Which Windows Last The Longest? Durable Windows For Your Home

August 11, 2023
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How long a window lasts depends on its expected lifespan, environmental factors, and the material used. It’s important to have a strong, secure window that will survive through storms and theft, and whatever else life throws at it (literally). 

Fiberglass windows are the longest-lasting, most durable, and low-maintenance windows. While vinyl, aluminum, and wood windows are also considered durable for insulation, noise reduction, and impact resistance. 

Read on to understand why these window types are durable and long-lasting.

Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass windows are composed of glass fibers merged together with resin. Due to their composition, they don’t shrink or expand, which makes them great for hot and cold environments. They resist warping and are not known to crack or corrode from extreme weather. This means they are a fantastic option for most living spaces and demographics.

Fiberglass windows are also energy efficient, so they’ll keep your house insulated. For this reason, they are a must if you live in a noisy area and want to reduce exterior sounds. With a window lifespan of 40-50 years, they’ll reduce noise for a considerable time. Well-insulated windows also mean that your heating and cooling bills will be less. Meaning potential savings you don’t want to miss out on.

These benefits make fiberglass windows one of the top-rated durable home windows and outweigh their mid to high price range. For the average house and climate, they are an ideal fit. 

Vinyl Windows 

Vinyl is another long-lasting window option (20-30 years) that is comparatively more affordable than fiberglass. Vinyl windows are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which lends to their smooth texture and impressive durability. They come in a wide range of colors. 

Just like fiberglass, they are relatively low maintenance (no repainting or fixing necessary) and energy efficient. However, extreme weather may cause discoloration and harsh UV exposure can cause premature deterioration. This looks like a chalky residue as the dyes on the vinyl decay.

If you live in a sunny area with little shade, it’s best to apply a protective sealant to the vinyl windows or install awnings over the most exposed areas to reduce damage. 

Wood Windows

Wood Windows fall into two categories: wood and wood-clad. 

Wood windows are durable and energy efficient with appealing designs. The biggest drawback is the level of maintenance required to ensure a window lifespan of up to 30 years. If left untreated, wood windows can warp and rot, especially in humid or rainy climates. 

Wood-clad windows are exactly what they sound like. On the exterior they are clad with a layer of aluminum or vinyl and on the interior they are wood. This is for customers who prefer the wood aesthetic without the high maintenance. 

Wood windows offer appealing designs, but may not be the best in certain climates. 

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows have an equal amount of pros and cons. While they are impact resistant and simultaneously lightweight, they are also aluminum and therefore susceptible to corrosion. They have one of the shorter window lifespans at about 20-25 years for this reason. Water and aluminum are not friends, as rust can quickly deteriorate your windows. There are protective coatings to help, however, that is additional maintenance. 

They are only slightly less energy efficient than vinyl windows despite the metal frame. This is because aluminum windows today are crafted with a polyamide to prevent cold and heat transfer. They still however require weatherstripping in moist environments.

Many consumers prefer aluminum for their sleek designs and myriad of available frame colors. 

Impact Resistant Windows

If you live in an environment with hurricanes or tornadoes, you need impact-resistant windows. They will last far longer than a regular non-reinforced window in the same environment. The most durable impact-resistant windows are made of a metal frame with a mixture of tempered glass, laminated glass, and polyvinyl butyral glass. (Although it is possible to choose a vinyl frame.)

These are called ‘hurricane-grade windows’ and provide a high level of safety from strong winds and flying debris. Each hurricane window is put through a series of tests by the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) where they receive Performance Grades (PG). 

If you need a high-impact window for your home look for windows with high PG and design pressure (DP) scores. 

Hurricane-grade windows are more expensive than the previously mentioned windows but offer a massive level of durability in comparison. Ultimately, they are meant to withstand impact and that includes break-in attempts, assuring the total safety of your home and family.

Window Installation 

Make sure to install each window correctly for maximum quality. If you are installing it yourself, research what equipment you will need to carry out the project. 

Overall factors to consider when choosing a durable and long-lasting window for your home are: 

  • Local climate and weather
  • Necessary maintenance
  • Energy efficiency
  • Impact resistance
  • Home Architecture
  • Warranty protection
  • Ease of use
  • Window lifespan 
  • Building Regulations

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