8 Materials That May Damage or Fade under the Sun this Summer

Summer is coming, and it’s important to keep in mind that not everything loves it as much as the beach does. In fact, some things don’t deal with the sunlight very well at all, like your upholstery and other sun-sensitive materials. Your materials won’t voice their opinions or feelings, you have to observe them and see what the sun is doing to them. If it’s an option for you, you can even send some of the materials to us to test it out, that way you won’t be surprised when your materials fall apart, and you might think twice before marketing something that can’t handle the sunlight to a customer.

There are many things you can do to safeguard property from the sunlight, whether you own a home or a business. However, it’s important that you keep in mind exactly what is going to experience these problems over time. Being prepared is the surest way to prevent wear and tear on your property this summer. Here are a few of the things that will fade or damage in the sunlight under the wrong conditions.

Awnings & Building Materials – These are the most prone materials, and to some it may seem obvious, but to others, not as much. For example, you may save a few thousand dollars having retractable awnings installed with a cheaper fabric. What they don’t tell you, is that the fabric will be falling apart from exposure to sunlight after a few years.

You don’t want to buy something that matches your themes and color schemes only to have it fade and fray, becoming unsightly and more of a liability than an asset to your property. There are many environmentally sound and sun-resistant fabrics you can choose from. It’s worth the extra splurge—you’ll have a quality fabric five to ten years from now, whereas other fabrics will start to fade and wear before you even really get a chance to enjoy them.

Clothes – Typically, in the time that you spend outside, your clothes won’t get faded. However, not everyone’s clothes stay inside and safe. Some people have swimming pools, or want to hang their clothes outside to dry. We recommend getting UPF-rated clothing, if it’s going to be kept outside or be used only for outdoor work. Not only will UPF-rated fabrics protect you from the sun, they are more resistant to the negative effects of solar radiation. UPF-rated fabrics are a great investment for those who enjoy the great outdoors.

Plastic/Acrylic – This includes furniture, pools, building materials, toys and exercise equipment. Plastic is typically manufactured with a protective layer that keeps it from being damaged by the elements, sunlight included. Over time, these layers fade and plastics get weak, losing their colors and original smoothness. When you buy plastics, understand that they may fall apart over time. If you’re worried about it, only shop for plastics that are UV-resistant. Your retailer should fill you in while you’re shopping.

Vinyl – We’re mostly talking about pool liners and siding here. It’s really hard to protect these products from the sun. With pools, we recommend brighter colors that will not show the fade as much, as the addition of chlorine to water constantly makes some loss of color unavoidable. With vinyl siding, there are certain coatings and veneers you can add to it to make it resistant to UV light, typically used in hotter and brighter climates. Do some research online and find the right choice for yourself.

Insulation/Lining – This means the lining around your windows, roofing ventilation and even pools and other small bodies of water. As the sun hits them, they break down molecule by molecule. Eventually, this gradual wearing will result in a diminishing of the efficiency of your insulation and lining. It’s extremely important to properly seal lining and insulation with sun-resistant caulk and other materials; you could double, even triple the lifespan of the product.

Pictures/Photographs – There’s a new trend you might have noticed for glare and UV-proof picture frames, and there’s a good reason for that. Scientists have discovered that over time, light exposure damages the quality and crispness of colors in photographs and paintings. Instead of losing a timeless piece of art or a priceless family portrait, invest in UV-proof picture frames for the items you have that are frequently exposed to sunlight. The picture will look great for years to come if you do this.

Paint – This goes for any kind of paint, really. Old paint will fade and chip in the sunlight and weather over time. There are some paints that are sun and rain resistant. You should always shop for paint extremely carefully, especially when you’re looking to paint something outdoors. Cheap paints will offer less UV Protection, so be careful.

You! – So you might be a material girl, but you’re not actually a material. However, you are susceptible to sunlight! This summer, make sure you use UPF-rated fabrics and plenty of sunscreen, because sunlight is only one worry you should have. Solar radiation can cause cancer, and also causes wrinkles and other age marks. As sunburn heals, you risk losing any tan you might have gotten over the years. So be careful out in the sun this summer.

For more information or advice, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today at 1.215.517.8747 or e-mail us at [email protected].


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