Vinyl windows continue to grow in popularity for buyers of noncommercial structures. They are less expensive than aluminum, yet have great thermal and energy-saving properties and they can be made in many profiles such as wood grains. But there are proper ways of handling vinyl that are very different than those for aluminum. Todd Carlson and Vicki Wachtendonk from AJ Manufacturing offer these tips for builders:
AVOID SUN EXPOSURE WHEN STORING
Vinyl windows shrink-wrapped for delivery should not be stored in direct sun, if at all possible. Although installed they perform well in all weather conditions, shrink-wrap creates a greenhouse effect, possibly resulting in warping. Place the windows under cover, or cut the shrink-wrap to allow the heat to escape if storing even for a day or two.
HANDLE WITH EXTRA CARE
Because vinyl is not as rigid as aluminum, don’t pick vinyl windows up one-handed. Make installation a two-man job. It may seem like a waste of labor, but vinyl installation will typically take less time overall, while also avoiding the risk of compromising the vinyl’s integrity.
DON’T STACK VINYL
Vinyl is not as rigid as aluminum so “don’t stack like cordwood”. Store on end and when transporting, avoid strapping that can damage and warp the product. Look for packaging that provides a place for straps and protects the window.
DON’T TREAT VINYL WINDOWS AS STRUCTURAL MEMBERS
They are not structural members, so they need to be handled as a component. Once they are installed, then they rely on the structure for rigidity.