Have a question? We’ve compiled a list here of the most commonly asked questions. If you have a question we haven’t addressed here, contact us.
how does vinyl compare to windows made of other materials?
Vinyl compares very favorably to other window materials such as wood, aluminum and fiberglass. It’s thermal performance, insulating value and cost to produce are all things in which vinyl is generally superior. Vinyl is also very low maintenance and while it was not generally considered a paintable product, advancements in technology have made that a thing of the past. Custom Built can custom paint your windows nearly any color imaginable, allowing you to match any color scheme you need.
how do i maintain my factory-painted entrance door system?
Painted doors should be re-painted every 5-7 years, or as often as needed to maintain the desired color. Please use an exterior grade, enamel paint for optimal appearance and durability.
How do I maintain my factory-stained Entrance Door system?
FiberTuff Woodgrain doors which have been stained at the factory should have undergo another application of polyurethane every 1-2 years. However, that timeframe is dependent on many variables and is only an average. Length of time and intensity of exposure to various natural elements such as the sun, salt and pollution all effect the finish’s lifespan. We use and recommend a marine-grade polyurethane. Please follow the specific manufacture’s directions when applying polyurethane to fiberglass doors.
the stain has faded on my door, what can I do?
DO NOT try to re-apply a stain directly on top of an existing stained door. It will apply blotchy and make the situation worse. If the stain has faded, the door needs to be stripped and re-finished (stain and polyurethane). Check with a local paint store for specific recommendations on stain removers, and follow the specific manufacture’s instructions for properly utilizing the products. We recommend a marine-grade polyurethane for use with our products.
how do i keep my windows clean?
Vinyl being a low-maintenance material, cleaning with anything other than a mild detergent and a soft cloth is unnecessary. For difficult to remove items (bubble gum, crayon, paint, etc…), a mildly abrasive cleaner could be used. Be careful not to employ any abrasive cleaner on the glass as its surface could scratch. Completely avoid anything that contains chlorine bleach as the vinyl could become deformed or yellowed.
How do I install an air conditioner in my Double Hung window?
It somewhat depends on the actual air conditioning unit and how it installs. What you don’t want is for the AC unit to sit directly on the face of the sill as the weight of the unit could break that piece of the frame. We suggest ordering an AC sill with your windows, have us cut you an AC sill if the windows are already installed, or putting a 2×4 or some other piece of wood on the sill of the window to keep the AC unit above the lip.
Why do I have condensation on my windows or doors?
Condensation exists on those products because the glass surface in question is cooler than the air around it. There are steps you can take to correct that condition, depending on the location of the condensation.
- Exterior Condensation: Condensation on the outside of your products occurs most often during spring and in the fall, or when cool nights follow warm days. Surface condensation is a result of moisture in the air exceeding certain limits and the temperature of the glass dropping below the dew point in the air. This is a naturally occurring condition, especially for products glazed with High Performance Low-E, Argon and Super Spacer, which further restrict heat transfer through the glass. As the temperature increases the following day, the condensation will evaporate. There really is no “fix” for exterior surface condensation because the homeowner cannot control the variables involved — temperature and relative humidity.
- Interior Condensation: Condensation on the inside surface occurs for the same reason exterior surface condensation occurs — moisture in the air and the glass temperature dropping below the dew point. While exterior surface condensation is more of an aesthetic issue and causes no real damage, high levels of interior condensation are indicative of a moisture problem inside the home. In new homes the problem generally corrects itself once the building materials’ excess water has evaporated (a process which could take months). If it’s an existing residence, unaddressed moisture issues can lead to peeling paint, damaged insulation, mold and other related health hazards. Interior condensation can be controlled through the use of dehumidifiers, increased ventilation, improved air circulation and behavioral changes.
- Condensation between the window panes: That’s generally an indication the seal on the windows has weakened or failed if the condensation cannot be wiped off. Please contact your installer for service. If unreachable, or no longer in business, please contact us.
The existence of exterior or interior surface condensation (excluding condensation between the panes) is not evidence of product malfunction, nor should its existence, or lack thereof, on other windows be indicative of anything other than a marginal difference in environmental conditions. You can read more in our Condensation Guide.
what is u-value?
The U-Value (aka U-Factor) is a measure of how well a product conducts (or transfers) heat. The lower the U-Value, the greater the products resistance to heat loss. Products with a lower U-Value will help you save money on heating and cooling your home by slowing the heat transfer through the glass.
what is SHGC?
SHCG stands for Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. SHGC measures specifically the solar heat that passes through a product. The lower a windows solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat the product allows through. In colder climates, a higher SHGC is desired as it will help offset the heating systems in the home.