Frequently Asked Questions About Materials Used for Replacement Windows
We've taken the questions we most often hear from homeowners like you regarding the materials used to make replacement windows and had our engineers and experts answer themto help you learn more about the various materials that are available.
QUESTIONS ABOUT WINDOW MATERIALS
- What are the advantages of vinyl windows over windows made with wood, metal or a combination of materials?
- Are there differences in the vinyl used by window manufacturers?
- What makes one window stronger than another and why is window strength important?
- Do woodgrain vinyls really simulate the look of wood and how well can they match different wood types?
What are the advantages of vinyl windows over windows made with wood, metal or a combination of materials?
Vinyl is THE ideal window construction material because vinyl:
- Doesn't deteriorate or rot.
- Can be extruded and shaped into brilliant window designs.
- Doesn't damage or corrode when scratched.
- Can be fusion welded to eliminate air and moisture leaks at the joints.
- Offers excellent insulating propertiesespecially when used in multiple-cavity frame designs.
Are there differences in the vinyl used by window manufacturers?
Absolutely. Vinyls are like any other man-made compounds. There are numerous components in vinyl compounds and there are many vinyl manufacturers that produce numerous types and grades for window manufacturing. Lesser-quality vinyls typically have problems with brittleness or impact resistance, color consistency, and expansion and contraction. The best vinyls are proprietary compounds formulated specifically for manufacturing high-quality windows.
What makes one window stronger than another and why is window strength important?
The profile design and methods of assembly determine the strength of a window. Just as beams or roof trusses are designed for specific mechanical loads, so are window shapes.
The strength of the sash and frame dictate how the window will maintain its shape under high winds. A weak window can flex and reduce the effectiveness of the weather stripping, resulting in air and water infiltration and, subsequently, higher energy costs. A weak window design also requires near-perfect window installation to ensure an effective seal.
You'll have windows with long-term strength and squareness if you select windows with:
- All fusion-welded joints.
- Glass sealed to the sash frame.
Do woodgrain vinyls really simulate the look of wood and how well can they match different wood types?
Advances in vinyl technology allow quality woodgrain vinyl laminates to come very close to the look of real wood. It's very attractive and it often matches the color of the wood trim in homes. An added benefit is that woodgrain vinyl laminates never need to be stained or sealed.