January 06 2017 0Comment
Sun Exposure to Concrete and Wood Structures

The Hidden Danger- Sun Exposure to Concrete and Wood Structures


UV light damage and sun exposure, the hidden danger.

While you may think your house, decks or concrete areas are safe with just a waterproof sealant, they aren’t. Harsh UV rays damage both wood, masonry and concrete surfaces over time. In areas of long photo-period (length of sunshine per day) over the summer months the damage is accelerated. In order to protect your home and all the structures exposed to the sun on a daily basis, it’s essential to include UV light blocking additives in your polymer waterproofing sealants. Even paint will be damaged by UV radiation, reducing the life-span of the structure underneath it.

Wood and UV damage.

If your deck isn’t treated for UV rays, you will see a rapid change in the color of the wood. The graying that occurs might look rustic and natural, unfortunately what’s going on underneath that is far more than just color change. UV radiation actually damages wood fibers, rendering them less resilient and more prone to cracking or sloughing off. If left long enough, UV radiation will cause board warping and cracking, or cupping. You can destroy an entire deck by not sealing it with both a waterproofing sealer and UV light sealer.

UV damage will be compounded by water damage. Water gets into wood and causes rot, fiber deterioration and mold issues, along with also cracking the wood. No matter where you live in the country, it is highly advised to use sealants that are both water-resistant and UV light resistant.

Best practices in UV protection for wood surfaces.

Be proactive. There are multiple high quality sealants for wood with UV additives incorporated into the polymer. When you are ready to find out more about a waterproofing system with UV protection built-in, please contact us.

Concrete/masonry and UV damage.

Concrete, masonry, stucco and all forms of concrete surfaces will be damaged by UV rays. Although not as quickly as damage to wood structures. Most of us don’t even think of UV damage to concrete, we only consider it when talking about wood.

Left untreated, concrete floors, walls, masonry and stucco will suffer from UV radiation. The minute your surface is finished, the UV light gets to work breaking down polymers and other bond chains within the concrete itself, weakening them. Over the course of years this will result in a fine dust or powder being apparent to the touch. It will also result in cracking or spalling radiating away from joins or seams. This weakens the structure significantly, and paves the way for more serious damage in the future.

Any pigments or colors in the concrete surface will also break down resulting in color- fading or a faded appearance. All the above-mentioned damage decreases the life-span of the structure, whether a concrete floor, wall or stucco finish.

Best defense against UV damage to concrete surfaces.

As with wood, your best defense is to be proactive with UV radiation damage to concrete. Sealants that specialize in blocking UV rays from damaging your cementitious structures are widely available. A reputable company like Pli-Dek has multiple sealers with varying degrees of UV protection built-in, depending on your location and your needs. They also have years of knowledge in manufacturing and applying these types of sealants, making them a great resource for getting information. When you are proactive in protecting your decks, floors, walls and structures against water and UV damage, you will enjoy a longer life-span for all of them. That gives a very special peace of mind.