Video: Are Your Neighbor's Windows Melting Your Siding?

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Deborah in Ma

Subject: Melted Siding/ Low E Windows

Well, I have read all the comments, My home is totally destroyed, I pay in excess of 5000.00 in taxes for a home that I can not sell, the north side of the house is melted due to the 21 low e windows that the neighbor installed. I have been dealing with this for years. I have stood in front of the Boston Board of Regulation and Safety where they decide about codes in the building trade, I have been on TV, GMA, and local Boston Stations and nothing has been done about this. As for someone suggesting that the siding was cheap. My house was cover in the most expensive siding there is. Siding melts at 160degrees and I have had Infrared testing done and the temps on my home are at 238 degrees. I have been told by the Worcester Fire Dept that this is not a problem. Really! Inside my home the temps reach 120.degrees on the north side. Because this is happening all over the country the siding companies will not warranty or guaranty their product. That should say a lot. My home was fine before the windows were installed. As for the bushes, another joke, I planted 6 ft arborvitaes and the were dead within a month, totally fried. Never knowing what was doing it, they were replaced, it happened again. It wasn't until a contractor who was doing a roof next door told me it was the windows. Told me that he does not like to work anywhere these windows are because they burn your skin. That is dangerous. Yes the screens will alleviate a lot of the problem but the neighbor will not install them and he was given them for nothing. So who do I sue, EPA, the Window Mfg, can't go after the city or state because it is code, It is a mess and happening all over leaving homeowner to fend for themselves. What is said people come up with these ideas, and instead of doing the research out in the field, they subject a homeowner to deal with there mistakes and decisions. My north side of my home is down to the wood now and I'm just waiting for that to burn. Not even mentioning that the gases that siding put off so it becomes a health issue. I was given the suggestion of Hardie Board, had a rep come out, he said he would side it but would not guaranty or warranty his work or product. so what does that tell you?

Craig Johnsen

Subject: melting vinyl siding

in Aug 2010, I resided my home with a nice custom color vinyl siding. My house faces south and catches the heat of any day. I have a bay window that faces south also. Came home one day in early Sept to find the siding on both sides of the bay window sagging. I immediately called the general cont who brought the Certainteed rep. Turns out the 2 side windows of my bay were catching the sun and reflecting it back onto the house and melting the siding.
The Certianteed rep suggested I have 2 side screens made a Pipher screening material. It reduces heat and reflection of the sun up to 70% and should solve the prob. The window people hadn't even heard of the sceen material so I bought it thru Menards (who should stock it now). It worked so well, I re sreened the rest of the windows on my house . It looks real slick (all black) and really reduced the heat transnitted into the house. Just to confirm, I called Certainteed anonymously and described the issue and the proposed resolution. I ask the customer person, "then you folks can't sell vinyl siding in the southeast, AZ, NM , CA, NV and they said exacrly, we don't.

michelle

Subject: melted siding

It's been happening the last couple of months since this contractor painted my vinyl siding a new color. He painted it last October - the whole house and on two sides where the sun hits it the most is where it is looking the worst. Shouldn't he have to pay me the money back for the paint job and what it would cost to replace the siding of the house? I spoke to him last week about it, asked him what kind of paint he used. He said it was a water based paint - I asked him does it reflect heat...he couldn't answer me. He only said he went to the paint store and this was what they recommended. Now my home looks terrible.

Linda

Subject: melting siding

If nothing else you could build a privacy screen on that side of the house that's affected. It could be as tall or as short as you need.

Mark Gibson

Subject: Siding melting

I've been a siding contractor that also does windows and in 23 years of owning my own business and the previous 39 years my dad owned the business I have never heard of this. It really makes me laugh. Apparently some people are using low quality vinyl siding. USE CERTAINTEED materials and I'd bet you won't have this problem.

Tom in Rhode Island

Subject: name brand no better

Living in part of the country where we have "postage stamp " size lots ( 50x100 ft. ) The homes are so close that this has become a common problem no matter what type of vinyl siding is used. I used Georgia Pacific and it lasted a couple of years before the sun badly damaged it.

