Article by Tom Trent:
Living Better in Sonoma County
The microclimate of the Sonoma Coast provides great recreational opportunities and gorgeous views, as well as its own particular challenges for home maintenance and improvement. Some of the issues mentioned in previous articles, like orientation of the building to take advantage of passive solar benefits, and controlling excessive moisture, apply here. Beyond that, the Coastal wind and corrosive salty air can wreak havoc on a home that has not been put together or maintained properly.
Wind-driven rain can find ways to enter a building causing damage to the structure and interior. Special care and methods (that would be considered extreme elsewhere) must be taken when installing windows, flashings and exterior siding and trim to prevent troublesome leaks. Having learned the carpentry trade in this environment as a young apprentice, I became aware early on of the unique problems one can encounter when building at the Coast.
The only metals that perform well as fasteners and flashings are stainless steel and copper...forget about galvanized steel anywhere near the Coast. This is because of the highly corrosive salty moisture in the air near the ocean. These materials are costly to purchase, but take no longer to install and are well worth the expense to prevent problems later.
Click to see two projects built with concern for the coastal challenges.
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