The Disadvantages of Vinyl Windows

Know the disadvantageswhen choosing windows for your home.
Know the disadvantageswhen choosing windows for your home. (Image: Don Farrall/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Vinyl windows can be energy efficient and have more design capability than wooden or aluminum materials. Vinyl may provide more insulation for your home, and its flexibility makes it easy to mold into different shapes. Nevertheless, the material used to make vinyl, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), might leak toxic chemicals into the environment. Vinyl, while easy to shape, is also less sturdy than alternative materials. Before buying vinyl windows for your home, look into the possible disadvantages.

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Vinyl material is not as strong or durable as other window materials, such as wood and aluminum. Vinyl windows bend easily and tend to look bulky in comparison to these materials. Vinyl may also be an environmental threat; PVC releases toxic dioxin when burned, which is harmful to the environment. Furthermore, manufacturers make PVC using titanium dioxide and a form of tin, a costly process for high- quality vinyl. Some manufacturers in order to save money may not use the amounts required of these ingredients, which results in a lesser grade vinyl. A polar blue shade of white instead of pure white is the mark of a cheap vinyl. You cannot paint vinyl-clad windows, so looking for an exact match to the colors of your house may be difficult. Colors are fairly limited.


There are two ways to assemble vinyl windows, both of which have disadvantages. Vinyl windows fastened with screws run the risk of incurring damage during shipment or installation. If someone drops the window or twists it is fastened, the window could easily develop leaks. Furthermore, a screw tightened just a little more than it should be can strip the vinyl. The caulk used for mechanical fastening has a shorter life-span than the window itself and may need to be replaced. Welding is another assembly method. This may lead to hidden drainage problems in the window chambers. Occasionally, air movement may seep through the welded corners and drift through the window.


Vinyl may be damaged by extreme heat and storms, making it difficult to repair. Occasionally, vinyl windows will require window cleaning, and vinyl window hinges may require lubrication. Heat also has a negative effect on vinyl, making it soft, which can lead to a deformation. You can purchase a higher, more expensive quality of vinyl, however, made with frames and sashes to withstand heat.


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