Windows and Siding F.A.Q. - St. Catharines (ON)

What is a replacement window?

A true replacement window is a window that's custom built to fit within the opening of an existing window. It's built to fit precisely and can be installed without disturbing the interior and exterior areas around the window. This type of installation is more commonly known as a “Retrofit”

What you should know about a “Retrofit” type of installation.

  • Existing wood frames are often rotten or twisted..
  • The area between your wood frames and the walls of your house are often poorly insulated.
  • Your existing wood frames have not been properly shimmed and secured to support the weight and stress created by a new vinyl window.
  • You will loose a certain amount of glass area due to the width of your new vinyl window.

What you should know about a “Brick to Brick’ aka “Full Tear Out” type of installation.

  • The solution to all the above problems
  • By removing the old existing frames, we can inspect and repair any damage to your wall structure.
  • Factory installed vinyl brick moulds on your new windows eliminates the bulky look of exterior aluminum capping.
  • High density foam insulation is injected to fill and seal the space between your new windows and the house wall. - No more drafts.

What are the advantages of Custom Made windows over pre-made, standard-size windows stocked at home centers and lumber yards?

Because custom windows are made to fit perfectly, they provide the best energy efficiency and install much more easily and with very little mess. Also, because of the myriad of options available that affect appearance and efficiency, custom made windows allow consumers to design exactly the windows they need or want.

Installing stock windows requires that you add other materials like larger quarter-round trims to the interior, in order to make up for the smaller window size.

Do replacement windows really pay for themselves or is that just a sales line?

It's true , if you select high-performancethermalenergy-efficient windows over first generation low-end recycled vinyl windows that are still available in the market place. Savings will vary depending on your homes original construction, but expertly engineered and well-built windows will lower your homes energy consumption. Window maintenance is virtually eliminated. No more need to scrape and paint windows every couple of years.

Aren't beautiful vinyl windows an oxymoron?

Years ago that may have been true. However, today—with the options available and with advances in window design technology—quality vinyl windows are both beautiful and unique.

For example, home owners can choose from sculptured or sleek window styles; white, almond or wood grain vinyl finishes; standard or diamond grids; and beveled, leaded, etched or stained glass. And these are just a few of the options available.

How are replacement windows any different from older windows in terms of cleaning?

Many high-quality windows are actually engineered to make cleaning easier.

For example, double-hung windows with the latest internal constant force balance system allow a home owner to easily maneuver the sashes up and down. They tilt in—and lock securely in place—for safe, easy cleaning. “Quite a difference from old wood windows that stick and are difficult to move up and down”.

What are the advantages of vinyl windows over windows made with wood, metal or a combination of materials?

Vinyl is the ideal window construction material because vinyl:

Doesn't deteriorate or rot.
Can be extruded and shaped into brilliant window designs.
Doesn't damage or corrode when scratched.
Can be fusion welded to eliminate air and moisture leaks at the joints.
Offers excellent insulating properties—especially when used in multiple-cavity frame designs.

Are there differences in the vinyl used by window manufacturers?

Absolutely - Vinyl’s are like any other man-made compounds. There are numerous components in vinyl compounds, there are many vinyl manufacturers that produce numerous types and grades (re-cycled and a combination of re-cycled & virgin vinyl) for window manufacturing. The best vinyls (100% virgin) are proprietary compounds formulated specifically for manufacturing high-quality windows.

What makes one window stronger than another and why is window strength important?

The profile design and methods of assembly determine the strength of a window. Just as beams or roof trusses are designed for specific mechanical loads, so are window shapes.

The strength of the sash and frame dictate how the window will maintain its shape under high winds. A weak window can flex and reduce the effectiveness of the weather-stripping, resulting in air and water infiltration and, subsequently, higher energy costs. A weak window design also requires near-perfect window installation to ensure an effective seal.

You'll have windows with long-term strength and squareness if you select windows with:

  • All fusion-welded joints.
  • Glass sealed to the sash frame.
  • Large number of interior chambers
  • Thickness of exterior walls
  • Purity of vinyl

Understanding Condensation
Understand what condensation is and what you can do about it.

  • Ever wondered why condensation forms on your windows—and what you can do to prevent it?
  • What causes condensation on Windows?
  • Do windows cause condensation?
  • Where on a window does condensation normally form and why?
  • Can I reduce the condensation on my windows?
  • What steps can I take to reduce humidity in my home?

Will new windows eliminate condensation?

Actually, No - Condensation is moisture vapor suspended in the air, and that's something no one can guarantee to eliminate. However, high-quality vinyl windows incorporating warm-edge technology glazing systems will help to reduce condensation because they're much less thermally conductive than other window types. They can help keep the temperature of the window warmer—minimizing the hot and cold differences that turn moisture into condensation.


What causes condensation on windows?

Whenever there is excess humidity in the home, it will manifest itself on the coldest area of a wall, which is normally the window. The warmer the air, the more moisture it will retain, so when it comes in contact with the colder glass surface and the air is subsequently cooled, moisture is released in the form of condensations.

Do windows cause condensation?

No, condensation on windows is not the fault of the window, unless the window seal has failed. However, by replacing drafty windows or even installing a new roof, you are reducing air flow in your home and making it tighter. Tighter homes retain more humidity.

Where on a window does condensation normally form and why?

Condensation often forms at the meeting rail and at the bottom of the lower sash on the interior of the glass. This is because when warm air cools, it falls down across the interior surface of the window at the same time the air's temperature is falling. The air contacts the horizontal surface of the meeting rail which acts like a dam, slowing the air's rate of fall and creating the perfect opportunity for the trapped water vapor to escape and form on the meeting rails surface. The air then rolls over the edge of the meeting rail and again gains speed until it encounters the lower handle of the sash. At this point, the water vapor again makes its exit and lies at the bottom of the sash.

Can I reduce the condensation on my windows?

Yes. In order to reduce condensation, humidity must be controlled and air movement must be generated. As the exterior temperature drops, the humidity level needs to decrease if condensation is to be controlled.

What steps can I take to reduce humidity in my home?
The two main things you can do are to control sources of moisture and increase ventilation. To decrease or control excess humidity and condensation:

  • Use exhaust fans in your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms.
  • Vent gas burners, clothes dryers, etc. to the outdoors.
  • Shut off furnace humidifiers and other humidifying devices in your home.
  • Be sure that louvers in your attic or basement crawl spaces are open and amply sized.
  • Open fireplace dampers to allow an escape route for moisture-laden air.
  • Air out your house a few minutes each day.

Permanent Windows and Siding installs a wide variety of windows and siding to suit every style and to serve every function. Our windows are constructed using the latest technology available with the highest quality materials in keeping with our exceptionally high standards.