Following on from our article considering the Benefits Of Vinyl Replacement Windows we wanted to provide you with an overview of some of the major negatives with vinyl replacement windows. We’ve included this article to try to give you a broad and balanced overview of vinyl windows before you make your decision on the window material you’re going to choose for your replacements.
Overall, vinyl replacement windows are seen as the number 1 inexpensive solution to your replacement window problems, offering a wide range of shapes, sizes, colors and styles to fit with the look of your home. They are currently the number 1 replacement solution for wood replacement windows. Whilst at first glance a window salesman will get you thinking vinyl is the best thing since sliced bread, there are a few negatives you need to consider:
- Vinyl windows will shrink and expand
- The lifespan of vinyl windows is not fully understood
- Vinyl glass spacer’s eventually fail
- Vinyl is not environmentally friendly
- Why replace when you can repair
The above 5 points are incredibly relevant downsides to buying vinyl windows to replace the current ones in your home. Below, I examine each one a little more closely.
Vinyl Windows Will Shrink And Expand
Wood replacement windows are rigid and for that reason the material generally won’t shrink or expand that much when it heats up or cools down, vinyl however is not a rigid material. In actual fact wood windows are known to increase & decrease in size over half the amount of vinyl windows.
For very reason stated above vinyl will soften and become ever so slightly distorted at a temperature around 160 degrees and whilst that may sound a lot, it’s a temperature which is highly reachable in-between the glass panes in hot spells. Conversely, vinyl will shrink in extreme cold, something which can be easily seen in heavy winter periods. The expansion and contraction seen in vinyl windows makes it twice as likely that the seal between the glass and the framework will fail. If your windows aren’t in warranty, someone will need to pay again for them to be replaced.
The Lifespan Of Vinyl Is Not Fully Understood
The lifespan of vinyl replacement windows cannot be fully understood, why? The main reason is because of the length of time that vinyl windows have been used in homes around the U.S. And around the world. Vinyl replacement windows have been used for some 25 years around the globe, is this really enough time to establish how well vinyl stands up to the test of time against other alternatives such as wood or stone replacement windows?
Whilst you may say that many of the vinyl windows sold will come with a claimed lifetime warranty, you need to ask if this is transferable to new owners, because in most circumstances it won’t be. Will you be in the same home 20 years from now?
Glass Spacers On Vinyl Windows Will Fail
When you are looking to buy replacement windows one of the biggest advantages you will be told about is the fact that the vinyl windows can be double or even triple glazed, offering you massive benefits in home insulation.
The problem with this is that the glass panes are sealed with a sealant often made from silicone or rubber. Eventually though, moisture will find it’s way through the sealant and in-between the glass panes, since no sealant is able to permanently prevent moisture from passing through it. So what’s the problem with that? The problem is that the windows will become cloudy, this is unrepairable.
Why Replace When You Can Repair?
This is the final and probably “least important” to most people, however it’s a well-known fact that vinyl is a petroleum product compared to wood which is easily destroyed and renewed. In addition to that the cost of repairing wood windows can often be cheaper than replacing entire window units and also far more effective and efficient, you just have to get the right window contractor for the job.