San Diego, California, is a beautiful place to own a home. We have perfect weather year round and you just can’t get much better than that. The down side would be with the sun shining for most of the year, our homes take a beating.
Sunlight is the major cause of damage to a number of materials including: wood, plastics, textile, coatings, and other organic materials. The type of damage, such as dry rot, loss of gloss, chalking, elasticity, adhesion, and color change, varies depending on the material sensitivity and the spectrum of sunlight.
One component of sunlight is ultraviolet light, commonly referred to as UV. UV light is responsible for most damage to exposed wood because it changes or destroys the wood’s lignin, a component of wood that hardens and strengthens the cell walls. In more scientific terms this process is called photo-oxidation. The colorants contained in the paint/sealant coats are responsible for absorbing UV light, the more colorant a finish contains the less UV light will get through to the wood itself.
So if you think about it, the sun rises from the east and is directly above your home by 12:00 PM and falls to the west for the remainder of the day; approximately 7-8 hours. Meaning the sun is beaming on the west side of your home, causing a severe amount of damage. With that being said, have you noticed how the west side of your home has a lot more sun damage to your fascia, siding, and rafter tails then the east side? That is because the sun over time will break down any sort of protective finish and damage the wood. Paint and sealants are very important when it comes to protecting wood.
Over time the sun will dry out the paint or sealant, which then causes it to crack. These cracks are entry points for termites and moisture intrusion, causing fungus damage and all sorts of other wood destroying conditions. Warping of the wood is a different sign of damage, caused by moisture. As the wood dries from the morning dew, rain or sprinklers it causes the wood to shrink resulting in a warp. If you have a home near to our beaches your home is prone to a lot of moisture damage due to the constant moisture in the air. So if you have a good protective seal on all sides of the wood, this will not happen.
Now, just because the west side gets hit with sunlight all day, that does not mean the east side is in the clear. The east side is prone to moisture damage, fungus blossoms and mildew. Fungus blossoms look like a mushroom growing out of the wood and mildew looks like black mold growing on the surface of the wood. Again, a good layer of paint or a sealant is very important when it comes to protecting the wood.
The exterior of your house has to withstand the elements through all seasons. An annual inspection is important to ensure that there is no significant damage to the exterior of the home. It pays to be vigilant in checking for any potential problems, because this may prevent them from escalating into something more serious.
If you are noticing any area of your home showing signs of damage call a license contract like Best Rate Repair & Termite who specializes in wood damage repairs to get a free estimate. Call today 619-229-0116.