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Will PVCu Double Glazed Windows Turn Yellow Over Time?

It is hard to argue with the popularity of PVCu windows. As well as being sturdy, long lasting and cost-effective, they bring numerous benefits from sound and thermal insulation to being almost completely maintenance-free. That’s one of the keys to their success – they do not need much more a simple wipe with a wet cloth.

If you are interested in having PVCu windows installed in your home, you may have come across some horror stories about how they can become discoloured over time. That’s probably what lead you to look for an answer to the question cited in the headline of this post. Unfortunately, it is not inaccurate information you have come across. Yes, PVCu windows will discolour over time and in many circumstances, will become a very unattractive yellow colour.

Does that mean you should avoid having PVCu windows installed or is there anything you can do to prevent or correct it when this discolouration occurs?

Why Does PVCu turn yellow?

There are various things that can cause PVCu windows to yellow over time but the primary cause is the sun and its UV light. If you have PVCu windows already and they have started to yellow, look at the areas where sunlight is more restricted. They are probably less discoloured there, if at all, than parts of the window frames that are in direction sunlight. If you have a property with south-facing windows, you are likely to have issues with yellowing further down the line.

Aside from the sunlight, the other main cause of yellowing and discolouring to PVCu windows has more to do with the materials used in their construction. Along with the benefits highlighted at the outset of this post, the fact that PVCu is recyclable has made it incredibly popular. Particularly as most people trying to make their lives greener and more environmentally friendly. As a result, though, it means that not all PVCu is made to the same standard. If you opt for a product that has a higher content of plasticising pigments and agents, it could be more prone to turning yellow in the future.

french doors

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Discoloured PVCu Windows

So, you have invested in those PVCu windows, it’s several years down the line and they’ve started to discolour. What do you do now? There are ways that you can deal with the problem before looking to replace complete window frames, which we are sure you would prefer to avoid, if possible.

There are, though, some cleaning methods and products that you should avoid at all costs, as they could turn the problem of yellowing PVCu into a complete disaster.

yellowing upvc windows

Never Use Sandpaper

Some people in the past have tried using sandpaper to clean stained PVCu. The thought process is that if it is just the top layer that’s the problem, then by removing that, you remove the yellow. This is problematic because PVCu is not like wood – the outer layer, the part that’s glossy and waterproof is made as the rest is put together. The layers of material beneath it, though, are not waterproofed to the same degree and have a duller, matte appearance. So, if you use sandpaper on PVCu you will damage it beyond repair.

yellowing upvc windows

Avoid Using Bleach

Another mistake homeowners make is to use bleach to clean yellowing PVCu. If you are looking to remove stains and turn things white, you turn to bleach. Unless you are dealing with PVCu. The bleach has a chemical reaction with the PVCu and rather than turning it brilliant white, it turns the yellow into an even worse brown tone. So, avoid using bleach at all costs or you will have to replace your windows.

yellowing windows

Baby Wipes

It really depends on how extensive the yellowing is, but rather than turning to the more abrasive (and unsuccessful) methods above, you might have more success using gentler solutions. Baby wipes, for example, are often cited as a great solution for removing the less stubborn stains on PVCu. Although you may want to use a household cleaner, you should always check if there is any bleach in the formula, or you will be faced with the same problems outlined above.

yellowing upvc windows

Specialised PVCu Cleaner

You can also find some PVCu window cleaners that are designed to handle yellowing and other stains. Even if it does not produce the results you’d hope, they are often better than making a bad situation worse.

yellowing upvc windows

Replacing your windows

Replacing your windows is, of course, the “nuclear option” but if you feel you need to replace your windows then it is best to avoid the mistakes of the past. As mentioned above, one of the main reasons for PVCu windows turning yellow is due to the manufacturing process. At Evolution our windows are made to the highest of standards and this includes protection against long term yellowing. This protection is “baked in to” the frames as the materials we use are of an industry leading quality designed to help prevent yellowing. Added to that we add a film to window construction which gives even greater protection against the weather and other outside elements which can encourage PVCu weathering.

To find out more speak to your local approved Evolution installer today.

yellowed double glazing

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