September 5, 2014 at 1:00 am

The Handyman

Start repairing sun's damage to decks, other household spots

This spring, we were all trying to determine the impact that the cold and snow had on our home after the polar vortex. But on the other side of the weather spectrum, the sun’s rays can also have a negative effect. So if you look closely at your deck, siding, roofing shingles and even your carpet, you will probably notice the effect of the sun’s damaging UV rays.

“All roofing shingles will have a degree of fading due to the sun’s UV rays, but today they are fading less than previously,” said Gary Kearns of Kearns Brothers, (888) 355-6700, kearnsbrothers.com. Kearns said you can also lessen the fading impact of the sun on your roof by choosing solar reflective shingles in lighter colors such as the Cool Series from GAF (gaf.com) or Certainteed’s Landmark Solaris Platinum (certainteed.com). These shingles are made with specially designed roofing granules that have greater reflectance than traditional shingles.

“The sun’s UV rays can still affect the flashing and rubber boot around the vent stack or the flashing or caulk around the chimney,” Kearns said. “Those items need to be maintained properly so you don’t develop leaks.”

While roofs receive the most exposure from the sun’s strong UV rays, your vinyl or aluminum siding can also fade over time.

“Lighter colors of vinyl siding fade less, but with companies like Certainteed using newer technology when manufacturing siding, even darker colors won’t fade as much as they used to,” Kearns said.

The good news is that you can bring faded siding back to life by painting it.

“When someone wants to paint vinyl siding, I recommend they use a lighter, more muted color because darker colors can cause too much heat absorption and will fade faster and may cause the siding to warp or buckle,” said Brian Eisbrenner of Shelby Paint and Decorating, (586) 739-0240, shelbypaint.com.

“However, if you use higher quality paints like Benjamin Moore’s Aura with Color Lock technology, it is guaranteed to be fade resistant,” he said.

In addition to Benjamin Moore’s Aura (benjaminmoore.com), other high-quality exterior paints include Pittsburgh Paint’s Sun Proof (ppgpittsburghpaints.com) and Emerald from Sherwin Williams (sherwinwilliams.com).

The sun can also fade and damage stained wood or fiberglass entry doors that are so popular these days. Eisbrenner said to avoid fading, use a good spar varnish when the door is new or right after refinishing.

Another item around the home’s exterior that takes a beating from the sun is your deck. That’s especially true if you have a wood deck, where excessive exposure to the sun can result in the deck turning gray. If your deck has this problem, make sure you use a stain that has added pigments that provide better UV protection, such as Penofin Penetrating Oil Finish (penofin.com) or Sikkens Cetol SRD (sikkens.com). While these stains have built-in UV protection, you may want to go the extra mile by using a two-part system such as Benjamin Moore’s Arbor Coat waterborne stain along with an exterior stain protective clear coat if your deck endures extreme sun exposure.

Even a composite deck can fade from the sun, but you can bring it back to life with Penofin’s Knotwood Oil Finish, Sherwin Williams’ Deckscapes or Behr Premium Solid Color Wood Stain.

While lots of things on your home’s exterior can get damaged by the sun, so can some inside. Things like your carpeting, wood floors and furniture that can fade due to strong UV rays coming in through windows or doorwalls.

If you have a problem with the sun beating down on your floors, consider getting a solar shade from Marygrove Awning, (734) 422-7110, marygrove.com, installed on large windows that can block more than 90 percent of the UV rays. You also can look at 3M window film from Michigan Glass Coatings, (800) 999-8468, michiganglasscoatings.com, and when replacing windows, specify low-e glass.

While damage from the sun can add to your to-do list, now you can choose the right products when remodeling or maintaining for UV control.

If you would like to suggest a question for this column, e-mail askglenn@masterhandyman.com. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536, between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The “Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations.