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Living in Virginia Beach offers a unique blend of serene coastal beauty and the lively vibrancy of a hip oceanfront community. Who doesn’t love the dancing sea oats at Sandbridge, the tucked-away seclusion of the Narrows, or the calmer waters of Chesapeake Bay Beach? 

As much as we love living on the Atlantic, staying beachside isn’t without its challenges. One of those problems that sometimes swims under the surface and out of sight is the corrosive effects of the ocean on our homes. If you are lucky enough to have a beachfront or near-beachfront property in Virginia Beach, we’ll help you understand the specific impacts of saltwater and why effective maintenance and protection is crucial.

Why Coastal Areas Corrode Homes

Saltwater corrosion is an insidious force. It wears down even the sturdiest materials over time. It’s sneaky, though, because you may not realize or even notice how the saltwater-filled air is affecting your belongings and property. 

Saltwater corrosion occurs when salt and moisture in the air accelerate the oxidation of materials. Rust and deterioration results. Sometimes the signs are obvious and quick; other times you may not notice much until years of continued exposure.

Parts of Virginia Beach that are directly exposed to sea spray and harsh winds are especially vulnerable. If you have a home in beachfront communities like North End, Bay Colony, Shadowlawn, Croatan, or Sandbridge Beach, your home and belongings may be particularly susceptible to the damages of saltwater corrosion. 

Identifying Signs of Saltwater Damage

Awareness is the first and key step for combating saltwater damage. Knowing what to look for can help you chart a course of action before the damage is undoable. 

Areas of the Home Commonly Affected

Metal components like nails, roofing, and siding are particularly prone to rust and degradation. Wooden structures may warp or rot, and paint may bubble, crack, or peel off more quickly than in less exposed areas. 

Initial corrosion may look like red, black, or white deposits that become increasingly visible on surfaces. As the surface becomes spottier and less uniform, you may start to see fuller patches form. Eventually, those patches will become increasingly pronounced until the surface is scaled over. Oftentimes, this will appear like the reddish-brown color we’ve come to associate with rust, but corrosion can affect various materials and surfaces differently.

Early Detection Is Key

Regular inspections can reveal early signs of saltwater corrosion like rusting, peeling paint, metal degradation, and salty residue. We’ll talk more about prevention below, but if you live in an area of Virginia Beach that regularly receives spray and wind from the ocean, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the exterior of your home, any outdoor features you have, and anything you store outdoors. In addition to signs of bubbling, peeling, and rusting, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for salty residue. Any white, salty residue you spot is a good indicator that you’ll want to take the steps below to keep things clean. 

Effective Corrosion Prevention

While saltwater can be a formidable foe to your home’s exterior and your other belongings, you’re not left without options. Follow these tips, and you’ll keep saltwater corrosion at bay. 

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning are crucial for a long-lasting oceanfront home. An effective routine for cleaning your home can really cut back on corrosion—and keep things sparkly in the process.


Freshwater is one of the greatest ways to combat saltwater. Pressure washing is your friend to remove salt and debris. You might even consider tossing in gentle soap and doing some scrubbing on any surfaces or materials that seem a little worse for the wear. Just make sure that you don’t overdo the pressure on more delicate surfaces. And if you’re unsure about taking care of the washing yourself, there are plenty of pressure-washing pros in Virginia Beach who can lend a hand.

Another pro tip: Avoid leaving belongings outside when possible. Anything that can be stored indoors should be put away. Anything that has to remain outside—a grill, for example—should be covered when not in use.


You may not have given a second thought to the great indoors, but saltwater corrosion can affect the interior of your home too! 

When the sea breeze blows in on a warm spring day, it’s difficult to keep the windows closed. The rustling of the wind, the rhythm of the waves, the cawing of the gulls—who wouldn’t want to take it all in? There’s just one problem: letting the sea breeze means letting in the saltwater. 

So what can you do if you want to make use of your windows to take in the sounds, sights, and smells of the beachfront? One easy solution: let CottageCare provide you with eco-friendly house cleaning in Virginia Beach. With our 165-point cleaning checklist and environmentally conscious cleaning methods, you’ll never have to worry about the effects of saltwater inside. We’ll wipe absolutely everything down in a deep clean that won’t leave a trace of saltwater residue on anything in sight.

Yeah, sure, you could do all the cleaning yourself. But why not let yourself enjoy that ocean breeze a little more?

Choose Corrosion-Resistant Materials

A final step in guarding your castle from saltwater corrosion is choosing corrosion-resistant materials. 

  • Avoid exposed metal when you can.
  • Try fiberglass doors and windows, which aren’t affected by corrosion.
  • Use high-quality exterior paint that resists weathering.
  • Spend a little more on patio furniture that is built from corrosion-resistant materials like plastic wood.

Wherever you can, invest in materials that are less likely to be affected by saltwater’s constant presence. You’ll still want to wash things down on the regular, but durable materials can offer you protection that washing alone will never get.

Keeping Your Virginia Beach Home Corrosion-Free

Ongoing vigilance will always be necessary to maintain a corrosion-free home. This includes regular inspection, prompt repairs, and when necessary, professional consultations. Exterior professionals can help keep siding, roofing, and windows in order. Interior professionals like CottageCare can help make sure that the saltwater isn’t a problem inside. 
Protecting the entirety of your home from saltwater corrosion takes some serious effort. If you need a hand with cleaning your home in Virginia Beach, don’t hesitate to let CottageCare know. Teamwork can guard your castle from the onslaught of saltwater corrosion.