Double Hung Windows

The History of Vinyl Windows

Around for a number of years now, vinyl windows are an excellent option today and are used in many homes across the world. However, they are a relatively recent invention and have come a long way since the first vinyl windows were created. They’re easier to use, come in more options, and are constructed better to last as long as possible. Take some time to learn more about the history of the vinyl windows and how they came to be.

How are Vinyl Windows Made?

Vinyl windows are made from a synthetic material created by mixing a polymer with other chemicals. Basically, they’re a plastic PVC material that can be molded and colored to create many different window options. The exact mixture can vary based on the manufacturer and the use of the vinyl. The material used for vinyl windows was created in 1926 by Dr. Waldo Semon who was looking for a synthetic alternative to rubber. Instead, he discovered the first PVC polymer, which led to further discoveries of the PVC, vinyl, and plastics used today.

When Were Vinyl Windows First Created?

In the 1950’s, post World War II Germany was left with dwindling natural resources like aluminum and wood to rebuild homes and cities. They needed a way to rebuild homes but needed to keep costs down and focus on rebuilding as fast as possible. They decided to turn to synthetic materials to build their homes and, in 1954, the first vinyl windows were created. These designs were considered small and bulky, but they did work well. They were used in a lot of the homes in Germany at the time but weren’t really used elsewhere. They helped allow Germany to rebuild despite the lack of natural resources and eventually led to the creation of the vinyl windows that are used today.

When Were Vinyl Windows First Used in the United States?

In the late 1950’s, the BF Goodrich Company, the company Dr. Waldo Semon had worked for when he discovered PVC, decided to start mass-producing vinyl windows. They saw the benefits of the windows being used in Germany and brought them to the United States to start being used in homes instead of natural resources. They changed the design of the windows to be sleek and more modern and improved the design. They also decided to mimic the look of aluminum and wood windows to enable them to look great in the homes of that time period. However, vinyl windows wouldn’t catch on for quite a while.

Why Were Vinyl Window Sales Low in the Beginning?

Vinyl is a type of plastic and, in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, plastic was not considered to be a high-end material. Most people did not want to use plastic for their windows because they believed the windows made from wood or metal would hold up better over time and provide better benefits for their homes. Plastic, in general, was not seen as something that should be used in the home and was considered to be a poor choice for building materials. It simply wasn’t used as much as today because it was considered a low-end material. It was not until much later that the vinyl windows really started to be used more often in homes across the United States.

What Helped Vinyl Windows Gain Some Popularity?

New technology made it possible for replacement vinyl windows to be produced, which made it easier to use them for windows in new homes and in homes that were being remodeled. Homeowners could replace damaged aluminum or wood windows with vinyl windows easily, making them an excellent option whenever windows need to be replaced. Additionally, new technology improved on the design of the vinyl windows, making them a much better option compared to wood or aluminum windows. Homeowners also started seeing some of the benefits of vinyl windows, which helped them learn why they’re a better option compared to the wood and aluminum windows that were used previously.

Why are Replacement Windows a Big Deal?

Before vinyl windows, homeowners with wooden windows would need to keep an eye on them for any damage. Damage could occur due to pests or due to the wood rotting over time. Whenever damage would be noticed, the homeowner would have to replace the windows. It was difficult to do this, and the windows would suffer the same issues eventually and need to be replaced again. Replacement vinyl windows increased the interested in vinyl windows because they were much easier to install and did not have the same issues as wood windows. Instead, the homeowner could easily replace the damaged window and then wouldn’t have to worry about it again.

Why are Vinyl Windows a Better Option?

Wood and aluminum windows need regular maintenance and will eventually need to be replaced. Vinyl windows, on the other hand, require minimal maintenance and continue to work properly for years. It did take people a long time to be able to see these benefits, but they did eventually notice that vinyl was a superior window as far as durability. Plus, they could easily be replaced, compared to wood or aluminum windows that were not as easy to replace if they started to deteriorate with time. They could also be designed with just about any color as well as any style, so they could mimic the look of wood windows without the downsides to having wood windows. This allowed homeowners to have the best of both worlds, once more homeowners did start purchasing vinyl windows.

