Learn how to prevent sun-damaged carpet and preserve the beauty of your floor covering. Fading is a common problem when it comes to rugs, and it doesn’t matter what kind of carpet you have. Carpets with yarn-dyed fibers tend to be more colorfast; however, even the highest-quality carpets aren’t immune to fading caused by sun exposure.
Why Does the Sun Damage Carpeting?
There are several reasons why the sun is damaging to carpeting, especially when it comes to color fading. First, it helps to understand the two types of UV rays and how they affect fabrics:
- UV-A rays have the longest wavelengths and cause damage gradually over time. These rays penetrate more deeply, both into skin and carpet fibers. They can reach your rug fibers through window glass and lead to a loss of vibrancy and noticeably faded areas.
- UV-B rays have shorter wavelengths and cause acute damage. These are the rays that cause sunburns, and they can burn and bleach fabrics. However, UV-B rays can’t penetrate window glass, so they only affect outdoor carpets that receive direct sun exposure.
- Although you can’t see or feel it, fabric has water content. UV rays convert the water in carpet fibers to hydrogen peroxide, which causes fading to occur. UV-A rays can also cause white or light fabrics to turn yellow.
- UV rays aren’t just a product of the sun. They also come from fluorescent lights. Avoiding this type of interior lighting is another way to prevent sun-damaged carpets. Read on to learn additional ways to preserve the vibrancy of your floor covering.
Preventing Sun Damaged Carpets
The sun damaging carpeting is an issue that can be prevented. As mentioned, avoid using fluorescent lights to keep floor coverings from fading. LED lights are a long-lasting alternative to old-fashioned fluorescents, and they’re energy-efficient. Other ways to keep your carpets vibrant include:
- Replace Old Windows: Updating your old windows can make a difference when it comes to rug fading. Older windows simply don’t provide the UV protection that newer windows can. There are different types of replacement windows from which to choose; some are made with Low-E glass. Also called low-emissivity glass, it helps prevent carpets from fading by reducing how many UV rays get through.
- Keep the Drapes Closed: Another way to keep carpets vibrant is to limit sun exposure by keeping the drapes closed. When shopping for window treatments, look for opaque blackout shades. Some drapes can be used with a liner to increase their light-blocking ability. Installing a light-blocking shade underneath can also help keep UV rays from reaching the carpet.
- Try a Saltwater Treatment: Applying a saltwater mixture to your rugs can also prevent fading. It’s not necessary to saturate the carpet; all that’s needed is a light application. You’ll want to use hot water and a small amount of salt. Lightly dampen the carpet with the saline solution and let it dry. You can apply it with a damp cloth or mist the rug with a spray bottle. And after it’s completely dried, vacuum the rug to remove the remaining salt.
- Apply a Fluorocarbon Protector: Your carpet cleaning professional can apply a fluorocarbon protector to help extend the beauty of your floor covering. This finish can be used after cleaning and helps safeguard carpet fibers against the damaging effects of UV rays. Additionally, a fluorocarbon protector helps prevent staining by creating a barrier against dirt and moisture.
Thompson Creek has a wide variety of replacement windows for the home, including energy-efficient windows with UV-blocking properties. Our experts can help you select the right windows for your living space — contact us today to learn more.