Windows Questions

Vinyl Windows being installed in the Houston, TX area

What is the origin of the vinyl window industry?

Vinyl window technology came to the United States in the late 1960’s. The original vinyl windows were developed and brought to a high level of quality in Europe in the 1950’s.

What is a vinyl window?

A vinyl window (frame) is one which is fabricated primarily from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Vinyl windows may employ other materials for hardware and reinforcement, but the primary exposed material is PVC (vinyl).

What styles of vinyl windows are available?

Vinyl windows are available in all popular models, the most common of which are fixed (or “picture windows”), double and single hung, horizontal sliding, casement, awning, and decorative bay, bow, and garden windows. Vinyl windows can be custom made to fit any size or shape required by the architectural style, existing openings, or personal taste. Many vinyl window manufacturers also offer vinyl patio doors.

What glazing options are available with vinyl windows?

Vinyl windows are available with single glazing, and double and triple insulating glass. Additional options such as tempered, frosted, low E (emissivity), and wire glass are also available. Laminated glass is very costly but by far the strongest option, great for areas exposed to hurricanes or for properties where security is a major concern.

How will vinyl windows affect the appearance of my home?

Vinyl windows greatly improve the appearance of virtually any home. More important, vinyl windows maintain their beauty for many years with only a minimum of cleaning and care.

How do vinyl windows compare in price with windows made of other materials?

Vinyl windows compare very favorably in price with quality windows made of all other materials.

What other advantages do vinyl windows have over windows fabricated from other materials?

Vinyl windows have demonstrated several significant points of undisputed superiority. For example, unlike many materials, vinyl does not swell and shrink when exposed to extreme moisture conditions. Vinyl windows operate smoothly in any weather. Vinyl has intrinsically high insulating qualities when compared to other window materials. Vinyl does not rust, pit or corrode. Vinyl windows never need painting and are easily cleaned with a damp cloth and some mild detergent. Vinyl is comfortable to the touch in either sub-zero or tropical weather conditions.

How do vinyl windows compare with windows made of other materials from an operating standpoint?

Vinyl’s self-lubricating properties enhance its ability to slide. In addition, vinyl does not warp, twist, swell or otherwise distort its shape, so it remains easy to operate.

When remodeling, can I get vinyl windows to fit present openings without costly modifications?

Absolutely. Vinyl window manufacturers fabricate windows to the exact opening dimensions ordered by you or your remodeling contractor.

Can I install vinyl windows myself?

Installing vinyl windows is no more complicated than installing windows fabricated from other materials. If you are capable of installing a window made of some other material, you can install a vinyl window.

How do architects regard vinyl windows?

Because of design availability, ease of operation, lasting beauty, insulating characteristics, and low maintenance, architects are increasingly specifying vinyl windows that meet the performance requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials standard.

How do I care for my vinyl windows?

Vinyl windows never have to be painted. The color is actually part of the vinyl. If your vinyl windows have become particularly dirty, or if they are subject to stubborn grime because of local conditions, a mild non-abrasive detergent solution will clean your vinyl windows to an “as-new” condition. Normally, all that is required for thorough cleaning is a damp cloth.

How do vinyl windows stand up to extreme temperature conditions?

Marvelously well. The chemistry of vinyl, plus the manufacturing process, assures that vinyl windows will remain impervious to weather from the frigid Canadian border to the tropical Florida coast. Heat loss through windows is reduced drastically due to the natural insulating quality of vinyl, and the design of vinyl components with insulating air spaces.

How do vinyl windows stand up to salt air, sea spray and other corrosive conditions?

Vinyl is not affected by corrosive conditions, making vinyl windows the choice of more and more people who live at the shore or near heavy industrial areas.

Can a builder install vinyl windows in a house which was originally designed for aluminum windows?

Yes. Vinyl is the most adaptable of all window materials. In fact, most vinyl windows installed today replace windows made from either wood, aluminum, or steel.

Who installs vinyl windows?

Where can they be purchased?Most dealers provide installation service. For the name of a manufacturer of quality vinyl windows in your area and of course at Everest Siding and Windows.

How Do Vinyl Windows Resist Condensation?

Windows with vinyl frames help guard against the damaging effects of window condensation because of the high insulating value of the vinyl. Double glazed windows are far more effective than single glazed windows in reducing window condensation because they tolerate higher percentages of relative indoor humidity before condensation occurs. This higher allowable humidity level reduces drying of furnishings and improves the “comfort level” of the living space.

Windows do not cause condensation. On the contrary, the right windows can be a great help in controlling and reducing it.

What Causes Condensation?

Condensation on windows is an alarming signal of excess humidity in a home. When water, fog or ice forms on a window, the consequences can be devastating. Peeling paint, rotting wood and rusted metal can all result from this excess humidity.

Condensation occurs on windows when warm moist air comes in contact with the colder surface of the window. Although it is natural to assume that the windows are to blame, the fact is that the windows are merely a visible sign that humidity exists in the home.

Indoor moisture is caused by a variety of factors. Common household activities such as cooking, showering, running washing machines and dishwashers — every activity that uses hot water — adds moisture to the air.

Newer homes are more often subject to condensation because they are constructed with more weather tight materials and methods than homes built before energy costs were a concern. Weather stripping, improved insulation, vapor barriers and modern construction techniques are designed to reduce air leakage. At the same time, however, these can act to seal in moisture. Unless provisions are made to allow this moisture to escape, moisture buildup can result.

Can Window Condensation Be Only Temporary?

There are several instances when temporary window condensation can occur, including:

  • During showers and baths, cooking, dishwashing and other steam-producing occasions.

  • During the start of each heating season. Houses absorb moisture during humid summers. This will generally dry out after a few weeks of heating.

  • During sharp temperature changes. Sudden drops in temperature, especially during the heating season, can create temporary condensation problems.

  • During new construction or remodeling. Building materials contain a great deal of moisture. When the heat is turned on, this moisture will flow into the air inside the home. It usually will disappear after the first heating season.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Condensation?

  • There are many simple steps that can be taken to reduce the humidity level in the home:

  • Vent clothes dryers, gas burners, etc. to the outdoors.

  • Check that all ventilation equipment is adjusted properly.

  • Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.

  • Air out the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room during and after use by opening a window for a few minutes.

  • Make sure attic louvers remain open all year round and that crawl spaces are properly ventilated.

  • Consult a local heating and ventilation contractor to help determine whether ventilation is adequate and whether it can be improved.

  • Insure humidifiers are correctly set according to the outside temperature.