Q&A / 

Miracle Liquid Siding Products

The following comments are from homeowners who emailed me. They both speak volumes about some of these coating products:

"I was just wondering if you know of anything a consumer can do if they fall prey to having this siding put on their house? We had a beautiful cedar home that we wanted to have 'maintenance free' and save on our fuel costs, so we had it installed. As your May, 2002 article shows, it did absolutely NOTHING. We have been going around and around with them for a year and a half. I even got the Better Business Bureau involved, but there is only so much they can do. The company that we actually used to apply the siding is now NO longer selling it. So, it's apparent to me that it isn't working, they are aware of it, and I want my money back. I would appreciate it if you have any insight. Thanks," Kim M., Concord, NC, October 24, 2002


"Thank you for the article about liquid stucco. I almost fell into this trap and paid $9600 for nothing. It sounded way to good to be true and the guy even showed me the space shuttle picture and the same photo is on his brochure. I wonder if he can get in trouble for that? They also claim to have painted all the big light houses of the North and the Lincoln tunnel. Do you think that is true? I'm sure glad I didn't give him the deposit. He said if I give a deposit today that he will lower the price $1000. That made me think! Thanks again," Jimmy, June 14, 2004


Please read additional emails at the bottom of this page. They are from other consumers and people who own liquid-spray-on coating franchises.


DEAR TIM: Several companies are advertising liquid siding and liquid stucco coating that can be sprayed on my home. The companies claim enormous energy savings and that the product will never peel, blister or chip. Are these claims realistic? This product seems too good to be true. Darryl McC., Louisville, Ky.

DEAR DARRYL: Over the past few months, you and many other readers have sent me letters and e-mails concerning these exterior coating products. Fortunately, you and the others are smart enough to hesitate and ask. I am fearful that many other consumers have possibly trusted the ads or sales pitches and have become victims.

Numerous companies, I have discovered, are advertising and selling these products. All the products seem to involve a two-or three-coat system applied by spray equipment, and many are offered in hundreds of colors. The ads and sales brochures say that the materials can be applied over wood, brick, stucco, aluminum siding, concrete block, vinyl, etc.

The ads sure make these products sound great, but the buyer better beware. Let's start with many of the ads' claims that these exterior coating products can save you money on heating-- a claim that in the case of one liquid siding company has received a stern rebuke from the Federal Trade Commission.

I, like the FTC, am deeply troubled by the super-insulating claims. Some companies even say their thin coatings contain ceramic microspheres that provide insulating properties similar to the heat shield tiles on the Space Shuttle. Whatever the intergalactic claims, though, it is highly doubtful you will see a noticeable savings in your energy bill should you coat your home with these products.

Heat loss and heat gain through the painted surfaces of a home account for a minority of energy consumption. Air infiltration and energy loss through windows and doors, attic spaces, slabs, basement walls and floors account for the lion's share of your energy bills. These products do nothing to stop the flow of energy at these locations.

On April 3, the FTC issued a report dealing with Kryton Coatings International Inc., which claimed that its "Multi-Gard" liquid coating could save consumers up to 40 percent on their energy bills.

The FTC's report noted, "Dealers of 'Multi-Gard' liquid siding have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that ads claiming their product provided consumers with an insulation value of R-20 were unsubstantiated and violated federal law." (The R-value of 20 refers to resistance to heat loss.) The report went to say that "the FTC alleged that the companies did not have a reasonable basis for making the claims."

If the insulation claims are invalid, you may wonder what else contained in the advertisements are either not true or lacking key information. Personally, I have other specific problems with these liquid coating products.

For instance, in addition to all of the other advertising statements, these companies claim that their products have superior bonding properties. These properties, the companies say, allow the exterior coating to stay attached to a surface for a very long time with very little fear of peeling, blistering or chipping.

That claim, however, is sound only if the liquid spray product is applied to a fresh, clean surface that has no previous coating. But many existing homes have been painted with traditional paints. Each layer of paint in addition to this new coating forms an adhesive chain. When the weakest link in this chain fails, all of the coatings applied to this weak link- including the miracle-liquid-siding/ceramic coating - can peel and fall away from your home.

A big, hidden danger with these products is their ability to trap and hold liquid water. Water can get behind wood siding, brick, stucco, etc. that is covered with a plastic or plastic-like coating. If it is not allowed to escape quickly, this liquid water can spell serious trouble for any house that has wood framing, wood by-product sheathing, wood or wood by-product siding, etc. Once the water contacts these materials, it can fuel the growth of fungi that can rot the wood framing members, and mold that may possibly cause health problems.

