Advice & FAQ

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PVC, which is used in countless everyday products, has been the subject of many studies, its effects on health and the environment having been greatly scrutinized. Every independent study has concluded that PVC is perfectly safe. In fact, the advantages offered by PVC have pushed many industries to use it. It's not a coincidence that hospitals around the globe use PVC to make blood bags, catheters, antiseptic gloves and flooring. It's also not a coincidence that potable water lines are being replaced with PVC piping. So there's no need to worry, PVC is harmless to your health!
PVC windows come in so many different types that it's hard to say. Some very inexpensive windows will have to be replaced every 10-15 years. We guarantee that our PVC will last 20 years, but that doesn't mean the windows will have to be changed after 20 years!
In general, people have their windows replaced at the end of winter. However, if absolutely necessary, windows can be changed in the middle of winter. There are ways of preventing cold air from entering the home (as long as the weather conditions aren't too extreme, of course).
When a retailer insists on seeing your home's fenestration, that's a good sign! In fact, even if you know how to take measurements, the retailer is responsible for manufacturing a new window that will be perfectly adapted to the opening. A window that's too small will require a lot more insulation. A window that's too tight will be under pressure, which will cause problems in the short- to mid-term. Moreover, retailers will be able to make suggestions (e.g. security standards) on the best windows for each specific room. They will also be able to suggest solutions that you may not have thought of or been aware of; minor adjustments that can make a difference on price. In short, replacing windows is not just a matter of cost, it's also a matter of expertise and workmanship!
Yes, a white PVC window can be painted black! In fact, the current trend is black or charcoal colored windows. However, do not attempt to paint your PVC windows yourself; you will sorely regret it! Please note that manufacturers who offer colored windows use a special kind of paint that is UV resistant, reflects heat (whose absorption would warp the PVC) and adheres by cohesion (no chipping or flaking). If you do choose to paint your windows, be sure to contact the manufacturer or distributor because this may have a direct impact on the warranty.
Absolutely not! PVC windows and doors do not release any dioxins and pose no health risks. Government health and safety agencies in many countries have published independent studies that all show that PVC is not a significant source of dioxins. PVC products will only release dioxins when burned! However, this is true for most things that are burned, like meat on the barbecue or wood (forest fires emit very high quantities of dioxins).
That depends on the condition of your window! If condensation appears between the panes or if parts stop working properly, a simple repair may suffice. Contact a retailer, ideally the one who installed the window, to confirm what must be fixed. If the problem affects the entire window, then it should be replaced in order to regain comfort and efficiency. One thing is certain, a window designed by P.H. Tech won't need to be replaced for 10+ years!
Yes and no! PVC is a mixture of ingredients and there are infinite recipes. One of the main and most expensive ingredients is titanium, and some extruders who want a cost-effective PVC will reduce its amount. Unfortunately, this type of PVC will tend to yellow over time (sunburn). At P.H. Tech, we constantly strive to improve our PVC recipe in an effort to ensure optimal quality over the product's entire lifespan… which is more than 20 years! For this reason, we regularly perform accelerated-aging tests, in specially-designed machines as well as in Florida and Arizona. This is why we know that our PVC, if it yellows, will be unnoticeable. Note that at the time of purchase, there will be no visible difference between inexpensive PVC (that will yellow from sunburn over time) and high-quality PVC. To avoid falling into this trap, be sure to ask you retailer for a PVC product from P.H. Tech!
No! In most cases, windows designed by P.H. Tech don't need to be reinforced because the thickness of the walls and their multichamber structure make them naturally stronger. However, manufacturers can choose to reinforce our products with steel, especially in the case of over-sized windows. Since this their responsibility, there's no need to worry about it. Your windows will stand the test of time, you can be sure of it!
That depends on your project and municipal laws! This is why we strongly recommend consulting your city's website or calling your city's officials to find out about the laws. Take the time to do this because it can avoid problems…
The Canadian Government sometimes offers tax incentives for home renovations (conditions may apply). However, since these fiscal programs are temporary, be sure to ask about them before buying.
Not «toxic», but irritating. When PVC burns, it releases a gas that has a very irritating smell, which can serve as a very effective fire alarm. In the case of a fire, most victims die from carbon-monoxide inhalation and not from the hydrochloric acid fumes released by the PVC.
Condensation is appearing on your windows because they are better insulated! Water vapor occurs naturally in your home. It is trapped indoors because when your windows are closed, they offer a perfect seal. When the vapor comes into contact with a cold surface (e.g. mirrors, windows), it condenses into a liquid. The more your home is insulated, the more you must ensure proper and adequate ventilation.
Low-E film reduces the transmission of solar energy through glass. For harsh winters like the one in Quebec, the Low-E film is placed on the inside to prevent heat from escaping. In California, or anywhere where winters are mild and summers are very hot, the film is applied to the outside to reduce the amount of air conditioning required inside.
As of February 2015, Canada is divided into three distinct climate zones, the map of which can be consulted at Natural Resources Canada. In Canada, we nearly all live in Zone 2. For this reason, do not look for a product that will resist polar cold (Zone 3), because a Zone 2 rating will satisfy your needs. If you are purchasing products for a home in the United States, refer to the American Climate Zones.
Like every other material, glass expands (and contracts) when it experiences temperature variations. This expansion tends to be greater at the center of the glass than at the sides, which applies pressure to the glass. In most cases, this pressure is absorbed by the glass and the design of the window. However, it is possible that the glass will break; this is referred to as thermal breakage. In general, thermal breakage is not covered by the warranty because it does not mean that your product is faulty. This phenomenon is quite unpredictable, so manufacturers cannot be held responsible.
The best windows for bathrooms are awning and tilt-and-turn, because in addition to offering a very tight seal, they ensure proper ventilation, even in the rain.
Slider windows have a number of advantages. Mainly, they are very easy to open. Plus, they complement the beauty and style of ancestral homes, they are easy to clean and are ideal for high, narrow openings. They also accommodate air conditioners. Double-hung sliders offer one added advantage: excellent home ventilation. By opening both sliders, hot air can escape through the top and cold air can enter through the bottom. The only disadvantage of sliders is that their seal is not as tight as casement and awning windows.
Horizontal sliders are installed in the basement for many reasons: they are the most inexpensive, they take up very little space, their surface area is maximized and they can be installed in small openings. They also offer emergency egress because they don't open out and are not impeded by outside elements (e.g. shrubs, plants). Another advantage is that can be used to pass material through.
Black weatherstripping does not fade over time, regardless of whether it is coextruded (sealing lip welded to the PVC), a weatherstripping bulb (like on refrigerators) or pile weatherstripping. White weatherstripping, on the other hand, gets dirty easily and it is very hard to clean, which makes a window look neglected. Extruders who install white weatherstripping do so for internal reasons (e.g. the scraps are more quickly recycled and they are not obligated to separate the white PVC from black weatherstripping).
Yes, tinted glass provides more intimacy because it reduces visibility inside the home without affecting the outside view. However, tinted glass can greatly reduce thermal gains and energy performance. Think about it!
Quality PVC, is a PVC that, even when submitted to harsh conditions: Resists impacts (shock absorption) Maintains a certain elasticity and always returns to its initial shape, even when exposed to gravity (e.g. when a triple-glazed sash is wide open); Keeps its color (never fades).