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Melting caused by intense glare

Holes and burns in safety covers caused by intense glare from reflection of windows and stainless steel.

Window glare and its ability to melt objects and materials has been an ongoing issue for decades. Modern windows, installed with low emmision glass, reduce the heat transfer from the sun and allow only light into the home. The radiant heat, rather than going into the home, is bounced off of the “Low-E” glass on to other surfaces. The heat from low-e window reflected sunlight can reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit or more at its point of focus. Any backyard furniture, siding, pool safety cover or vinyl liner that comes into contact with this reflected light has a high probability of being damaged or melted.

There are other conditions that can lead to this problem or make it worse. The angle of the sun is one factor. In the late fall, winter and early spring when the sun is low, the sunlight beam is more likely to be reflected outward onto surrounding surfaces. The proximity of the source of the reflection is another factor. Most damage occurs within 30 feet or less but can reach up to 100 feet. 

Although, the glare from Low-E windows is one source of intense reflected light, other reflective objects can also cause this problem including stainless steel grills and outdoor decorative mirrors.

What to do:

If you have encountered this problem, it’s important to determine the source of the reflection. Simply, replacing the safety cover or liner is not a practical solution because the problem will continue to occur. Once you identify the source of the glare, determine if there is a way to block the glare. You could place a screen over the window or use a professional window film that reduces exterior reflection. If the source is a stainless steel grill or appliance, try moving it or covering it.

*Please note that damage from external heat sources is not covered under warranty.

“The Effect of Reflected Sunlight from Low-e and other Double Paned Window Glass on Vinyl Siding”–National Association of Home Builders –2010

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