Are vinyl windows a good choice in Texas?
As a window contractor in Dallas Ft Worth Texas, one of the common questions our customers ask is. Are vinyl windows any good? This article will discuss a brief history of vinyl windows. As well as some advantages, disadvantages, problems and what makes a good vinyl window. At the end of this article, you will be able to answer the question. Are vinyl windows a good choice for my home?
A brief history of vinyl windows:
- PVC Vinyl is the second most produced plastic by volume worldwide (after polyethylene). Vinyl is the most produced plastic for building and construction material.
- The first vinyl windows came from German manufacturers in 1954. Vinyl was a response to post-war material shortages. This was a means to combat the rising cost of aluminum and other building materials.
- In 1964, Thermal Industries introduced the first vinyl window to the United States. Vinyl windows gained popularity during the energy crisis of the early 1970. As consumers were looking for energy-efficient alternatives for their homes.
- Vinyl windows make up more than 70% of the market share for residential windows in the United States.
What is the advantage of a vinyl window?
- Vinyl windows offer myriad design options and features. Vinyl is easy to extrude into almost any shape. Making vinyl ideal for architectural shaped windows.
- With the addition of Titanium Dioxide into PVC extrusion. Modern vinyl windows are now available in a myriad of custom colors and finishes. Black and dark bronze are a new but popular color.
- Vinyl windows have very low maintenance. Vinyl windows never need sanding or painting. The color of vinyl windows are solid through the entire piece of vinyl. Vinyl window frames are easy to clean with soap and water.
- Vinyl windows are non-conductive, making them superior for energy-efficiency. Vinyl windows are great thermal insulators when compared to wood or aluminum. Foam filled window frames make vinyl windows a great choice for thermal performance.
- Vinyl windows are a green product and recyclable. Vinyl is remolded into new products, without losing its chemical characteristics.
- According to the Vinyl Institute, vinyl production is more than 99% efficient. Plus in 2021, more than 1.1 million tons of the vinyl is recycled into other useful products.
- According to the EPA in a 2018 Municipal Solid Waste Report. PVC represents only 2.6% of all plastic that is land-filled.
What are some disadvantages of vinyl windows?
- Vinyl windows have the tendency to sag due to their flexibility. Their flexibility also limits their size and the weight of the glass they frame. Modern vinyl windows include reinforcement with various materials to add strength and support.
- Some people find vinyl windows less elegant or natural-looking than real wood windows. Attempting to replicate real wood. Vinyl windows have interior laminates like oak, cherry, pine, and birch.
- Vinyl window frames can soften, warp, twist and bow if heat builds up within the frame. Modern additives like Titanium Dioxide solve this in problem some windows.
- Vinyl windows are not particularly strong or rigid. But, windows are not load bearing so this has never been much of an issue.
- Vinyl windows can discolor over time, especially when subjected to extreme weather conditions. Modern color additives like Titanium Dioxide and Sun-shield vinyl prevent excessive fading.
- Vinyl windows are difficult to paint. Most paints will not adhere to vinyl, and some primers can weaken the vinyl. New paint technology, changing the way manufacturers are able to produce colored windows.
- Vinyl windows can be prone to hail damage and other weather extremes. This is where the quality of the vinyl window is important. Vinyl thickness, titanium dioxide and heavy-duty extruded screen frames all provide lasting durability.
What kind of defects do vinyl windows have?
- Pocket frame vinyl windows are great for wind resistance. Weep holes in the bottom of the frame, allow water drainage. Weep holes also clog with debris and trap excess moisture inside the window frame. This can cause mold issues. Manufactures drill weep holes into the bottom side of the frame. Bad window installers can install a window upside-down. As a result, the weep holes are on the top, making them useless.
- Alarm system holes can permit water penetration, especially in the windowsill. This will void factory warranties. When installing an alarm system. Unknowing installers will often drill a small hole for the alarm wire at the base of the window frame. With vinyl windows, water may leave the window through this hole and follow the alarm wire into the house. This water can cause serious interior water damage and must be avoided at all costs. Wireless alarm systems with glass breakage and motion detectors are a great alternative.
- Separated window frame corners. Builders grade and cheap vinyl windows often use a mechanical fastened corner. These types of corners consist of screws and a gasket or sealant. Due to expansion and contraction, mechanical corners are prone to failure. Modern vinyl windows use a mitered, fusion heat welded corner. Welded corners are stronger than the window frame itself and rarely have a failure. Installation screw placement is critical. The installation screw must not pass through the corner weld. causing the weld to fail.
- When a vinyl window is not installed properly. The window frame can sag and twist. Warping in a vinyl window happens for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include; improper screw and shim placement, window measured wrong or installed out of level and failure to apply spray foam around the window frame.
What makes a good vinyl window?
- Fusion welded corners on the window frame and sash for strength and durability.
- Full 3 ¼” window frame for easy replacement and durability.
- Titanium dioxide or Sunshield treated vinyl. These reduce contraction and expansion as well as adding color durability.
- Sloped windowsill for proper water control.
- Full interlocking and reinforced meeting rail for security and durability.
- Fin Seal weatherstripping to ensure a good seal against wind and pollutants.
- Constant force balance system for flawless and easy operation.
- Heavy duty extruded screen frames for long lasting durability.
- Composite glass spacer system for reduced conduction and condensation.
- Modern glass coatings based on your home’s climate.
- Written manufacturer’s warranty that covers the entire window.
In Summary, are vinyl windows a good choice for you home?
The answer is yes. Vinyl windows make an excellent choice for your window replacement project. Make sure you understand what to look for in a good vinyl window. As well as what affects the cost of your window replacement project. Always use certified and factory trained installers that guarantee a lifetime of worry-free operation.