Many of the products claim "perm ratings" slightly greater than ordinary house paint. The perm rating is a scientific measurement of a product's ability to allow water vapor to pass through it. The higher the perm rating value, the better your house breathes. These products tend to have perm ratings of 20 or so. Many standard air and water infiltration barriers that are beneath siding, brick and stucco have a perm rating of 80 or more. The exterior finish of a home should have a perm rating of 100 or more so that water vapor can escape readily to the atmosphere.

What's the future of these exterior coating products? It's hard to say, but you can bet that they're paying attention to the FTC statement concerning Kryton. Don't be surprised if they start to tone down their ads with respect to energy savings or promote other aspects of the product that may get your attention.

Be very careful of these products, especially when the sales pitches talk about long life and extended warranties. These claims mean nothing if you intend to change the color of your home in the future or the company goes out of business.

Having a maintenance-free home is desirable, no doubt, but be very careful of products that can't do what they say or may actually create hidden damage to your home.


Author's Notes:

Here are additional emails from consumers and people who actually own businesses that apply the products:

"I just read your article on Miracle Liquid Coatings to replace house paints. Thanks SO MUCH! I just had a sales rep from one of these companies come out (Liquid Siding of Florida) to give me an estimate. Our session was cut short (as I will soon explain), but I thought I would pass on several statements that he made.

First, he said that traditional house paint has had lead and mercury removed, seriously limiting the lifespan of paint. In fact, he said that in Florida, latex house paint will only last 3 years! Second, he claimed that his product would last 25+ years. The only reason that they can't claim longer longevity is because they've only been using this type of product for 25 years. Third, and this is what caused our session to be terminated, he said that it was company policy to create a bid and make the presentation only if BOTH homeowner's (i.e. my spouse and I) were present! I've encountered this tactic before and I refuse to do business with such organizations." Steve Hall


"I am a Liquid Siding dealer in North Carolina and I was researching the internet for information regarding the product I sell and apply. After reading your article, I am a little concerned about some of the information that you are providing your readers.

I am not going to deny the fact that Kryton did have an issue with the FTC as that is true. The issue on that controversy though was not whether or not Liquid Siding did act as a thermal barrier or not. The issue at hand was controversy over the actual technology that was involved. Kryton advertised an R-factor which as you know is a resistance factor. The FTC determined that Kryton could not advertise an R-factor because the thermal coat in the 4- part system does not work on a resistance factor but on a reflective factor.

Also, the thought about applying the coating on previously painted surfaces is unfortunately incorrect. Kryton manufactures a product called Spray and Shine and is used in the first step in the application process. We put Spray and Shine on the substrate first and let it set for 20 minutes. This allows the pores of the substrate to open up and at the same time loosens the dirt and kills any mildew or mold and its spores within the substrate. We then pressure clean the surface and set the house to dry for a few days until the moisture content is below 15% before we apply the surface conditioner.

If you would like independent lab reports from some of the top researchers in the nation please let me know and I will have them mailed to you promptly. I am not trying to attack you maliciously in anyway, I am just trying correct information regarding our product.

When Kryton first started selling dealerships they unfortunately sold a few territories to people that had difficulties sustaining their business. Liquid Siding dealers however, are the only dealers in the permanent coating industry that has seen sustained growth for 5 straight years. We are currently number 7 out of 500 in Qualified Remodeler magazine doing over 22 million dollars worth of business last year. This year we are poised to surpass that number again."

Best Regards,
Joseph LaRochelle

 


Here is another email received from Pam Carter, TN.

"Dear Tim,

We had liquid ceramic siding applied to our cedar siding in 2003. It has been peeling for several years and the company that did the work is no longer in business (surprise). We would like to REMOVE the liquid ceramic paint from the cedar but are afraid of completely ruining it by scraping or using chemicals not meant for this type of product. Also,our home was built in 1984 and the cedar used was not of very good quality.

We used all of our savings to have this done and have not been able to replace the money yet, so we cannnot afford regular siding. Is there anything you can suggest for us to do as our home is becoming a real eye-sore in our neighborhood? We would appreciate any input you can give us.

Thank you for being there for us.

Sincerely," - Pam Carter


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11 Responses to Miracle Liquid Siding Products

  1. Greetings, I was one of the " victims " of liquid siding. ProCraft west was the company and Stehen G. Mitchell was the representative.
    I have had a number of issues, some quite serious.
    I have kept up toa degree and have 25% of a 5 gallon can of product. (Oak Buff 4-16P)
    Can I thin this material? HELP

    Monte

  2. I am one more person who has peeling, chipping, cracking of liquid siding that was applied to my cedar sided home in 2007. The company that I dealt with was Procraft of Virginia and they have gone out of business. I am most concerned that there is still a website advertising the product and stating that they have national technicians that will make good on those 25 year warranties. They have only an email listed and sent mail is returned from it as undeliverable. My home looks bad and I am now retired and cannot afford to redo the job with a decent product.

