One of the most important decisions to be made when choosing to install double glazing is the material used for the frames.
uPVC double glazing
In recent years, the use of uPVC (unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride) has grown hugely in popularity and is now one of the most recommended and most widely chosen materials used by the biggest double glazing companies. We’ve outlined the advantages and disadvantages to using uPVC when compared to aluminium, timber, hardwood and softwood.
One of the deciding factors will inevitably be the cost of the materials. In most cases uPVC is usually the cheapest material on offer after things like aluminium and timber. This is far from uPVC’s greatest benefit, but it’s certainly a bonus.
Another hugely appealing feature of uPVC is that it is remarkably low maintenance. Timber frames generally require a re-paint every 5 years alongside occasional refilling jobs and patching due to their tendency to rot and flake. Aluminium is resilient, but still needs attention every now and then. On the other hand uPVC never rots, flakes, rusts or fades. Apart from a quick wipe with a cloth to keep it clean, uPVC requires virtually no maintenance making it very convenient and time-saving.
uPVC is also the most durable of the materials available. Woods can rot and start to warp over time and aluminium can pick up rust, whereas uPVC is strong, tough and resilient. It is highly unlikely uPVC will need to be changed and some companies even offer up to 10 year guarantees on uPVC double glazing.
Due to its resilience, uPVC is very reliable and trustworthy when it comes to security. The frames are renowned for their difficulty to break through or damage. It’s true that aluminium is considered to be even more secure but uPVC is not far behind.
Insulation is another feature of the uPVC material that surpasses woods and aluminium. uPVC provides the best heat and energy insulation available when compared to the alternative of aluminium and timber and it is also very sound proof.
The major shortcoming of uPVC is undoubtedly its aesthetic value. The simple, white plastic look is sometimes considered plain when compared to timber and aluminium. However, with some larger companies, different colours of uPVC are now available.