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5 Ways to Prevent Your Vinyl Siding From Melting

Written by Irena Martincevic

Published on February 28, 2024


5 Ways to Prevent Your Vinyl Siding From Melting

If you have energy-efficient windows and vinyl siding, be sure to check out these 5 ways to ensure your siding isn’t affected by solar reflections.

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Vinyl siding is the most popular siding option in the U.S., owing largely to its affordability, versatility, and minimal maintenance requirements. While vinyl siding may seem like an ideal choice, especially for budget-conscious homeowners, recent developments have revealed a concerning issue. As homeowners opt for energy-efficient windows, they're encountering an unexpected problem: the reflection of sunlight is causing vinyl siding to melt, even in winter. 

The window reflection issue can stem from both your windows and those of neighboring properties. If the problem arises from neighboring properties, open communication with your neighbors can be beneficial. Simple solutions can often resolve the issue effectively. After all, vinyl siding is a great material option, and shouldn’t be discarded for something easily preventable.

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Here are 5 effective ways to combat distorted vinyl siding:

1. Install a full-screen covering over the windows 

Installing a full-screen covering over the windows is a practical solution that effectively mitigates the issue of vinyl siding melting while also reducing the reflection of sunlight and maintaining a more comfortable indoor temperature. The cost to install window screens averages between $100 - $400.

2. Use a PTI film

Another option is to use a PTI film, which functions similarly to a screen but is affixed directly to the window pane rather than the frame. The film also acts as a solar shield, blocking up to 80% of the sun’s heat, effectively reducing indoor temperatures.

3. Attach an awning 

Attaching an awning over the windows can also help. This solution can work because it blocks the sun from directly hitting the glass, but it does have some drawbacks. It’s one of the more expensive options, and it requires a lot of maintenance. 

4. Plant landscape buffers

Implementing landscape buffers, such as large trees, between homes can effectively shield vinyl siding from solar reflections. These plants not only serve as natural barriers against sunlight but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your landscaping. However, it's important to note that planting large shade trees can be a significant investment due to their initial cost and ongoing maintenance requirements. 

5.   Replace your vinyl siding with a higher-grade version 

Investing in a higher-grade vinyl siding that boasts resistance to temperatures exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit can effectively eliminate the problem of melting siding caused by sunlight reflection. While it may require a greater upfront investment, opting for higher-end vinyl siding proves worthwhile, especially if the melting issue persists. Additionally, a higher-quality vinyl typically has a longer warranty period than economy grades.

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Other Key Considerations

Can melted siding be repaired?

The answer is no. Once the siding is bent out of shape, the only fix is to swap out the affected parts. This means taking out the old bits, getting rid of them, and putting in new ones. Usually, this is done in sections of 10 feet by 10 feet. If the bending is happening all over, it might be smart to switch to a different kind of siding, because the new parts could also end up bending. The cost to replace warped vinyl siding averages $150 to $300 per section. 

Does warranty and insurance cover siding that has melted?

Manufacturer warranties for siding vary, so it's important to check the specific terms for each product. Generally, warranties cover manufacturing defects under normal use conditions but don't extend to damage from extreme conditions or abuse. While typical environmental factors like sun exposure are included, unusually high temperatures caused by factors like fire or concentrated sunlight are not covered.

A regular homeowners insurance policy's dwelling coverage would cover damage to your home's structure and anything permanently attached to it, such as siding, if the damage is caused by a covered event. This coverage usually extends up to the limits specified in your policy, minus any deductible you have.

While insurance often covers melted siding from fire damage, there is no clear answer on whether the policy will include protection for siding melted by sunlight reflection.

Written by

Irena Martincevic Industry analyst

Irena is an industry analyst at Fixr.com. She analyzes and looks for visual ways to simplify data. She has been researching and writing about personal finance since 2018. At Fixr.com, she is constantly looking to give homeowners the best advice on how to invest in their homes.