Debunked: 3 Myths About Fiberglass Windows
The different types of windows homeowners might consider may include wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. Most people think that wood is the perfect candidate for its timeless popularity, long history, and organic appeal. Vinyl is also a top choice for its perceived affordability, wide usage, and customization flexibility. However, when it comes to fiberglass windows, it’s difficult to fully comprehend its actual strengths.
Fiberglass windows are an oft-misunderstood window type. There’s no better time than the present to debunk three of the most popular myths about fiberglass windows to help homeowners make an informed purchase decision.
Myth 1: Fiberglass is very brittle and can crack and chip easily.
Truth: In general, fiberglass is more impact-resistant than any other replacement window material you find on the market. Unlike its traditional rivals of wood and vinyl, fiberglass windows are oftentimes up to eight times stronger than vinyl windows. “Life Cycle Assessment of Windows for the North American Residential Market,” a case study conducted by the University of British Columbia, found that fiberglass (referred to in the study as fibreglass) outlives vinyl (PVC) by at least as much as 38%. Because fiberglass is impervious to extreme weather conditions, fiberglass materials have one of the lowest seal failures in the industry. Most of the time, commonly witnessed fiberglass failures are not caused by the material, but by poor installation. Hence, hiring a qualified contractor who can professionally measure, build, and install fiberglass windows will guarantee their longevity and performance.
Myth 2: Fiberglass windows must be painted but peel easily.
Truth: While it is true that fiberglass offers much more generous color and finish selections than vinyl, fiberglass does not need to be painted. In fact, raw fiberglass demonstrates natural UV resistance without any finish makeover. Most of the time, painting takes place to allow homeowners to customize their windows and complement their existing designs. Even if additional coating is applied, ensuring that your finish materials were made with care and quality will guarantee an unfading and fresh look for your painted windows. As a result, the paint does not peel easily; repainting becomes an option when you grow tired of your old color and want to give your fiberglass window a new look.
Myth 3: Fiberglass is expensive and is too new to have a proven track record.
Truth: When comparing against wood and vinyl, fiberglass is actually a more economic choice for its durability. Pultruded fiberglass patents actually date back to 1946, while many fiberglass products, such as Ultrex, have been utilized in various window and door products for nearly two decades. Fiberglass windows, according to Energy.gov, outperform vinyl and wood in thermal performance because the frames of fiberglass windows are dimensionally stable and have air cavities to allow the filling of insulation materials. Companies who offer fiberglass windows often take great care to make sure that their fiberglass products are on par with their promises.
Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer for innovation in home renovation. Paul writes for the Marvin Windows NJ blog and strives to educate people about “green” products such as fiberglass windows, metal roofing, and much more. Follow him on Twitter @PaulKazlov.
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