NIW Services Blog

Why does ultraviolet light cause color to fade?

   Because of photodegradation.

It is all about the chemical makeup of an object. The technical term for color fading is photodegradation. There are light absorbing color bodies called chromophores that are present in dyes. The color(s) we see are based upon these chemical bonds and the amount of light that is absorbed in a particular wavelength ... (read more).

That chest of drawers ain’t what it used to be – not with UV rays coming through the window

UV rays are unrelenting.
Remember when you found that chest of drawers in the back of that furniture store. You really weren't planning to buy anything that day. But then you came around the corner and there it was along with a bed and nightstand.

You had no interest in the other pieces – just the chest of drawers. It called to you. You knew just where to put it. It was as though you’d something you’d long searched for but never knew you were searching.

The cost was a little more than you wanted to spend but there’s a sense of permanence to a piece of furniture, such as this, that made the cost acceptable. It transformed the back room – made it complete. When the sun came in the window each morning, the rays of light seemed to dance off the polyurethane finish.

You’d appreciated that chest of drawers for years. One of your most prized possessions, you took comfort knowing, when your time came, the chest of drawers would go to your daughter and then, one day, to hers. There was only one thing you didn't plan for.

The sun sucks the life out of your furniture

It turns out the sun did more than dance on your chest of drawer’s finish; it also dried the polyurethane and the wood below it. It faded the color of the wood.

The drawers didn’t slide the way the used to slide. The piece just wasn't the same.

How did that happen? Right in front of you, your chest of drawers changed. It grew old in ways you didn't appreciate.

This is what happens to furniture when exposed to the ultra-violet rays of the sun. Those rays are silently powerful and consistent, as though the surf is wearing a rock smooth.

Curtains can reduce the effects of UV rays but they seldom eliminate the rays. And when the curtains are drawn, you can no longer look outside through the window. You might as well replace the window with a solid wall. There is, however, one other option.

Window film, such as the window film produced by 3M, actually blocks 99.9 percent of the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Window film would have preserved the chest of drawers in the story above, as well as other pieces of furniture, flooring and even paint on the walls.

In the meantime, tinted window film can cut down the heat produced by the sun, heat you then spend money to remove from your home or office with air conditioning. Window film can also reduce the glare that comes through the windows.

What is ultraviolet (UV) radiation?

"Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major risk factor for most skin cancers. Sunlight is the main source of UV rays. Tanning lamps and beds are also sources of UV rays. People who get a lot of UV exposure from these sources are at greater risk for skin cancer ... (from American Cancer Society - http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/sunanduvexposure/skincancerpreventionandearlydetection/skin-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection-what-is-u-v-radiation)."

Tinted window film offers a solution to drawing the shades over your favorite outdoor scenes

It’s part of your morning ritual; one of the first things you do is to draw down the blinds. It’s not that you really want to draw the blinds but you do it anyway.

Outside the window, there is a wonderful panorama – trees are turning colors, squirrels are busying gathering acorns to bury and, occasionally, you might even see a deer wander by. But, you’ll wait until the afternoon to enjoy the view. Now, this morning, it’s just too darn bright. The sun blares in the window with such brilliance that you can almost hear it scream. It’s more than your eyes can handle.

The glare is too much and so the shades are drawn. Fortunately, there is a possible solution to the glaring sun that does not require drawing the shades – tinted window film.

Tinted window film almost works like the light dimmer switch in your dining room. It turns down the sunlight as it comes through the window. Tinted window film has the potential to turn down the sunlight enough so that you can leave the blinds up.

At the same time, tinted window film leaves the view outside clear and uninhibited, assuming your windows are clean (Northern Illinois Windows always cleans the windows, both sides, when installing window film). Of course, if you want a fogged window film, that’s an option, too. Otherwise, that clear view is in its full glory day or night.

While toning down the glaring sun, tinted window film also protects you, your furnishings and your floor coverings from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultra-violet rays.

Have you ever moved a piece of furniture and discovered that the carpet or tile below it is richer and fuller in color underneath? That’s what your flooring looked like originally. Over time, the UV rays of the sun have washed the vibrant colors out of your flooring.

It’s easy to see under a piece of furniture. The furniture creates a time-capsule effect by blocking the UV rays. Otherwise, the UV effects occur slowly, so slowly that you don’t notice the gradual change. Most types of window film, tinted or otherwise, reflect 99.9 percent of the UV rays. That’s good news for your flooring and furniture and it’s good news for your skin.

In terms of cutting the glare so you can see, and see that scene outdoors, window film has the potential to rectify these problems. It can do such a good job that you may decide to completely remove the shades from that window all together.

Welcome to The Northern Illinois Windows blog

This, the new Northern Illinois Windows blog, is where we will post information relevant to window cleaning, window tinting, gutter cleaning and power washing. We hope you find this information helpful in maintaining your home in top condition and we welcome your questions and feedback. Regular maintenance of your windows, gutters and siding will extend the useful life of your home, not to mention how much the neighbors will love you for it.
See Older Posts...