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    Default Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Recently inspected a home nearby to Raleigh NC and it has what looked like heat fatigued or siding (vinyl) that looks almost melted (similar to having a BBQ grill 2 feet away). Just curious if anyone else has seen this with no obvious cause and if the reflected light from nearby windows with reflective and low E coatings have been the cause. There are other homes in this same neighborhood with the condition and they are all located on the same sides of the homes

    Thoughts?

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    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    Recently inspected a home nearby to Raleigh NC and it has what looked like heat fatigued or siding (vinyl) that looks almost melted (similar to having a BBQ grill 2 feet away). Just curious if anyone else has seen this with no obvious cause and if the reflected light from nearby windows with reflective and low E coatings have been the cause. There are other homes in this same neighborhood with the condition and they are all located on the same sides of the homes

    Thoughts?
    I see this frequently, caused by reflected sun light. Doesn't have to be low E windows. Usually thinner low grade vinyl though.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    Recently inspected a home nearby to Raleigh NC and it has what looked like heat fatigued or siding (vinyl) that looks almost melted (similar to having a BBQ grill 2 feet away). Just curious if anyone else has seen this with no obvious cause and if the reflected light from nearby windows with reflective and low E coatings have been the cause. There are other homes in this same neighborhood with the condition and they are all located on the same sides of the homes

    Thoughts?
    I have seen this quite a few times. I usually see it when a window is close to an inside corner. The vinyl on the adjacent wall will distort, usually in a relatively narrow vertical pattern.


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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Yes. It took awhile but definitely due to window reflections. When asked what could be done about it, I thought for a second and suggested trying full window high density screens on the windows.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    When asked what could be done about it, I thought for a second and suggested trying full window high density screens on the windows.
    How about thin vertical louvers which are a couple of inches width? When looking out from the inside all you would see would be the thin edge of the louvers, yet the reflecting sun off the window glass would first strike the width of the louver with the louver shading the wall from the reflection.

    Not sure if anything like that is available, but it would be a good product to have (albeit for a rather limited market) as many houses have vinyl siding and that melting/distortion problem, I've even seen it where the sun reflects off the tops of a/c units, any flat and shiny surface, whether vertical, horizontal, or angled, the sun reflects off those surfaces and the angle, size and shape affects where the reflection hits the siding and how large an area is hit with the reflections.

    Of course, though, installing that on an EERO window would mean that it would need to be able to be released and pushed out of the way with no special knowledge, tools, etc.

    That 'no special knowledge' is good for may things, but some casement windows, even single/double hung windows, require 'special knowledge' on locating and opening the lock which holds the windows shut, or cranking the windows open, etc. Sure, the people who occupy the room all the time would know, but a guest may not know, does that mean giving each guest a 'if the cabin looses pressure, an oxygen mask will drop ... the seat cushion can be lifted out and used as ... ' life safety demonstration?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    yes....I've seen it....the solution is to replace the window with a normal one and of course fix the siding. I think they make a siding with a higher melting point but the problem is the window.


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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?


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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Saw this same issue on an episode of Ask This Old House, adjacent perpendicular window low-E reflecting sunlight. Their solution was placing a screen over the window to help reduce the amount of sunlight being reflected.
    I actually had a friend that did almost melt some siding on his house from a BBQ, had too close to the outside wall on a deck.


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    Ben Tressel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Yet another piece of evidence in the case against vinyl siding. It makes as much sense as using as using Saran wrap for building paper. Window Reflections Can Melt Vinyl Siding | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com has some good info. There's some data that says just a regular window can still melt it, not just Low E. I'm sorry to any vinyl installers out there, its quick to install and passes the 30 foot test, but certainly is not a lifetime product.


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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Tressel View Post
    Yet another piece of evidence in the case against vinyl siding. It makes as much sense as using as using Saran wrap for building paper. Window Reflections Can Melt Vinyl Siding | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com has some good info. There's some data that says just a regular window can still melt it, not just Low E. I'm sorry to any vinyl installers out there, its quick to install and passes the 30 foot test, but certainly is not a lifetime product.
    Not that I want to start a vinyl siding fan club or anything like that, but in my area there are many houses with vinyl siding approaching 30 years old and many still look good. For someone buying a modest home there probably are not many better materials. Brick and cement board siding are relatively expensive in my area. Stucco? I would not touch it. Wood siding? high maintenance and generally poor quality.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Jeff, what you’re seeing is damage from Concentrated Solar Reflection off a neighbor’s window. The key factor common to every case of damage is the unnatural concentration of solar energy in the reflection off collapsed glass in a multi-pane unit. Objects in the path of reflection can and have been damaged by the extraordinary heat generated, regardless of the material from which they’re made. There are numerous examples: from car parts to cedar shingles.

    As senior director of Code &Regulatory Programs for the Vinyl Siding Institute, Inc., I follow this topic closely. Everything we know about the phenomenon is posted to a dedicated section of our website: UnderstandConcentrated Solar Reflection and Its Potential Damaging Effects. We’ve heard that homeowners have installed screens or awnings to diffuse the reflection until such time as a more permanent solution is presented.

    I’m happy to be a resource if you have additional questions.

    Matt


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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Dobson View Post
    what you’re seeing is damage from Concentrated Solar Reflection off a neighbor’s window.
    Another good reason not to have close neighbors


  13. #13

    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Just an FYI to those who participated in this thread. The local code council has decided to do little or nothing in NC. Vinyl manufacturers and window manufacturers are pointing fingers and the builders are doing the same. The issue does not usually seem to occur during the first year of a new home or if it does no one notices. So this is another issue that exists but no clear cut answers seem to be available.
    Thanks to everyone.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

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    Default Re: Vinyl Siding Melting - Low E coatings responsible?

    Since this thread has been reactivated....

    The solution is a simple as a DIY application of window tinting film to the exterior of the window. Believe Home Depot carries some that will work. Easy installation and should be effective.

    Search Results for*window tinting*at The Home Depot


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