Fiberglass & Vinyl
Vinyl and Fiberglass Windows
Once you decide that you need windows for your home, the next step is choosing the frame material. The material you choose will have a significant impact on the appearance of you home, as well as the overall cost. Most customers contact us when they are trying to make this decision for additional information and advice, and we encourage them to ask as many questions as they can. We are here to help you make this important decision.
Vinyl windows are the most widely used material for replacement windows for a variety of reasons. They are essentially maintenance free, warm to the touch and economical. Vinyl however, has some inherent drawbacks if not engineered properly. Some are designed to last just 5-10 years while others can last up to 50 years. Gilkey Windows are designed with multiple chambers and air pockets which dramatically increase strength, welding surface area and create a high resistance to heat flow with no added foam filling required.
Pultruded fiberglass is an engineered material that is created through a process where strands of glass and glass matting are pulled through a heated die. The glass is bonded together with a matrix of “heat setting” resins as it passes through the die at extremely high temperatures. The resulting lineals (customized to specific window component requirements) are cut to length and shipped to dedicated window manufacturers. Pultruded fiberglass lineals have a finish topcoat applied “in-line” during the pultrusion process or “off-line” at a later stage to ensure the color/finish required.
The material characteristics of pultruded fiberglass include very low rates of expansion and contraction. This characteristic provides an excellent advantage in maintaining good seal contact in hot or cold weather due to reduced movement of frames, sash and glass relative to each other.
Fiberglass is a natural choice when you’re seeking energy-efficient, green, sustainable solutions. Typically, fiberglass requires no added materials to reinforce it, reducing the bulk and weight of windows and doors, helping cut transportation costs in the process. The main ingredient in fiberglass is glass. Since glass is made from sand ─ an abundant, natural, non-depleting resource ─ fiberglass is a highly-sustainable solution.
A well-engineered fiberglass window demonstrates vastly superior strength characteristics when compared to other windows, like PVC. Fiberglass provides eight times greater sheer strength when compared to PVC.
Fiberglass features the lowest embodied energy (low energy consumption in lineal production) when compared to other common window frame materials, as well as providing the longest life expectancy.
Fiberglass is an extremely stable material. It provides an ideal base for a full range of finishes – ensuring unbelievable durability. Fiberglass will withstand extremes from Arctic cold to blazing desert heat…even the rugged seacoast!
The non-corrosive characteristic of the material is an advantage when considering coastal applications, especially in hot or cold climates
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