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How long do PVC-U windows last?

There are many benefits of choosing U-PVC over other window materials. From the increased energy efficiency and greater security to the low maintenance and easy cleaning, PVC-U windows offer a number of advantages that many window types don’t.

When replacing your windows there are numerous factors to consider before making your choice of material. You want to be sure that your selected window type will stand the test of time. As one of the most popular window materials used in the UK, ‘how long do PVC-U windows last?’ is a question that our window installation experts have heard time and time again.

In this blog post, we offer the facts about PVC-U windows, and reveal how you can extend the lifespan of your double glazed units even further.

The lifespan of PVC-U windows

Over the past couple of decades, the use of PVC-U windows has grown exponentially. PVC-U is a material known for its easy maintenance and durability, as well as its clean lines and quality finish. Thanks to their increasing popularity throughout the UK, PVC-U products have evolved to rival timber and aluminium framed products, as well as mimicking their appearance.

Whilst PVC-U has always been a favourite with contemporary homes, use is exploding on the period property scene. Authentic PVC-U frames have become popular with homeowners looking for replacement options for timber framed windows.

PVC-U windows are known for their longevity and last on average between 20 and 30 years. Just like any window material however, PVC-U requires maintenance to ensure it can fulfil its long lifespan.

Timber lasts longer?

For those looking to complement their period property or listed building, timber framed windows are the go-to window material. But for period and contemporary homes alike, PVC-U window designs should be a consideration. Thanks to our box sash window range, you can embrace the charm and character of timber with all the modern features of PVC-U.

Although timber framed windows may deliver a long lifespan – of more than 50 years to be exact – the energy efficient, low maintenance credentials of PVC-U make perfect sense for those looking to save time and money with their window choice. Timber framed windows are also particularly costly and customers tend to pay five to six times more for timber than PVC-U.

Making your double glazed windows last longer

With any window material, lifespan depends on maintenance. Whilst PVC-U windows require little maintenance in comparison to timber and aluminium alternatives, a little effort tends to go a long way in preserving the quality and condition of PVC-U windows. This snippet from Life of a PVC-U Window by the British Plastics Federation offers insight:

“Faults on windows using PVC-U profiles occur usually in the operating mechanism or the seals, i.e. the components that are not made of PVC. Hence the long term characteristics are determined by the durability, low maintenance and wear characteristics of the components installed into the PVC window frames, and not by those of the frame itself. Since the PVC window frames do not have to be painted with fungicides or protective coatings, no maintenance of the frame is required apart from cleaning.”

In addition to cleaning the frames and glass of your double glazed units, paying attention to the working parts of your windows every six months can help to ensure longevity. The handles, locking systems and hinges all require lubrication to keep the window operating smoothly.

Read our latest blog Window Care Tips Straight from the Experts for further advice on PVC-U maintenance.