With all the different options available for a window framing material, how do you know which is best? Do you stick with wood, the original framing material? Should you go for vinyl, the low maintenance alternative? What about vinyl-clad, fiberglass, aluminum, or any of the other options available?
Renewal by Andersen of Northeastern Wisconsin is proud to present the Andersen-exclusive Fibrex® material, proof that sometimes the whole really is more than the sum of its parts. Fibrex® material is a composite blend of real wood fibers and thermoplastic polymers to create something that combines the strength and stability of wood with the low-maintenance features of vinyl.
Homeowners often tell us they are looking to replace their windows to improve the energy efficiency of their home. While energy bills sometimes factor into this, what they often mean is that they want their home to be more comfortable. They’re tired of having ice buildup on the bottoms of the windows in the winter or having something that’s too hot to touch in the summer. This is where the insulating qualities of your window frame materials come in.
Fibrex material has excellent insulating properties, on par with wood, vinyl, or fiberglass. Aluminum, on the other hand, is a very conductive material. This allows for heat to be transferred easily in and out of your home—not an ideal material for an energy efficient home. Fibrex material insulates about 700 times better than aluminum.
Low Maintenance/Decay Resistant:
When selecting a window framing material, consider the amount of maintenance you are wanting to perform. Wood and fiberglass windows require routine varnishing or painting to keep the frames protected from the elements and the windows performing. Without proper protection and maintenance, wood windows will see a loss of weight which can lead to structural issues as well as ugly signs of molding and rot.
With Fibrex material, a special polymer formulation surrounds and coats each wood fiber in the manufacturing process, providing exceptional resistance to rot and fungal growth. Renewal by Andersen’s windows, made with Fibrex material, never need scraping or painting because they are warranted not to flake, rust, blister, peel, crack, pit, or corrode.
Stable and Predictable:
While some surprises are exciting, when it comes to the windows and doors in your home, surprises are usually not welcome. You want to know that you’ll be able to open your windows when you want to and close them just as easily. The shape should remain rigid throughout the life of your windows and the frames should not take up more space than the glass.
Fibrex material is twice as stable and rigid as vinyl, meaning no bowing or warping ensuring a great fit throughout the life of your windows. While wood’s average stiffness is higher, its natural variations like grain, knots, and moisture content make it less predictable than Fibrex material. In fact, Fibrex material is so strong our Renewal by Andersen windows can be made narrower than with other framing materials.
Durable and Reliable:
So you’ve realized you want a frame material that is both a good insulator and low maintenance. Vinyl fits both of those criteria and seems like a great choice. Another thing you need to consider is thermal expansion, the technical term for how much expansion and contraction a material has. To put this in perspective, think of a soda bottle in your car on a hot day. The plastic of the bottle twists and warps because it has a high rate of thermal expansion. If that same bottle was made out of glass, you would expect it to have remained in its original form.
Fibrex material, like wood, fiberglass, and aluminum, expands and contracts very little. Vinyl, however, expands and contracts a lot, which can cause cracks, bowing, warping, and leads to leakage of air and water. Fibrex material windows low rate of thermal expansion makes them a perfect choice for the wide range of Wisconsin weather.
Your home is an extension of you. While some companies only offer a white replacement window, our Renewal by Andersen windows are available in 47 different interior/exterior color combinations, including 3 species of stainable wood interiors. Renewal by Andersen is the preferred window replacement company by historical societies across the country because of our ability to recreate a variety of architectural looks and styles, including dark exterior colors. Pair these options with 11 different hardware finishes and customizable grille patterns and you’ll get just the look you’ve been searching for.