SOUTH FAYETTE, Pa. (KDKA) – Something is melting in South Fayette and it’s not the snow.
Take a drive through The Berkshires neighborhood and you’ll see warped, melted and just plain strange-looking vinyl siding on homes.
“I haven’t given up,” said Lee Dreshman, homeowner. “No, not at all. We want this fixed.”
Dreshman reached out to KDKA’s Meghan Schiller after several years of unsuccessful attempts to reach a resolution with his home’s builder: Ryan Homes.
So what’s causing his siding to melt and warp? And who is responsible for fixing it?
Homeowners tell KDKA investigator Meghan Schiller they keep getting “the run around” and they’re tired of it.
“We were thrilled to move in here. The siding is just a whole other issue,” said Dreshman.
“I just want something to be done. It’s frustrating to have somebody tell you they’re going to call you back and they don’t.”
Dreshman is a husband and father of two. He works as a school teacher, but says his second job is calling Ryan Homes.
“I’ve reached out to several managers, supervisors, not a phone call back, left messages for them. They know me by first name when I call in.”
Dreshman keeps calling because he says the vinyl siding on his newer home is melting. Warped and wavy, it’s bubbling and beyond ugly. After talking with many of his neighbors, he learned he’s not the only one. His neighbor Cindi Fuselier keeps a list.
“We have 45 names that have rippled siding in various degrees of rippling,” said Fuselier.
So, what’s going on here in South Fayette?
The National Association of Homebuilders tells KDKA it’s a combination of the sun and newer energy-efficient windows. Published research by the association says heat from the sun reflects differently off of these windows.
The media relations manager pointed KDKA’s Meghan Schiller to research showing the focused rays can reach 200 degrees: more than enough to melt any nearby plastic, like siding, or as the homeowners showed us — the safety covers on the posts of the family’s trampoline.
“You just need to fix this and let everybody get on with their lives. You just need to fix it,” said Fuselier.
We called Ryan Homes, the developer of the neighborhood, to find out if they plan to help these nearly 50 homeowners.
A spokesman for NVR, Inc. the holding company that owns Ryan Homes, told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller “no comment” and said it’s company policy to not speak to reporters about anything.
KDKA did make contact with the window manufacturer Ply Gem and they said they’re aware that their energy-efficient windows can do this, but said special siding exists that won’t melt. In fact, they make some.
However, they said Ryan Homes wrapped these new builds in a different company’s siding — one that homeowners say can’t take the heat.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller asked the homeowners: “Would you one day down the line consider taking legal action?”
“We definitely would,” said Fuselier. “We’re looking into a class action suit based on these 45 homes that have the melted siding.”
Ryan Homes now knows it’s a problem and Dreshman said after our calls, a representative did come out to the neighborhood.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller asked Dreshman this final question: “What would you like to see happen in an ideal situation?”
“Fix my siding and windows,” said Dreshman. “Please take care of us. We didn’t sign up to buy a house that the siding was going to be melting within two years.”