Update to: What could have done this to my vinyl siding?

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Originaal post:
http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Squisher/IMG_6627.JPG
There are no heat sources behind that wall besides a toaster oven that sits on the counter top and is seldom used. I would think any heat source from inside would have caused some damage to the cabinet directly above. This is new housing so the walls are insulated.
I haven't used any chemicals on the deck since the spring of '06.
Update:
I got the siding off (hey, it's been raining around here).
http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Squisher/outsidenosiding.JPG
http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Squisher/insidecoversoff.JPG
All the electrical wiring and connections look sound and unblemished.
The switch for the outside light is a different circuit, but that outside outlet is hooked to the kitchen circuit too.
Should I cut a 16" X 8" hole in the sheathing?
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On Sun, 29 Jul 2007 12:29:46 -0400, CraigT wrote:

Looks like the plastic over the the outside sheeting has been melted by heat. You've got to remember what you might have had on the deck that heated up that area. Either that or someone poured a flammable substance on it and tried to set your house on fire or vandalize it.
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Sorry, we kind of went over this in the last thread. No heat source was the cause unless I had a lightning strike. Some felt it was my use of chemicals during restaining in the spring of '06 redused the siding's sensitivity to sunlight.
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If it was chemicals, I think it would still be soft.
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Some plastics absorb chemicals, especially colorants *, and never get soft at all. If it was softened by a solvent, once the aromatics dried, it would become hard again.
*Rit dye works especially well with nylon.
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wrote:

The OP did state (first thread) before, that he used a chemical in '06. The product he used did have Acetone (and trade secrets). He cleaned over spray of stain off the siding.
I'm not certain the OP cleaned off the product he used, but let it set and dry. It is clear, so and over sight?
-- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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Oren wrote:

But he also claims this wasn't this way two weeks ago so if that is indeed true, pretty much rules out the '06 application...
And, it just doesn't look look chemical damage to me from the pictures, but heat...
--
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I have asked myself; if there might be and "illegal" electrical box inside the wall that burnt, but it seems the OP has no breaker/electrical problems (unless I missed it) :)
I will really enjoy what the true cause is; given all the replies!
-- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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Oren wrote: ...

...
Yeah, I wondered similar thoughts but it seems too new for that to be likely -- of course, nothing can be ruled out of what _might_ have been done...
That's where I think until he at least cuts the Tyvek to see what the sheathing looks like in general there's nothing more to be learned.
And, unless the damage is then shown to be other than totally superficial (and it'll be obvious if it's inside-out instead of outside-in), I think the obvious has to be something put some heat out there in that location whether he knows what it was or not...the grill pushed out of the way after use of something similar is really still the most likely culprit in my view--
It's possible will never know. But, as you say if there were something untoward inside, looking at the sheathing will be able to show whether it came from inside and if so, then opening up the wall would be the answer.
Why he seems so reluctant to go ahead and dig in and uncover the mystery area directly instead of bandying about here is beyond my ken...the area needs to be repaired anyway, so it's not like he's doing anything drastic in cutting out an area of Tyvek...
--
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Yup... before other unknowns happen. -- Oren
Hofstadter's Law - It [a task] always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
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Dan Espen wrote:

I think the chance of it being chemical related are close to zero. If it was a chemical that got on the surface of the siding there is virtually no chance that it would have any effect on the tyvek underneath.
Unlike what someone else said about the melt pattern in the tyvek doesn't appear to align with the siding pattern, even if it did, if where the siding was pressing the tyvek against the sheathing the tyvek melted that would indicate heat from inside to me since the joint section of the siding would be dripping goo before it transferred enough heat to melt the tyvek.
If it were me, I'd have that wall open in about thirty seconds to see what the hell is going on inside it, first since patching some sheathing is no big deal, and second since the melt pattern does seem to align with one of those electrical boxes. The back of the apparent melt area is mostly behind the counter so you may not be able to see if there is evidence of heating on that side.
I also note the double green washered nail in close proximity to the electrical box. It seems quite possible that one of those two nails is in a stud and the other hit a wire going to that box and has caused an intermittent short. With the counter on the inside of that area it's also possible someone used excessively long screws fastening the base cabinets and hit a wire from that side.
I'd consider it serious enough to warrant immediate opening of the wall cavity. It may be evidence of an actual fire in the wall that may have self extinguished.
Pete C.
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wrote:

I agree with Pete. I would cut power to all countertop, lights with switches in area, and outside receptacle prior to ANY work on wall. Horizontal burn patterns similar to what is seen are common in nails/screws thru wiring fire incidents. Sheathing may be deeply charred on the inner surface without burn through.
--
Mr.E

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Pete C. wrote:

Me too... :)
...

...
I started recommending that from the first time he posted, too... :)
--
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"Virtually no chance" is completely incorrect. Vinyl siding is *not* air-tight by any means. Solvent wiped or sprayed on the outside would very rapidly lead to solvent vapors on the inside.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Not in enough concentration to affect the tyvek. Solvent on the outside would almost entirely evaporate on the outside as well. Sure you'd get a detectable amount on the inside if you were sampling the air inside, but certainly not enough to do the damage seen on the tyvek.
Pete C.
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Got any data behind that assumption, or are you just guessing? Even a light breeze could easily push solvent vapors through the gaps in vinyl siding -- that's why the Tyvek is there, because the stuff is so leaky.

