What is better for the environment spraying existing windows or replacing them?
uPVC windows help to retain the heat, making your home energy efficient but what happens when you want to change them?
Unlike wooden windows you can’t re-stain or paint them easily, so often you have to replace them and throw away existing frames when you want a change or they discolour. This is where you need to stop and consider the option of respraying using qualified sprayers. Not only can it produce a great finish but it can also help the environment in the long run too. Published in 2018, an article by VELFAC windows for the RIBA CPD platform* explains that whilst uPVC can be recycled it is complicated and if left to decompose, the process occurs slowly with some substances that could be dangerous for the environment. When you remove your old window it would either be wasted or recycled but then your new frames would still require the use of fossil fuels and chlorine gas to be made. In the tests they performed for longevity, the PVC samples remained unaffected by humid conditions but deteriorated significantly as a result of temperature and UV, causing severe discoloration. As we see this with clients, the white frames can often become patchy or stained. The study also states that according to a lifestyle assessment carried out by Heriot Watt University in June 2013, the expected service life is only 25-35 years for uPVC windows. Therefore you know that at some point you will have to replace or respray.
Likewise in an article by the World Wildlife Fund**, it was confirmed that only 3% of PVC waste currently gets recycled. 82% goes to landfill and 15% is incinerated. Hopefully, the ability to recycle will improve as the possibility is there, but at the moment the WWF report estimated the capacity to recycle is only a fifth of what is required.
Respraying your uPVC frames has some impact on the environment in terms of the paint being used but a lot less than the impact of recycling and manufacturing an entire uPVC frame. The specialist paint we use is solvent-based with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) which is better for the environment and because we spray the paint, we only use what is required and the paint is directed to the exact area so wastage is minimal.
So, if you are looking to replace or refresh uPVC windows, spraying is not only much cheaper than replacing but also, in the long-run, a better option for the environment.
Making sure you engage a professional to do this with specialist paint is essential. We were delighted to be awarded a Yorkshire Prestige Award 2021 for uPVC services 2021/22, so make sure you chat to us before replacing your old window frames. Our experienced team will talk to you about timescales and send over some more information on colours. You call also read our reviews on our homepage and take a look at our work in our galleries.