  3. Hello,

    I too have the same issues with the liquid siding, peeling, cracking and yes a little cursing! How is everyone else fixing their issues? Is it a complete removal of the liquid siding? If so how?

  4. How do I get rid of the liquid siding. My house is peeling cracking and I do not just want to paint over it. The new paint will crack and peel off with the siding

  5. Hi Tim,
    I retired to central Florida and purchased a block/stucco home in 2007 in a new over 55 community. This means we were going to be years before any landscape planted with the home would be able to provide shade for the house. The original paint on our and every other house in the neighborhood showed staircase cracks between the blocks from settling and UV degradation within 2 years, just beyond any builder warranty. The second time I was going to have to pay another grand or so to fix the cracks and repaint the portion of the house with the new cracks, (the paint had also started to fade and chalk from the UV degradation) I decided to go to a ceramic paint for the whole house. I chose Rhinoshield out of Orlando. They gave a fair price and did a good job applying the paint. This type of paint is applied thicker than standard paint which means it doesn't paint as much for each gallon.

    In 2014, we sold that house and moved to a different community to another block/stucco house 12 miles north, in the same township. While we only lived in that house for about 3 and a half years after we had it painted with the Rhinoshield, we had no problems with it. There were no cracks and the vertical surfaces still looked freshly painted. The closest thing to a problem was the window sills would get dirty from the dust (we were #34 of about 800 homes so construction was continuous) and the lizards doing what they do on any flat surface. I had plenty of paint left, so I would power wash the home and take about an hour to touch up the window sills every spring. By that time, the original paint had cracked twice and faded significantly so the claim of extended life was accurate for us. We still have friends in the community and know the house has not been repainted since we sold it and still looks good when we drive by it.

    The house we purchased had been painted with Liquid Ceramic paint in 2003 (constructed in 1997) by a contractor no longer in business. Turns out that contractor did not register our house with the manufacturer (Liquid Ceramic supplies the material, but not the labor. Had our house been registered, they would have replaced the material for us). Being 2017 now, this house needs to be repainted. It has a few step cracks and is faded on the east side where it receives about 8 hours of direct sun exposure all summer long.

    I have contacted Rhinoshield and will obtain a quote from them for this house next week. I may also get additional quotes for comparable products, but I know they will do a good job and they will be around if I have a problem in the future.

    I'm a retired engineer and ran the paint department in an automotive assembly plant during my career and wouldn't waste my time or money if I didn't feel it were worth it. Here are my observations.
    1. R-values/reflectivity: a ceramic paint SHOULD provide some additional insulating property for your house. How much is negligible. The walls of your home are quite a way down the list on heat infiltration/loss for a home. (The sun has been beating on the east side of my house all morning, yet I don't feel any warmth inside the house on the wall.) If you see a couple bucks a month in lower electric bills, it may offset the next rate increase. Don't let this influence your decision. However, because of this property, you can paint a darker color without increasing the heat infiltration.
    2. The paint won't last the rest of your life (God willing), at least in Florida. So what? If you can get 15 years out of it, you've made money. You have to repaint your home every 3 to 5 years here or you'll get a nasty note from your HOA or your neighbors will quit talking to you but will talk a lot about you. Not only is there the cost of the paint job to consider, but the inconvenience of getting a contractor and living through the work.
    3. The coating is flexible and will shield any minor cracks in the stucco from view so you won't have to worry about water infiltration.
    4. Your paint job may end up with bubbles, blisters, etc., if the original coatings fail. If it does, you'll have to fix it. Guess what? You'll have to do the same thing with standard paint. I have not had any of this on either of my homes with ceramic paint, and don't recall this ever happening on any of the 11 houses I've owned. I'm not going to worry about it.
    5. You will pay 2 1/2 to 3 times as much to use this product than a high quality standard paint. You will end up with a much thicker coating that should last a lot longer.

  6. We had our house coated by Liquid Rubber Siding in Michigan 12 years ago - it still looks like new, the color is still vibrant and we are so happy with the durability of the product. The technicians that did the install were what we feel made the difference and why our experience has been a positive one.

  7. We had the Liquid siding applied on our house by Pro-Craft East in Western NC. It has been about 10 years. Our house looks awful! it is pealing and faded (our beige house looks Pink).The Cedar siding on the house is rotting under this stuff. We had a Representative from Kryton come to our house with in 4 years of application and he did not even recognize his own product. He then proceeded to tell us they would no honor the warranty/guarantee because the product was not properly applied. We argued that they backed the company that applied the product but they did nothing for us!! Our siding will now have to be completely replaced. If anyone knows of a civil suite against Kryton please let me know. PLEASE don't fall into this trap!!

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