5 surprising things that can melt in the heat

Whew! Is it hot out enough for you? It’s the tail end of summer and as heat waves (and wildfires) sweep across the country, our homes are getting a little warmer than we’d prefer. Even if you’re accustomed to extreme temperatures, you may be surprised by what household items can get damaged by the heat. At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, we want to help you eliminate those unpleasant discoveries and any potential hazards that may come from these unplanned meltdowns. Check out these 5 surprising items that can melt in the heat and how to keep them properly stored.

1. Vinyl siding
Yep…even your house can melt during a heat wave. Melting vinyl occurs during house fires or when grills are placed to close to your home, but it can also occur in hot weather. If you have vinyl siding, constant exposure to harsh sunlight (usually caused by reflections from house and car windows) can make your siding warp. There’s even a phrase for it: “thermal distortion.” This is a tricky phenomenon to prevent, but you can always check your home for reflected light from parked cars and move your vehicles to a designated spot during the summer months where no reflection occurs. If your siding has already started sliding due to excessive heat or wildfire damage, call in a restoration professional for wildfire clean up assistance and get your home’s exterior back in tip-top shape.

2. Candles
Candles are supposed to melt…but not when they’re unlit! If your house doesn’t have air conditioning, you may find your candles drooping over in extreme heat (particularly soy-based candles, which have relatively low melting points of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit). If you do get melted wax on your furniture or other soft material, a company specializing in “Soft Contents Restoration Technology” could potentially save the day.

3. Crayons
Decorative melted crayon art may be all the rage among DIYers right now, but your kids probably won’t see the artistic merit in accidently melted crayons when they just want to color! Be sure to check the car seats for stray Crayolas before they get molded into the fabric—crayons start to soften when temps reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Crayons aren’t your kids’ only possessions that will melt at relatively low temperatures—plastic toys also are quick to melt in the heat.

4. Cheap grills
You would think that a grill would be able to withstand extreme temperatures—after all, that’s what they’re made for. But cheap grills sometimes have major meltdowns (there’s a reason they’re $9.99). The heat from the charcoal can melt an inexpensive grill’s lid or interior, resulting in minor fires. Unfortunately, even high-quality grills can melt—grease fires can raise the heat of the fire to extreme temperatures, melting the internal parts of the grill (as in this photo). If you’re shopping for a portable grill, be sure to read customer reviews first before you hit the “purchase” button.

5. Steering wheels
Picture this: You gingerly get into your car after it’s been sitting in the bright sun all afternoon. You put on your seatbelt, turn on the engine and touch the steering wheel…ouch! Surprisingly, steering wheels actually can start to melt and warp in hot and humid conditions. To prevent yours from doing the same, try using a windshield sunshade whenever you park, and consider purchasing a wheel skin. Remember, if it’s hot out enough to melt your steering wheel, it’s too hot for a multitude of other household items left in your car—makeup, food products and chemical products. Always bring hazardous materials such as paint and cleaning supplies into a cool place like the garage and store them carefully to avoid any accidents.

Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine services the following communities: Bangor Brewer, Old Town, Ellsworth, MDI, Houlton, Waterville, Augusta, and surrounding towns in Central & Down East Maine.

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