salt can degrade the soft lime mortar which holds your brickwork together. Over time the salt will transform the soft lime mortar into dust leaving nothing to hold your bricks in place. Prolonged deterioration can lead to whole walls collapsing as the deterioration works its way through the width of the brickwork.

Although salt deterioration can affect buildings of any age, brick houses built in the 1960s through to the 1980s are more prone to deterioration as bricks of this age were not built to be salt tolerant.

Weathering of bricks due to salt can also occur as salt crystallises inside the brick’s pore and over time generates enough force to cause the actual brick to crumble. This is evident in bricks that look like they’ve been ravaged by acne or pockmarks.

Wall Ties

We all know that salt can cause metal objects to rust but did you know that your wire wall ties (these are the ties that hold your internal wall to your external wall) are prone to rusting too? This can be disastrous as the external brickwork may move away from the building and collapse if left unaided.

Concrete Cancer Beacon Hill

Inside concrete, you have a network of reinforcing steel that helps make your concrete strong. Concrete near salt water is susceptible to concrete cancer whereby that steel accelerates the rusting process. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the manifestation of concrete cancer in the news where balconies built prior to 1985 collapse.

There are many more ways salt can damage your home so we recommend having a specialist conduct a building and pest inspection on your property. Having a specialist who is local to the area, like Wayne Frank, is vital as he’ll pass on his vast wealth of experience of someone native to the area. Give us a call to arrange a building and pest inspection in the Coffs Harbour region on 02 6569 5162 or book online today.

Photos by Andrea Schaffer & Dale Gillard

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