Summer is in full swing and just as your skin gets sunburned from too much sun, so does your flooring. Developments in dye technology have significantly increased your carpet’s resiliency to UV rays, but they aren’t totally immune to substantial sun damage. Sun damage can do costly damage to upholstery, curtains, family photos, and flooring. Anything under a window in direct sunlight can be faded or damaged by UV rays.
Disclaimer: floors are subject to more damage during the summer because of stronger UV rays, but many assume that sun damage is only a summer problem but the reality is that your floors are subject to sun damage on any day the sun is out.
The following are steps you can take to prevent and remedy UV damage to your flooring.
For your Hardwood/Laminate Flooring
Sun can lighten your wood flooring, but too much sunlight will pull a lot of color out of the floorboards and overexposure to the sun could even cause the floorboards to weaken. Hardwood floors are a costly investment, and the following are ways to keep your wood looking beautiful.
Minimize Exposure to the Sun
The best protection for your hardwood floors is to not expose them to damage in the first place. Minimizing the amount of time or the strength of the sunlight they face will significantly reduce the risk of long-term damage.
- Use blinds or shades: when the sun is peaking right through your windows, you should draw blinds or shades to protect your floors. Minimal amounts of light will still be let through so you can see, but the integrity of your floors will thank you.
- Blackout lining: if you want to take it one step further, you can line your curtains with a blackout lining to prevent all sunlight from entering and damaging your floors.
- Window tinting: window tints can be purchased from your local hardwood store and installed either by a professional or you can do it yourself. The following are two options for installation:
- Solar window film reduces glare and fading by offering up to 90% UV protection, plus it can lower cooling costs up to 30%.
- Clear UV blocking is another option, but it doesn’t offer any protection against heat
- Install window glass made to block UV rays: if you’re building a new home or replacing the windows in your house, advancement in window making technology has led to the creation of windows made to block UV rays, such as these windows.
Refinish Sun-Faded Sections
If the sun has already damaged sections of your floors, refinishing may be a good option. Depending on the quality and wood type of your floors, you can either do it yourself or hire a professional flooring expert to do the work for you.
- Step One: Figure out what kind of wood your floors are made of and buy the stain. This could mean digging through a receipt box for your installation invoice or asking a professional to come over and tell you (if you don’t already know!). This knowledge will determine what kind of stain you buy. Important to note: maple floors tend to be more difficult to sand and stain, so you may want to hire a professional to re-do maple flooring.
- Step Two: Prepare the room. Remove all furniture, using masking tape to create a barrier between the floor and the wall, cover all air vents with plastic, and sweep the floors.
- Step Three: Sand the current stain off of the floorboards. Check out this guide to choosing sandpaper for help with what size sandpaper to put on your power sander. Make sure to dress appropriately for the job: closed toed shoes, long pants and shirt, protective eyewear, gloves, dust mask, and ear protection.
- Step Four: Vacuum and sweep the floor so that not a single dust particle is left- these will make noticeable marks on the flooring when you re-stain it if not removed.
- Step Five: Buff the floor.
- Step Six: Stain the floor. This is a time-consuming process
- Step Seven: Apply floor sealant with a paintbrush or lamb’s wool padding.
Clean Floors Regularly
In your nearest hardware, or grocery store are an overabundance of oil, wax, and chemical cleaners available, however, we don’t advise using products as they can be harmful to your floors. Try more simplified and natural methods to cleaning and restoring your precious hardwood, like vinegar and water, or industry trusted Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Products.
Replace The Flooring
In some cases, the flooring might be too far gone damaged to save, or perhaps replacing your hardwood floors has more to do than just the sun damage. Either way, you can choose your new favorite hardwood flooring! Checkout out this hardwood flooring guide for help deciding what type of floor works best for you.
For Your Carpets & Rugs
Minimize Exposure to the Sun
As with your hardwood and laminate flooring, minimizing exposure is the best method of protection for your carpets and rugs. The same tips apply here:
- Use blinds or shades. If there are a few windows in particular that are exposed to a lot of sunlight, consider adding blackout lining behind your normal window treatments.
- Add a tint to your window to reduce harmful infrared and UV rays
- Replace windows
- For rugs: rotate them every 3-6 months so that the rug is faded evenly and no single section is subject to severe UV damage
Many products, such as this Vectra carpet spray, have UV protection among their long list of other benefits. This is a very cost-effective way to protect your rugs, with 32 oz. bottles ranging from $30-50.
Replace Your Carpets & Rugs
Worse comes to worse, after substantial overexposure to sunlight over time, it might be time to replace your carpets. With so many different flooring options, you can check out our blog for tips to find the right flooring for your space!