If you are considering replacing the window in your home, chances are you have considered using vinyl windows. Vinyl windows are a very popular choice when it comes to home window replacement. Unlike wood windows that need to be stained and waxed or fiberglass windows that need to be painted, vinyl windows require very little maintenance and even less upkeep. However, not all vinyl windows are created equal. Here are 5 things to consider before hiring a company to replace the windows in your home.
1. First Generation Vinyl
- Vinyl windows have come a long way over the past 50 years. Developed in the 1950’s as an alternative to high maintenance wood windows, first generation vinyl windows were plagued with many issues. Large windows had a tendency to sag due to strength problems while windows that faced direct sunlight would yellow and deform through prolonged exposure. These major issues have been corrected over time with additives that are mixed into the vinyl to keep it looking great for decades! However, there are many companies today still using first generation vinyl to create their windows. By becoming more educated and asking the right questions, you can avoid the costly mistake of installing 1st generation vinyl windows into your home.
2. What’s Inside?
- High quality vinyl windows are made using Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). This is the same material that large fiber optic communication companies run multi-million dollar fiber optic cables under the ground in. PVC is made by combining several chemicals, fillers, plasticisers and pigments in varying amounts. As with most things, each of these additives are available at different quality levels. Manufactures that produce high quality vinyl windows today are only using the highest quality raw materials.
- Two of the most important additives to look for in a quality vinyl window are Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) and an organic form of tin (Sn). Titanium dioxide and tin are added to vinyl windows to help keep them looking pure white for many years. TiO2 is a pure white chemical heavily used in the painting industry to tint paints a stark white. These 2 ingredients are very expensive and tend to be used very sparingly in low quality vinyl windows. In addition, the grade of TiO2 must be a non-chalking grade so that your windows don’t begin to dust after only a few years. An easy way to determine low titanium dioxide and tin composition is to examine the color of the vinyl. Vinyl windows lacking correct amounts of titanium dioxide and tin will have a blue hue to them. Manufactures who do not use sufficient amounts of these expensive ingredients must tint their windows a light blue color to buy time before they being to yellow.
4. Internal Chambers
- Like a bee hive, high quality vinyl windows are constructed by interconnecting multiple chambers with each chamber adding strength to the overall profile. When shopping for replacement windows for your home, the best way to examine a window’s internal construction is to ask to see a cross-section of the window framing material. When examining this cross-section pay close attention to the number of chambers and their overall size differences. The highest quality replacement windows will almost always have the greatest number of chambers. During the manufacturing process stress points on a window frame are discovered. Quality window manufactures will then design frames with extra chambers to strengthen these weak design points.
5. Window Construction
- The last way to determine quality when it comes to your vinyl windows is to have a better understanding of how they were assembled. When it comes to vinyl windows, there are two main ways they are put together; mechanically fastened (screwed together) or heat connected (welded). Lower quality vinyl windows are almost always mechanically fasted and will inevitably have problems over time. After year of weather change and constant use, vinyl windows with screwed together corners have a tendency to separate and leak into your home. On the other hand, high quality vinyl window with fusion welded mainframe corners will last forever and never leak water into your home.
By keeping these 5 things in mind you will be sure to make a good replacement window decision. If replacing the windows in your home is something you are considering in the next year, give Pure Energy Window Company a call to schedule a FREE In-Home Window Consultation. We are a Family Owned and Operated Replacement Window Company servicing all of Southeastern Michigan and Lansing. Give us a call at (844) 449-9990 or click on the link below to start your window replacement exploration today!
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