UV filters and fade protection
What causes fading?
The sun’s energy can be harsh. It can cause your furniture and soft furnishings to fade, split, and crack. And it’s not just about the UV or Ultra violet light. And NZ has some of the highest Ultra Violet levels in the world.
The three major causes of solar damage to your home and furnishings are:
- Ultra-violet light (approx. 40%)
- Infra-red light (approx. 25%)
- Visible light (approx. 25%)
The remaining 10% of damage is caused by other environmental factors such as the fastness or quality of the dye, the age of the fabric, chemical vapours and cleaning products.
While many of these environmental factors are out of your control, you can ensure your possessions remain in the best possible condition by shielding them from the sun with a suitable fade protection film on your windows.
Ultra-violet damage has both a short term and a long term effect.
- Short term, it bleaches most natural materials such as cotton, wool, leather and wood. This is what causes your photos or prints to fade to blue/green when they are left in direct sunlight for too long.
- Long term, it damages the fabric fibres making them brittle and susceptible to tearing and crushing. You can commonly see this in net curtains, drape backings and carpet around ranch sliders. In wood and leather this damage is difficult to repair as the materials can dry out, crack and bleach.
All the window films that Suntamers work with have filters that stop over 99% of ultra violet light. This is an industry standard and applies to our crystal clear safety films through to sandblast and mirrored films. However, because ultra violet light is not the only cause of solar damage, to get truly effective fade protection it is necessary to also filter infrared and visible light. By filtering all three of these factors, it is possible to reduce fading by close to 70%.
Many of the rooms we see which have a problem with fading also have a problem with heat and glare due to the amount of direct sunlight the room receives during the day. With the large range of window films available, heat and glare problems can be addressed at no additional cost.
There are many products that can block UV light from Solar control films to sheer curtains and liquid products. Solar control window films are not sacrificial like sheers or bond into the glass such as UVTec. We have been asked many times to remove UVTec when it has failed but are unwilling to use the toxic highly alkaline solution required in it’s removal.