Can You Protect Your Entry Door From The Effects Of Direct Sunlight?
Short Answer – Not Exactly
Sunlight is one of the main reasons homeowners choose Orange County to call home. But all those gorgeous blue skies and sun-soaked days can wreak havoc on the exterior of your home.
One of the most prominent features of your home is your entry door, and keeping it from getting damaged or fading from all that sunlight is a constant challenge. While it’s impossible to stop all the damage without completely covering your door, it is possible to slow it down.
Material Matters Most
If you aren’t interested in a heavy steel door that dings every time you look at it sideways but still want a high-end door, you are left with wood or fiberglass for your door material.
We recommend fiberglass for its superior strength, durability, minimal reaction to temperature changes, and better ability (vs. wood) to withstand damage from the UV radiation from the sun.
Fiberglass will eventually fade from too much direct sunlight, but you can mitigate that effect with a fresh coat of paint every 5-7 years.
Wood, however, gets affected at the cellular level by UV radiation since it’s an organic material, which means it will slowly lose structural integrity over the years if kept in direct sunlight.
Blocking The Sunlight
Keeping direct sunlight off your entry door is always your best answer, but you need to be aware of the limitations of certain solutions, such as:
- Building An Overhang – Placing an overhead above your entryway can help, though many aren’t terribly fond of the look of overhangs on their homes. Most overhangs, however, can’t block the sun at all stages of the day. At daybreak or near dusk (depending on which way your door faces), you can have up to 4 or 5 hours when the angle of the sun is low enough to shine directly onto your door. This can have the unfortunate result of creating a faded stripe on your door where the overhang offers the least protection.
- Installing A Sun Panel – Installing a sun panel in the right spot on your porch could do the trick, but the aesthetic value of such panels is often fairly low. Plus, unless it can be easily removed, such a panel becomes a problem when moving large items through that door.
- Planting A Tree – Certainly, the most aesthetically pleasing option, planting a tree with a canopy that hangs low is your best bet for total protection from the sun if placed carefully. Or you can combine a tree or overhang with a well-placed hedge that will block the low angles of the waning or rising sun.
The hard truth is that the sun is a moving target, so the chance of one answer working without help from another option is low. But the creative placement of multiple sun-blocking options can work well to offer your entryway total protection from the sun without impeding your movement.
Protecting The Material
Protecting your entry door material is a great but temporary option. No matter what you choose, the sun will always win eventually, so you need to research your product to determine how often it needs to be reapplied.
Paint does work, but sun exposure variables make it impossible for most companies to offer a warranty against fading, just that the paint won’t crack, peel or blister. And even then, they’ll only guarantee it for ten years or less.
Though a popular color choice, black paint usually won’t come with any guarantees since black soaks in all the sun’s energy, and any fading is instantly noticeable.
A way to extend the period between repaintings and improve overall protection is to use light-colored paints to bounce away as much of the sun’s energy as possible. Also, light colors don’t show fading as quickly as darker colors.
The Bottom Line
While it is impossible to eliminate the damaging effects of direct sunlight, fiberglass doors are your best bet for avoiding structural damage from the sun. Color damage, however, will always occur so long as sunlight can reach your door directly.
If you can keep your door in the shade at all times of the day, you won’t need to worry as much about color fade, but if the sun hits any part of your entry door, there will be fading. In that case, your only defense is to repaint your door periodically.
We’ve conquered much of nature’s fury against our homes, but the sun will always win in the end if you don’t keep your entryway protected through shade or painting.
If you want your entryway to have its best chance at surviving our Orange County sunlight, contact us at Today’s Entry Doors for a free consultation.