3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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20 Oct 2021
9 reasons to add sun tunnels to your home

Sun Tunnels – Are They Right for Your Home?

9 Reasons to Choose Sun Tunnels

Sun tunnels are a feature that feels luxurious, without the luxury price tag. If extra windows or a skylight just doesn’t seem like the right fit for your house, sun tunnels (or solar tubes) may be just the thing. Particularly useful in spaces where electrical lighting is at capacity, solar tubes really brighten up those darker corners and nooks. Designed with a minimalistic footprint, many sun tunnels can easily be mistaken for a regular light fixture, thanks to a variety of light-diffusing lenses and finishes that blend in with your décor.

What is a Sun Tunnel?

Sun tunnels are becoming mainstream as homeowners discover how they increase natural light in the home. Also known as sun tunnel skylights, sun tubes, solar pipes and solar tubes, sun tunnels are essentially a tube that goes from your roofline into your ceiling to shine just the right amount of daylight in.

It’s important to note that they don’t provide a view to the outside and they don’t provide any additional ventilation. They have one job – to bring in extra natural daylight – and they do it very well!

They also have a much smaller footprint than traditional heavy skylights. In fact, until the sun goes down, it appears just as a normal recessed light fixture. They can also be installed with a solar pack and LED light to keep the light going long after dark.

What are Sun Tunnels Made of?

Sun tunnels are made of tubes of polished and reflective sheet metal. This tube acts like a mirror that bounces light from the source, down to the exit point (your ceiling.) The lens, or diffuser, is made of high-quality glass and is available in different opacities depending on how much or how little light output you’d like.

How are Sun Tunnels Installed?

When a sun tunnel is created, it’s just like installing a piece of ductwork from roof to ceiling. Instead of leading from a heat pump or furnace, the metal tube leads from a sealed weatherproof dome on the roof.

This is secured by flashing and underlayment to prevent any air or water leaks from getting into the tubing. It’s angled to maximize light as it enters the housing set up in the interior ceiling. You can choose what diameter you’d like your sun tunnel to be, but it should be narrow enough to fit between the joists.

9 Reasons Why Sun Tunnels are a Great Choice for Adding Natural Daylight

1. Sun tunnels are cost-effective

 Sun tunnels are much easier on the wallet than skylights. There are no structural changes needed for installation. Also, the materials used are more basic than a closed or hinged skylight. For this reason, you can usually add several sun tunnels to your home for the cost of a skylight. Sun tunnels are becoming so popular because they require only a small investment to bring more light and more life into your home.

2. Sun tunnels are energy-efficient

Because sun tunnels don’t require any electricity to add extra light to your home, you can save on your energy bills. Even better, you can have a solar nightlight installed in the sun tunnel. Throughout the day, the solar panel on the LED light will charge. This will let you continue lighting your space for free at night for optimal energy efficiency.

3. Sun tunnels are easy to install

The installation of sun tunnels can be installed in as little as one afternoon, even on lower-level floors.

4. Sun tunnels are low maintenance

Sun tunnels take on the appearance of recessed or semi-recessed lighting. You can even enclose them in a favourite lighting fixture and there’s no framing or moulding to maintain. To keep them clean, all you need to do is dust the lens and occasionally wipe the lenses and covers down.

5. Sun tunnels increase natural light

If your home has some dark corners or feels dim, you can forgo adding extra light fixtures. There are a variety of lenses available to diffuse the incoming daylight as much or as little as you like, eliminating glare or overly bright lighting. 

6. Sun tunnels minimize heating and cooling loss

Sun tunnels are much smaller in diameter than a traditional skylight and have little UV exposure, there is very little temperature fluctuation and no hot spots surrounding the sun tunnel.

7. Sun tunnels can be installed in tight areas

Anywhere tubing can be installed, you can have a sun tunnel. A master bedroom closet can be instantly brightened up and sun tunnels can be added to a kitchen or living area in place of recessed lighting. They’re also excellent for windowless bathrooms.

8. Sun tunnels can be installed with rigid or flexible ducting, depending on how much light reflection you’d like.

Sun tunnels come in two models – flexible tunnels and rigid tunnels. Rigid sun tunnels work best when a straight-line installation from roof to room is needed, or for an area with no obstructions. Flexible sun tunnels work around any roof cavity obstructions (within reason). The reflective tunnel ensures a good, bright light that reaches the areas it’s supposed to.

