Choosing the Right Sheathing for Coastal Homes: Wind, Water, and Everything in Between


Living near the coast often offers undeniable charm, with crashing waves, the salty smell of the sea, and cool breezes. However, coastal environments also pose unique challenges for homeowners. Erosion, corrosion, unpredictable weather patterns, and violent storms may require sheathing more superior than the norm.


Whether it is right on the beach or a few kilometres from it, one of the most critical choices you will make when building or renovating a coastal home is the sheathing material. With modern design combining the use of wood, brick and mortar, and steel in an all-encompassing structure of architectural flamboyance, metal sheathing can act as the epidermis of your house, providing structural support and a barrier against the elements.


Sheathing Products – Your Guards Against Wind, Water, and Corrosion?


Coastal homes often face threats in triplicate, oftentimes all at the same time:


  • Wind: The Cape of Storms, tropical fronts off KZN, or even everyday coastal winds can exert tremendous forces on a structure. Inferior building materials could be ripped from homes in these conditions, exposing the interior to the elements and compromising the structural integrity.


  • Water: Coastal regions experience frequent rain and occasional storm surges. Products that can be permeated by water can lead to mould growth, wood rot, and structural damage.


  • Corrosion: Salt spray and sea air are highly corrosive, particularly for standard building materials like wood or untreated metals. Over time, corrosion can weaken the sheathing, jeopardising its ability to protect the home.


Hot-Dipped Galvanised Sheathing – An All-Weather Solution


When it comes to protecting your coastal home, there is an all-weather solution in the form of hot-dipped galvanised sheathing. This superior building material offers complete defence against the specific challenges of coastal regions. These include:Sheathing


  • Strength and Durability: Hot-dipped galvanised sheathing is typically manufactured from steel. Steel offers exceptional strength and can withstand the powerful winds prevalent along our coastal regions.


  • Water Resistance: Unlike other traditional sheathing products which can swell, warp, or crack when exposed to moisture, galvanised steel sheathing forms an impenetrable barrier against rain and wind-driven water.


  • Corrosion Resistance: The galvanisation process involves coating the steel with a thin zinc layer. This layer acts as a sacrificial barrier, protecting the underlying steel from the corrosive effects of salt spray and sea air.


Coastal Protection through Professionals – Arm Yourself with Armco


From the fridged waters of the cold Benguela current to the tropical warmth of our Mozambiquan current, southern Africa boasts a host of diverse coastal environments, each creating climates within climates. When searching for the most efficient covering for your coastal home, opting for the right sheathing is vital. Consider these three factors when choosing your galvanised steel sheathing:


  1. Durability: Galvanised steel sheathing is a durable material that can withstand the harshest of environments. It is resistant to wind, rain, and adverse coastal conditions. Unlike other sheathing materials, it will not swell, crumble, rot, or warp over time. This means that panels will not have to be constantly replaced.


  1. Longevity: The iron content in untreated metals will rust over time. That said, modern technology has advanced to a point where rustproof paints and corrosion-prevention treatments will slow this process down considerably. That said, steel structures that have been built from hot-dipped galvanised steel have been known to last a century or more.


  1. Low-Maintenance: Galvanised steel sheathing offers the most cost-effective solution for both sidings and roofing. Although it might be a greater initial investment, this cladding is low maintenance and will not have to be treated for decades. Moreover, no additional raw materials will need to be felled, baked, or mined to maintain it, making it an environmentally friendly choice of building material.


When it comes to galvanised steel sheathing, our BSI ISO management systems, numerous SANS-approved specifications, and extensive knowledge gained over decades at Armco Superlite have made us the leading galvanised steel sheathing provider in southern Africa. Whether you are planning a construction project near the coast or not, consult with us for superior-quality products, expertise, and service