Quality Window & Door Blog

Why You Should Choose Fiberglass Over Vinyl Replacement Windows

When the time comes to replace the windows in your home, you have several important decisions to make. One consideration is which window material to choose.

You have probably heard that both vinyl and fiberglass windows have a lot to offer. While the lower cost of vinyl windows may be tempting, fiberglass outperforms this material in almost every way, including strength, durability, performance, and color options. Here’s a breakdown of each characteristic to help you see why you should choose fiberglass over vinyl.

What You Need to Know About Vinyl Windows

  • Strength: Tensile strength is the measure of how much stretching or pulling force a material can endure before it breaks. Vinyl has a tensile strength of about 6.5. Under normal circumstances, this is sufficient, but if the foundation starts to settle and the windows experience additional strain, the vinyl frame might be in trouble.
  • Durability: Vinyl tends to weaken after years of direct sunlight exposure. It also begins to melt at 165 degrees, which can lead to warping and distortion on the hottest summer days. In addition, vinyl expands and contracts at a rate eight times higher than glass, leading to potential seal failures that negate the benefits of double-pane windows. Expect vinyl windows to last up to 30 years.
  • Performance: One reason to replace your windows is to improve the heating and cooling efficiency of your home. Vinyl doesn’t conduct heat, so these windows do a good job of slowing the transmission of outside air to the interior.
  • Color options: Vinyl windows come with a preset color baked all the way through the material. Limited options are available with white and cream being the most common. Make your color selection carefully because vinyl windows can’t be painted without voiding the warranty.

What You Need to Know About (Superior) Fiberglass Windows

  • Strength: Fiberglass is up to nine times stronger than vinyl with the tensile strength of steel. This superior sturdiness is due to the makeup of fiberglass, which includes reinforced glass fibers that are so tough, they must be cut with diamond-edged blades. Greater strength allows fiberglass window frames to have a smaller footprint, expanding your view in the process. Plus, there’s no risk of sagging if the soil starts to settle beneath your home.

  • Durability: Fiberglass doesn’t weaken in the sun and maintains its integrity even at high temperatures. Also, because it’s made from glass, the frame and window material expand and contract at the same low rate, decreasing the chance of seal failure. Because of these durability factors, you can expect fiberglass windows to last 50 years or more.

  • Performance: Buying ENERGY STAR qualified fiberglass windows is shown to decrease your energy bills by about 15 percent compared to ordinary replacement windows. You can improve the performance of any window frame by choosing advanced glazing options, such as double-pane windows, low-E coatings, and a gas-infill.

  • Color options: Fiberglass comes with more color choices than vinyl. Plus, you have the option of painting the material if you decide you want a new look in a few years without voiding the warranty.

Choose Quality Window & Door to Install Fiberglass Windows from Weather Shield

If you want to replace the windows in your DC metro area home, it’s clear that fiberglass could be the right option for you. At Quality Window & Door, we install beautiful, energy-efficient fiberglass windows in the EnduraShield line from Weather Shield. Take a look at our wide selection by visiting one of our local showrooms in Maryland and Northern Virginia. While you’re here, ask our experts for their professional opinions regarding which replacement windows will suit your needs best.

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Visit our showroom today or contact us directly to request a free window installation estimate.

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