Thursday, October 12, 2017

Everything You Need To Know About UV Rays And Your Home

If I told you this blog post was about your home and the weather, you’d probably assume I’m talking about wind, rain, snow, etc. These are the bad weather conditions we tend to associate with our property as they bring about various problems.

However, what if I told you the sun was just as bad for your home as all these cold and wet conditions? It seems unlikely, but periods of super hot weather where the sun is beating down on your home can be problematic.

It all revolves around UV rays produced by the sun. If you’re unsure what these are and how they harm your home, don’t worry, all will be explained in this article. Along with this, I will also provide some advice on how you can prevent UV damage in your home.

UV Rays Explained

UV stands for ultraviolet, and it’s a type of radiation given off by the sun. Immediately, just the word ‘radiation’ sounds menacing. The UV rays from the sun are responsible for changing the color of our skin when tanning, as well as leading to sunburn and causing skin cancer.

To make matters worse, no one can see UV radiation with their naked eye. It’s not something you should confuse with heat or brightness. Just because the sun is bright and it feels hot, that doesn’t mean the UV rays are powerful. Different areas of the world are subject to different levels of UV radiation from the sun.

UV Rays And Your Home

There are two main ways that UV rays are bad for your home. The first is that they can cause damage to your property, and the second is that they can cause damage to you and your family inside your home. In this respect, it almost makes them more of an issue that wind, rain, or ice.

Let’s start by looking at how UV rays damage your property. Here, there are pretty much two main issues once again. One of these issues is slightly less significant than the other, so I’ll get it out of the way first. Much like UV rays change the color of your skin, they can also change the color of surfaces and objects in and outside your property. Constant UV exposure can cause your roofing or exterior walls to fade in color. Likewise, it can lead to things inside your house changing colors, such as furniture, walls, or even your children’s cuddly toys. One of my children once left a teddy bear by their window for months, and it ended up turning pink as though it caught sunburn!

The more serious property damage issue mainly revolves around your roofing. It’s proven that UV radiation can break down certain materials and cause cracks to occur. As your roof is the highest point in your house, it’s going to be getting the most UV radiation out of everything. Consequently, you could end up with lots of structural issues on your roof as the UV rays cause small cracks to open up which leads to leaks and loads of other bad stuff. This is particularly an issue for flat roofs.

As for how it harms your family in the home, well, it’s pretty much the same way UV rays harm you outside the home. The problem is that people don’t realize this still happens when you’re inside. Primarily, this is because we assume we’re protected when we’re not outside. Unfortunately, UV rays can still make it into our home thanks to our windows. So many studies back this up and show that certain windows allow UV rays to pass through and damage our skin. When you’ve got little ones in the home a lot, this is the last thing you want to worry about.

Protecting Your Home From UV Rays

You’re aware of the dangers of UV rays, but how can you protect your home from them? Essentially, you have to address the main places at risk. My advice is to get a roofing contractor in to assess your current roof. They can check for signs of UV damage and help come up with a solution going forward. I think it’s beneficial to maybe get a new roof that comes with UV protection if yours is already suffering. It’ll last longer, and you’ll have fewer problems in the future.

Next, turn your attention to the windows in your home. If I’m honest, it surprised me that there aren’t any UV-protected windows out there. At least, if there are any, I couldn’t find them. Instead, companies are selling UV protection window film. This is a clear piece of film that you can use to cover your windows and prevent this harmful radiation from entering your home. Apparently, this film keeps out 99% of UV rays, which should ensure your interior doesn’t fade and your family remains well-protected.

You can also get something to coat surfaces and reflect any UV rays too. Things like UV-resistant coating are great on pieces of wooden furniture or even on the window frames outside your home. It might even help keep the exterior walls from fading too.

My only other piece of advice is to make sure you use sunscreen on your children even if they’re inside.  Slap on some SPF, and you can protect their skin from UV radiation. There’s no downside to doing this, the sunscreen will just give an extra layer of protection from the 1% of UV rays that the window film doesn’t block out.

I hope you’ve found this article useful and a little bit informative. It’s not something we talk about much, especially regarding our home and weather. Like I said right at the start, most people are concerned with bad weather conditions. But, it could be the sun that’s causing more damage to you and your home. If you haven’t taken steps to protect your home from UV rays, then I highly suggest you do. You’ll protect your kids and also save money by not having to buy new furniture because it faded.

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