We all love the sun. We vacation in the sun. We have sunroofs in our car. We build houses with abundant windows, even on our roof tops. Our bodies even need sun to produce vitamin D as do our brains to ward off seasonal effect disorder. As wonderful is the sun is, there is a downside for your home—specifically for your floors and furniture.

While antique rugs go through a natural fading process that can enhance their beauty, you likely don’t want your newly installed hardwood floors, or couch and loveseat to fade and look old before their time.

Now before you all go out and refinish your floors and cover your furniture with sunblock, there are ways to protect them if you are seeing the effects of the sun. When done correctly, these steps can work to protect your furniture, carpet, and rugs and prevent further damage.

  1. Close your drapes and blinds throughout the brightest part of the day. This is the easiest, most cost-efficient way to minimize damage. The largest aging offenders are UVA and UVB rays, which can be effectively blocked with thick blinds and curtains. While something is better than nothing, sheer curtains will not work as effectively.
    Granted, your curtains may fade as well, but when it comes to deciding between replacing curtains or replacing the floor, one of these things is definitely easier and less expensive than the other.
  2. Invest in window film. That’s right, window film isn’t just for your cars! The same process can be applied to your home’s windows to reduce UV ray exposure to your floor and furniture. In addition, window film reduces glare and can even help save on energy costs. Solar window film can reduce 50-87% of the sun’s rays. The best news? With window film, you can still enjoy the perks of natural light!

  3. UV blocking windows. You might actually have these already, even if you’re not aware of it, as many replacement windows today have some degree of UV block. These windows come with virtually microscopic invisible metal coating and metallic oxide film. In the winter, this works to both allow light inside and keep heat trapped inside, which also helps reduce heating and cooling costs. The same is true in the summer when light comes in; outside heat is reflected and stays out, keeping your home cool. If your energy bills always seem reasonable, your windows may be the cause.
If you think there may be sun damage, move your furniture around and look at your flooring. If you see a noticeable difference, then chances are, you have some damage. If the color difference is minimal, you may be able to get away with rearranging your furniture and rugs. This will give those areas, and your furniture, exposure in the areas previously covered and will even out the fading or darkening. Keep this arrangement for about the same length of time is was in the previous location and check every 6 months. Thankfully, most sun damage is gradual and you can even out the effects so it won’t be noticeable. Most hardwood floors have finishes with UV inhibitors. These finishes won’t totally block the UV rays, but they will reduce them and minimize effects such as lightening or darkening of the wood. How your hardwood reacts depends on the type of hardwood you have installed. All woods are photo-reactive, so no wood is safe from the effects of sunlight.

If you determine the sun damage will not be easily remedied, then it’s best to have them refinished or in the case of furniture, recover or replace them.

If you have questions on how to protect your floors from the damaging effects of UV rays or need to replace flooring due to sun damage, contact the experts at Stoneridge Flooring Design, and enjoy your flooring for years to come.