Q:

What are the differences between vinyl and aluminum windows?

A:

Quick Answer

Differences between aluminum and vinyl windows include aluminum's ability to be powder-coated to match any color, whereas vinyl cannot be painted, and aluminum's likelihood to be dented versus vinyl, which is resistant to denting. Another difference between vinyl and aluminum windows is that vinyl neither corrodes nor fades while aluminum windows corrode as the painted surface fades and wears away.

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Full Answer

Vinyl windows are more energy efficient when compared to aluminum windows, but they are not as safe in areas prone to hurricanes and high winds. Impact-resistant aluminum windows are laminated with a material that prevents most flying objects from shattering the glass and injuring the occupants of a residence. Vinyl impact-resistant windows are available at a cost of up to 30 percent more than their aluminum counterparts.

Vinyl windows are substantially heavier than aluminum windows, which can be a negative when working on larger projects and make replacement difficult on higher levels of a structure. Vinyl windows are very low maintenance, whereas aluminum windows must be lubricated on a regular basis. Painted aluminum windows require touch-ups to prevent corrosion and other damage to the metal beneath the paint. Aluminum windows are prone to condensation that can cause problems related to water damage, such as mildew, rot and mold. Vinyl windows create much less condensation than aluminum windows, virtually eliminating the concern for water-based damage.

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