Sun's Reflection Damages Neighbor's Siding

Now that cooler days are ahead, many will welcome the afternoon sun, but one Omaha family is not looking forward to it out of fear their house could catch fire. It's a heated dispute between neighbors.

“It's so hot it starts to burn your hand,” says Dawn Turnbull. The Turnbulls don't need a calendar, their house siding is a sun dial. “From summer behind me, moving down fall and into late winter,” says Adam Turnbull.

The neighbor's window near 168th and Harrison reflects the afternoon sun. You can actually feel the heat on your face. It's like a sunburn. A thermometer read 245 degrees and climbing to a top temperature of 288 degrees, enough to start melting an ice cube in minutes on the vinyl siding with insulation underneath.

“I don't know if it would burst into flames, but it certainly could catch fire, especially on the grass before it comes up onto the house,” says Adam.

The neighbor declined to be interviewed, but says an awning is out of the question and he doesn't want to do anything to the window that might jeopardize his warranty. Fact Finders contacted the home’s builder, who also declined an interview, but he did say he built the house to code and did nothing wrong. Fact Finders checked with Sarpy County and the house is up to code.

“You can see by the damage that it's not an act of Mother Nature, it's clearly from their window,” says Dawn. “The rest of the siding is fine where the sun is not hitting.”

The neighbor's house was there first by about a week and the builder says the Turnbulls should install more sun resistant siding. The Turnbulls say that doesn't reflect a neighborly approach to solving the hotspot problem. “It's not fun to look at, it's not neat,” says Adam.

The Turnbulls' builder tells Fact Finders the siding has been replaced once already. He will do it a second time if the reflection problem is addressed first. The neighbor declined his offer to pay for window tint.

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