Fiberglass is a versatile material that’s used in many applications. You’ll find it in everything from boats and airplanes to the insulation in your own home. Now fiberglass has made its way into windows.
Pella, a Rosie-Certified Partner, offer a different kind of window — fiberglass. Their fiberglass starts with a proprietary structural mat. These strategically woven rovings (slivers of fibers drawn out and slightly twisted, in preparation to spinning) and additional rovings are pultruded, or pulled through a machine, and heated with a polymer resin to create a thermoset material that won’t break down. Their fiberglass is the strongest material available for windows and patio doors on the market.
Adam Homer, Business Development Manager with Pella Windows and Doors Mountain West, notes that Pella is one of the early adopters of this type of material to be used in windows and doors. Arizona and Minnesota were the two early beta test markets for their Impervia line, dating back to 2002. These markets were used because of their extreme climates.
Homer explains below how fiberglass windows are made, tested, and why they a worth considering when installing new windows.
A Strong Option
Fiberglass is strong and durable.
Like its name describes, fiberglass is made of glass fibers. A weft inserter (machine) weaves and knits the glass fibers into a resin injector. The glass fibers are strategically placed to ensure each lineal (frame) of material has maximum strength.
This process strengthens the otherwise fragile glass and creates an entirely new material that’s several times stronger than vinyl or wood. Because of the added strength, fiberglass frames can hold larger windowpanes to create eye-catching walls of glass.
The strength of fiberglass is demonstrated in its durability. Fiberglass window frames don’t damage easily, resisting the denting, scratching, warping, and corroding you may see in other window materials. Pella fiberglass windows use a patented, five-layer fiberglass material to create the strongest, most durable windows in the industry.
Fiberglass windows are energy efficient.
Fiberglass windows are manufactured to withstand extreme heat and cold. The strong, durable frames are stable and rigid, so they don’t expand or contract as the weather changes.
Since glass is an insulator, fiberglass offers the same benefits. Fiberglass windows absorb and hold heat, which helps maintain the comfort of your home in the winter and keep out the high temps in the summer.
Pella fiberglass windows have an insulating value similar to the natural insulation provided by wood windows. When combined with double- or triple-panes, fiberglass windows increase the energy efficiency of your home — and your energy savings.
Fiberglass frames are low maintenance.
Fiberglass doesn’t warp, crack, or rust. It’s difficult to damage during a construction mishap or weather event. The strength and durability of the material help it hold up.
That makes a fiberglass frame easy to maintain over the life of a window . With Pella fiberglass windows, you don’t even need to repaint them. The powder-coat factory finish is durable as the frame itself, so your annual window maintenance to-do list will be short.
Despite its benefits, fiberglass isn’t perfect. Like everything, there are some drawbacks.
Fiberglass windows cost more than vinyl windows.
On average, you do pay more for the strength and durability of fiberglass. Depending on whether you’re replacing one or multiple windows , the cost can add up.
On the bright side, fiberglass windows often cost less than wood windows. And once you consider the savings on maintenance, repairs, and energy , fiberglass is more affordable than you think.
You have fewer color options than with wood windows.
Pella fiberglass windows should not be painted. If you’re looking for an exact color match to your home’s design, wood provides more flexibility. Select a color scheme from one of five solid-color, or four dual-color frame options, which offers more design versatility than vinyl.
Fiberglass vs. Vinyl vs. Wood Windows
When it comes to the cost of replacing windows or the overall aesthetic of your windows, fiberglass does fall in between wood and vinyl. But there are many areas where it ranks right alongside or above its fellow materials: strength, durability, energy efficiency, and maintenance.
While you can’t go wrong with the quality craftsmanship of any of the three window materials, fiberglass might just provide the right blend of benefits at the right price point for you.
Tested To Extreme Limits
Products made of the strongest material will not warp or bow in the summer heat. This means a fiberglass window or patio door will maintain tight seals and optimal operation year after year. To ensure their fiberglass windows are the strongest available, Pella put them to the test.
The Heavy-Duty Truck Test
Tensile strength measures a material’s ability to withstand being pulled apart or stretched. Strong material helps ensure your window or patio door resists wear and tear and the demands of everyday life for long-lasting, long-term performance.
To test tensile strength (the ability to be stretch or pulled apart), they used bolts, shackles, and adapters to attach four fiberglass window lineals to the tow hooks and hitch of a 6,600-pound heavy-duty pick-up truck. The top of each lineal was attached to a forklift. The ¾-ton truck was hoist into the air to test its tensile strength. Watch the video.
The Concrete Block Test
To test strength, they put their product through a 3-point bend test. A metal stand and steel platform were constructed. A load of concrete blocks weighing 1,000 pounds was suspended from a single fiberglass sliding patio door jamb lineal. Watch the video .
The Bowling Ball Test
Testing for impact resistance measures a material’s ability to withstand a sudden, high force. Whether it is a slipping hammer on the job, damage from pets, or tough kids, this material can withstand whatever life throws at it.
To test against impact, a 10-pound bowling ball was dropped onto a section of a fiberglass sliding patio door jamb lineal from seven feet in the air. Watch the video.
Considering everything that goes into Pella’s products, you may have heard Rosie say, “I can’t understand how Pella Impervia hasn’t put every other window manufacturer out of business throughout the Sunbelt. This truly is a window designed for Arizona! A tremendous value.”
Visit one of Pella’s three Arizona showrooms to explore your options.\
Broadcasting from the Pella Windows & Doors Showroom Experience in Gilbert, AZ. We’re talking about some of the best windows you can install in your home. From vinyl to the strong, durable fiberglass product, Adam Homer discusses Pella’s manufacturing in Pella, Iowa, their custom window and door making process, the testing of the products and the advantages of installation in your home.
SPONSORED BY: PELLA WINDOWS & DOORS
Since 1925, building professionals have looked to Pella for innovative window and door solutions. Today, the Pella® family of brands offers a full range of quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling, and replacement projects. We are particularly proud that we can offer our residential and commercial customers windows and doors to meet virtually any style or budget. Pella Gilbert | Pella Tucson | Pella Phoenix