Steve Weronski

Subject: melting siding

I had the melting siding problem. Spoke with my neighbor & we made arrangements to have My Guys replace his single hung windows with half screens replaced with double hung with full screens. Problem solved! I noticed 2 of my windows starting to melt the siding on my neighbor on the other side's vinyl so I had those 2cwindows replaced with double hungs with full screens as well. My replacement vinyl looks great still.
During my investigation phase, I had stood in the beam of reflected sun light. It was painfully hot. No wonder tge vinyl melted.

Tina

Subject: Possible remedy

Could this problem possibly be remedied by adding a solar panel or hot water solar panel and benefit from the concentrated rays of the sun? Just a thought.

Amanda

Subject: Siding melt ruined sale

When we were in the middle of selling our house last year some buyers backed out because of our melted siding. We had no idea what caused it. The fireplace wasn't defective and our buyer freaked out after the agent freaked out and they accused us of lying and wanting to endanger our buyers. It was so ridiculous! Anyway, we had inspections done to make sure everything was Ok and there was no problems with our fireplace or anything else for that matter. We never found out how that happened but now I think it might have been the neighbor's windows! Can you imagine all that we went through because of that?! Pretty horrible. I think that should have to be disclosed. It cost us the sale of our home and serious (but false) legal accusations.

Linda

Subject: Low E Windows

I started noticing burnt areas in my new lawn the first summer and could not figure out what was causing it. While walking across the street one nice day I noticed a heat wave coming from my house and it turned out to be the reflection from my windows. It turns out that during a certain part of the day the windows were reflecting on to my lawn. I made window screens using solar fabric that I ordered off the internet and used the do-it-yourself window screen frames from the local hardware store to make my own frames. No more lawn burning from my windows and I'm sure my neighbors appreciate their house not getting hit with the reflection from my windows.

Mary of Laf.

Subject: e windows cont'd

I just read a comment that solar screens on a window need to be used to fix this problem. Don't know what that is but will find out.
I love the info you can find out on this site. Maybe I can find out why my very expensive shower door that I paid extra money so it wouldn't get strange looking now has an alligator type pattern on it. And shower cleaner doesn't work. I think I got took.

Mary of Laf.

Subject: e windows

If you are having a problem with a neighbor regarding this situation, maybe if you hang mirrors on your wall they will understand what the problem is.
When you say screens, do you mean install regular screens, the kind that keep bugs out?

Joyce

Subject: Melting siding

The public should be made aware of this when buying these windows. If your neighbor has wood siding you could burn the house down!! Also, reflective dog dishes, garden ornaments, etc.

Craig

Subject: Vinyl Siding

For those who share concerns about the negative impact of vinyl siding on the environment & communities, check out the documentary "Blue Vinyl".

robertcavalier

Subject: Anybody out there involved in

Anybody out there involved in a lawsuit with a neighbor? I have a neighbor who has a window causing my siding to ripple in the fall/winter months. He received a letter from my attorney informing him of the problem and refuses to fix it. I want to sue, however my attorney says I need a expert. Any help finding a expert would be appreciated! Can,,t sell home until resolved.

Jim from Energy Masters

Subject: The blame game

Your problem is two-fold with heat buildup being a key cause. When there is heat from the top, and heat buildup that occurs from hollow back siding, the air space behind acts as a mini solarium / greenhouse. Rather than blame your neighbor, consider what grade of vinyl siding when you sided your house. I would suspect that if you poke your siding with your finger, that the siding easily gives way. Next time you have vinyl siding installed, spend a little more and make sure you get contoured foam backed siding.

Marg

Subject: melting siding and neighbors

Did you try to talk to them first. It is hard because as soon as you open your mouth people get their backs up in claiming innocence and are ready to start the name calling, like: "Crazy, stupid,,," I mean you hardly started talking but... You have to persist and let them know what is going on... Print an article and be sure they know you are not trying to "take them." Even write a letter and assure them that they are your neighbors and you want peace and happiness but that this is a terrible problem for you and that you would even offer funds for this screen....Probably cheaper than lawyers.

