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Cellular PVC Replacement Windows

Cellular PVC is one of the most popular framing materials used for replacement windows. It is popular with many homeowners given its relatively low cost. PVC is a thermoplastic polymer that is often used because of its fair cost, durability and ease of fabrication. Cellular PVC is a relatively new creation, and is especially popular because it has 50 percent less density than normal PC, weighs the same as wood, and carries a tensile strength of roughly 5000 PSI.

Cellular PVC Defined

Cellular PVC is made from a foam extrusion process that creates not only a stronger but a lighter material for many applications, including replacement windows. Cellular PVC is roughly 140 percent more durable than vinyl and has roughly double the insulation properties.

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Cellular PVC Replacement Windows

Another reason for the popularity of cellular PVC is that it looks similar to wood window frames; without many of the downsides associated with wood. This is one of the main reasons that cellular PVC is used as a replacement-window framing material. Cellular PVC has 60 percent better insulation properties than normal wood and is much more weather-resistant and pest-resistant. Cellular PVC can withstand 150 degrees Fahrenheit of heat, does not absorb paint and will not contract or expand in extreme weather conditions. Many cellular PVC manufacturers guarantee that their product will not warp, swell, splinter, crack or stick. Cellular PVC is quite flexible and can be bent in order to create arches and other window-framing shapes.

Cellular PVC is available in white, although it can be painted any number of colors. Because it does not absorb paint in the same way that wood does, it requires less paint, thus saving homeowners some extra money. If a homeowner chooses to paint cellular PVC, most window manufacturers recommend using a heat-reflective paint.

Cellular PVC windows are available in all-cellular form, or as a cellular PVC-clad wood window. The PVC-clad version offers a wood interior frame in a variety of wood types and finishes, which allows homeowners to match their interior trim to their d��cor and to stain or paint the trim easily.

Why choose cellular PVC?

Most homeowners will tell you that their mantra seems to be 'maintenance, rot, repair.' Siding and roofs get repaired and replaced, windows rot, and trimboards deteriorate. It happens over a longer period of time, but even with all the time and effort spent assessing and maintaining, the rot and repair phase seems to come all too soon. When it does, the expenses can be overwhelming.

When it comes time to make your window purchasing decision, here are some factors to consider:

• In the Midwest, for example, a primed and painted finger-joint pine trim might make it to 15 years. Cellular PVC trim, however, would easily last twice as long.

• Cellular PVC is more energy-efficient than vinyl windows, can be painted, and won't be affected by termites. It looks like wood and acts like wood, but won't weather like wood; the paint won't blister and peel. Wood, on the other hand, requires maintenance and must be treated regularly.

• In 10 years, wood will usually start to show signs of rotting and cracking. If those trouble spots aren't repainted, the sun, rain and snow will exacerbate the process and introduce mold and moisture into the picture, and possibly into the home. Soon, replacement, rather than repair, becomes the only real option.

The Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Whether it's your home siding, your roof, or your windows, choosing high-quality materials almost always means better-performing materials when it comes to your window's energy conservation.

High-performance options may cost more up front, but over time they will save you more money on your utility bills. They also provide value because they necessitate less maintenance and repair. Moreover, they boost a home's value and can become a major selling point, especially in leaner times.

Even if your budget is tight, you should consider the long-term scenario and make a careful decision. Consider all the factors, including appreciation, performance and cost. Never make a decision based solely on your bank account; you'll regret it later when the cheap materials fail and you wind up making the same repair a second time. Home windows are a long-term investment, and every decision about its upkeep should be made from the same perspective.

Manufacturers of Cellular PVC

Cellular PVC can be used to make window trim, window flower boxes, panels, decking, and more. Some of the major manufacturers to use cellular PVC are VEKA, Versatex, Trex, CertainTeed, AZEK, Gossen, Windsor Windows, and NuCedar.

These are just a few of the firms who've recognized the versatility of cellular PVC. Each has created exterior building products that capitalize on the durability and performance of cellular PVC for the consumer market. VEKA Innovations, for example, has created VEKAdeck��, a long-lasting reinforced cellular PVC deck board with a natural wood-grain look.

Versatex, Trex, and CertainTeed specialize in cellular PVC trim. AZEK and Gossen make trim, moulding, decking and railing products. Windsor Windows offers a line of cellular PVC and PVC-clad cellular PVC windows. NuCedar makes cellular PVC siding that also meets LEED certification, as it is made from 20 percent pre-consumer recycled material and is 100 percent recyclable.

These durable, economic wood-alternative composites offer consumers the advantages of wood and vinyl; with better performance and longevity. While cellular PVC products still only represent a fraction (about 5 percent) of the wood moulding market, the market share is growing rapidly. Due to its performance, cellular PVC has been embraced by industry associations such as the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Wood Moulding & Millwork Producers Association. They've recognized what the building industry and consumers are just beginning to realize: Cellular PVC is the building material of the future, today.

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