How Does UV Light Impact Your Umbrella?
Your umbrella is not just meant to be taken out during rain and storms; it can also protect you on sunny days. After all, it is the essential function of an umbrella, be it a cantilever umbrella, a beach umbrella, or a patio umbrella. However, have you ever wondered what the umbrella has to endure for this?
UV radiation alters the construction of your umbrella on a molecular level, causing a chain of chemical reactions. The inherently short wavelength of UV rays excites molecules to vibrate faster and start dispersing. The result is that your umbrella’s fabric starts to fade, and the overall structure weakens.
While the umbrella protects you from harmful UV rays, its effectiveness and lifespan are reduced. If you want to know what you can do to prevent this, this article will cover all the issues UV rays cause to an umbrella.
Read on to learn so you can purchase the right patio or cantilever umbrella the next time!
Adverse Effects of UV Light on an Umbrella
The UV rays of the sunlight are not just harmful to your skin, but the electromagnetic radiation can damage your umbrella too.
Moreover, it has been found that regular beach umbrellas are not as effective against UV rays as previously believed; about 34% of ultraviolet (UV) radiation filters through.
Apart from that, there are other challenges in keeping your sun canopy functional and lasting longer.
1. Colors Fading
The fading or changing of colors is perhaps the most common damage from UV rays. That is because prolonged exposure to UV radiation alters the molecular structure of the pigments.
Certain materials, such as paper, cloth, and leather, are more sensitive to light. The radiation and light fuel a chain of chemical reactions causing irreparable damage.
2. Weakening of the Material
The same chemical reactions affecting the colors can also cause other changes. By altering the molecules of the material, UV rays do not just change the colors but also cause structural damage.
When light falls upon any material, the molecules tend to vibrate faster and are forced to spread out. This weakens the bond between the molecules.
The shorter the wavelength of the light, the more vibration it can induce. And this is what happens in the case of ultraviolet rays since they have a shorter wavelength (between 100 and 400nm).
Why Do You Need a UV Umbrella?
The overhead material of the umbrella canopy provides the right amount of shade to keep you cool and comfortable while you enjoy the outdoors. Apart from that, it can also amp up your style when you choose the right color and fabric.
However, the problem is that regular umbrellas cannot withstand the impact of harsh UV rays, nor can they protect you from them. This puts you at a greater risk of skin cancer, especially if you live in a very bright and sunny area.
UV umbrellas are specially designed with a denser material to protect you from the sun. Often, these are more lightweight and portable than conventional parasols.
The best part is that UV umbrellas come in various types and styles, such as dual-use, beach, and large canopy sun umbrellas. You can also choose stylish variants of these types to flaunt your look.
What Do You Need to Consider Before Purchasing a UV Umbrella?
One of the best things about UV umbrellas is that they usually indicate the amount of UV protection that comes with them. Indeed, the best ones will offer the greatest UV protection and quality construction.
If you travel a lot, these umbrellas are your best option for sun protection, other than sunscreen. However, there are certain factors to consider regarding UV umbrellas.
The material is the most important thing to consider for choosing an excellent outdoor UV umbrella, including the type of fabric. Also, you need to consider the fabric’s color for better sun protection. For example, black might be the best color option because it provides the highest protection from UV light.
Some of the best fabrics for your umbrella would be Olefin, Acrylic, Coolaroo polyethylene, and Terylast polyester.
These are UV-resistant and heavy-duty materials that can withstand other weather conditions, like rain and snow.
2. Canopy Strength
The stronger the canopies are, the better they can hold up against any harsh climate. This is because they are made up of rugged materials. Apart from the material, the stitching of the panels is also responsible for making the canopies stronger.
Higher quality stitching ensures that the panels are well secured to the ribs. This prevents the umbrella from breaking or suffering any significant damage despite being under the UV rays for a long time.
Moreover, you also need to consider the size of the canopy. Larger canopies may provide more coverage but will be more vulnerable under strong wind.
3. UPF Rating
You must look at the UPF rating of the UV sunshades while purchasing. It tells you how effective the umbrella will be under UVA- and UVB-type radiation. You need to choose a product with a higher UPF rating for better sun protection.
The higher rating is achieved through various methods, such as chemical treatment and robust construction. Also, the umbrella color plays a role in making it more resistant to UV radiation.
There are three categories of UPF rating:
- Good protection with UPF values of 15 and 20 and blocks about 93%-95% of UV rays.
- Very good protection comes with UPF values of 25, 30, and 35 and blocks almost 97%-98% of UV rays.
- Excellent protection offers slightly higher protection than the above and has UPF values of 40, 45, 50, and 50+.
UV rays are harmful, not just to you but also to your umbrella. You can choose suitable UV umbrellas now that you understand how it impacts your sun-protecting device. However, it might not be easy choosing a single fabric to fulfill all your needs.
You would have to factor in the construction of the umbrella, such as the suitable base, to ensure enough durability. So, make sure to do some research before choosing any product.
Besides, you must choose the right fabric and color to ensure optimum sun protection. Fortunately, Midtown Umbrellas offers many variations of umbrellas for you to choose from. You have even more options in the bases for all types of umbrellas here, so pick the right one.