Living by the beach is the ultimate dream. However, there is a downside to living so close to the water- sea salt. The salty atmosphere can do serious damage to your home’s exterior. Whether it’s the paintwork or the windows, the ocean spray can be a real menace for your home’s maintenance.
When condensation from the sea hits your windows, the water will eventually evaporate – however, the salt in the water will remain in place. Over time the salty residue will make the window appear dirty and milky looking. While appearance is a major issue, when left to build up, salt on windows can have much more harmful consequences.
Ocean spray hitting your house causes salt to build up on the windows. The long term effects of salt on windows can range from weakened structural integrity to visible scratches and even corroded frames. However, by engaging in regular cleaning, you can easily prevent the harmful effects of sea salt on windows.
How to clean salty windows
When it comes to cleaning your windows, the first tip is to do it on a cloudy day. That way your windows won’t dry before you can clean them properly. Washing windows on a warm day means that, along with a sea salt problem, you’ll also have a streaky window issue.
Once the appropriate day arrives, cleaning sea salt off your windows can begin. Sticky ocean spray not only smears windows, it also adheres firmly to the glass. Meaning that instead of just washing your windows, you’ll need to dissolve the salt before any cleaning can begin.
If the salt stains on your windows are new and haven’t yet had the time to set in, a little scrubbing may just do the trick. If the salty residue isn’t budging, there are a few different methods you can try in order to restore your windows to their former glory.
Filling a spray bottle with some undiluted white vinegar is a great, fuss-free way to clean windows. Working your way from the top of the glass to the bottom, saturate the whole window surface with the vinegar. Once the window is covered, let it rest for 5-10 minutes so the vinegar has time to dissolve the salt scum.
Then, scrub the surface with a sponge or brush. Next, take to the glass with a cloth, wiping the window from top to bottom in order to remove the grime and vinegar. Dilute the remaining vinegar with water before spraying the glass again. Finally, place a squeegee at the top left corner of the glass and pull it all the way to the bottom. Clean with the squeegee until no moisture remains in order to achieve sea salt and streak-free windows.
When it comes to cleaning sea salt off your windows, you can also use a non-liquid based method such as baking soda. Baking soda is ideal for removing sea salt that has built up on the windows. The great thing about baking soda is that it will counteract the effects of salt deposit without abrading the window’s surface.
Simply wet a sponge and dip it in baking soda before cleaning the window. Allow the baking soda to sit on the window’s surface for a few minutes, making sure that the baking soda doesn’t dry. Finally, use a clean, wet cloth to wipe off all the baking soda.
How to prevent salt build up on windows
Salt build up on exterior windows makes glass appear dirty, however it can also result in much more harmful consequences. Namely, when salt grows in crystalline form on the glass, the crystals soften the molecular structure of the glass and frame, weakening the structural integrity.
The salt may then cause the window’s frame materials to corrode enough to allow water to leak through the windows. A great way to prevent salt build-up on windows is to choose the right building materials and regularly rinse off and clean your windows. Stainless steel window frames are recommended for homes in coastal areas. This is because stainless steel is more resistant to decay caused by salt build-up than other materials.
If replacing windows frames isn’t an option, then vigilance and routine maintenance is the best pathway to prevent build up. The more often you can clean your windows, the less salt residue will build up. While you may not have time to do a regular deep clean of your windows, rinsing them more frequently is the next best option. This is because hosing the windows off every few weeks can go a long way towards keeping the amount of salt gathering on the windows reduced.
Put the joy back into beach living
From compromising the structural integrity of the window to causing corrosion, the effects of sea salt on windows is quite damaging. Prevention and maintenance is key. Whether it’s quickly rinsing the windows or deeply scrubbing with baking soda or vinegar, your windows won’t remain salty forever.
Artilux can help you towards keeping your windows sea salt free. Our range of retractable fly screens for windows and doors can help protect windows from ocean spray. Schedule your free on-site consultation today.