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By Fenster 9 January 2021

The History Of UPVC Windows

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The History Of UPVC Windows

In this article, we’ll look at what UPVC is, along with the history of UPVC windows to the latest window technology, can UPVC be recycled and our final thoughts.

What Is UPVC?

First introduced in 1935, UPVC has been a popular material in industrial applications for 50 years. 

The manufacturing process of UPVC uses sodium chloride through electrolysis, producing chlorine gas. Natural gas or petroleum is then used for making ethylene, which puts together ethylene, chlorine, and liquid vinyl chlorine.

PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride, a chemical compound of chlorine, hydrogen, and carbon. The U in UPVC stands for unplasticised, which means that it hasn’t softened through the addition of chemicals known as plasticisers.

UV and heat stabiliser additives are included, making them suitable for windows by retaining their colour and strength.

Most doors and windows today are manufactured using UPVC since they won’t rot or warp over time, don’t require too much maintenance, and will last for many years to come.

History Of UPVC Windows

Aluminium windows, secondary glazing, and sliding patio doors were introduced in the 1970s with the double-glazing boom.

The Introduction In The 1980s To Replace Timber Windows

Property prices had started to rise and replacement windows were highly popular by the 1980s. It is during this period that Germany introduced PVC windows to the UK.

Aluminium frames are cold and that caused condensation during the winter, while UPVC was considerably warmer. 

UPVC windows that opened outwards were glazed externally with inadequate security cockspur window handles. 

Leaded designs were now common, and it now became possible to achieve Georgian style windows fitted with white glazing bars across the window panes. 

The introduction of woodgrain options happened during this period, which allowed people to change their homes’ appearance. Looking back, it was not a great time for property style.

In the 1990s and 2000’s – UPVC Was Common In Many Households

UPVC windows became increasingly common in many households throughout the UK in the 1990s. 

By the time 2000 rolled in, the vast majority of window manufacturers had started installing internally glazed windows that featured softer shaped frames and improved security options.

The gaskets fitted around the edge of the glass were large, ill-fitting, and black. White gaskets were then introduced in the market and received a lot of interest, but soon withdrawn due to the build-up of mildew and visible dirt.

People started to switch their white gaskets to black gaskets. For those looking to achieve a more genuine Georgian appearance, external Georgian glazing bars became available, while more challenging to clean with internal Georgian glazing bars, with UPVC windows starting to look like more traditional timber.

In 2010 – Consumers Didn’t Like the Look of UPVC

The glazing industry witnessed a revolution in 2010. Demand was high for high-quality, low-maintenance that not only performed like uPVC windows but did not resemble uPVC windows. 

Owners of high-value homes didn’t like the idea of their windows looking like uPVC. Instead, they wanted them to look like timber, but without the maintenance and hassle typically associated with timber windows.

Today: Performance Like UPVC But Does Not Look Like UPVC

Thanks to precision manufacturing, UPVC windows are now produced in a wide range of colours, often with grained wood finishes. A Modern double glazed window frame also features with precise mechanical joins, neater corners and secure and robust parts, and looking like real timber windows. 

Homeowners could now have replacement windows without compromising on style thanks to the new high-quality UPVC windows.

Latest Windows Technology

The last decade has witnessed an increase in the replacement window with the primary motivation being design. 

You can now choose storm or flush casements or traditional sliding sash windows in just about any colour, from contemporary greys to trendy greens to soft whites. UPVC window installation can be carried out in any property, Victorian terraced, character cottage or a modern new build.

Can UPVC Be Recycled?

There was criticism with UPVC not being sustainable as an organic material, such as timber. Further developments in the UPVC manufacturing process and recycling methods, led to UPVC recognised as a sustainable material in the construction industry. 

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) estimates that a UPVC window’s life is on an average of 35 years, and window frames recyclable up to 10 times without any deterioration in quality, which means UPVC can provide up to 350 years of service.

Our Final Thoughts

Many people believed Wood was the most superior insulating material for windows frames for many years. Today, window designers and environmentalists debate this subject throughout the globe. 

One thing we do know, UPVC allows for the seamless construction of high-quality, long-lasting windows that insulate the home effectively, and prevent problems with mould, moisture, and mildew among various other things.

Along with the latest technology, from single glazed windows to double glazing or new triple glazing, robust and secure UPVC window parts, UPVC window frames provide benefits such as reduced heat loss and low maintenance, they provide an enhanced look and great addition to your home.

Fenster Glazing is a window company that can help your home requirements. Contact us in Milton Keynes.

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Heather Scott
Heather Scott
2024-04-27
This is the second set of windows we’ve had fitted by Fenster. They are brilliant at every stage and I would highly recommend them. The staff are friendly and professional, they got the job done quickly and well, we’re very pleased with both sets of windows they fitted and would definitely use them again.
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Dan Alger
2024-03-13
I contacted Fenster last week to see if they could help me. My French doors were failing to lock meaning we couldn’t leave the house. They sent Ben out the next morning who replaced the mechanism and also adjusted the door, closing up an annoying gap that’s been there for years. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Fenster to friends and family, a really helpful and efficient company.
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Alison Budd
2024-02-29
We couldn't be more delighted with the professional service we received from Fenster Glazing. Nick turned up on time for the initial visit/quote which was fair and reasonable. After accepting the quote a survey was was carried out. The installers arrived on time and were polite and friendly. They covered everything up and left everything clean and tidy. After installation Perry called to check we were happy with the service. The quality of the french doors and windows installed were outstanding. We have no problem recommending this company. We would rate Service, installation and aftercare as 5 star.
NightWatch
NightWatch
2024-01-30
I live in Milton Keynes, I contacted Fenster Glazing for an uPVC replacement door. From the beginning to the end, they conducted professional communication, from sales to the technicians coming to replace the door everything was perfect. I had a draught issue with my door and it is resolved now. I want to mention that I am also happy with the quality of the material of the door. I am hoping to have the same quality of service in the future if anything comes up—special thanks to Perry for dealing with everything. Ben
CMH Yoga
CMH Yoga
2024-01-29
Highly recommended. I wanted a very specific style of doors to fit into our 1930s front porch. Fenster designed them, advised on colour & finish and they have produced exactly what I was looking for. The fitters were very polite and made sure everything was to my standards, and no mess left.
Chris Pike
Chris Pike
2024-01-25
Great company. Very friendly, helpful. The work was completed to a very high standard, at a very reasonable cost, and I would highly recommend them.
Martin Cassin
Martin Cassin
2024-01-15
Used Fenster glazing to replace two large panes of glass in our conservatory. Everything so Easy from obtaining a quote from Fenster to agreeing installation date and completing installation, polite, professional installation staff, very happy with service from start to finish

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