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"Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

MSC
March 04, 2017 12:23PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

We have been looking at properties for some time primarily in STX for use as a second home and supplement with vacation rentals. We have avoided Judith's Fancy and direct waterfront properties to avoid the maintenance and expense from the "salt blast". What is hard to assess is exactly where the blast affects things and where it doesn't.

I understand that the east end is largely unaffected due to the reefs being out to sea a bit but I wonder if anyone could clue us in on how far away- up the hills one must go to see an improvement on the north side? For instance there are some properties on the west side of Salt River just above Gentle Winds. Not waterfront but a ten minute walk down a hill from the beach. Would this far enough from the surf?

If anyone knows of a reference or better yet a map that could give some guidance that would be wonderful.

Also asking the same on STJ- are there parts of the island less affected as well? Do the southern coasts (Fish Bay, Chocolate Hole) have protection or are they hammered as well

Thanks in advance! This is a great resource.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Alana33
March 04, 2017 07:47PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Where do you want to live and what would you enjoy best within your budget?

Where would make the most sense in having a second home/vaction rental? Proximity to shopping, nature, beaches, restaurants, or remoteness, etc.?

Are you looking for a residential property or a condo?

I think those are the questions you should figure out.
"Salt blast" as you call it is the least of your worries.
Sahara dust, mold, mildew, electrical outages impact things as well.

Obviously, the closer to ocean the more salt in the air you get.
Tropical climates and vacation rental guests can be hard on any home.
Maintenance is key. With a condo, depending on the HOA and their reserves, at least, exterior maintenance is provided.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2017 07:50PM by Alana33.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

MSC
March 04, 2017 10:38PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

Hi Alana,

Thank you for your comments. I have owned a beach front condo for many years on the Florida gulf coast and am familiar with some of the issues you mentioned, but I know each area has its own set of variables... Also living in the north makes me aware of salt and its affect on things mechanical (you should see my car...).

From my stays on STX I have been attracted to the east end (not too far out preferably as the drive gets long...) but also the north side (which seems more accessible to the rest of the island/shopping). The only condos that I have considered are Carden Beach and Villa Madeleine (which would be perfect if only it were about 10 minutes closer to town). I am open to the right house if it finds me.

I had never heard the term "salt blast" until I started researching property on STX and it mostly came up when discussing "condo row" properties and Judith's Fancy and its constant effect on metals, electronics and window cleanliness.

As you said, maintenance is key and if we are going to have to rely on caretakers and/or management companies I would like to minimize the amount of upkeep necessary and with all things being equal regarding humidity/mold/dust I am asking about a variable I can control with respect to salt aerosols.

Of course you can ask guests to keep the doors and windows closed but then WAPA will kill you. I would like to personally be able to keep the windows and doors open without feeling like I am rusting out all the appliances..

So if we were to look at the north end- say from Salt River west- how far from the water's edge either in distance or elevation would one start to see some reduction of the battering effect of the sea winds?

We also would only buy a property that is above the Tsunami flood zone. For my wife that is a red line! Smart lady!

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Alana33
March 05, 2017 08:35AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

I lived on STT so you'll have to get the STX peeps to chime in on your locations. I'd never heard the term "salt blast" prior to your post and I've lived in the VI for the majority of my life, mainly STT/STJ.

If you're not going to be living in STX full time and renting as vacation rental, you'd best look into all costs associated with doing so such as maintenance, cleaning, management, room taxes, business license, advertising, insurance, cost of utilities, lawn and pool care if a residential property, to name a few. There are a few threads on this if you look them up.

Most people are doing well if they break even.

If you have pets, condo living may not suit you as few allow any and those that do generally have size, weight, breed and number of pets restrictions as well as require board approval.

Anyway, good luck.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

terry
March 05, 2017 08:56AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 2,518

We have a condo near Judith's Fancy and for this very reason when we bought land it was higher up on Salt River Ridge overlooking Salt River.
Due to family issues we are not going to build. The 1/2 acre lot is for sale. It has GREAT views.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

watruw8ing4
March 05, 2017 01:47PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 849

"Salt blast" was new to me, too. I don't think it's going to be an easy thing to map out, as the wind direction and local flora has a lot to do with it, also. We're a little bit east of C'sted and less than 1/2 mile from the beach as the crow flies, and 38' above sea level, with plenty of trees between us and the ocean. Windows are open all the time. I'm sure we don't get the "blast" as I understand you, but stuff rusts out, fades, and pits constantly, and electronics fizzle early. If I were considering renting out, I would worry more about the best location to draw renters at the best price, and the easier-to-maintain construction, since you're going to be endlessly replacing and maintaining anyway.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

MSC
March 05, 2017 02:56PM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

Thanks for the comments everyone!

