As we move towards summer, longer days, and fiercer sun, the reminders to lather up our skins with sun protection increase. Just like our skin is sensitive to the ravages of UV exposure, our furniture is at risk as well. The additional light that streams through our windows might be good for our hydro accounts, but not so much for our furniture: fading, discoloration and fabric damage are the inevitable consequences of sunlight. Even when the sun is not visible, UV rays penetrate the clouds (much like you can get sunburn from spending too much time outside on an overcast day.)
Sunlight on leather results in colour fading and drying.
We often see fading in furniture next to a window that gets too much sunlight, as well as in dark leathers, that absorb more light.
Drying can happen to any kind of leather. Over time, the moisture in leather’s natural oils evaporates as a result of exposure to heat. This leads to stiffening and cracking of the leather. Much like with your skin, prevention is the only solution. Clean and condition your leather furniture at least once, but ideally twice a year. Houzz offers some great tips on how to do this: http://goo.gl/ZcVkKZ
Over time, wood will settle into its natural patina, and the first few months you may see changes in the colour depending on the type of wood. To make sure that the changes occur smoothly and evenly, keep the surfaces clean and free of any covers to allow even exposure to light. If you do have things on the surface, move them around regularly to avoid ‘sun spots’ – which is darker areas in the shape of those items.
Dry heat can dry furniture out, and humidity causes swelling. Try to keep the climate in your house as even as possible.
Keep your furniture finishes clean. For cleaning, a damp micro fibre cloth is perfect. Always WIPE DRY with a soft cloth. Furniture finishes may breakdown over time, so if your furniture finishes become sticky, we’ll be happy to advise you on how to restore the finish, based on the type of wood as well as the type of finish previously used. Beware of abrasive cleaners, as this will scratch and damage your furniture.
Fabrics, like wood and leather, can also fade as a result of too much light. Clean fabrics regularly, and apply fabric protector every three months.
Rotate furniture, carpets, and curtains to minimize and even out sun exposure. Invest in window treatments to block out some of the UV rays – some curtains and blinds have UV protection. Window tinting, while expensive, is extremely effective and long lasting.
Ask before you buy. Find out what protection the furniture comes with. Explain where the furniture will be placed, and make sure you buy the best product for that environment.
With the proper precautions and care, your furniture can look beautiful for years to come.
Please contact us with any questions you have, we’d love to help.
Top level shows fading from the sun.