PVC was first adapted to large-scale industrial applications by the US Navy during the Second World War, for use in waterproofing warships (Spitz 1988). Since then, it has joined steel and concrete as one of the dominant synthetic materials in construction throughout the world, with more than 14 billion pounds produced in the US and Canada each year (Linak & Yagi 2003).
Unlike most other hard plastics, uPVC can be melted to form thermal bonds and create fused joints which offer the strength of mechanical joints plus air and water-tightness.
Because uPVC is so versatile, and more specifically because it can take any shape, it’s possible to build window and door frames that are extremely strong and partially hollow. These hollow internal chambers are highly effective as insulation.
You have nothing to fear from PVC. But don’t take our word for it—hospitals use it for IV bags, blood bags, all kinds of tubing, masks, and more (Vinyl Institute).
uPVC is naturally free of bisophenol A (BPA), unlike most other hard plastics. And because uPVC doesn’t require the use of plasiticizers, it is never mixed with pthalic acids (including DEHP), that are used to make softer plasitcs.
Many plastics are known to leech dangerous chemicals into the air and water at high temperatures. That’s why polycarbonate plasticware isn’t dishwasher safe. PVC doesn’t release chemicals that way. That’s why hospitals can use it, andthat’s why it’s used for most new municipal water lines and for indoor plumbing pipe.
Unlike wood, consistent dampness won’t cause problems for PVC, even over an extended period of time. It doesn’t rot, and won’t warp. What’s more, mold growth will not denature, stain, or otherwise damage uPVC.
Unlike aluminum and some fiberglass products, PVC doesn’t corrode, and it’s unaffected by most chemicals and solvents that will destroy most materials over time.
Cleaning smooth uPVC is normally as easy as light contact with a damp cloth, and most stains can be removed with ordinary cleaning solutions. And unless your uPVC window or door came painted or custom finished originally, you will never have to paint it to renew its appearance. Just wipe it down. See Table A for a comparison of the drawbacks of alternative construction materials.
|Requires paint or stain||✔||✔||✔|
|Susceptible to mold||✔|
|Susceptible to rot||✔|
|Susceptible to corrosion||✔||✔|
|Low impact resistance||✔|
|Requires mechanical joints||✔||✔||✔|
|May crack or split||✔||✔|
|Warps due to moisture||✔|