It may not seem like a big deal, but windows are essential to any home or building. After all, they must be necessary if the Empire State Building has over six thousand of them!
Though it may not seem like an important decision, when you’re on the market for new windows, the material they’re made of is just as essential as the appearance.
However, before you decide what types of windows you’ll want to install in your home, you should know the average lifespan of each material. This can influence your decision.
If you’re unsure whether or not your preferred window styles will stand the test of time, keep reading to learn the life expectancy of the most common windows and signs that a repair may be in your future.
If you’re looking for a timeless option, wood is the way to go. This material is warm and rustic while still appearing modern in order to fit every home style.
If you find yourself thinking, “I really want to replace my double hung windows, but I don’t know what choice is best,” wood is an ideal option due to the quality and appearance.
In terms of window lifespan, wood windows typically last for twenty years. However, you can stretch the number of years with your windows to twenty-five or thirty with impeccable and routine maintenance.
If the wood in the windows begins to rot, this can significantly reduce the lifespan as it becomes weaker and more susceptible to damage. Though you can add fresh paint or polyurethane to reduce the exposure to moisture your wood endures, these are still one of the least durable options.
Also, if the quality of your wood isn’t as high as other options, you may find that reduces the life expectancy even more. Nonetheless, many choose wooden windows due to their classic appearance.
If you’re looking for a cheap yet durable option for your home windows, look no further than vinyl windows. These long-lasting and durable windows are great for those who want a no-fuss option.
In general, vinyl windows can last anywhere between twenty and forty years. With the right conditions, these are one of the most durable options, as the vinyl material isn’t susceptible to wood rot or denting like metal choices.
On the flip side, if you live in a warm climate with the year-round harsh sun, these windows may not be the best investment. Constant sunlight can warp and wear the material, making it more prone to break down over time.
However, if you’re looking for something more elegant or chic, vinyl might not be right for you. Because the material is a specific mix of chemicals molded together, your options are limited when it comes to their appearance, and painting the surface is not recommended.
Also, as the windows are constructed from a mixture of chemicals, vinyl is one of the least environmentally-friendly options on the market.
Are you looking for the best of both worlds? If so, clad windows are right up your alley. They combine the elegance of wooden windows with the durability vinyl or aluminum offers to create a unique combination.
Window cladding is a great option for those looking to get the warmth of wood without the exterior deterioration often prominent with wood.
In general, you may find that clad windows last longer than vinyl, as they are essentially double-enforced with wood. This is due to the fact that the vinyl or aluminum is on the exterior of your home while the wood faces inside.
As mentioned before, if your windows are constantly exposed to harsh sunlight, this can deteriorate the exterior vinyl quickly. Similarly, if you open your windows often when it’s humid outside, the moisture in the air can contribute to wood rot.
If you’re looking for an option between wood and vinyl, look no further than tried and true fiberglass. This material is smack in the middle of wood and vinyl in both cost and appearance but beats both where it counts – durability.
Generally, fiberglass windows can last up to fifty years. That’s right – fifty! Many homeowners choose fiberglass replacements due to their durability and longevity alone. This means you can save money by skipping replacing windows every decade.
However, you’ll need to add routine care and maintenance to your to-do list to ensure you get the most out of your windows. These windows last so long due to the intricate weaving of the fiberglass, helping it remain scratch and dent-resistant.
As with vinyl, you’re limited in your options when it comes to choosing a color that matches your home. Unlike the array of wood colors, you’ll find yourself stuck with a small selection of fiberglass windows. Similarly, they aren’t easy to customize, and changes could increase the price.
One of the best options for windows that offer an eco-friendly footprint is aluminum windows. These windows are durable as they aren’t susceptible to rot or deterioration like wood and vinyl.
Typically, aluminum windows will last about twenty to twenty-five years. If you live in an area with extreme weather, this number can shrink, as aluminum is prone to dents, corrosion, and fading.
While fading may not be an issue, if your windows corrode, it can weaken the entire structure, and you’ll find yourself replacing them frequently.
Though the material itself is eco-friendly, as metal attracts heat, you may find that your home heats up much quicker than it would with other window options. This can raise your utility bill, as you’ll spend more energy trying to cool your home.
Similarly, many homeowners don’t like the non-traditional appearance of aluminum windows, even with a factory-quality paint job.
Factors That Influence Lifespan
As previously mentioned, there are several factors that can impact the life expectancy of your windows. While there are more specific facets for each material, you’ll find that all windows are susceptible to the following influences.
One of the most influential factors in the lifespan of your windows is the quality of the material. If the material you purchase is on the cheaper side, you’ll find that it won’t last as long as a high-quality option.
For example, with the abundance of vinyl available, the quality of the material will vary greatly. You’ll need to research before purchasing a window to ensure you choose a reputable and high-quality brand.
Next, the installation of the window will impact its lifespan. If you choose to install the windows yourself, and you’re not as knowledgeable, it may affect how long they last. This is due to the fact that improperly installed windows can be more susceptible to moisture, causing mold and rot, as well as bowing and warping.
Finally, windows will naturally wear over time, especially with regular use. This means the window lifespan of the one you open for the cross breeze is more likely to need replacing sooner than the windows that tend to stay shut.
How to Know When Your Window Needs Replacing
Though you may think your windows have a few more years left in them, it may be time to bite the bullet and replace them with one of your new options.
One of the most obvious signs you’re due for new windows is if you experience a sudden change in your energy bill. This indicates that your windows aren’t as efficient at keeping your cool air in during the summer and blocking the heat from escaping in the winter.
Another indication you need a window replacement is if your windows don’t function properly anymore. This includes being unable to open and close them, or the lock mechanism no longer works.
Finally, if you know your windows are at the end of their lifespan, it’s time to consider installing windows that will last. Luckily, with this guide, you can keep track of how much longer you have left with your current windows and choose a durable option to replace them with.
The Types of Windows and Their Lifespans, Explained
Your windows are a focal point of your home, letting light and air in with the flick of a wrist. Ensuring they’re in great condition starts with picking out the perfect window styles and materials.
Similarly, ensuring you take proper care of your windows can help extend their lifespan, saving you money down the line.
Though you may have discovered how long the different types of windows will last, your home improvement journey doesn’t end here. Head over to the rest of our website for more tips and tricks to help your property look perfect.