Natural light is a major plus when you’re considering the value and potential of a room. However, there’s a serious downfall to skylights and windows – sun damage. Constant exposure to sunlight can cause your furniture, wood flooring, carpet, and other fabric to fade or become discolored or damaged. And even if you’re in a region that doesn’t seem to get a lot of sunshine (such as Seattle), the harmful elements of the sun’s rays are still present in an overcast setting. Have you ever gotten a sunburn on a cloudy day at the beach? The same concept applies to your furniture.
In this article, we’re going to cover the causes of sun damage and some of the things you can do to prevent, reduce or even out the effects.
What Causes Sun Damage?
Energy from the sun can be categorized in three distinct groups – ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared radiation, from shortest to longest wavelength, respectively. The shorter the wavelength, the greater the potential damage. What does this mean practically? Even if you assume that your furnishings aren’t in danger because you don’t see a lot of visible sunlight radiating through your window, ultraviolet radiation is still causing damage.
In fact, while ultraviolet radiation only accounts for 2% of the sun’s energy, it’s responsible for 45% of the damage, while visible light and infrared each cause only 25%. That means that even when the sun’s not shining, you’re still losing color and quality to sun damage, since ordinary clear glass windows let in around 70% of the sun’s UV rays.
Consider a few of these options to help address the problem. The least you can do is try to even out the damage, and there are even ways for you to eliminate the issue almost entirely.
Implement a Rotation
One of the easiest things that you can do is to rotate and reposition your furniture every once in a while so that different parts of your furniture are facing the window. If you have an area rug that covers up part of your wooden floor, move it every now and then to make sure that any unavoidable fading happens evenly. If the same parts of your home and furnishings are exposed or oriented toward the harmful rays, it’s easy to see how they will fade faster than other parts.
Blinds, curtains and awnings are among the easiest additions that you can make to help prevent sun damage. These solutions don’t work for everyone, however. An awning may not be something that will fit it with your home exterior, and you might not be able to tastefully fit curtains or blinds in with your interior design concept. Even if you can, these options don’t always offer all of the protection that you could attain through the next option.
Even if your window already says that it blocks out up to 85% of UV radiation, that won’t be enough to sideline the danger and the damage. What you really need if you want to slow down sun damage as much as possible is a window film that provides 99.9% protection.
These types of films can reduce glare by 50-87%, which often actually enhances your view of the outside world by reducing eye strain. These films can also reduce the amount of heat that gets let in to significantly reduce your energy bills. Overall, a window film is highly recommendable.
Just a few other tips – professional installation is highly recommended, and as most window films void your window’s manufacturer warranty, it’s recommended that you purchase the override warranty made available by the film manufacturer. Most companies offer one, and they’re usually pretty affordable.
Have any other thoughts on sun damage in your home and how to prevent or reduce it? Comment below and join the conversation!
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com