This phenomenon came to my attention through NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) discussion boards on LinkedIn. A homeowner was having problems with their siding “melting” on the home. It looked something like this:
We all know it gets hot in the summer, but is it really hot enough to melt vinyl siding? What if I told you it happened in the WINTER! It just doesn’t seem likely, does it? Maybe it was vandalism, improper installation or something else.
Would you believe the damage was caused by the neighbor’s new energy efficient windows? Yep, the windows were causing the problem!
These new windows usually feature a LowE coating that reflect the sun’s light as well as the heat. This is what helps make these windows efficient and your energy bills manageable. On a bright, sunny day, the windows can act like a magnifying glass and focus the intense light on the siding. This focused light creates a lot of heat! Remember frying ant with a magnifying glass last week…I mean when we were young? It’s the same effect.
Check out the pictures below, the temperature readings were made in December!
The top picture shows the surface temperature of the siding where the neighbor’s window is reflecting the light. 185 DEGREES! The one on the bottom shows the actual ambient air temperature of 24 degrees. The date on the pictures is December 20th.
Ok, so we know what the problem is, now what’s the solution? Well, you can ask the neighbor to change his windows, good luck on that one! Your best bet is to plant a bush or tree on that location. Really! You may be able to use a higher quality thicker vinyl siding, but there is still no guarantee it won’t melt. Did you know that these problems are NOT covered under factory warranties? Nope, it’s not their fault!
If you are considering installing vinyl siding on your home, keep this problem in mind. Chances are it won’t happen to you, but you never know. One type of siding that will NOT ever melt is fiber cement siding. Coincidentally, my company just happens to install it! James Hardie siding is the leader in the Fiber Cement Siding Industry. It’s siding has a 50 year warranty. If you choose the pre-finished Color Plus product, it is also covered by a 15 year finish warranty. It will far outperform vinyl or steel when it comes to temperature extremes and hail damage. It will never rot, termites won’t touch it and neither will woodpeckers! If you think this siding is right for you, check out my company's website: Paint Pro, Inc.
Last, but not least: If you get vinyl siding, this may happen to you!