A top element of the house that many homeowners love is the view, and windows are essential in delivering that. Having a beautifully selected window of the right style, size and characteristic will help frame the stunning view outside and welcome in natural light. There are a variety of options to choose from, to bring both functionality and decoration into the house.
What is a PVC Window?
PVC is a leading and common material for making windows, which consists of the components made of polyvinyl chloride. Essentially, it is a combination of different compounds including chemicals, plasticizers and pigments. The PVC material is light in comparison to other window materials, and easy to weld. PVC windows are widely used across Canada for its high level of heat insulation, as well as soundproof and waterproof characteristics.
What are the Pros and Cons of PVC Windows?
One of the main benefits of PVC Windows is their high energy efficiency. As a result of the low thermal conductivity of the materials, these windows minimize heat loss and allow the house to stay warmer for a longer period of time, which is extremely helpful for the cold winters. PVC windows also require virtually no maintenance, being unlikely to corrode, rot, warp or rattle, as well as unnecessary to repaint. There are various glazing options available, with double-glazing being the most common. Since the PVC material can be recycled and does not contain wood products, PVC windows are environmentally-friendly. The price of PVC windows is also relatively cheaper. The modern style makes these windows popular for modern homes and building designs.
Despite the many attractive advantages of PVC windows, they still have a few drawbacks. One consideration is their lack of aesthetic appearance, especially compared to others such as wooden windows. PVC windows have limited colours and customization options, along with a possible discolor of the white frames that may end up with a yellow or pink tint. Though these windows are low in maintenance, if needed to repair, the disassembling and replacement of PVC window parts is difficult and would require specialist knowledge. In extreme conditions such as house fires, the burning of vinyl will create toxic fumes, and in extreme weathers there might be cracking and warping of the windows.
How should I install PVC Windows?
Survey - Before starting the removal process, a thorough examination of the surroundings and dimensions should be conducted first. Check the opening for any defects, and any provisions needed for cables. Check the style, handling and size of current window before ordering for replacement. Remember that the new window should have a height and width that is approximately 10mm smaller than the brick opening. Finally, make sure that the working area around the window is clean and clear of other objects.
Remove the framework - Ensure the size of the replacement window to be the same as the existing window frame, then carefully remove the existing frame. Start by running a blade between the frame and the plaster to break the two around the inside perimeter of the window. Remember to use heavy duty gloves and goggles for safety, and check for any damage of the vertical damp proof courses. Try to remove as much glazing as possible, which will make it easier to handle later on.
Fit the new frame - Choose a screw that will not penetrate the inner skin of the frame, then screw the sill onto the bottom of the new frame. In order to prevent moisture, seal the ends of the sill and frame. Place the new frame into the aperture’s center and insert packers below to level it. After checking that the frame is level and plumb, drill fixing holes into the frame sides and fix it to the wall. Remember not to over tighten it. Then fix the top and bottom part of the frames, to make sure it stays stable in windy conditions. Seal the bottom holes with silicone to prevent moisture.
Fit the glazing - Make sure that each aperture has the appropriate glazing platform fitted around. Place each of the plane in position, and install the beading with a nylon mallet that secures them in place. Always ensure that the area and surrounding is clean and without dust or debris, especially for the frame and glass before sealing them to the internal wall. Secure the frame by first placing masking tape around the frame, then applying a bead of sealant between the frame and the wall, and removing the tape before the sealant dries. Repeat these steps for all four sides.
Finish off - Clean up any dust and debris from installing the new frame and make sure that the external surface is free of dirt. For the last step, apply a smooth bead of silicone sealant between the frame and brickwork.
Installing or replacing the PVC windows can be a rather complicated process, and if you are not confident in it, remember you can always seek help from the professionals. It is important not only to have your desired window chosen but also for it to be installed properly to ensure full performance.