Why the Sun Bleaches Siding, and How to Stop It

May 14, 2014

Weather can do a lot of damage to your home’s siding. Hail can dent aluminum siding or punch holes right through vinyl, leaving something that looks like an image out of a war zone. Strong wind can cause siding to buckle, crack, or chip, or, in extreme cases, even peel it straight off the wall. Even rain can do its part, getting down between siding and walls where sealing hasn’t been properly applied and rotting the wood beneath. But what may be less obvious is that, even when it’s a beautiful clear day, the sun can be doing its part to wear your siding away, as well.

Anyone who has ever left something sitting on the dash of their car for a long time knows that the sun can bleach just about anything that’s left out in it for too long. Over time, the ultra-violet (UV) radiation in natural sunlight breaks the bonds in pigment molecules, which is what causes the “sun bleached” effect. Because different molecules are used for different dyes and pigments, they break down in different ways or at different rates, leading to variations in discoloration from one surface to another.

Unfortunately, most siding isn’t entirely immune to this effect. While various advances have been made in ensuring the durability of siding colors, the sun is a powerful source of light and heat, and it beats down on your house all day long, every day of the year. After a while, this can do some serious damage to the appearance of your home.

Color-fading isn’t the only danger that your house faces from the sun, either. A strange new phenomena enabled by increasingly energy efficient window has actually led to reflected sunlight melting the siding of neighboring houses. It happens when the glass in low-e windows reflects back sunlight at just the right angle to create a beam that can exceed temperatures of 200 degrees. While the phenomenon isn’t common, it’s one that’s raised some concerns, and prompted a study from the National Association of Home Builders. In perhaps the most extreme example of this phenomenon, a certain curved London skyscraper has been known to reflect light at temperatures sufficient to melt cars and catch buildings on fire.

So now that you know that even the sun can endanger your home, your first question, of course, is “How do I stop it?” Fortunately, the answer is a lot simpler than “build a giant umbrella for your house.” Thanks to advances in siding design technology, you can now get seamless polymer siding in Kansas that will stand up to anything that the sun can throw at it. Polymer siding from Continental Siding is impact resistant, energy efficient, lets your home breathe, won’t trap moisture in your walls, is fully paintable but never needs painting, and, thanks to enhanced designer color processes, is largely immune to UV radiation and color fading.

This article was brought to you by Continental Siding in Kansas City, your Midwest siding company. We’re a leading provider of home improvement products and services that aim to help them keep homes looking great and performing well.

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