West Michigan family says the sun melted their house's vinyl siding--twice

One Wyoming family has seen their vinyl siding melt twice.

WYOMING, MICH. - A Wyoming family says a reflection from the sun is melting their home. It has happened twice in the past five years.

“It’s very frustrating and very disappointing," said Michele Shedd of Wyoming. She and her husband Michael are going on their third batch of vinyl siding.

Every summer, Michele keeps track of the bright light that moves up their house. Back in August, it happened at 4 p.m. She points to the spots on her house. "An hour later, it was here. An hour later, it was up here. An hour later, up here." The spot is so hot, it's melts the vinyl siding. 

The Shedd's contacted the construction company that installed it. "And diagnosed it as solar reflection off our neighbor’s windows."

In 2012, the Shedd's paid $16,000 for CertainTeed Vinyl Siding. In 2015, it melted. She says CertainTeed suggested the neighbors install black screens.

The neighbors allowed the modifications and the construction company paid for new siding. Then, in 2017, it happened again. "Which at this point in time, the CertainTeed rep thought it was our neighbor’s kitchen vent."

The rep suggested painting the vent a different color. "My neighbors nicely made the changes that were recommended," said Michele.

The construction company picked up the cost and replaced the siding again. But, no one really knows if the problem is gone.

We asked self-proclaimed science geek Chris Boden to explain what might be going on at the Shedd's house. He's President of the non-profit educational organization, The Geek Group.

"If the sun is coming in and it hits something like a window and that window has a coating on it, or there's a Mylar coating on it or something, it will reflect energy and now you have a hot spot on the side of the house. If the window becomes concave, it changes all the rules because it will focus the light."

Michele continues to take pictures of the sun's path across her house.  She says they also considered joining a class action lawsuit against CertainTeed and other vinyl siding manufacturers.  The claim is that the vinyl melts too easy. They think CertainTeed should pay for the repairs. "They told us no siding manufacturer will warranty against solar reflection damage or severe heat damage."

13 On Your Side reached out to CertainTeed, which is based in Pennsylvania. The company said the problem is not with the vinyl, but the abnormal conditions around the home. In a statement, the company said, "Should the surface temperature increase beyond 165°F, vinyl may distort. Such conditions are not typical and unpredictable."

Michele says, "They left us feeling hopeless and ashamed, kind of. Because who would spend the money for this?"

As for that class action lawsuit, it was filed in September in New York. It involves plaintiffs from Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and Michigan. At this point, the Shedd's cannot join, because in both cases, the construction company, not the manufacturer, paid for the repairs.

The Shedd's say, now, the next test will be in the summer of 2018.  That's when they should know if the new siding is holding up to the sun's heat.

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