Best Roofing Materials To Use When Living Near The Ocean
What location for a home could be more lovely than by the sea? A seaside property is something very spectacular, whether it is situated near dazzling waves and golden dunes or on a rocky shoreline.
Choosing the right roof for your beach home is essential. To save you from headaches, it’s best to talk to your trusted roofer
Living near the water has several advantages, from stunning vistas to clean ocean air. Sadly, the same air may have devastating effects when it comes to touch with some roof materials. Corrosion or rusting from salt air can cause roofs to fail early and require replacement.
Join us as we talk about the effects of saltwater on different types of roof lifespan. 

Does Saltwater Affect Your Roofing Lifespan?

We all like to live close to the coast so we can always enjoy the breathtaking water view and have quick access to the beach and the water. Beach houses, however, confront various difficulties, including ongoing exposure to the elements of nature.
Living near the ocean requires dealing with various difficulties, such as intense storms, heavy downpours, and salt air, affecting your roof’s lifespan
Your home will be more vulnerable to sea salt’s effects as it ages. Estates that are more than 50 years old are more likely to exhibit indications of wear and tear. You should also be aware that modern buildings are susceptible to this occurrence and are not exempt from the damaging effects of seawater on their roofs. In addition to age, the closeness to the water significantly degrades the coatings on exterior assets.
The salty air from the Australian ocean can damage your roof ten times faster than air at normal humidity levels since salt water is far more corrosive than freshwater. The force of chloride ions penetrating through the surface of your roof is more evident due to the increased conductivity of seawater.

Common Roofing Problems When Living Near Coastal Areas


Corrosion is the primary problem metal has near the shore. When the salty air comes into touch with the wrong metal, it quickly erodes it. A roof or siding that rusts will no longer be functional and must be replaced.

Chalking and colour fading

The possibility of colour fading will always be problematic when employing painted panels. Due to increased exposure to the sun and water reflection, coastal areas are more likely to experience colour fading and chalking.

Uncovered Edges

Corrosion can occur if the paint is scraped or the material has been sliced with an exposed edge. Edges should always be covered, and those exposed should be fixed very away.

Best roofing materials for homes near ocean - ELR PLUMBING

What Causes Damage To Your Roof When Living Beside The Ocean?

Frost damage

When it’s chilly outside, freezing and thawing can harm your roof tiles. While this is true for all residences, those close to the beach are once more in significant danger. This is because salt vapour from the coastal air completely disintegrates your roof. Volumetric expansion that results from seawater freezing can produce spalling and delamination. Holes and leaks are widespread when your roof is covered with salt.

Exposure to sand

You are well aware of how Melbourne and nearby houses are affected by seawater. But other elements might have an impact on your home’s exterior as well. Additionally, sand is brought from the beach to your roof. This may harm the tiles’ surface and even colours. Applying a sealer to the tile’s surface is one technique to avoid this. Even if this procedure works, the protective coating will only go if it is refreshed occasionally.


Why do rust, salt, and roofing all have a connection? A house on the shoreline that collects salt flakes from the waves. The outside brickwork and the wall ties might be damaged by these tiny particles, which are, in fact, not harmless. What is going on here? The reason is that corroded brickwork cannot support and safeguard your home’s structure.
In addition to floods, goods will be damaged and rust even more if the water level rises and lands on your doorstep or nearby.

Strong wind

Homes close to the seaside are frequently vulnerable to hurricane gusts that can readily dislodge or loosen clay tiles, metal sheets, and wood and asphalt shingles. Strong winds also impact windward corners, attics, rakes, and ridges. When the roof is older, or your shingles or shakes have recently been rebuilt, these damages are more severe. However, frequent roof reinforcement will help your coastal weather roof operate better.

Best Roofing Materials To Use Resistant to Saltwater Damage

Metal Roofs

Steel roofs provide excellent weather resistance, use less energy, and are long-lasting. A steel roof will eventually pay for itself. Steel roofs are highly resilient and a fantastic option in a coastal location with frequent rain.
They have excellent water resistance in all directions, and unique coatings prolong their life even further than they would otherwise.