As I have said, I had decided to keep away from direct beachfront in general as well as Judith's Fancy specifically as it seemed to have a lot of comments about extreme conditions with respect to extra maintenance due to the salt air. What set off this question was a house that has come on the market again above Salt River.

As I measure it is about 3/10 mile inland from the north and a little over 1.1 miles from the eastern edge of Judith's Fancy (from where I would presume the dominant sea breezes and spray would come). It is also about 150 feet in elevation.

I would presume- but don't know- if this distance would give this property significant protection relative to the houses in Judith's Fancy or right along the north coast.

I am gathering that there are no resources that have tried to map out the predominant areas of highest maintenance due to this factor.

Maybe a retirement project is in my future?

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Scubadoo
March 05, 2017 05:12PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,643

My condo is a little South of Judith's Fancy. The property is beach front but my unit sits back several hundred yards from the beach and doesn't seem to get the brunt of the ocean weather, doesn't get the westerly winds coming right off the water. Sure our unit has it's share of typical rust over a long period of time but I think that's unavoidable on the island, doesn't seem to have any chronic issues. Better quality products, stainless steel, aluminum, plastics, good powder coating seems to address most of it. I or the HOA have replaced most of the original 30 year old builder grade junk with better quality stuff that seems to be holding up well. The old stuff was wearing out, breaking, in addition to corrosion and needed to be replaced anyway. The units that are right on the water and take a direct hit from the winds do seem to have more issues.

Judith's Fancy has that large Eastern exposure so all the Westerly winds blow over the ocean and right up and over Judith's Fancy. It certainly did in the old STX by the Sea hotel. 3/10th of a mile from the sea isn't much but you have the whole bay in between Judith's Fancy and Salt River, I'd think you'd be in better shape there compared to JF.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

stt007
March 11, 2017 06:11PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 451

I have owned a few oceanside properties over the years including one in the middle of Judith's Fancy sea blast area. I have learned a few things with this experience. Here are my opinions for what it's worth:
- effects of salt air are unavoidable wherever you go if you live by the sea
- salt and byproducts like rust are worse in warm ocean climates due to the fact that salt becomes supersaturated in the air at higher temps; check old high school chemistry books for validation
- if you live on an island, rust is everywhere, you can't escape it. It's a bit worse as you get closer to the water. Living further away only decreases impact by a small amount of time. I used to live 200 feet above sea level in STT and had similar issues to what I have in JF.
-I agree with scubadoo that products exist on the market today that mitigate the effects although nothing totally eliminates it. Check everbritecoatings.com
- like everything in life, there are trade offs. A bit more maintenance near the water, but the views and surf and wind are worth it to many people
- remember stainLESS products are not stainFREE
- on st croix winds blow between north and ESE about 60-70% of the time which is great for living near waterfront on JF as many houses face that direction. If you are on top of the hill it's maybe closer to 100%. Wind is critical for those of us that don't use AC. check this historical weather website: [weatherspark.com]

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Alana33
March 11, 2017 06:55PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Stainless steel products, IMO, are a pain in the butt to keep clean, with or without "salt blast" or salt air. The first time I attempted to clean the exterior of my refrigerator in new house in FL it turned into a streak fest until I discovered just using vinegar. I'll take white appliances, any day.
Windex, wipe and done! Windex didn't work on my stainless steel refrigerator, tho it worked on a couple other appliances. (Everything is stainless steel in this new kitchen, including the stove which is also electric. I so much prefer gas/propane. Have to watch like a hawk not to burn what I cook!)
It's also much easier to recoat/paint an older white refrigerator to a new looking condition.
And Good Grief...Everything has lights, so many buttons and beeps,sounds, options and choices!
My VI electricity saving sensibility is taking a hit!
I still unplug everything I can, that's not in use.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

AandA2VI
March 11, 2017 07:20PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 2,080

I've heard nightmare stories about Judith's fancy. We live west and because the wind usually goes east to west we don't get much salt. Did this ok purpose as also living higher up on both STT and STX. I can't afford for my business machines to get ruined.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

speee1dy
March 11, 2017 07:50PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,217

there is salt blast where you least expect it

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Scubadoo
March 11, 2017 08:34PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,643

Quote
Alana33
Stainless steel products, IMO, are a pain in the butt to keep clean, with or without "salt blast" or salt air.

