Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

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jayhawk
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Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#1 Post by jayhawk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:07 am

Looking at 21 premium vinyl windows. Current wood windows have structurally flimsy full screens that have not done well over the 20 years.

First, what's the tradeoff for full vs. half-screeens? Seems like many windows come with half-screens standard. One rep mentioned more susceptible to bugs with half-screen. Does a full screen make it look more like a wood window?

Second, what's the tradeoff for fiberglass mesh vs. aluminum screens. Apprarently upgrading to aluminum is $12 per window for Simonton 9800. What's the likelihood of a crease in aluminum vs. hole in fiberglass? Live in Kansas City. Can have some severe weather, e.g., occasional hail storm. In general, how appealing in looks is one versus the other?

Realize this is not the biggest issue in windows but trying to button down some details. Thanks.

DansWindow
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#2 Post by DansWindow » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:03 pm

I would recommend the full screen if you use your windows for fresh air. With a full screen you can open both top and bottom sashes to get a good flow of fresh air. The hot air will go out the top sash and fresh cooler air comes in at the bottom. The added benefit of the full screen is doing this without the bug getting inside.
I always felt that aluminum screens were better for ventilation due to the aluminum screen cloth having a slightly larger weave. Fiberglass has a tendency to collect dust more than aluminum which allows even less air to flow through the cloth. I also think that fiberglass can look baggy on wider window opening.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#3 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:11 pm

Half screen:

+ more light through the top sash
- inability to vent through both sashes at the same time.

Aluminum mesh will be stronger and more resistant to tear when compared to fiberglass but aluminum screening will also oxidize over time and this is the gray film you see on most windows.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#4 Post by HomeSealed » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:31 pm

I prefer fiberglass even though the aluminum is stronger... Drive past a home with 10 yr old aluminum screens and you'll see why, as WoW alluded to. I also like a half screen as I can't stand having to look outside through a screen. That is personal preference though. The bug factor is pretty irrelevant as half-screens will have a weather strip at the top.

jayhawk
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#5 Post by jayhawk » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:07 am

Thanks for the feedback.

Regarding the oxidize - how common is this in those 10 year windows?
Can it be cleaned off the window? Does it come right back?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#6 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:18 am

Very to easy to get off but comes right back. It is a ongoing condition as the oxidation never stops.

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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#7 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:28 am

Windows on Washington wrote:Very to easy to get off but comes right back. It is a ongoing condition as the oxidation never stops.
+1... Plus there is the fact that the screen itself looks terrible as it oxidizes.
I would say that it is very commonplace to occur before 10 years, although there are environmental variables that will play into that.
There is a reason that fg mesh has become so popular and is pretty much standard, and cost is only part of it.

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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#8 Post by TheWindowNerd » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:35 am

Depending on the mfg you may also have an option for a higher visibility screen mesh.
Lets in more light and air.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#9 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:46 am

anthony wrote:Depending on the mfg you may also have an option for a higher visibility screen mesh.
Lets in more light and air.
+1

Most of the high visibility screen that is out there from the big guys is thin wire stainless mesh. Very nice stuff but be prepared to pay.

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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#10 Post by hootie » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:24 pm

Any idea what product Softlite uses?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#11 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:31 pm

fiberglass

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Window4U (IL)
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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#12 Post by Window4U (IL) » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:13 pm

hootie wrote:Any idea what product Softlite uses?
Softlite uses BetterVue™ Screens by Phifer.
Sunrise Windows use OptiView™ Screens.
Okna and Starmark use ThruVision® Screens.
All are high visibilty fabric screens that are easier to see through and provide almost a third more air flow than normal fiberglass screens.

The OptiView™ screen is the most transparent of the three in my opinion, but it is also an option you have to pay for with Sunrise. The ThruVision® and BetterVue™ screens come standard at no cost on the Softlite, Okna and Starmark products. All are an obvious improvement over regular fiberglass screens.

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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#13 Post by jbocskay » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:52 pm

Thanks for the advice. I sent Dave (window4U) a request for a quote. Looks like Soft Lite makes much better windows than the Pella 350.

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Re: Aluminum vs. fiberglass screens

#14 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:56 am

jbocskay wrote:Thanks for the advice. I sent Dave (window4U) a request for a quote. Looks like Soft Lite makes much better windows than the Pella 350.

Don't be frightened when a large bear knocks on your door :lol: :lol:

Just kidding. Dave is a big fella.

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