Kevin

Subject: Expert

I'm going through the same thing. Actually in litigation now because their insurance company is refusing to take responsibility. If you find an expert, please pass on the information.

Charles Rice

Subject: Windows melting vinyl siding scam

My neighbor had her aluminum siding replaced with vinyl siding by a company that told her that they could do the job paid for by her insurance company and at no cost to her because the aluminum siding was "hail damaged". They didn't warn her that her insurance cost would go up. After a few months the neighbor approached me and asked me to put a screen on my "offending" window because it was damaging her siding. That's what her siding company had told her. Being an engineer, I did my own investigation. What I found was that the siding on the whole side of the house was buckling and that the track of light reflected from my window was about two inches across and formed an arc along a seven foot track and there was no difference in the temperature of the light track and the siding some distance from the light track. I also consulted my siding professional and he informed me that buckling was a common result of improperly installing inexpensive vinyl siding with no allowance for expansion or contraction. The only other consideration is that it is virtually impossible for a flat window to focus the infrared to the extent that it would provide damaging heat on almost any surface. Shame on Angie's List. I believe that the siding buckling epidemic is way over-blown and is caused primarily by siding scam artists who will knock at your door unsolicited pretending that they will make your house look better at no cost to you. I'll send you a copy of my written report if you wish (Blame it on the Hail, Then Blame it on the Neighbor. It's Not the
Siding Company's Fault).

JGN

Subject: Put your hand up to the light....

If you don't think low e windows will do this to siding, I invite you to put your hand up to the concentrated light that's melting the vinyls siding on my house, installed 20 years ago and only now melting because neighbors put in new Low E windows.

Sheila Trulli

Subject: Did you read my post?

Did you see that this happened with TWO different sidings, one of which had been installed on the house at least 20 years earlier, with NO buckling until the tree was cut back; the second was BRAND NEW siding. In both cases the buckling occurred ONLY on one side - the side facing the convex window. An awning was installed (at our expense) over this window four years ago. No more buckling - at all.

Don't dismiss this out of hand. It DOES happen, although I have no doubt there are scam artists out there; there are for everything.

Jim McGuigan

Subject: Steel Siding

Yes, steel siding would not have the problem with warping. It still expands and contracts somewhat, but it is minimal comparatively. That being said, if you have steel siding and a steel roof, getting cell phone coverage may be a challenge.

Sheila Trulli

Subject: This happened to us...twice.

My neighbors, whose house is no more than 20 feet away, had a new window installed in their bathroom, which directly faces our house. At first there was no problem. But then the tree in their backyard was trimmed; the next spring we noticed diagonal rippled lines running down the side of our house. At a loss to explain this, we called in a "siding expert" recommended by our insurance company who, amazingly, said that we needed to replace ALL our siding. As the siding was old, and in kind of tough shape, we went ahead and did this. Problem solved, right?
Nope. Next spring, there were the rippled lines in the NEW siding. Now we were really upset. Our insurance company was indicating that they would not be willing to keep replacing the siding; they would pay for one replacement on that side, but we needed to find out what was causing it, and make adjustments.
Thankfully, my husband had seen a local news show about this; we looked it up on the web and found out that this is indeed a known phenomenon. After rather extended negotiations with our neighbor ( a science teacher who initially refused to believe that a focused beam of light could melt anything!!) he agreed to let us install an awning of his choosing over the window. It's been at least five years since then with no more problem - thank goodness! We were in danger of losing our insurance, which doesn't bear thinking of.
The awning cost around $70 - a very inexpensive solution to a VERY big problem. It interrupted the beam of light and stopped the melting. BTW, info that I found online at the time indicated that the beam would have to be over a certain temperature to do this - not sure at this point, but I think it would need to be over 170 degrees F. My husband happened to stick his hand into the beam at one point, and he could not leave it in there, it was VERY hot.

