Aluminum windows used to be the most popular material. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to install. However, aluminum window problems have caused them to fall out of favor as vinyl windows have gained popularity. This article will explore the benefits and downfalls of aluminum windows. We aim to help you understand why most people upgrade from aluminum to vinyl windows.
Understanding Aluminum Windows
Before diving into the issues, it is essential to acknowledge the technology behind aluminum windows. These windows are composed of aluminum frames, which are lightweight and strong, making them ideal for window construction. Aluminum windows can last for several decades and require very little maintenance. Aluminum windows are popular for many homeowners due to their numerous benefits. One of the primary benefits of aluminum windows is their durability. They are resistant to weathering, corrosion, and rust, making them a durable option for your home. They can also be easily maintained, requiring occasional cleaning to keep them looking their best.
Benefits of Aluminum Windows
They are better suited for large sizes since aluminum is a strong, lightweight material. This feature means larger glass panes can be used without compromising structural integrity. Another benefit of aluminum windows is their versatility. Like wood windows, they can be customized to fit any design style, from modern to traditional. Additionally, aluminum windows are environmentally friendly since they are easily recyclable, making them an excellent choice for reducing their carbon footprint.
How Aluminum Windows Work
Aluminum windows function using a system of tracks, rollers, and glazing. Depending on the specific window type, they may be designed to slide, swing, fold, or tilt. A thermal break in some aluminum windows improves their energy efficiency. This feature can help reduce energy bills by keeping your home at a comfortable temperature year-round.
Common Issues with Aluminum Windows
Aluminum windows were once popular among homeowners due to their durability and sleek appearance. However, like any other window type, they are not immune to problems and market trends. Here are some of the most common issues with aluminum windows.
Corrosion and Oxidation
One of the most common issues with aluminum windows is corrosion and oxidation. Over time, aluminum windows can become corroded and oxidized, particularly in coastal regions with high salt exposure. This can cause the window frames to weaken and eventually fail, leading to air leaks and water infiltration. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help remove salt buildup and other corrosion-related debris. Applying a protective coating to the window frames can also help prevent corrosion and extend the life of your windows.
Aluminum is a relatively soft metal, which means it can scratch easily. These damages can detract from the overall appearance and aren’t easy to remedy. If you notice scratches or dents on your aluminum windows, addressing them immediately is essential. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to repair it yourself using a metal polish or filler. For more severe damage, it’s best to contact a professional to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.
Minimal Frame Colors
Most aluminum windows only have two or three finish options. Unlike vinyl replacement windows, which can be painted two-tone, aluminum windows are limited to the standard metal finish, white, and maybe tan or bronze.
Glass Seal Failure
Aluminum is a thermal conductor, meaning the outside temperature is absorbed into the frame. This absorption leads to a temperature transfer to the glass, which is in constant contact with the frame, leading to seal failure. The seals fail, resulting in fogged glass panes because, throughout the year, the glass expands and contracts as the temperature fluctuates. If a window’s seals fail or age, water will form in the spaces between the panes, making the glass appear foggy or unclear. Various factors, including exposure to extreme temperatures, moisture, and age, can cause this. Addressing the issue immediately is essential if you notice cloudy or dark glass on your aluminum windows. This can help prevent further damage to the window and ensure that it continues to operate correctly. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to replace the entire window or the glass.
Difficulty in Opening and Closing
As windows age, they may become increasingly difficult to open or close. This issue may be due to poor maintenance, hardware malfunctions, or track or roller problems. If your aluminum windows are becoming difficult to operate, it’s essential to address the issue immediately.
Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prevent issues with window operation. Lubricating the tracks and rollers can also help ensure the windows operate smoothly and efficiently. If you notice any problems with the hardware or channels, it’s best to contact a professional to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.
Condensation and Moisture Buildup
Condensation forms on the warm interior glass when the temperature drops outside. Extreme condensation may cause mold growth, wood rot, and overall damage to the window seals. Various factors, including poor insulation, inadequate ventilation, and high humidity, can cause this.
If you notice condensation or moisture buildup on your aluminum windows, addressing the issue as soon as possible is essential. This can help prevent further damage to the window and ensure that it continues to operate correctly. Installing proper insulation and ventilation can help prevent moisture buildup and ensure your windows remain in good condition.
Aluminum windows used to be a popular option, but now 100% of our clients opt for energy-efficient vinyl windows. The vinyl window options, efficiency, and price are hard to beat. If you’re in East Texas and in the market for new windows, call us at 903-752-0449 to talk pricing and availability.
Our service area includes the following towns: Tyler, Whitehouse, Bullard, Lindale, Chandler, Canton, Mineola, Longview, Kilgore, Henderson, Gilmer, Gladewater, Marshall, Hallsville, and Palestine.