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What to do about expanding PVC-U

wooden doors with double glazing

Modern PVC-U is a precision-engineered, sustainable, fully recyclable material whose superior thermal efficiency offers significant energy savings in the home. And it’s a responsible choice; PVC-U has an expected lifespan of at least 35 years, and when it does reach the end of its life it can be recycled up to ten times.

But don’t just take our word for it… the Building Research Establishment’s authoritative Green Guide rates PVC-U as equal to or better than timber in a number of key areas, including sustainability, environmental impact and energy efficiency.

PVC-U in the warmer weather

PVC-U is a popular choice of material for construction materials such as windows, doors and guttering because it’s a strong and rigid material that can withstand the elements and everyday use it goes through. However, like all plastics, it can suffer in the heat and expand in higher temperatures, which can make it difficult to shut or lock your windows and doors when we experience a sunny spell, as we have been lucky enough to witness over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

How to combat PVC-U expansion

When the temperature cools into the evening or when the windows or doors become sheltered in the shade, they will return to their original form and you will be able to shut and lock them as normal. If you simply can’t wait, you can try and cool them down quicker with cool water on the frame, although on a really hot day, this may not make a lot of difference.

Another short-term solution is to adjust the hinges of the door you’re struggling to close. It’s easy to do but beware, because you may then struggle with the door closing in the frame when the weather cools down again and so the hinges may need adjusting back again.

When is it time to replace?

If things get really bad, it might be worth talking to your local window and door installer to see if it’s worth having the items replaced. It might simply be time for new products. It’s worth remembering too that although this can be a downside to PVC-U products, on the whole, PVC-U comes out on top for cost, maintenance and life span so if you can make it work, it remains the most popular choice of window and door material for good reason.

If you would like any more advice on looking after your existing windows and doors or on whether it’s time to buy new, there is a friendly and experienced team at West Yorkshire Windows waiting to take your call.

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