How are you going to get a detectable amount on the inside if it almost entirely evaporates on the outside? If you can get a detectable amount on the inside -- after it's passed through the siding, the Tyvek, the sheathing, the insulation, the drywall, and a layer or two of paint -- how can you possibly think that there "certainly" wouldn't be enough to damage the Tyvek? Do you have any data behind that assumption, or are you just guessing again? Do you even know how much solvent, or what type of solvent, it takes to do that?
Look, I'm not saying that he absolutely shouldn't open up the wall -- just saying that he should look at the back side of the vinyl siding first, which he does not appear to have done. Somebody asked him a couple days ago what the back side of it looked like; as far as I can tell, he hasn't answered that question yet.
It's also been suggested to the OP that he perform a test on a scrap of siding, to see if the stain and the solvent he used will produce similar damage. He hasn't yet reported results of that test, either.
Both you and the OP have got the idea so firmly fixed in your heads that a heat source inside the wall is the only possible cause of this problem, that neither one of you is the least bit willing to entertain any alternative explanation.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

The reason the Tyvek is there has nothing whatsoever to do with the siding being "leaky". The Tyvek it there to block air infiltration while allowing water vapor to pass preventing condensation buildup within the walls. Vinyl siding is specifically vented to prevent condensation buildup behind it, traditional wood siding or shingles are similarly ventilated due to their lap joints.

Inside as in behind the vinyl siding, not inside the house. The vinyl siding has vent slots at each lap location just as traditional wood siding effectively does. Of course you will get detectable amounts of a solvent behind the siding, but detectable and sufficient to affect the Tyvek are not even remotely synonymous.

I never said that solvent applied to the surface of the siding would ever make it past the Tyvek, OSB, etc., that is your moronic assumption and entirely false.

You're the only one making unfounded and dangerous assumptions. Suggest you stick your head back up your butt and stop endangering people by suggesting they ignore signs of a possible fire hazard in their wall.

And I've noted that looking at the back of the siding is not likely to show any discoloration since it was not exposed to direct flame, it was exposed to moderate heat, heat that will deform the vinyl siding well before it discolors it.
Suggest you go to your local building supply place and get a sample of vinyl siding and a piece of OSB. Place the siding on top of the OSB in your oven and start baking it at the lowest temp, say 150-170 degrees. When the siding starts to sag check the back for any discoloration.

The solvent use in question was many months ago, and the damage to the siding was obvious enough that it is very unlikely it went unnoticed all those months.

No, we have objectively analyzed the available information and concluded that an internal heat source is the most likely cause. The relative location of the damage vs. the electrical boxes, combined with the notable extra nail in that immediate area further support that conclusion. Giving the significant risk of the likely cause, that avenue needs to be investigated immediately.
Pete C.
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Pete C. wrote:

...
I still think the _most_ likely is an external heat source...
Why OP hasn't opened the wall to confirm/deny the indication of an internal heat source is, I think, owing to being uncertain enough of the repair process that he thinks cutting into the sheathing is a much bigger deal than it really is.
Where, in fact, the bigger deal is the possibility that Pete is right -- I really don't think that will turn out to be the case as I think the amount of heat required to produce this external damage if it was arcing-generated would have shown up w/ some electrical anomalies although that certainly isn't absolutely required.
The solvent problem I think can be discounted as being too far removed in time and frankly the damage pattern just doesn't have the shape for that to have been the cause unless it were a misdirected spray gun blast and the reported application was rubbing w/ a rag instead...
Only when and if OP actually finishes an investigation and reports back will anything else possibly be learned...
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Maybe so, but it's also possible that the OP's memory of what was done when is imperfect, and that the solvent use was actually much more recent; that's more likely IMO than an internal heat source that doesn't cause *any* apparent damage to the OSB, *or*, apparently, to the paint on the inside of the house.

No, he said he sprayed the stain:
"I did use something to remove some overspray at the time which was the spring of last year. I think it was Motsenbocker's Lift-Off." [from the OP's second post in the original thread]

True enough.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

He "forgot" this within the last two weeks? :)
I personally couldn't tell there was no apparent damage or not to the OSB from the last pictures because all was shown was a fairly distant view of the sheathing through the hole in the Tyvek so there was no way to judge any coloration difference of that localized area vis a vis the removed area.
Other than the possibility of the postulated arcing being almost directly in contact w/ the inside wall of the sheathing, I agree it's difficult to imagine there being such visible exterior damage w/o there being any indication on the inner wall except for the fact that the location is below the cabinet top and therefore, there presumably is a back to the lower cabinets which is another layer of protection/insulation/coverup.
Overall, I'm still convinced from the picture it was external, it was a heat source and most likely somebody pushed the grill over there at some point; perhaps while OP was out of town or making a "honey-dew" run to the market for the forgotten items from the market or some such...

...
Yes, but he said he wiped the solvent on manually to clean up the overspray (and, no, I'm _not_ searching back through the thread to find it... :) )...

But, being usenet, it certainly can't/won't slow down conjucture, can/will it? :)
--


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