You’re likely familiar with the harmful effects too much sun can have on your skin, but do you know it can also damage things in your home? Prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays can cause items in your home to fade and deteriorate, often without you noticing until it’s too late.
Many materials are sensitive to certain wavelengths of energy, such as UV rays. If those rays hit something for long enough, the materials can become unstable and ruined.
However, the good news is there are ways you can protect your home and items within it from the sun. Here are a few tips for preventing sun damage.
WHAT DAMAGE CAN THE SUN CAUSE TO MY HOME
Have you ever lifted up a rug that’s been sitting on hardwood floors for a long time? You may notice that the wood not protected by the rug is much more faded, and you may even see an outline where the rug sat. Or, perhaps you’ve noticed that your curtains are much less vibrant than they were when you first purchased them.
This is because over time, the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to many items in your home. Items that are particularly vulnerable to sun damage include fabrics, dyes, and wood. This could include furniture, rugs or carpet, hardwood floors, and even photos or artwork. Prolonged sun exposure can cause them to fade, deteriorate, and even disintegrate.
HOW CAN I PREVENT SUN DAMAGE FROM OCCURRING?
Even a small amount of sunlight can cause problems to certain items in your home. A few things you can do to prevent the sun from damaging your things include:
UV-blocking film. Regular window glass does filter and block some UV rays, but not all. One way you can prevent additional rays from filtering through the window is by adding a UV-blocking film. Some types of film can provide up to 99.9% UV protection. Relatively inexpensive, these films are applied directly to the window glass and start working immediately.
UV-repellent spray. For around $10-15 per can, you can purchase UV-repellent sprays for your furniture, rugs, curtains, and other fabric-covered furnishings in your home. These sprays help protect the fabrics from UV rays by filtering some of the direct contact.
You can also buy special protection sprays designed specifically for artwork and canvas, which you should consider if you have art in your home that you want to protect.
UV stains and finishes. Hardwood floors are one of the more sunlight-sensitive elements in your home. To prevent fading, treat your floors with pigment-based stains and finishes that include UV inhibitors in the formula. This will help block and prevent UV rays from reaching and ruining the hardwood.
UV blocking glass frames or acrylic. If you have framed artwork, or art you’d like to frame and protect, consider purchasing conservation glass (like what museums use) or UV-blocking acrylic.
OTHER TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR HOME FROM THE SUN
Keep sensitive items away from windows and direct sunlight. While you can protect many items with UV sprays and blockers, the best way to avoid sun damage is to keep items away from windows and direct sunlight as much as possible. This is especially important for fabrics or other items that are particularly prone to sun damage.
Obviously not everything can be strategically placed away from windows, like hardwood floors, but doing so with items you can help prevent excessive damage.
Avoid cotton fabrics. If you’re purchasing carpet or furniture, look for pieces made from synthetic blends like nylon or polyester. These tend to fade at a slower rate than cotton fabrics.
Look for lighter tones. Fading and damage is more noticeable on darker tones, so when shopping for fabric covered furnishings, try to look for lighter colors that hide fading better.