Clay Tiles

Due to its remarkable compatibility with the architecture inspired by the Mediterranean, clay tiles are frequently seen on seaside residences. Clay tiles are helpful for coastal homes and have a lovely aesthetic. Due to their resistance to the deteriorating effects of water and sea air, they are incredibly robust.


Due to its minimal maintenance requirements, resistance to corrosion, and efficiency in terms of energy use, aluminium has become increasingly popular as a roofing material in recent years. Aluminium naturally emits heat and reflects light, so that this roofing can reduce your heating and cooling expenses. It is solid and lightweight but less long-lasting than galvanized steel. Depending on the thickness, or gauge, of the panelling being utilized, most aluminium roofs survive 40 years or more. A very excellent guarantee is offered for coastal applications on solid aluminium roofing.


Some coastal homes also use copper as their metal roofing material. When copper is first made, it looks bright, but as it ages, it takes on a gorgeous greenish patina. Copper has a natural patina that prevents corrosion, allowing the metal to survive for generations without upkeep.

Galvanized Material

If installed and maintained correctly, the metal roofing material galvanized steel, which is very cheap, may endure for more than 60 years. This material is made of alloyed steel with protective zinc covering and is impervious to rust, wind, and rain. Extra care must be exercised since any nick in the protective coating will, after a few years, result in discolouration and rust.

Architectural Shingles

Due to their affordability and durability, asphalt shingles are one of the modern builders’ most preferred roofing materials. Shingles may only be put when there is a slope greater than 3:12 because the roof’s pitch to which they are being applied limits their use. This shingle typically costs 50% less than a galvanized steel roof.

How to Choose Your Roof for Your Beach House?

Choosing the suitable material is essential, whether replacing the roof on an existing house or building a new one. Selecting the suitable roofing material becomes even more crucial because coastal homes typically experience harsher weather than residences in many other regions. Here are some things to think about while selecting the finest roofing for a coastal environment:

Weather Resistant

More than others, some materials are better able to withstand the weather. Weather-resistant roofing materials are a must if your house is near the water. You want expert installation and premium materials for the highest weather resistance. Additionally, you want to confirm that your roof is wind-resistant.


Because of their harsher circumstances than the typical Australian home, coastal residences may need more care. You should pick a low-maintenance roofing material to avoid doing maintenance activities yourself. Essential maintenance for beach house roofs usually consists of cleaning off debris and weather sealing.


Why use a roofing material that compromises the coastal aesthetic in which beach property owners usually take such satisfaction? For your home, pick the material you prefer most. Selecting a specific variety or colour may allow you to personalize the summer home roof design.


Consider the initial cost reasonable if you prefer a new roof for your seaside property. Choosing materials based on their price range might need to be more accurate regarding durability. If you pick a roof made of wood or slate, you might never need to repair it.

Frequently Asked Questions

The longest-lasting roofing materials are concrete, clay, or slate tiles. These materials perform noticeably better than organic goods like wood shakes or manufactured roofing materials like metal and asphalt shingles. These materials are less durable, even if they have a long lifespan.

Contrary to what some would think, metal panels are an excellent option for coastal towns. There are specific solutions that will offer more protection, greater longevity, and more significant cost savings than others, even though most metal roofing and siding systems will function wonderfully in the challenging climate of these places.

Metal roofs can leak more than shingles do if they are built improperly. However, metal roofs shed snow and ice to minimize moisture buildup, provided you can locate a qualified contractor who can properly install it.

You want a hip roof with four slopes that is ideally pitched at around 30 degrees for wind protection. More slopes will better handle high winds. Any roof with more slope than a two-slope gable will be more resistant to wind damage.

The Final Thought

There are many more possible issues with our house roofing near the water than just rusting. Using materials with the durability to withstand this severe climate is essential.
Whichever material you decide on, you’ll need a skilled roofer to install it for you. Working with a beach house roofing contractor is preferable since they are more likely to be familiar with the particular difficulties of living and roofing in a coastal location. They can assist you in making the most excellent roofing material choice for your beach house to safeguard and enhance it.