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It might be time to upgrade your windows due general damages and wear or tear, or a lack of maintenance. Damp and mould in surrounding areas, cracked or broken glazing seals, and draughts within the home could be a sign your double glazing needs looking at. Replacing your windows can help cut down on your energy bills by ensuring effective insulation, while this can also stop the growth and spread of damp. If you’ve noticed your double glazing isn’t working like it used to, it’s worth discovering which other types of materials you can opt for while getting them replaced.

While aesthetics will undoubtedly play a key role when it comes to deciding which type of window material you will choose for your home, there are more factors to consider than looks alone. Whether you’re choosing between a traditional wooden frame or a sleek, modern aluminium look; it’s important to research the practical advantages and disadvantages of each window material before deciding which will work best for you.

In this guide to understanding the different types of window materials for double glazing, we’ll explore a few of the options available – and how they can benefit your home.

Wooden Windows

Wooden frames are a great choice if you are looking for a more authentic or traditional look throughout the home. They are also the best option when it comes to eco-friendly window materials. Timber production uses less fossil fuels in its manufacturing, significantly decreasing your carbon footprint in comparison with other options such as aluminium or steel. However, that’s not to say wooden windows are an easy choice – they may need more maintenance over time to remain in quality condition.

Timber for wooden frames can vary from softwood such as pine, to hardwoods such as oak. While these differences may seem minimal, your choice of timbers can influence the level of maintenance required, as well as the longevity of your frames.

Hardwood, for example, is better at withstanding damage as it is heavier and denser than softwood. For this reason, it is often more expensive; however, it’s a worthwhile investment for its strength and resilience. Softwood, on the other hand, is a lighter and less dense wood. This is because the material grows quicker, it cheaper to replace and install. Softwoods are also much easier to cut, so they’re a popular option due to ease of installation and manufacture. Despite being a lighter wood, softwoods can be a great insulator as a window frame, making them a reliable yet affordable choice.

It’s important to note that wood can change with the weather, expanding and contracting as humidity and temperatures fluctuate. To prevent warping, window frame wood used is often finished with a preservative that protects against weather and rotting from moisture damage – which are all risks that come with poorly maintained wooden frames. Oiling or waxing the wood regularly and examining for any damages can aid in preventing this.

Wooden frames are best suited to those who want to add a more authentic look to their home, or for those looking toward more eco-friendly options for their window frames. Don’t forget they do require a little extra maintenance, with regular oiling and careful cleaning recommended to maximise the longevity of the materials.

uPVC Windows

uPVC (Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride) is a synthetic plastic material, and is one of most common frame materials used in the UK. It’s cheaper and easier to install than other materials and is highly customisable, available in a range of colours and able to be shaped to fit the space it is being used in.

Unlike wooden frames, uPVC is incredibly easy to clean due to its plastic-based surface. uPVC is more durable with less maintenance, being unlikely to bend or rot in fluctuating weather conditions. Whilst longevity is not an issue with uPVC frames, they are not as easy to repair as other options. Minor scratches and dents are easy enough to fix, however larger damages may require a full replacement of the window in order to maintain waterproofing and the integrity of the seal. uPVC can also gradually become discoloured over time if the material becomes sun bleached. You may prefer a wooden or aluminium alternative if you prioritise the aesthetics of your home, or if you’re looking for a more unique or modern look.

Overall, uPVC is an ideal choice if you’re looking for low maintenance window materials that are cost effective and equally as insulative as your other options.

Aluminium Windows

Aluminium frames are ideal for the sleek and modern home. Both lightweight and strong, it offers extreme durability and efficiency which is only improved upon when you pair it with double glazing. Once thought to be a poor choice for insulation due to the threat of moisture build up within the frames, design improvements in modern aluminium framing and double glazing such as the insertion of a non-conductive material between the window panes has changed this.

This makes aluminium windows a great choice for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home all year round. It’s also an excellent choice for the environment (and your wallet!) with enhanced insulation cutting down on your heating and therefore energy usage. While this makes aluminium frames a worthwhile investment in the long run, given the amount of money you would save on your household energy bills, the initial price of these frames can be quite costly in comparison to significantly cheaper uPVC or timber materials.

Despite their durability, these windows can fall victim to discoloration from the sun just like uPVC. This means the aluminium gradually grows darker depending on exposure to sunlight. However, if the sleek and slimline look is for you and you’re willing to spend now to save later; aluminium windows may be an ideal choice for your home.

Upgrade Your Window Materials with Cloudy2Clear

At Cloudy2Clear, we specialise in double glazing window repairs and replacements. Having worked across over 35 areas within the UK to install the latest developments in window materials and eco-friendly technology, we’re best placed to advise you on your double glazing upgrades or installations. We’re so dedicated to delivering quality service and products that we offer a 25-year guarantee on all our windows – ensuring lasting quality and a comfortable, well-maintained home.

Give our team a call today on 0800 61 21 119 to book a free, no obligation quote with our expert engineers. Alternatively, fill out our online contact form and we’ll get back to you at a time that works for you.