With a heat wave coming this week, temps expected to reach at least 108 or even hotter, some surprising items in your home and you car can melt or warp.

It's no surprise that certain items will melt easily. Chocolate, for example, begins to melt at about 97 degrees, which is why M&M's were such a breakthrough. Melt in your mouth, not in your hand. Body temperature.

But other items will turn to goo or warp, and some of them are surprising.

  • Crayons. Make sure the kids don't leave them out. At 105, they start to turn to goo. Since most surfaces outside are hotter than the air temp, they will soon have puddles of color wrapped in paper. Even some newer markers will leak under extreme sunny heat if left out.
  • Candles.  They're not supposed to melt when not lit, but it happens. Get temps around 120 and they will begin to dissolve. They will even start to get soft below that if left in direct sunlight through a window.
  • Vinyl siding.  this one might surprise you, but while it won't melt and slide off your home, extreme sun and heat can nastily and visibly warp it. And sometimes even catch fire. How?  It's called thermal distortion. There have been cases where reflected light from a window or a car's side mirrors focused on a beam on the siding. The heat can cause it to catch fire. It's like shining a mirror in someone's eyes on purpose.
  • Cheap cooking grills.  Most are painted black, and can reach temperatures of over 160 degrees just from extreme sun. Couple that with charcoal and cooking, and these $9.99 babies can even soften and twist on the bottom. Using a lighter colored cover helps greatly.
  • Steering wheels. (!)  Using a sun visor in your car won't just protect the upper dashboard, it can also keep your steering wheel from warping. Especially in cars that don't have a steering wheel cover, or are dark colored, excessive sun (there's that thermal distortion again!) can cause the wheel to become 'offset' or misshapen slightly. If you notice after a heat wave that your wheel doesn't feel nice and round anymore, that's why.

The National Weather Service is calling for a heat advisory through Saturday, with projected highs starting at least 104 Wednesday, and possibly 109 by weekend.


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