Home Blog What is UPVC? Otherwise known as unplasticized polyvinyl chloride

What is UPVC? Otherwise known as unplasticized polyvinyl chloride

According to Wikipedia, unplasticized polyvinyl chloride “UPVC or Rigid PVC is often used in the building industry as a low-maintenance material, particularly in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and in the United States where it is known as vinyl, or vinyl siding. The material comes in a range of colours and finishes, including a photo-effect wood finish, and is used as a substitute for painted wood, mostly for window frames and sills when installing double glazing in new buildings, or to replace older single glazed windows. It has many other uses including fascia, and siding or weatherboarding. The same material has almost entirely replaced the use of cast iron for plumbing and drainage, being used for waste pipes, drainpipes, guttering and downpipes.” 

Woodgrain timber effect UPVC replacement double glazed windows and doors installation
Woodgrain timber effect UPVC replacement double glazed casement windows and doors installation

UPVC framed replacement windows and doors are a cheaper alternative to expensive hardwood timber double glazing and the stronger, but slightly more expensive aluminium. UPVC, also known as PVC and PVCU double glazed windows are popular because of their durability and the fact that they’re a very cost-effective option.

UPVC double glazing is manufactured from vinyl polymer which is bound to chlorine atoms so the window frames are not actually plastic and can work well with steel. This gives UPVC windows and doors great strength and versatility they require only very low maintenance, so hardly any ongoing costs which is a major bonus for UK property owners. UPVC double glazing is available as casement windows, vertical sliding sash windows, tilt and turn windows, Georgian windows, French windows and residential double glazed front and back doors. Nowadays all UPVC windows and doors must be energy rated to conform with the Building Regulations, and are available in choice of attractive colours and woodgrain timber effect finishes.

Energy rated UPVC windows are extremely thermally efficient. This is because all UPVC double glazed windows have a very low thermal conductivity as a result of the type of materials used in manufacture. Consequently, valuable heat cannot escape anywhere near as easily as it can do with some other building materials. UPVC tends to be slightly more energy efficient than some other types of double glazed windows such as aluminium, although all today’s modern energy rated aluminium windows, like UPVC windows, can still achieve an “A” rating, and there is nothing higher than “A”.

UPVC is also widely used for replacement fascias and soffits, as well as cladding and plastic gutters and downpipes. These products are often referred to collectively in the home improvement industry as “Roofline“. Like UPVC windows, these products come in woodgrain effect finishes to match in with the replacement double glazed PVCU products, as well as in a wide range of colours. The big advantage of all high quality UPVC products is that they never need painting, plus the only actual maintenance they really tend to need is a wipe down with a damp cloth once every couple of years or so.


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