What are the first two questions that come to mind when you imagine purchasing new windows for your home?
Question #1 was probably, “How much do they cost?” followed closely by question #2: “How long do they last?”.
Today we will tackle the answer to question #2 and give you some insight into the average life expectancy of one of the most common types of windows – vinyl. We will also provide some tips for ways you can maximize your windows’ lifespan.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) conducted research and testing to determine the average life expectancy of various home components including windows.
When it came to windows, they found that with regular maintenance and under normal wear-and-tear conditions, vinyl windows could be expected to last an average of 20-40 years.
The average life expectancy of windows is given in a range for a reason. There are certain factors that can affect how long your vinyl windows last.
The climate in which your home is located can have a large impact on the lifespan of home components like windows. For example, the previously mentioned InterNACHI study determined that vinyl windows in coastal areas which are subjected to corrosive saltwater spray last an average of 10-30 years rather than the nationwide average of 20-40 years.
In Chicago, our windows must contend with the temperature extremes of hot summers and cold winters. This puts more stress on the windows than they would experience in a more temperate climate.
Windows exposed to higher levels of UV light from the sun will degrade faster than windows in a more shady area. If some of your home’s windows receive direct sunlight throughout most of the day and others are continually shaded, you may notice a difference in lifespan.
We may not be able to do much about the climate our homes are located in, but there are other steps you can take to maximize the lifespan of your windows.
Vinyl windows on sunny sides of your home can benefit from the application of a protective sealant which mitigates the impact of UV rays. Think of it as a form of sunscreen for your windows.
You may also wish to consider installing awnings over sunny windows both to block the sun from damaging the windows and to help keep your home cooler during the summer.
Vinyl windows are relatively low-maintenance and don’t require a great deal of care. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. Window maintenance generally includes a twice-yearly gentle cleaning and inspection.
The cleaning prevents a buildup of dirt which can invite damaging mold growth and the inspection ensures that you catch any potential damage early so it can be easily repaired.
Taking these simple steps will help you get the most out of your window investment.