Many people dream of living by the coast and waking up every morning to beautiful ocean or bay views. Residents who live in coastal areas, however, are familiar with the cloudy film from saltwater that often coats their windows.
Salt buildup leaves an unsightly, sticky residue on your windows, making it harder to enjoy the coastal view outside. If left alone, it can be corrosive and impact the efficiency of your windows over time. In this article, we’ll discuss why salt buildup is a problem for structural integrity, and what you can do to protect your home.
Related Article: Protecting Your Home Against Saltwater Damage
How Does Salt Buildup Occur?
Salt buildup occurs when salt water from the ocean evaporates and leaves behind an accumulation of salt crystals on land surfaces like your home. When living along the coast, it’s virtually impossible to avoid saltwater. Even if your home is far from possible ocean spray, studies done by the Galvanizers Association found that wind can carry salt water as far as 50 miles inland.
Salt air can also travel just as far, resulting in salt buildup on homes. Ocean water evaporates and leaves behind salt particles in the air, which are then moved around by wind currents before settling on your home and fogging up your windows.
How Can Salt Buildup Damage Windows?
Over time, the accumulated salt crystals slowly deteriorate the window glass and frame materials. Deteriorated windows can quickly result in:
- Moisture leaking through microscopic holes
- Impaired UV protection
- Corrosion of the frame
- Structural weakening
- Scratches and imperfections
This damage, however minor at first, can negatively impact your home’s overall efficiency. Exposure to the elements can impair important processes, such as insulation, temperature regulation, and ventilation. In response, your HVAC system must work harder, driving up your utility costs. Corroded windows also allow more energy to pass through, which can raise your monthly energy bill.
Unfortunately, there is no fix for corroded windows other than window replacement, but any coastal resident and homeowner can prevent extensive saltwater damage with proper, routine window cleaning.
Related Article: Choosing Windows for a Coastal Home
What Is the Best Way to Prevent Salt Buildup?
The only way to prevent salt buildup is to stay on top of cleaning your home exterior. This habit will regularly wash away salt before it accumulates. Frequently rinsing your home is helpful, particularly for siding, but your windows need a more thorough cleaning.
Water alone is not effective enough at washing away salt. In fact, the salt will only be moved around rather than removed. Follow these steps to properly break up and remove salt buildup from your windows:
- Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and coat the windows, soaking the whole surface before wiping it with a paper towel.
- Leave the residual vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes to dissolve the salt.
- Then, use a soft brush or sponge to firmly scrub away any remaining grime.
- Use vinegar diluted in water to rinse away the residue.
- Don’t let the mixture air dry on the windows. Instead, use a squeegee to wipe away the water. Remember to dry the squeegee between each use.
We highly encourage coastal residents to clean their windows periodically throughout the year because salt water is a year-round concern. By following our steps for properly cleaning salt buildup, you can protect your home from salt corrosion and enjoy the full benefits of coastal home living.
If you are not physically able, or you don’t have the time, we encourage you to contact a local cleaning service that can safely and efficiently clean your windows.
Related Article: 3 Reasons Why You Should Perform Routine Home Maintenance
Ready to Upgrade Your Coastal Windows?
At Advance Inc., we offer a variety of window installation and replacement options. We put quality and energy efficiency first when installing new windows, and we are proud to provide our customers with a wide variety of window styles that appeal to different tastes.
Ready to replace or upgrade your home’s windows? We are always coming up with new discounts and deals for you to claim. We are offering up to 15% off on reputable window brands, like OKNA, Andersen, and more until July 31, 2021.
Contact us today to set up an appointment or browse our website to learn more about our window services. We are happy to help!