Beachfront property is a goal for many. That big house by the beach, with the beautiful deck for enjoying brunch or drinks with friends… just the thought is enough to bring a smile to your face. Having a deck by the ocean is a very real challenge and requires significant investment in order to keep in the best shape. Do you already have a deck on your beach house or are looking to build one? Here are some important points to consider.
The weather is severe on the coast; high winds, salt spray, unrelenting sun. These harsh conditions need special care when constructing your deck. The International Residential Code (IRC) requires that “Fasteners and connectors exposed to, and located within 300 feet of, a saltwater shoreline shall be stainless steel grade 304 or 316.” This rule is in place because stainless steel of this grade is particularly resistant to marine atmospheres. Corroded fasteners and connectors can degrade your wood and lead to deck failure.
There are other ways you can help save your deck from the pitfalls of being by the ocean. One of the biggest complaints of beachfront homeowners is having to continuously bring deck furniture in and out of the weather, or to chase it around the deck in the wind. Save yourself some hassle and have some benches built into your deck. Then all you need to bring inside are cushions!
What about wind? Windscreens come in a couple of different layouts. Many choose a lattice or fencing option on one or more sides of their deck. Some choose to have a tempered glass windscreen put in, which allows you to still see around; unfortunately, this option requires some upkeep and has risks involved in high-ferocity storms.
This one can’t be stressed enough. Wood is porous; when your deck is sealed, the wood is coated with a chemical that prevents water and dangerous elements from being absorbed into it. This is a great idea for any deck and a necessity for oceanside decks. Wind, water, salt, and constant sun can wreak havoc on unprotected wood, shortening its lifespan by tens of years.
Sealing your deck protects it from the harmful elements of seaside living. When done by a professional with the highest quality sealant, your deck will bring many years of enjoyment.