Effect of UV Radiation on Exterior Sealants

Roof and siding installers should choose exterior sealants that blend in with the job. And that’s important because otherwise their projects would look like ‘patched over quilts’. However, not all contractors understand the effect of UV radiation on exterior sealants.

We discuss the challenges our jobs face when exposed to harsh sunlight year after year. We share knowledge we acquired over decades in the business. Because we are as proud of our work as you are of your home.

The Force of Ultra Violet Radiation Light

Ultra Violet light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that’s invisible to the naked eye. However, this does not mean it is harmless. It can damage and sterilize surfaces it falls on. In fact, the short wave version is one of the leading causes of skin cancers. It follows we need to choose exterior sealants able resist the effect of UV radiation too.

Fortunately however, Earth’s atmosphere intercepts some two thirds of ultra violet radiation. For if it did not, then there might be no life on Earth as we know. Certain insects and fish produce a glow from it. For the rest, we might need a painful sunburn to be reminded of its potentially harmful presence!

The Effect of UV Radiation on Exterior Sealants

Ultra violet light rays can damage the molecular structure of certain materials. That’s because they can break down the molecular chain, causing both chemical and physical damage. This UV degradation, to use the scientific term negatively affects many natural and synthetic polymers too.

They can cause these polymers – and also some neoprenes, rubbers and polyvinyl chlorides – to shed color and strength. They could also become less flexible, start to crack and even eventually disintegrate. However, some silicons and acrylics are inherently stable. These are the ones we use at Valiant Exteriors.

Choosing the Right Materials for a Home Project

It follows we should ask ‘is that UV stable’ before purchasing PVC siding, silicon / acrylic sealants, and even exterior paints. Factors that may make these purchasing decisions critical include location, and frequency / intensity of exposure.

Customers sometimes ask us how they could get a similar service for less elsewhere. We reply ‘similar does not mean the same – did you ask whether they use exterior grade materials?’

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