I currently have vinyl windows on my (Florida) porch. I've heard that the
latest acrylic windows are pretty good and I was thinking about replacing
the vinyl windows with them. Has anyone used the acrylic windows? If so, are
they pretty scratch resistant? Would you use them again?
Windows made out of vinyl?
I have one acrylic window and several that are polycarbonate. I used
them for impact resistance. Polycarbonate (Lexan is a brand) is much
more impact resistant than acrylic. I believe polycarbonate is more
scratch resistant - neither is particularly impressive. I don't believe
either has a problem with becoming less clear with age. Polystyrene
turns yellow with age - don't know if anyone made windows out of it.
Cannot tell if she is talking about glass or trim. For trim both would
weather OK but acrylic glazing is better for impact resistance but will
haze with age due to abrasion by particulate but this could be buffed out.
For clarification: In the current windows in my Florida sun room, the
transparent portion is made of clear thin vinyl (the material is kinda like
heavy duty freezer baggies). What I'm interested in doing is changing the
transparent part to hard acrylic. I am NOT interested in changing to glass
be much better. Light stability is good and it does not contain
plasticizers as used in PVC which often bleed out. I would imagine
light transmission is better with acrylic.
I glazed a basement window that kids had broken kicking ball with
acrylic several years ago and it still looks fine.
For clarification??? Freezer bags are made of low density
polyethylene, not vinyl, which is far more permeable to moisture and
causes frost build-up inside. I haven't seen vinyl used as window
glazing except temporarily, such as for insulation (double glazing)
during the winter. All glazing I've seen was made of glass, acrylic
(Lucite), polycarbonate (Lexan), or polyester (translucent but not
transparent; for fiberglass reinforced panels, such as used for
skylights or solar heating collectors).
Polycarbonate isn't naturally sun resistant, and for car headlight
lenses it's coated with an anti-UV glazing because ordinary
polycarbonate will become translucent otherwise. Acrylic holds up
great to sunlight (notice car tail light lenses don't deteriorate,
unlike polycarbonate headlight lenses) but it will develop a yellow
tint. Polycarbonate is stronger and sometimes used for bulletproof
windows, but I don't know how scratch resistant it is, although
regular polycarbonate, like the kind used for DVDs and CDs, doesn't
polish nearly as well as acrylic does.
Normally, "vinyl windows" refers to windows made with vinyl frames,
and the vinyl is treated to make is highly UV resistant, but if
they're like vinyl gutters, you can't paint them any dark colors (dark
means anything but white or yellow, and even light blue is dark for
infrared purposes), or they may slightly melt or warp from sunlight in
Let me restate the situation:
The window panes in my Florida sun room (i.e., basically just a covered
screened porch) are made of an optically clear vinyl -like heavy duty
freezer baggies. I'm thinking about changing the panes to hard acrylic (or
Glass is not an acceptable alternative - I'd have to get a permit and bring
the room up to local housing code (possibly install footers, possibly
install additional roof supports, add insulation, install electrical
outlets, etc.). The cost of all that is considerable and my property taxes
So, does anyone have any experience with acrylic windows? Are they fairly
I'm not sure what your concern is for your existing vinyl. If a panel
is damaged it can be replaced easily (you will need the glazing and
some spline and a sharp knife and a spline roller). Those windows are
quite durable but they ARE a little short of optical quality. An
unbendable sheet of acrylic is going to require some different method
of attachment than the rolled-in vinyl you have now.
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