You’ve probably purchased a product to improve the exterior of your home. On that product’s packaging, you’ve likely read promises about how well it works, how long it lasts and how much better it is than its competitors. When reading these claims, you have to wonder about the truth. There’s a good chance the formula of paint you’re using, for example, hasn’t been on shelves for decades, so how can they know it’ll last that long on your home’s façade? The answer to those questions and more is accelerated weathering.
Here’s what you should know about it.
Accelerated weathering is testing that manufacturers use to see how well their products will perform in certain elements. It also measures how well they stand up to regulatory standards. Rain, direct sunlight, humidity or corrosive environments, are among some of the most damaging environmental factors. Accelerated weathering allows manufacturers to simulate those conditions over a shorter period to test the strength and durability of the materials. It can also be used to see how a product’s color will change over time, and how metals will react to humidity and fog.
Accelerated weathering can take place in multiple locations. A laboratory could play host to the scientific process, and accelerated weathering often takes place with simulants rather than with actual precipitation, sunlight or corrosives. Environmental chambers can also be a good setting for the testing.
Accelerated weathering is likely important to all homeowners who purchase products to improve or safeguard the exterior of their homes. The testing process ensures that products will withstand the elements. Perhaps more importantly, tested products can ensure that your home updates will have a better return on investment. Why? They will last longer despite irregular or damaging weather patterns.
Accelerated weathering is especially important to those living in environments where corrosive elements, such as humidity and UV exposure, are factors. For example, a home built in an extremely cold climate should be made of durable materials. Vinyl siding can crack in cold temperatures when hardware like shutters are added. Snow can damage vinyl siding, too, so it wouldn’t be the right material for a cold-weather build.
The coast is another example of a place where accelerated weathering would be a vital resource in choosing building materials. Ocean winds carry corrosive salt and sand, which can crack some exterior materials over time. Rising sea levels are also a cause for concern, and only products proven to hold up to rising water levels would be appropriate to use in case of a flood.
There are very few places where weather isn’t a factor when purchasing home improvement products… San Diego, California, we’re looking at you.
This is even truer now that the world is feeling the effects of global warming. Gone are the days of a normal weather pattern, even in places where seasons transitioned smoothly from one to the other.
Instead, some places experience winters with heavier precipitation than ever. This sends meltwater into streets and sewers or, even worse, into yards and basements. If left unchecked, it accumulates and affects the structure of homes. This added water might makes its way to coasts, where it raises sea levels and compromises properties.
Temperature changes affect building structures, too — buildings designed to stay cool in moderate winters might not have the ability to protect inhabitants from extremely cold temps. Wooden elements might react to unexpected humidity and heat, too.
No matter where you live, accelerated weathering is essential for strong structures. Make sure the products you use for your home and business have been thoroughly tested. You’ll thank yourself later.