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Skylight Melting Siding

skylight melting siding

The intense heat from the skylight nearly melted my smartphone taking this photo. I had to shoot the photo fast and move. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Skylight Melting Siding Can and Does Happen

It's possible for a skylight melting siding story to be in your local paper or here online. I know it's possible because I've felt the searing heat on my own face from sunlight that's concentrated and reflected by the slightly concave glass on my own skylight. I was walking up to my mailbox and thought someone was aiming a blowtorch at my face.

Related Link

Actual Melted Vinyl Siding - Podcast 6

How Does a Skylight Melt Siding?

A skylight melts siding because the glass is not flat. Gravity tugs at the center of the glass making the center lower than the sides. This concave surface concentrates the rays of the sun much like a magnifying glass does when used to ignite a fire.

Do All Skylights Melt Siding?

No, many skylights aim the heat ray back up to the sky. It's important to realize that the sun moves during the day and through the seasons. The skylight may only aim intense heat rays at the siding or something else for a few days, or weeks, a year.

Warped vinyl siding

Here's a close-up shot of the melted and warped vinyl siding. This damage was caused by sunlight reflecting off a window, not a skylight. But a skylight can cause identical damage. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

How Hot are the Concentrated Rays of Sunlight?

I wasn't able to measure the temperature on my face as I walked up my driveway to go to the mailbox, but I can tell you it was as hot as the heat that comes out of an open oven when you take out a pizza. It was so hot that I felt if I didn't move, my face would start to blister in seconds.

skylightg melting siding

This photo was taken just moving one foot farther up the driveway. The heat rays are extremely concentrated and I estimate where I was standing they were about 9 inches in diameter as I felt no heat on my neck. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Can You Prevent Melting Damage?

You can put an insect screen over the skylight to break up the sun's rays and to scatter them when they try to concentrate. It may not completely solve the problem, but it will lessen it for sure.

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Skylight Melting Siding - Believe Me, It Happens! | AsktheBuilder.com
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Skylight Melting Siding - Believe Me, It Happens! | AsktheBuilder.com
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You may think a skylight melting siding is a tall tale. It can and does happen. I felt the searing heat on my own face walking up my driveway.
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2 Responses to Skylight Melting Siding

  1. hi tim how's it going , two questions . is the home owner of the house with the reflecting skylight / windows libel for damages ? and is it possible that a fire could be started if the reflection was focused towards the woods ? could a fire like in ca be started ?

    • Howdy Steve!

      You know how fickle judges and juries are today, so it's anyone's guess if a homeowner would be libel for damage caused. It's a very interesting question. The problem is widespread mostly caused by windows not so much skylights. There are reports of patio furniture melting, all sorts of things getting ruined when the sunlight bounces off a concave window surface.

      I think in the right conditions, it would absolutely start a fire. It's a matter of the distance where the beams are most tightly focused. Just watch that video above to see what I mean. To get a magnifying glass to start a fire, you need to have it the exact distance away from the tinder to get it to ignite. It's all about the focus point.

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