What About Pests?

Wooden windows often had to be replaced or repaired due to insect damage. Insects like termites could completely destroy a window, leaving the homeowner with a high cost and a lot of work to replace or repair the wooden window. These pests were often difficult to spot and could cause a huge amount of damage to the windows in the home quickly. Everything that was damaged would need to be replaced, but the pests could return if the wooden windows were simply replaced with new wooden windows. Vinyl, however, cannot be destroyed by insects like ants and termites. Homeowners simply won’t have to worry about pests destroying the windows, which is one reason they started to gain more attention in the United States.

What About Rot?

One of the main reasons wood windows needed to be replaced is because they started to rot. Rotting windows attracted more pests to the home and the window could fail if the rotting pieces were not replaced quickly. This happened naturally due to the humidity inside and outside of the home as well as because of the rainfall. This was just something homeowners needed to be aware of and work to prevent as much as possible, though they would likely have to replace their windows eventually because of rot. Homeowners started to prefer vinyl windows once they knew the windows were not susceptible to rot like wood. This means a lot fewer repairs needed to be done and the windows could last much longer without needing to be completely replaced.

What Other Changes Occurred that Made Vinyl Windows a Better Option?

Due to the increasing technology and the ability to redesign vinyl windows to meet the needs of the homeowners, vinyl windows changed quite a bit from the first design to more modern designs. The first vinyl windows were single-glazed, double-hung windows. As the design changed, they were able to be made with more efficient materials and in more energy-efficient ways. They also included better locks, better handles to open the doors, and the ability to tilt the window to make it easier to clean. While there were minimal options for homeowners to consider in the beginning, homeowners can now just about completely customize the windows to meet their needs so they can have the exact windows they want for their home.

When Did Vinyl Windows Gain Popularity?

In the mid-1960’s, vinyl window production increased significantly. More and more people were realizing the benefits that came along with these windows and were able to tell that they were a better option for many homes than the wood and aluminum windows of the past. As technology fine-tuned the designs and allowed for the better construction of the windows, they began to become the top option for modern windows and started being seen in many homes across the United States. The 1990’s saw a surge in vinyl window purchases and a decline in other options as home builders and homeowners decided to use vinyl windows for their added benefits and because of the numerous options available to them.

Why Were Vinyl Windows a Popular Option?

Vinyl windows became popular because they’re easier to clean, more cost-efficient, and are easier to care for compared to wood or aluminum windows. They offer long lifespans, much longer than wood or aluminum windows, and are easy to replace if needed. They’re also not susceptible to pests, rotting, or other issues that may be a concern with wood windows. This means, for the typical homeowner, they’re an option that costs less over time, looks fantastic for much longer, and requires less work to keep them looking great. They’re also available in just about any color and can even be designed to mimic wood or aluminum windows so homeowners get the look they want without sacrificing the easy maintenance or other benefits of vinyl windows.

What Maintenance is Needed for Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl windows do not require much maintenance at all. They simply need to be cleaned regularly. Many home cleaning solutions are going to work fine, which means homeowners don’t have to purchase a special product just to use for their windows. Instead, they can use the products they already have to clean the windows as needed. Other than regular cleanings, there really isn’t any maintenance needed for vinyl windows. They can last 30 years or longer, meaning they have minimal maintenance and long-lasting durability with less work by the homeowner.

Are Vinyl Windows Going to Continue to Be the Top Option?

Going forward, vinyl windows are expected to continue to be the top option. They’ve become more energy efficient, meaning they’re an excellent choice for people who are interested in making their home as efficient as possible, they can be designed to match the rest of the home easily, and they are replaceable easily if anything ever happens. They’re also easier to take care of, which means they’ll last longer with minimal help from the homeowner.

Today, vinyl windows are the most popular option for windows, and for good reason. They’ve come a long way since the original vinyl windows in Germany in 1954, and now offer more benefits for homeowners than ever before. If you’re ready to look into new windows for your home, make sure you take the time to look into all of the options available today. With so many fantastic options available, you’ll find the perfect windows quickly.