You have many materials from which to choose when selecting your replacement or new-construction windows. Aluminum is one of the materials you should consider for your windows, since it’s a strong, durable window-framing material for both residential and commercial structures. Here are five interesting facts to know about aluminum windows.
1. Aluminum Windows Started Out as Streetcar Windows
Many people mistakenly believe that aluminum windows first arrived on the construction market in the mid-1900s. In fact, the first aluminum windows were in use all the way back in 1912. That’s when bus, streetcar, and railroad car manufacturers began using aluminum in their mass transit vehicles.
A market for aluminum windows developed in the 1930s as people began to appreciate the sleek, contemporary look of aluminum window frames. Early aluminum windows were often crafted to look like steel or wood.
Many aluminum window frames from the past century are still in use today. Building restorers have also taken steps to bring older aluminum windows back to their former glory on famous buildings including the U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.
2. Aluminum Frames Offer Various Finishes
In the past, aluminum windows didn’t have finishes or were treated with anodized coatings, paint, or chemicals. Today, you can order anodized aluminum windows if you want a metallic look to your window frames.
The selection of colors available in anodized aluminum frames is limited. Only a handful of different shades of metal are available with anodizing processes. Two nice things about anodized window frames are that the anodizing agent penetrates into the metal and that sunlight does not affect the anodized surface.
Manufacturers can paint aluminum window frames in a wide range of colors to match home trim and other architectural features. Manufacturers can treat your aluminum windows with a baked silicone polyester enamel paint coating that looks fresh and clean. Your choices are vast with painted aluminum window frames.
3. Aluminum Windows Are Low Maintenance
Wood window frames need frequent painting and staining. Sometimes, weather and wear require yearly refinishing of wood window frames. You must also check glazing-compound and caulk adherence around windows, since wood may expand or contract around the window openings and glass panes.
Vinyl windows can grow dingy, dent, or fade in color. Vinyl windows may also warp when exposed to sunlight or high heat.
Aluminum windows don’t require yearly or every-other-year refinishing. Coatings on aluminum windows retain their integrity for a long time before the aluminum begins to corrode.
Wiping dust and debris from windows and checking caulk around the window frames should likely be all that’s necessary for routine aluminum window maintenance. You save money and time with aluminum windows since you’re not painting or re-staining wood, and your aluminum windows look better for a longer period than vinyl windows.
4. Aluminum Windows Allow for More Glass
If you plan to build a contemporary home, or you plan to have a wall of windows looking out over a scenic vista, you want to include as much glass area as possible in your windows. You don’t need thick, fussy window frames that take up too much of the view.
Aluminum is the perfect material to create window frames with massive glass expanses. The material is very strong, resistant to decay, and doesn’t need to be super thick to hold on to window panes.
Many large windows in commercial buildings, mansions, and cultural centers have aluminum frames. Even if you build or restore a more traditional Colonial or Victorian home, you can have aluminum-framed windows that let in all of the view but also have painted or enhanced frames to look like vintage architectural features.
5. Aluminum Clad Windows Offer the Best of Window Worlds
Aluminum is weather- and corrosion-resistant. The material is also lightweight and strong for its weight. However, aluminum window frames conduct heat quickly. Aluminum is a poor insulating material when compared to wood or enhanced vinyl window frames.
An aluminum-clad wooden window is a great compromise. Aluminum-clad windows have an interior structure made of soft wood like pine. The wood acts as a thermal break to keep warm air inside and cold air outside during winter, and vice versa in summer. Cladding on the outside of the window is very thin but protective of the vulnerable wood inside.
Aluminum-clad windows are available in a wide variety of styles, so you have a version of an aluminum-clad window for nearly any new construction project. Some windows have decorative tops or sashes, and many can mimic traditional window frames for older home restorations.
Aluminum-clad windows are a great choice for people who want the low-maintenance features of aluminum windows for their homes in Utah and Idaho. Standard aluminum windows may not offer the insulation values of wood windows, but aluminum-clad windows offer similar insulation as wood windows with great protective coatings on the frames.
Schedule installation of your new aluminum-clad windows by contacting the window experts at Valley Glass today. We offer high-quality aluminum-clad windows for replacement and new construction throughout the states of Idaho and Utah.