Protecting Exterior Doors from Sun Damage

The Effects of Sun Damage

sun damageWhether across the U.S. is heating up and homeowners everywhere are preparing for the eminent heat that summer brings. Is your home ready to face the heat? Truth is, no matter where you live, your home’s exterior is in danger of sun damage. That’s because the harsh impact of UV rays and direct heat on any area for an extended period of time causes adverse effects on a variety of materials. Especially wood. These effects include fading, cracking, warping and peeling of exterior surfaces and damage the longevity of the material.

Ways to Protect your Exterior Door from Sun Damage

However, there is a way to protect these materials from UV Rays and direct heat. Keep in mind that the part of your home that suffers the most from sun damage is an exterior door that faces west. So, begin your protection efforts there. Whether it’s your front, side or patio door you’ll need to follow the following steps to protect your door from the sun (Note: these steps are only for protecting wood doors).

If your door is faded, you’ll need to re-do the finish. Begin by sanding the exterior portion of the door down to remove the previous finish, if any. You’ll then want to re-finish the door with multiple coats of an exterior varnish that has UV protection. Specifically, a spar varnish that’s made for boats works best. This type of exterior varnish is the most effective in preventing sun damage as it blocks UV rays and is more flexible than standard polyurethane, so it adheres to the wood without cracking or peeling. Or, if you’re thinking about painting your door instead, keep in mind that it’s better to use a high quality exterior paint than a clear finish as the pigments in paint will prevent sunlight from penetrating the wood.

Once your door is newly finished with a protective varnish, it’s time to take some preventive steps to increase your door’s lifespan. The best way to do this by creating a shaded area that protects the exterior door from receiving long periods of direct sunlight. One way you can do this is by creating natural shade by landscaping around the exterior door. Adding some hearty, fast growing trees that provide cover all year long will protect your door from sun damage and add some new greenery to your home’s exterior appearance. Another solution would be to install an awning or canopy above the door. This would block out the sun entirely, prevent sun damage and help cool the west facing side of your home.

Front Door Replacement Options

Has sun damage already warped and cracked your door to the point of no return? Then it may be time to think about installing a replacement door. Rather than wood, a more cost effective alternative may be to install a fiberglass door instead. Long lasting and versatile in appearance, fiberglass doors can be made to look like wood doors, but can withstand the heat much longer. If you’re thinking about replacing your west facing exterior doors, our door and window experts at California Window & Door can help. Contact us today for a replacement estimate or for more information on the exterior door that’s right for you.