Maybe true for large surface areas like major appliances but for so many other small items SS is a great option. All fasteners for starters. Door hinges. Small appliance parts. If the large SS surface areas are clear coated as they do with high end plumbing fixtures they are much easier to keep clean (you're not really cleaning the steel at that point) but of course cost more.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Gator's Mom
March 11, 2017 09:05PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 687

Wipe stainless steel large appliances at least monthly with WD40 or stainless steel cleaner (spray can). After that, no problems.


Quote
Scubadoo
Quote
Alana33
Stainless steel products, IMO, are a pain in the butt to keep clean, with or without "salt blast" or salt air.

Maybe true for large surface areas like major appliances but for so many other small items SS is a great option. All fasteners for starters. Door hinges. Small appliance parts. If the large SS surface areas are clear coated as they do with high end plumbing fixtures they are much easier to keep clean (you're not really cleaning the steel at that point) but of course cost more.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)
avatar

Exit Zero
March 11, 2017 11:57PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 2,209

For the large surface SS appliances I apply a coat of paste car wax at least every 6 months and all my SS surfaces look very bright even after 3-5 years.
For the smaller SS fixtures, hinges, screws, fittings etc. I apply a coat of clear nail polish to seal them against corrosion with fairly good success.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)
avatar

bathiel
March 12, 2017 09:36AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 506

Quote
Exit Zero
For the large surface SS appliances I apply a coat of paste car wax at least every 6 months and all my SS surfaces look very bright even after 3-5 years.
For the smaller SS fixtures, hinges, screws, fittings etc. I apply a coat of clear nail polish to seal them against corrosion with fairly good success.

+1 on the car wax. We do it every year and it's helped to keep the rust at bay on most of our appliances and ceiling fans. Never heard of the nail polish trick, but after really struggling to remove a couple of rusted nails to change our door knobs yesterday, I think I'll give it a try.

Bernie

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

watruw8ing4
March 12, 2017 10:05AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 849

I always laugh watching Caribbean Life when the buyers ooh and ahhh over the stainless steel appliances. They require extra work to keep shiny here. Most of my large appliances are not stainless steel. Manufacturer recommended furniture paste wax every few months. I think it helps. I use a spray car cleaner/wax on the smaller metal items (door knobs, sink faucets, etc), which also seems to slow down the inevitable.

I learned the nail polish trick last year. Wished I'd known it sooner. It works!

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

MSC
March 12, 2017 10:09AM

Registered: 8 months ago
Posts: 8

For our condo in Florida I have slowly replaced all the faucets, fixtures and trim with brushed nickel and that seems to hold up well and are pretty much maintenance free.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

watruw8ing4
March 12, 2017 10:22AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 849

Quote
MSC
For our condo in Florida I have slowly replaced all the faucets, fixtures and trim with brushed nickel and that seems to hold up well and are pretty much maintenance free.

My brushed nickle in our bathroom started pitting within a year. But a different brand installed at the same time is still going strong in the kitchen. We bought higher end, too. Maybe has to do with the manufacturing process?

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

singlefin
March 12, 2017 10:42AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 513

There are many different grades of stainless steel. When purchasing hardware/fittings, go with marine grade stainless steel...
After you rob a bank of course.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Alana33
March 12, 2017 10:46AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

So how do you keep the front surface area of a stainless steel refrigerator clean after you wax it?

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

singlefin
March 12, 2017 11:16AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 513

Get rid of all the kids and pets and only touch the handle... with a white glove on : )

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Gator's Mom
March 12, 2017 11:26AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 687

Windex or similar - of course I use TW40 but I'm sure it's the same if you paste wax.

Also wiping vertically with the "grain" of the metal rather than in circles helps as well when polishing or cleaning.

I have stainless steel refrigerators that are 10+ years old in FL and 4+ years old in VI. Both look great.

I think some appliance brands use a better grade of stainless than others though.


Quote
Alana33
So how do you keep the front surface area of a stainless steel refrigerator clean after you wax it?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2017 11:31AM by Gator's Mom.

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

Alana33
March 12, 2017 11:51AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

I was wondering as tried Windex on the refrigerator first time I cleaned it and ended up with the streaky mess, tried a couple other products until I used vinegar which finally worked. thinking Thanks.

Singlefin, luckily no kids, dog doesn't use the refrigerator much but the white gloves may be considered!big grin

Re: "Salt Blast" STX (and STJ)

stt007
March 12, 2017 11:53AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 451

I think smooth surfaces are better than brushed. Brushed has more surface area and at the microscopic surface level would have lots of nooks and crannies to trap salty air/mist.

How does nail polish look after application? The everbrite is self leveling and I wonder if nail polish looks like it has been painted on.

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