You probably apply a generous layer of sunscreen before spending a day in the sun to help protect your skin from harmful rays. Did you know that UV rays can also damage your home? The sun can cause melted siding, damaged roof tiles, and even damage your hardwood floors.
Use these five tips to help protect your home from the sun’s harmful rays to extend the life of your siding, roofing, and personal belongings.
1. Plant Trees and Shrubs
Most exterior housing materials are designed to be resistant to UV rays. Over time, however, intense direct sunlight can cause fading to the siding materials. Depending on the material of your home, sunlight can also make siding brittle and more prone to damage from wind or debris.
Indirect sunlight can also harm your home. For example, a neighbor’s window could act as a mirror and reflect beams of sunlight onto your home. This causes a magnifying glass effect which could melt certain siding materials, like plastic siding.
You can reduce the direct and indirect sunlight on the exterior of your home by planting shade-producing trees and shrubs. Be sure you follow wildfire defense safety guidelines when planting and maintaining your trees or shrubs.
2. Use the Right Siding and Roofing Materials
You’re probably not going to be able to completely eliminate sunlight from your property with trees — not to mention you likely want some sunlight to get through. The next step to protecting your home from sun damage is to choose the right siding and roofing materials.
Look for siding materials with a high UV resistance that is less likely to warp in the heat. Lighter colors like tan or white help keep the exterior of your home cooler than darker shades that reflect more light. You may need to treat roofing materials with special sealants to increase the UV resistance and lower heat retention.
3. Treat or Cover Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are a must-have for many homeowners. Hardwood is also expensive and is prone to UV damage like fading in exposed areas. Uneven fading can leave some of your hardwood floors looking old and worn while areas without direct sunlight still look new.
Prevent hardwood fading by treating floors in sunlit areas with stains that are designed to help reduce fading from the sun. Looking for an easier way to protect your hardwood floors from the sun? Simply adding a rug or floor covering in areas with high sunlight can eliminate sun damage to the floor.
4. Cover Your Windows
Windows let in natural light that makes your house feel homey and comfortable. They also let in the strong UV rays that cause fading and damage to floors, furniture, and artwork. The good news is there are ways to cut down on UV rays without giving up on natural light, and most will help you save on energy bills as well.
Homeowners can consider replacing windows with newer, upgraded windows that have built-in UV resistance. You can also apply window film to the glass to block UV rays. Window films can be applied by you or you can pay to have a contractor install the film. If you have a lot of windows, hiring a contractor could be a big expense. Properly installed film won’t be noticeable, so you can still enjoy the view out of your window.
Renters can also apply window film to protect belongings in their apartment or rental home. Most films are removable, though you may have to apply a strong cleaner to remove sticky residues.
A better option for renters might be to invest in curtains or removable blinds that can come with you when you leave. Even a sheer curtain can help reduce some of the UV rays that come through your window. Along with renters insurance, adding curtains helps protect your belongings while you’re renting your home.
5. Choose Fabrics and Colors Resistant to Fading
If you have a home with a lot of natural light, you probably don’t want to block off all of the sunlight. Look for ways to reduce the appearance of fading or damage instead. Buying furniture made of light-colored fabrics, for example, makes fading less noticeable. Dark fabrics like black or navy will likely fade faster and faded spots will be more obvious than on light gray or blue furniture.
Some furniture materials can also resist UV damage better than others. A metal chair, for example, won’t fade in the sun the same way a dark wooden chair might. Consider the type of fabrics and materials you’re using when decorating your home. Try to place more delicate items out of direct sunlight to reduce the chance of fading and damage.
How to Protect Your Home from Damage
Protecting your home from the sun should be one part of your overall plan to protect against house damage. Other risks — such as fire or extreme weather — can cause damage to your home in addition to UV rays. Be sure your homeowners insurance has enough coverage to help repair or replace your home if it’s damaged in a covered accident.