Choosing to bring a bit of nature into your home in the form of hardwood floors is a beautiful choice. However, when the sun’s light reaches your flooring, it can cause discolouration. Read on to learn more about preventing sun damage on hardwood and how you can save your floors with hardwood floor if the sun has already left its mark.
How Does the Sun Damage Wood Floors?
Sun exposure can bleach, fade, or darken hardwood flooring. The ultraviolet rays, UV from the sun have the biggest impact on wood flooring. Wood is photosensitive, meaning it is reactive to sunlight. The time it takes for the UV light to cause a change will depend on the species. Exotic woods, such as Tigerwood and Brazillian Cherry react quickly and become darker. More common wood like Hickory, Maple, and Red Oak bleach, but at a slower rate.
Not only is the wood subject to discolouration, but the floor’s finish can affect the wood’s reaction to the sun. A combination of UV light, visible light, and infrared light reacts with the finish of the floor and can darken or yellow the wood. This is particularly seen in floors finished with oil based polyurethane.
Do You Have Sun Damage?
It’s pretty easy to determine if your floors have been damaged by the sun. In natural light, pull back a rug that’s been on your floors and see if you notice a difference in colour.
How to Prevent Sun Damage?
There isn’t one single fix for wood floors changing colour due to the sun’s rays, but a combination of steps can greatly minimize the discolouration and slow the process.
- Rearrange – Every now and then, move your rugs and furniture so sunlight hits areas of your floor that have previously been covered. This can help equalize the exposure and even the fading process.
- Cover – Keep sunlight off the floor by covering your windows. Blinds, shutters, curtains, and drapes all offer a good defense against fading. By keeping the coverings closed when the sun is coming in the windows, it reduces the damaging light reaching your floor. If you use mini-blinds, position the slats so the sunlight is directed to the ceiling and walls instead of the floor.
- Upgrade – Motorized blinds, shades, and screens give you the option of setting a timer to automatically extend when the sun is shining through your windows.
- Tint – Window films, or tint applied on your windows drastically cuts down the amount of UV light that enters your home, but still allows natural sunlight in. Not only can it save your flooring, but it can also keep your artwork and furniture from fading.
How Can I Fix Already Faded Wood Floors?
Hindsight is 20/20, but if the sun has already discoloured your floors, we can help. Our wood mechanics are able to re-sand and finish your floors using our dustless sanding equipment. They can also simply refinish your floors if you desire. However, if you choose to have us fix your floors, we suggest taking precautions in the future to prevent discolouration.
Protecting your wood floors from the sun is the only way to keep it from becoming discoloured. If you would like to learn more about repairing sun fading or want to discuss floor installation, don’t hesitate to contact us.