Joseph Smiga

Subject: Screenmobile Phoenix, Arizona

Hello, and welcome to my world of the Phoenix Sun. This issue has been around in "The valley of The Sun" for as long as e-glass windows have been around. There is a simple solution to this event. Determine where the Sun is being reflected, sometimes your home, sometimes your neighbors, and have a screening company cover that window with solar shade screen. The cost for covering a 5x5 window in Phoenix is $100.00. The price in for Minneapolis is probably $400.00 because shade screens are not used across the nation. Cover the glare and the damage will stop. And the covered window is beautiful and energy efficient. Let's also get this phenomenon called correctly. Here in Phoenix it's called a "solar flare". It will blow up a bbq propane tank, burn a swath across your new vinyl putting green, even damage your BMW. Thanks for this chance to express myself. Joe. Also. yes the buffering on this video is awful and I know nothing about buffering.

casey cho

Subject: low e window reflection

the back of our house faces south, starting in mid July the reflection burns a pattern onto our lawn, you can see the lines. all the water in the world can't fix it. I just live with it.

Brandon Rae

Subject: Windows melting siding and pool cover

This same issue has been responsible for melting my pool covers each winter at my new home. Before spring arrives I have several straight lines burned into the plastic woven cover fabric. At first I thought it was poor quality or manufacturing defects - after the first few seasons ( and new covers each year) I happened to be out checking the pool one day in late winter - the reflection off of the glass blinded me and I could feel the heat that came with it. I noticed the reflection lined up with the latest melted lines in the new cover !

Karen McVay

Subject: Vinyl siding and low e windows

I would think this is very uncommon for several reasons:
Vinyl covered homes and low e window homes are not usually in the same neighborhood. Vinyl is for more modest price homes and low e window are usually found on higher price homes. Also, the houses would need to be close together and the sun hit just right.

Courtney Finnerty

Subject: I don't understand your analogy

You speak as if you think people in affluent areas don't put vinyl siding on their homes. I live in s very nice neighborhood with homes less then 20 feet away from each other. These homes were built in 1930. Some have remained with the wood shingles while other home owners have updated with cedar impression shaker style vinyl shingles. Two of the homes in my neighborhood have melted siding- why? Bc of low e Windows from their neighbors home who have updated their windows to more energy efficient Windows.

It's so bad that I don't think I will be investing in cedar impression shingles as I planned on since I am pretty sure the south side of my home will have the same result as the two homes on my neighborhood whose siding melted on the south side of their homes...

Lynne Hill

Subject: Vinyl siding and low e windows

I beg to differ about the combination of vinyl siding and low e windows; I live in a home in a subdivision built by a major builder in Madison WI, and all of the homes have vinyl siding and most have low-e windows, and the houses are somewhat close together. The cost range on these homes is ~ $250,000-$400,000. I have not heard of any melting siding in our large neighborhood, so I am hoping that either the quality of the siding and/or the quality of the windows has been a positive factor.

Emily

Subject: Its actually more prevalent

Its actually more prevalent than you'd imagine. My neighboorhood is in a class action lawsuit for this exact same thing right now.

Erik

Subject: Video streaming issue

Please stop self-hosting your mp4 files, or obtain access to a server that's able to stream video properly. My broadband bandwidth isn't superb - but it can stream a full netflix movie with no buffering. But the above video took over 4x its stated time to run due to horrible buffering issues - a couple of seconds' content, a long wait, repeat until done. YouTube, maybe, or Vimeo? P.S. it's after midnight so this surely isn't a peak time for streaming this asset.

Ed Clark

Subject: video size

their 2 minute video is a 227Mb MP4 file....must be high-definition. LOL I've switched from 50Mbps download to 2Mbps download speed, so I downloaded it and watched it from my laptop.
You can install one of the best, free addons to Firefox, for instance, FlashGot, and rightclick on the page, AFTER STARTING THE VIDEO playing, and download the video (AreYourNeighborsWindowsMeltingYourSiding.mp4).

