About Vinyl Replacements?
popular choice for a replacement window is a Vinyl Replacement Window.
There are a number of
very good reasons for this. Vinyl windows are custom sized. Therefore
you can make the window fit the house; you
don't have to make the house fit the window. This can save you
considerably on labor
advantage is that they are maintenance free. No painting is ever
required. The glass of
course still has to be cleaned periodically. Feature wise vinyl
replacements generally do all the things a
homeowner wants. They generally tilt in (double hung windows) for easy
cleaning. Almost all today are double glass,
so the storm window is built in, with anywhere from 3/8 to 1 inch
spacing between the glasses. One inch being
optimal for thermal efficiency. Most today also have an
"E-Coating" on the glass, either Argon or Krypton gas
between the glass as well as a thermal or so called "warm edge" spacer.
All vinyl windows should be fusion
welded, both the frame and
sashes. Better vinyl windows will have their welds beveled out for a
fine finished look. They should also be
reinforced underneath with metal...aluminum or galvanized steel
(stronger ...which is
The things that are not so good
about vinyl windows, and why
they are at the bottom of the food chain are the following.
Vinyl is not a strong material
compared to the other options,
and as you know strength is the most important feature in a window as
far as "life expectancy" is concerned. Vinyl
also expands and contracts quite a bit. That is why in vinyl siding the
panels are overlapped...because they move!
That's a great idea in siding, not so great in windows. When you expand
and contract like that you tend to break
the caulking seals around the window. It gets drafty. To artificially
make the material appear stronger many vinyl
windows at the outside of the sill will have some kind of lip, or
ridge, or pocket. This is like corrugating a
piece of paper. The shape seems to make it stronger. The problem is,
when you add that lip or ridge, you now trap
the water and as a result have to provide "weep Holes" The problem with
weep holes is that they clog up with lint
and fuzz and dust etc., and then the water doesn't drain properly and
can cause damage inside the house. The sill
on a double hung window should be sloped with no weep holes just like a
wood window has.