Did you know that the reflected sunlight from the windows of a neighbor’s house can cause serious damage to the vinyl siding on your home? Some homeowners fear that this thermal distortion may even result in a house fire. We haven’t seen any evidence to point to that, but we do know that the vinyl siding can get hot enough to warp if the heat is concentrated enough.
Heat damage is caused as the glass in double-paned windows reflects intense heat that can warp vinyl. According to an article on the website of the Vinyl Siding Institute, ‘low-e window reflected sunlight’ produce heat of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
This same article reveals that some grades of vinyl siding will start to soften when expose to heat of between 160 and 165 degree Fahrenheit. The good thing is that not all double paned glass causes this effect; it must be concave resulting in a magnifying effect. This effect is believed to be partially a result of the increasing use of high-performance glaze on glass.
It is important to know that not only can sunlight reflecting from your neighbor’s windows be damaging to your vinyl siding, it can also damage your paint work and result in discoloration.
There are some preventative measures you can put in place to prevent vinyl siding damage from reflected sunlight. Just replacing the siding is not enough as the problem is likely to reoccur. These include:
You can plant trees to the side of your house facing the windows that are reflecting the sunlight, although there have been reports of the plants or hedges being burnt
If you can afford to, replace the siding with a better and more expensive type of vinyl siding. You could use another type of siding made from a material that will not be affected by reflected sunlight such as brick or fiber cement
The neighbor can tint or place screens over their window or windows that cause the reflected sunlight. Unfortunately, you can’t force them to do this if they do not want to
The neighbor could also place an awning over the window to minimize the effect, but again, only by choice
The problem of melting vinyl siding is not restricted to any one part of the country, but in various areas. Unfortunately, there seems to be an increase in complaints across the country about the damage being experienced by homeowners. It is also important to check the warranty when you buy vinyl siding as many manufacturers are now removing warranties for damage caused by this phenomenon.
Home Inspections in Gilbert
I see a lot of issues with different types of siding here in the Gilbert area. Give me a call at 480-870-5615 if you’re in need of a home inspector whether you’re buying a home, selling a home, or returning to the area from your summer home.