The download link is:
https://www.angieslist.com/files/AreYourNeighborsWindowsMeltingYourSidin...

Steve M

Subject: Melting Siding

This article looks like an advertisement for HardiePlank siding. There are other alternatives, like wood siding, or Vinyl Siding that doesn't melt.

Bruce Braverman

Subject: Melting Siding

Another solution is to replace the offending low-e glass windows with low-e glass windows with capillary tubes inside them. While the capillary tube windows still reflect heat, the amount of heat should be reduced enough to stop the window from melting siding both on opposite wall and inside corner siding. Yes, capillary tube low-e glass is supposed to be less effective and may have a shortened useful life, but this is a problem that does not have any real good solutions so far to my knowledge. Heavier or solar screening reduces light and darkens rooms. Single hung windows that a number of builders use have no screen over the top window pane and that requires either a specially made screen or some sort of specially attached screen that may come off in high wind situations. I had and may still have a problem with this. I have done significant research on this as I was not able to get help from the siding or window companies. They either point fingers at one another, refuse to talk at all or blame the sun.

Ted Ladewski

Subject: Concave low-E windows a possible safety problem

I have worked 20 years in the glass industry. This can only happen if the window is not flat, in particular if the window is concave on the outside surface. I have seen even standard windows focus enough sunlight to melt snow. The reflective surface on low-E window glass can potentially focus light enough to create a lot of heat in a small spot. Vinyl siding damage is minor compared to what could happen. This potentially serious problem is with the window.

Sharon

Subject: Know this is an old post, but....

After fixing melted plastic panels on my car 4x I FINALLY figured out it is due to my neighbors windows!!! Do you think adding screens will help at all? Before I fix my car AGAIN I need to find a solution.
She will not be changing out her windows- this I know for sure! Thanks!

Lauren Werner

Subject: Another Way to Deflect the Sun

I found our new low E windows are almost invisible to the birds we feed. We were getting up to 5 or more hitting them after we had them installed. My solution, albeit cheap, has worked marvelously. I used those little colored spring clamps from Harbor Freight & cut some rolled screening I bought at the local big box store. I clamped the screen to my gutters in front of the windows and cut with scissors to length. As most of my back windows are larger than the average screen width, I only slightly overlapped them if needed. They are perfect & don't obstruct the view either. Some birds have run into these, but they quickly get they're bearing & fly off unharmed. I would suspect this would also resolve the sun shining directly on them without costing alot of $$ to have special outdoor screens made/installed.
Note, on my window without the overhang, I just clamped the screens onto the soffit edging. If you look, you'll see alot of places you can install them.
Hope this helps folks out who might be on a tighter budget.

Betty Steckman

Subject: Melting vinyl siding

I recently had low-e windows installed. Luckily, my neighbors have older aluminum siding (as I do), so there shouldn't be a problem. But anyway, all my windows have screens, so I can open them and not get bugs. Are these the kind of screens mentioned in the video? Wouldn't any house have screens over the windows?

Dawn

Subject: Screens

Regular screens will not help. I had regular screens on my windows, but the neighbor's siding melted horribly. Fortunately for the neighbor, I was willing to have the thicker screens installed...and fortunately for me, our neighborhood builder paid for them.

George Furnas

Subject: Low-E windows: reflected worse than direct light?

How can reflected light be worse than direct light?? All I can think of is that there is trouble if the reflecting surface is slightly concave and hence focusses the light rays. If that is the problem, it seems like one fix for window manufacturers would be to make the windows slightly convex facing outwards.

David Phaff

Subject: Solar distortion - root cause is not that its low-e

An important consideration when looking at windows is the thickness of the glass panels themselves. Cheaper, thinner glass has a greater tendency to bend with changes in atmospheric pressure, in effect, creating a magnifying glass. Unfortunately, the thickness of the glass is seldom if ever divulged on consumer windows. Obviously, a "better" window would have thicker glass but it may not offer a better thermal efficiency.

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?
I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had


?
I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


?
I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.
?

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.