When we think of vinyl, it is most often associated with records and albums. And while vinyl is making a comeback in the music industry, there is one field where it has been king for over thirty years.
Of course, we’re talking about home renovation, and window replacement specifically.
But what makes vinyl so good for your home?
For starters, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a very durable material. Windows made from PVC, won’t deteriorate, crack, or warp as fast as wooden windows. Another reason it is a popular choice is because of its easy maintenance and overall longevity.
A big reason Canadian manufacturers switched to vinyl is the ability to make custom shapes and forms out of plastic. Any vinyl product is also very recyclable and can be broken back down into plastic particles, and remade into another product. Like a window, for example.
And this is where you’ll come to realize, that not all vinyl windows are created equal. In fact, the amount of first generation vinyl greatly affects the performance and life of PVC windows.
As such, there are three ways to manufacture vinyl windows:
First generation vinyl windows use no recycled material in the manufacturing process. This results in most durable, long lasting windows, that capture all the benefits of PVC as a material.
As you may have guessed, in this scenario, both types of vinyl are used. In this case, the ratio of virgin to recycled vinyl determines the quality and performance of the windows. Some companies will claim their windows are made from first generation vinyl, when in reality only part of the PVC used is new, and part is recycled.
Windows that are made completely from recycled or reground vinyl have a much weaker frame, and won’t last as long as new vinyl windows. Recycled vinyl also has a tendency to become brittle and crack. These frames also warp much faster and tend to discolor and fade. As a result, windows manufactured from recycled vinyl negate any advantages the material has over wood or aluminum.
Of course, the big difference between these three types of windows is in the price. If you’re comparing windows from two different companies that have the same features but the price is significantly different, or you’re being offered an incredible discount by one company, the difference may lie in the quality of the vinyl.
There is a handful of major vinyl suppliers that Edmonton window manufacturers work with. Don’t hesitate to ask where the window company gets their vinyl from, and whether they use pure or recycled material.
Some companies also manufacture their own vinyl. Because no regulation requires to display whether the material is first generation or recycled, it may not always be clear what goes into the compound. Technically, you may be sold a lesser quality product. With trusted, major suppliers you will at least know that the PVC has passed quality control before being sent to the window manufacturer.
Learn everything you need to know about window replacement:
Find out how much a new window project should cost
See our full line of vinyl replacement windows
Follow the replacement process in this visual INFOGRAPHIC