How to Maximize Daylight and Minimize UV Damage

August is often spent either soaking up the last of the late summer Sun or hiding from its unbearable heat. While the Sun’s rays bring vast benefits – including light, warmth, and a number of other life-promoting properties – they can also be a source of destruction. In much the same way that too much exposure to the sun can damage, discolor, and age our skin, sunlight has a tendency of breaking down much of what it touches and can inflict irreversible damage on susceptible interior surfaces like furniture and flooring.

No part of the Sun’s spectrum is entirely safe, but research shows UV rays to be the greatest danger to a building’s interior, causing the greatest amount of damage in the shortest amount of time and accounting for 40% of all fading. Even minimal exposure to UV rays can result in the breaking down of chemical bonds in environmentally sensitive materials such as carpeting, upholstery, library materials, wooden furniture and flooring, wallpaper and coverings, paintings, and photographs. Chemical changes to these surfaces often result in fading, cracking, chipping, discoloring, and dry, brittle furniture that is prone to breaking; and while popular water-based dyes and coatings are more earth-friendly, they are also more chemically unstable and susceptible to these changes.

The deterioration of a building’s interior is a long-term issue that leaves lasting effects on the visual and structural quality of an exposed surface. Because UV damage is permanent, the best way to handle it is to prevent it. UV protection is important in ALL climates, especially in southern regions with a high UV index, and should be seriously considered when designing a building’s daylighting system.

Bringing the right amount of sunlight to a space can be challenging, but Major has solutions that can deliver daylight without the damage. Unlike common glass skylights and wall systems, Guardian 275® translucent panels are designed to block over 99% of UV light – allowing a softer spectrum to illuminate the space while still protecting susceptible surfaces from the Sun’s most damaging rays. Studies have found that blocking all UV rays, while not entirely eliminating fading, slows down damage by a factor of three. Because another 25% of fading is due to heat, the Guardian 275® panel’s ability to protect against solar heat gain and ‘hot spots’ is another notable feature in preventing UV damage.

Guardian 275® daylighting systems – available in both skylights and wall systems – make it possible for occupants to enjoy the many benefits of natural light without having to worry about the summer sun scalding the interior. Guardian 275® panels also feature face sheets that establish a new benchmark for long-term durability and performance with their unique blend of polymers, UV inhibitors, color stabilizers, and a fiberbloom erosion veil. For more information on our Guardian 275® daylighting systems, contact our sales team at 888-759-2678 or sales@majorskylights.com.

Sources:

http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/buildings/basics/windows/fading.htm

https://suncontrolinc.net/2017/10/how-ultraviolet-light-affects-furniture-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

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