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Fading vinyl windows

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  • Fading vinyl windows

    3 years age I built a house using almond colored vinyl windows. I am not going to name the manufacturer.
    Within 14 months of installation the windows showed signs of fading. The almond color was fading to white, this fading was not consistent and had a splotchy appearance. The windows take a direct hit from the sun, there is a 18" eave overhang.
    I contacted the mfg of the windows, they initially accused me of washing the window frames with some kind of solvent. I assured them that I had used no solvent whatsoever on the window frames.
    The mfg took one of the inoperable vents from an xo slider to run a lab test. I've heard no mention of this lab test, so I assume the results did not show the use of solvents.
    Next the mfg did a "scrub" of the exterior exposed vinyl, I liken the "scrub" to using rubbing compound on an old oxidized, faded car fender, yes the appearance improved, but within 6 months they were faded again.
    I contacted them again, presently the mfg wants to paint the exposed vinyl, which sounds to me like a coverup. I want the windows completely removed and replaced with new white vinyl windows. To make matters worse the window frames are installed in stucco, so any window replacement would entail hacking into the stucco and waterproof paper. I'm concerned about waterproofing and matching the existing color coat and texture.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for solving this problem. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Fading vinyl windows

    I'd paint the windows if it were my house. The paint will prevent further degradation from UV and is a much better solution than violating the stucco and drainage plane. If you think your windows look crappy, wait'll you see the stucco repair. I've painted a lot of vinyl windows and even vinyl siding w/ good results. Ask them what kind of paint they'll be using and then research their choice on your own.
    Good luck, Chad


    • #3
      Re: Fading vinyl windows

      I have used a product called vinyl renu ( on faded vinyl siding. It restored the color and has lasted two years now. Watch out, it may void the warranty.


      • #4
        Re: Fading vinyl windows

        Thanks for tips and info guys. I still haven't decided what to do.
        Chad, with regard to painting the windows, how long did the paint job last before it too faded, cracked, peeled or at the very least needed to be repainted. What I'm trying to avoid is trading one problem for another. Your point is well taken about the stucco repair.
        Ken, I'd try the renew product, but I 'm still in the warrantee period and don't want to give the mfg any reason to void it, come to think of it the mfg might have used this product when they did the "scrub".
        Thanks again for your input.


        • #5
          Re: Fading vinyl windows

          Hi Bob,

          I used Muralo paint on one of my rentals(the house was bright yellow and no one would rentit) It's been on for 9 years and looks absolutely like the day I put it on. I live in a pretty harsh environment very cold in the winter and pretty hot in the summer.
          I've never seen quality paint crack or peel off vinyl. I'm sure someone may have, but I haven't.
          I'd get the manufacturer to sign something that says your vinyl is paintable. Release agents used in some vinyls make them impossible to paint.


          • #6
            Re: Fading vinyl windows


            What is their warranty on something like this?


            • #7
              Re: Fading vinyl windows

              Chad, thanks for the brand of window paint you used. If I agree to painting the windows I'll definately get a letter from the mfg indicating that the windows are paintable.
              Woodrow, the mfg literature says there is a lifetime warrantee for the original owner, and a 5 year warrantee for the second owner. If I sell the house I'd like the issue to be completely resolved and not have to disclose it on the real estate contract. If the windows are painted I would have to disclose this fact to the buyer as per California real estate disclosure laws.


              • #8
                Re: Fading vinyl windows

                I painted a beige window white four years later still looks good I painted it with krylon


