Ultraviolet light isn’t just bad for your skin—it’s also bad for the interior of your home. Sunlight causes deterioration and fading in upholstery, wood, carpet, and artwork. Glass windows only block a fraction of the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, so it’s important for your home to be fitted with quality window treatments. The right blinds, shutters, or shades can preserve your home and its furnishings for many years to come.

Let’s take a closer look at the irreversible effects of leaving your windows uncovered.

Upholstery: Fabric easily becomes bleached by the sun. Unsightly discoloration is only the visible problem; the fabric’s fibers actually begin to break down. Upscale fabrics like silk and leather are especially prone to sun damage. Silk becomes extremely weak and can fall apart with light cleaning. Leather dries and cracks.

Wooden Furniture and Floors: Wood cracks when exposed to sunlight. Depending on its varnish, wooden furniture and floors can either darken or bleach.

Rugs and Carpet: Floor coverings can become prominently bleached when exposed to the sun. The fibers deteriorate and age quickly. Since carpet cannot be moved, it must be completely replaced when it becomes too damaged.

Artwork and books: Ultraviolet light causes extensive damage to paper and textiles. Inks and dyes become faded. Photographs become faded or extremely discolored. Sunlight actually breaks down the fragile cellulose fibers that make up paper. After prolonged exposure, paper will turn yellow and disintegrate.

Wallpaper and Paint: Your walls also suffer from sun exposure. Wallpaper can fade quickly and becomes patchy. Painted walls are much heartier, but they will eventually fade if they are exposed to regular sunlight.

Fortunately, protecting your home and its furnishings from damaging rays is very simple. A well-fitting blind, shutter, or shade is all you need!

For maximum sun protection, shades are an excellent choice. There are several varieties to choose from: Roller shades, pleated shades, Roman shades, and more. Roller shades block out the most sun and can even be used to create a blackout environment. Fitted properly, they admit very little sunlight, even during the brightest times of day. Consider using roller shades in rooms that contain valuable or antique items, especially if those rooms have windows that admit a lot of sunlight.

In rooms that don’t face a constant onslaught of sunlight—or don’t contain antiques and valuables—you can choose lighter window treatments. Blinds and shutters are ideal because they can be adjusted throughout the day. You can experience the benefits of natural light without the damaging effects. Blinds and shutters can be adjusted to redirect light toward the ceiling—away from your carpet, furniture, and valuables.

All of these window treatments come in a variety of colors and styles to suit your personal taste, so you won’t have to sacrifice style for sun protection.

The “Preventing Damage from Ultraviolet Light” article is another fine resource from Creative Blinds in Houston, Texas.