Protecting Your Home Against Sun Damage

With climate change, those of us who are homeowners may need to put in extra effort to take care of our houses.

Exterior Paint & Siding

Ukiah has always had hot summers, but if they get even hotter, exterior paint can’t hold up as well. Look for bubbling, chipping, and flaking paint for surfaces that don’t get much shade. When paint gets too hot, it can cause cracks that can lead to moisture and mold damage.

Keep an eye on your exterior and repaint more often if the paint is wearing out. You may want to consider the newest in weatherproofing technology with elastomeric paint. It’s more expensive, but that’s because it’s about ten times thicker than regular paint, so it lasts longer and it can flex with a structure as the wood expands and contracts, not to mention it’s watertight. However, you’ll want an experienced painter because it can create unwanted lumps.

If you have a home with vinyl siding, it can also experience considerable damage in this heat and, like its wooden counterpart, the big danger is having moisture get underneath. If you see any cracks or punctures, get them fixed. Trust me when I say you do not want to deal with mold damage, and these types of problems only get worse over time, never better.


If you have a deck or any wooden structure on your property, it’s probably also taking a beating from the sun. Like the wooden siding on your house, decking needs protection. Ultraviolet rays break down wood fibers, drying, discoloring and warping the wood. This can lead to cracking and splinters, and there’s nothing worse than walking out onto a deck with no shoes, only to end up with a splinter in the most sensitive part of your foot.

Different types of wood react differently to stains, so head to Mendo Mill and ask one of their friendly employees for advice.


The part of the house that may suffer the most from extreme heat is the roof. Direct sun can cause blistering and cracking on any roof material but is especially hard on common asphalt shingles and tar and gravel. When soaring temperatures cause roofing material to expand, and then cooler nighttime temperatures cause roofing material to contract, almost any material begins to break down.

One of the best ways to combat the punishing summer heat is to make sure your attic is well ventilated. If you don’t have an attic fan, I highly recommend one. You can also put reflective coatings on your roof to protect against ultraviolet damage; some even help the roof repel water.


Remember, sunshine can do damage inside, too. As the sun streams in through your windows, window treatments, carpets and upholstery can fade. If you’re already in the market for new windows, consider purchasing windows that include UV protection. If you’re not up for new windows, you can add after-market UV-blocking film, which can provide up to 99.9 percent UV protection.

If you happen to have some precious artwork, maybe a piece from your 6-year-old grandchild, consider framing it with UV-blocking acrylic instead of regular glass. You can also treat artwork on canvas with archival protection sprays. If you have expensive artwork you want to protect, frame it with museum-grade conservation glass.

If you have questions about real estate or property management, please contact me at or call (707) 462-4000. If you have an idea for a future column, share it with me and if I use it, I’ll send you a $25 gift certificate to Schat’s Bakery. Dick Selzer is a real estate broker who has been in the business for more than 40 years.

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