                • #9
                  Re: Fading vinyl windows


                  I would insist that they replace the windows with white, obviously their color doesn't stand up to the exposure that you have, and many vinyls do not take heat well at all (the darker the color the more problems, vinyl has a terrific coefficient of linear expansion, any “paint” should be engineered to withstand the particular conditions that you present) I would insist that the new windows be installed in accordance with AAMA installation instructions, which require a double flashing with some type of self sealing flashing used (like EZ-Seal or Vycor). I do this all the time, and the only way to blend the stucco in is to apply a new stucco color coat to the entire house. Be sure that the R&R is done be a competent general contractor (B-1), and the stuccowork is performed by a plastering contractor (C-35). In California window manufacturers are held strictly liable for their products, which means that they are not entitled to any excuses. Unfortunately they are not strictly liable for their defective products (that is covered by your warranty), only for the damage that those products do, so you probably won't be damaged until you sell the house and take the financial hit when you disclose. I am coming to the conclusion that vinyl is not an appropriate material to fabricate windows from, especially in hot climates or direct sun exposure. I would employ an independent inspector to check the installation, unfortunately city inspectors rarely understand window flashing.



                  • #10
                    Re: Fading vinyl windows

                    Just a little "what if".What if Bob[or anyone for that matter]had this problem on a remodel etc.2-3 yrs.down the road,this happens and homeowner thinks you ripped them off.There goes your reputation!Who's paying for all this painting etc.?Just a thought. FramerT.


                    • #11
                      Re: Fading vinyl windows

                      I was reluctant to use vinyl windows to begin with, but a G.C. I worked for downloaded some slick sales info from the mfg, extolling the "UV inhibitor" they use to prevent UV degradation. After reading your thread I'm reluctant to reinstall vinyl windows. I'm considering aluminum..? At the very least aluminum is time tested.
                      Your point about recoloring the entire house is well taken, I've already insisted on this, hence the mfg's recent proposal to paint the windows as a cheaper solution.

                      FramerT: Lucky for me this is my own house and it involves only 8 windows. Upto this point it's been my understanding that this is a warrantee issue, so the painting or R&R would be the mfg responsibility. It would definately be more of a problem if there was a homeowner involved.


                      • #12
                        Re: Fading vinyl windows


                        Fiberglass windows are probably a better material than aluminum which isn't very energy efficient, but selection is quite limited here in California. Milgard is the only manufacturer that I know of that markets a fiberglass window here.


                        • #13
                          Re: Fading vinyl windows

                          All of the following manufacturers make pultruded fiberglass windows:

                          Accurate Dorwin
                          1535 Seel Ave.
                          Winnipeg, MB R3T 1C6

                          Alpaca Windows
                          1833 E. Harmony Rd, Unit 1
                          Fort Collins, CO 80528

                          Comfort Line
                          5500 Enterprise Blvd.
                          Toledo, OH 43612

                          Duxton Windows
                          10 Higgins Street
                          Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0A1
                          Fax: 204-334-1800

                          Entreprises Marchand Portes et Fenêtres
                          165 Ave. Lamarche
                          Ville Sainte-Catherine, Québec JOL 1EO

                          Fibertec Window Manufacturing Ltd.
                          157 Rivermede Road, Unit 2
                          Concord, Ontario L4K 3M4

                          Inline Fiberglass Ltd.
                          30 Constellation Court
                          Toronto, Ontario M9W 1K1

                          Milgard Windows
                          P.O. Box 11368
                          Tacoma, WA 98411-0368

                          Marvin Windows and Doors
                          P.O. Box 100
                          Warroad, MN 56763

                          Pacesetter Crop.
                          4343 South 96th Street
                          Omaha, NE 68127

                          Pella Windows
                          102 Main Street
                          Pella, IA 50219

                          Tempest Architectural Products, Inc. / Panorama windows
                          765 East 132nd Street
                          Bronx, NY 10454

                          Thermotech Windows
                          42 Antares Drive
                          Ottawa, ON K2E 7Y4

                          Aren't any of these (other than Milgard) available in your area?


                          • #14
                            Re: Fading vinyl windows

                            Thanks for the list of fiberglass window manufacturers.


                            • #15
                              Re: Fading vinyl windows

                              You really got me worried about the colored vinyl windows now. I'm getting ready to buy about 50 or so new Milgard vinyl windows in almond color. I really like the look of the almond over white.

                              I know you said you didn't want to mention the manufacturer, but please help me out here. Did the manufacturer's name start with an "M" and end with a "G"??