My hardwood floors are much lighter under my area rugs. What is causing this?

My hardwood floors are much lighter under my area rugs. What is causing this?
We moved into an old house about a year ago. The former owner had recently redone all the downstairs hardwood floors. We put area rugs down in those rooms. The other week, I noticed that the wood floors were much lighter underneath these rugs than the rest of the floor. It is a major difference. Does anyone know what could be the cause of this? If it was sunlight causing fading, you'd expect the covered areas to be DARKER than the non-covered areas but it is the exact opposite. Plus, we've only had the rugs down for about a year! Anyone?


Answers:

Chosen Answer
Dana B:  Maybe they are cleaner under the rugs. Like, dirt and dust caused the uncovered floor to be darker.
2006-12-06 12:13:28
xyz:  Are there alot of windows in the area, could be sun bleach or effect of somekind from the sun....I've seen it many times even with home's where the windows are suppose to be uv protected..
2006-12-06 12:19:08
Brenda R:  you said the rugs have been down for about a year. have you removed the rugs to clean the whole floor area, or just around the rug. if cleaned around the rug, its the cleaners.
2006-12-06 12:19:37
hoperd2000:  It's ultra violet light from the sun. Light through the windows will cause chemical changes in what ever the former owner used to refinish the floor. UV doesn't necessarily cause fading, depending on the floor finish used.
2006-12-06 12:28:56
keith t:  What kind of wood?Cherry will darken in color when subjected to UV light.Actually it will darken without the light also but,sunlight hastens the process.Usually the most darkening occurs during the first year and continues at a slower rate over the life of the wood.Cherry furniture covered with tablecloths,doilies ,etc. will reveal a lighter "shadow" where it was covered.Not much can be done except for uncovering the lighter spots to try and even out the color.Chances are they will probably never be quite the same without being completely sanded down to new wood.
2006-12-10 10:29:38