Can anyone comment on the durability of Fibrex material itself?

OhiorowerJuly 7, 2011

I am looking at installing Andersen 400 series windows in a new home we're building soon. Andersen offers a new exterior window trim system made of Fiberex with a factory applied finish. These trims come ready-made to install on Andersen's standard sized windows and come in various colors. They represent a big savings on labor to build on-site custom exterior trims as they require no measuring, cutting, fitting, caulking or painting. The trims are applied in such a way that they are not part of the flashing/waterproofing of the house, and so are just cosmetic. They look really nice too, offering a variety of widths and profiles.

My question is, how durable and weather resistant is the Fibrex material itself. I have read many rants about Renewal windows, but nobody seemed to address the long term survival of Fibrex and/or its factory applied paint. Does anyone have any info that would give me an idea how this material will hold up? Our house is to be in a wooded setting in southern Ohio, warm humid summers and fairly cold winters. Sunlight exposure will be moderate, especially when compared to mountain or seaside environments.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Windows on Washington Ltd

I think the fact that they issue a 10 year warranty on the material is probably the largest commentary on the durability of that material in and of itself.

I would always choose fiberglass over Fibrex and may even choose vinyl over Fibrex depending the requirements (largely aesthetic) of the client.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:47PM
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Is your opinion based on actual experience with Fibrex? What sorts of failures have you observed? The idea of wood-vinyl composite doesn't seem bad to me. I have examined samples and it seems to be rigid and the finish coat is quite thick, thicker even than the acrylic finish on Ultrex fiberglass products. I don't understand why it would fail any faster than fiberglass. After all, good quality wood-plastic composite decking seems to hold up beautifully. I don't mean to be argumentative, I just wondered if you have actually experienced failures in the material.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:09PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Andersen is a pretty big company with quite a few smart engineers. If the product is that good, why not issue a lifetime warranty on the frame.

I have seen quite a few examples of premature material failures in the case of the fibrex material but those are just my observations and should be taken in context of the small sample study.

I strongly disagree with the idea that fiberglass (Marvin or otherwise) will only last just as long as fibrex. The resins in fiberglass are much more UV stable than the vinyl used in fibrex and there are thousands of examples of 30 year old boats that are doing quite well in far more inhospitable conditions than a home's window placement.

Fibrex is 70% vinyl by material make-up, if that is okay, you can probably go to a 100% vinyl window and be just as good off for much cheaper.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:28AM
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As wow stated, Andersen provides only a 10 yr warranty on Fibrex, if this was truly am impermeable, impervious end all product that they like to advertise and claim it to be; why only a 10 yr warranty????

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Regarding the 10 yr warranty, Marvin Integrity (pultruded fiberglass) windows have a 10 yr warranty, Andersen 400 series have a 10 yr warranty (25 on the glass), the Fibrex window trims, a 10 year warranty. So all 3 are comparable. The fibrex trims cost $175 for a pre-assembled, pre-finished snap on trim for a 5' x 2 1/2' window! That's why I'm interested in them.

As for fiberglass resin systems, I'm sure that the resin used in modern pultruded glass material (likely an epoxy) is far better than the polyester resins used in boat construction 25 years ago. Most 25 yo fiberglass boats stored outside in the sun their whole lives (like a window frame is) will be brittle and weak. That said I am putting Apex siding on my house with no reservations!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:34PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Marvin Infinity with a nailing flange = lifetime warranty.

I would also look at Inline.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:06PM
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