Summer is often the time of year that homeowners take a long, hard look at their properties and decide that a few things might need repairing or changing altogether before the onset of winter.
One major area of concern that might become obvious when the sun shines upon them is the state of our windows. Rotting frames, rust, cracked glass, peeling paint – if some or all of these are present, it might be time to consider replacing them.
Just by looking around at the windows in your neighbourhood, you’ll notice that wood frames are not much in evidence now. While sustainable and long-lasting, timber isn’t as popular as it once was. For a start, it’s expensive and it needs regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. Plus, the environmental demands of today mean that other products have arrived on the market to challenge timber’s dominance.
One of these is uPVC. This is a form of hard plastic that is durable, thermally efficient and long-lasting. When combined with double or triple-glazing, a uPVC window offers just about the best insulation and protection against the weather that money can buy.
That said, very little comes cheap these days and in tough economic times homeowners looking to replace windows will quite rightly do their research before they commit to one particular style or material. Getting it right first time is important, which is why many people want to know how long uPVC lasts.
It’s a good question. The uPVC of 2023 is far superior to that produced in the 1990s, and it should last a minimum of 20 years – good by any standards. However, there are a few factors – positive and negative – that might affect this lifespan. Cheap uPVC is likely to warp and discolour before better quality uPVC will, and if the material is poorly installed it might be subject to damp and mould. Another factor is location: a house by the coast is much more at the mercy of the weather than its inland equivalent.
All that said, today’s uPVC is a material known for its strength and endurance and has much to commend it as a replacement for worn-out windows. And we don’t just mean timber windows; older uPVC windows are ready to be replaced when you noticed signs of discolouration, frames that have warped and condensation between the two panes. And if you can feel a draught coming from the window, it definitely needs replacing!
Here at Windows & Doors 2 You, we supply high-quality uPVC windows that are long-lasting, affordable and extremely energy-efficient. Our range includes casement windows, flush fit windows, bay & bow windows and resurgence/ flush sash windows – more than enough styles to suit any home across the West Midlands. Even better, our uPVC windows come in a range of colour options (everything from classic Chartwell Green to wood-style Golden Oak) and all of them are recyclable. Not that you’ll need to recycle our uPVC windows any time soon!
One of the biggest benefits of installing new uPVC double-glazed windows that are made to last for many years is their outstanding thermal properties. As we’ve seen over the last year or so, the hike in heating bills has contributed significantly to the cost of living crisis, and homeowners are looking for ways in which way to keep their heads above the murky financial waters. By installing new uPVC frames you’re immediately making your home much warmer, without the heating loss associated with older windows.
In terms of performance, our standard windows achieve U-values as low as 1.2 W/m²K, while our EnergyPlus range brings the U-value down to 0.8 W/m²K. In less technical terms, a U-value is the measure of how effective a material (for example a window) is as an insulator. The lower the value the more efficiently the material works.
Security-wise, uPVC also performs much better than it did in the past. All our products undergo rigorous testing before they go on the market and we incorporate a number of security systems into our range, including multi-point and shoot bolt locking mechanisms. Older windows that are past their sell-by date are something of an open invitation to unwanted visitors, so by replacing them with new, up-to-the-minute uPVC you’re also buying complete peace of mind.
Once your new uPVC windows are installed, only minimal maintenance is required to keep them in perfect condition. Occasional removal of dirt and dust from the frames and the glass is a good idea, along with a quick lubrication of locks and hinges. Otherwise, uPVC windows tend to look after themselves and should go on protecting your home and keeping your bills down for many years ahead.
At Windows & Doors 2 You we’re more than happy to give advice to anyone looking to replace their windows. Whatever your budget, we’ll help find the perfect solution for your project. Contact our team of installers or give us a call on 01952 474898.