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Defective vinyl siding


Robert Jones
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This is a home built in 2007. The vinyl siding is located on the east side of the home. Not the entire side, but a decent size section. I told the client that it is appears to be defective materials. The siding had the appropriate amount of slide(movement), installation seems ok. Now. the neighbor did have some small windows that faced this area, but the distance from the home was quite a bit. Anyone think this could have been caused by the sun reflection? The home is constructed by a large builder in our area, so I don't think getting it addressed will be an issue. Just wanted some opinions.

Thanks.

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I don't think it's defective materials - There wouldn't be a consistent pattern.

Something happened to the siding after it was installed. I'd be curious about the possibility of sun reflection/magnification from something nearby. A more likely possibility, because it looks like a spray pattern, is something very hot or caustic spewed onto the wall (napalm?)

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. . . Now. the neighbor did have some small windows that faced this area, but the distance from the home was quite a bit. Anyone think this could have been caused by the sun reflection? . . .

Yes. Look closely at the neighbor's windows and I'll bet that they're concave. They don't have to be close to have this effect, the vinyl just needs to be within the windows' focal distance. We've devoted pages to this topic in the past.

-Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks guys. I remember the prior conversations concerning this issue. Looking at the first pic, it does resemble a sun type issue as the neighbors window would be facing west. I just didn't think from that distance it would have that effect. I am guessing that the siding company would not consider this a defect and the current home owners will have to butt heads with the builder over this.

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Thanks guys. I remember the prior conversations concerning this issue. Looking at the first pic, it does resemble a sun type issue as the neighbors window would be facing west. I just didn't think from that distance it would have that effect. I am guessing that the siding company would not consider this a defect and the current home owners will have to butt heads with the builder over this.

Is it possible that in this one area the siding is fastened entirely too tight and the building has settled (racked) a bit?

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Sun tracks.

I was slightly skeptical of this when I first heard about it. Then one day a reflection caught me in the face as I was walking up to a house. The heat on my face was intense. Since then I've seen multiple photos of similar patterns, one with the offending window on the wall immediately adjacent to the damage.

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Does anybody actually think this is a good material for exterior siding? There is no way I would put vinyl siding on my house, considering what I have seen over the years.

I'm of much the same opinion, but there are lots of people who really like it. They're usually older folks who just don't want to ever have to paint the damn house again.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Does anybody actually think this is a good material for exterior siding? There is no way I would put vinyl siding on my house, considering what I have seen over the years.

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I will grudgingly admit I've seen it installed so that it works satisfactorily.

It's just ugly.

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Vinyl has an additional disadvantage here in coastal Louisiana in that it flies off like paper when the hurricanes come. Pure vinyl's short lived predecessor, vinyl coated aluminum, wasn't as bad. My father installed it on his house in the early 80's. It's still there and weathering well, albeit a bit faded. I never liked the pure vinyl. Pure vinyl is more about making money for manufacturers and vendors than protecting houses from the elements.

Marc

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I had seen this a little before in the past on houses from their own windows. It seems the house to neighboring house started once the required Low E glass came into the picture. I have measured 178 F in the grass from a reflection focused on one spot.

Then the trouble is that you can replace the damaged siding, but unless something is done with the laser beam windows next door it will likely happen again within the next year.

Marc, I have a friend that painted his vinyl siding and it has held the paint really good, actually longer and better than some of the other types of siding. I don't know if that would be good or bad info for your Dad.

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Tell your client to have the builder install full screens on the neighbor's windows when he is there to fix the siding. Charcoal fiberglass screen cloth does a pretty good job of diffusing the light and minimizing the reflection. The builder is gonna push back, but a few screens will be far less costly than replacing that siding every year or two.

Manufacturers could alter the placement of the Low E coatings to reduce the effect but that has implications with performance. What really needs to happen to eliminate this phenomenon is to have window manufacturers stop using single strength glass and get away from Intercept spacer systems. Each contribute to the collapsing of the airspace that curves the glass creating the focal point, far less of an issue with more rigid materials. Low E glass isn't going away, and builders won't choose to spend a few extra pennies per unit on there own.

Tom

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This is a home built in 2007. The vinyl siding is located on the east side of the home. Not the entire side, but a decent size section. I told the client that it is appears to be defective materials. The siding had the appropriate amount of slide(movement), installation seems ok. Now. the neighbor did have some small windows that faced this area, but the distance from the home was quite a bit. Anyone think this could have been caused by the sun reflection? The home is constructed by a large builder in our area, so I don't think getting it addressed will be an issue. Just wanted some opinions.

Thanks.

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sounds like a defect, I have seen reflection issues in very exposed situations but probably still a defect.
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As Tom alluded to, you don't want to underestimate the effects of low-E glass. I suspect that the reflective coating on this glass is a big reason that this sort of heat damage occurs. If you get the angle just right, even on a cold winter day you will feel like you are standing in front of a heat lamp when sunlight reflects off a window with low-E glass. (Disclaimer: a cold winter day around here is still typically above 20°. But even with that, I would bet that you would find similar results in a colder climate.)

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