9. Sun tunnel skylights are leakproof. 

Completely sealed from the roofline downwards, sun tunnels are very much worry-free. Because they have a very small footprint and entry point into your home and do not open, sun tunnels are extremely unlikely to leak.

Sun tunnels are a fantastic way to save on energy and illuminate your home. At Budget Glass, we love glass! We’ll be happy to help you discover the many benefits of sun tunnels or skylights for your home and can work one on one with you to ensure a seamless installation. For more information on this and other residential glass products and services we provide, please call our Nanaimo office at (250) 758 – 3374 or send us an email to get started.

21 Sep 2021
add more light to bathroom

How to Add More Natural Light Into Your Bathroom

6 Ways to Brighten Up a Space When You Don’t Have Windows

Natural light is an important factor in making a home feel inviting and comfortable. Windows or a sliding glass door can do wonders for not only adding light, but opening up a space and allowing us to feel somewhat connected to the outside world – particularly during this time when many people are working from home. However, oftentimes rooms like bathrooms are left without any windows, and we find ourselves in darkness and feeling closed off. This is particularly common when they are down in the basement, or if you’re located in an apartment building. As a frequently used room in the house, this can put a little bit of a damper on our mood each day, when our bathrooms should really be a welcoming and comforting spot.

Luckily, there are things you can do to liven up the space and bring in some more light. In this article, we will list five things that you can do to bring your bathroom back to life.   

1. Invest in a Sun Tunnel or Skylight

If you have the ability, this is the best, most effective way to add some real natural light into a windowless bathroom. A sun tunnel, or sun pipe, are tubes that bring in sunlight from the outside via a reflective tube and a dome, or light-capturing system. They can be installed into any room in your house, though they are most commonly put in bathrooms. Sun pipes are also energy efficient, and bring in the perfect amount of natural light, even on an overcast day and even if your bathroom isn’t in an optimal position for sunlight.

Adding in a skylight is another great option. They are the most visually appealing, and create a nice, open-air feel to a room as the window above brings in the natural light.

2. Use Large Mirrors   

A good trick to get more light into a room is to use large mirrors. Of course, this won’t magically add natural sunlight into your bathroom like the sun pipe, but it can still make a big difference in terms of making the room appear and feel bigger and brighter.

You could consider placing a large mirror opposite the bathroom door, which we can almost guarantee will make the room look bigger and more inviting as you enter.

Try carefully positioning mirrors around your bathroom, and you will find that the right spot adds a lot of (perceived) depth, and the mirrors will reflect any existing light around the room—therefore, adding more brightness. Clever, right?

3. Work with White

White, white, white. This colour can be a tremendous help in brightening up a space. Not to mention it’s a simple, classy colour.

White, as well as other light-coloured hues, can be used to enhance the existing light in your home. It can even turn some of the darkest rooms into a livelier, more enjoyable space.

It works like this: dark colours absorb light, whereas lighter colours reflect it. That’s why white and light, pale colours will use the little amount of light you have available and make it seem brighter than it truly is.

On top of that, a white or nice cream colour will make your bathroom seem bigger, and even neater, too. But don’t worry if you want to add touches of colour, as well. Adding some colours here and there will enhance the “wow” factor, and allow you to play around with different decorations and schemes. So you can have fun with it, too!

4. Change or Adjust Your Lighting Fixtures

Sometimes when you don’t have any windows for natural light, lighting fixtures can help to liven up the room—if you pick out the right ones.

A pair of wall-mounted sconce lights on both sides of your vanity mirror can be pretty, as well as practical. Another idea is to have a centered ceiling fixture or can lights hanging around the room to ignite the whole bathroom. 

Fixtures with clear or seeded glass can also maximize the light, but avoid using coloured or muted glass on your fixtures, as this will actually darken the room.

Take your lightbulbs into account, as well. Try swapping out your bulbs for ones that have more wattage, as sometimes this can make a difference.

5. Consider Changing Your Shower

You might not have heard of this one before, but this tip could change your world.

If you find yourself feeling cramped in the space and there are no windows, changing your shower doors might be just the solution.

Clear glass on your shower door can make all the difference compared to frosted or bubbled doors. Clear glass will make the whole bathroom feel more spacious and bright, and will allow more light to reach all around the room in every corner.

Frameless shower doors can also brighten up the space, and along with some white tile and shiny plumbing fixtures, your bathroom will begin to radiate.  

6. Changing Out Foggy / Failed Windows

Sometimes the reason you don’t have enough light coming through your windows is because your windows are old and failing. If the glass inside your windows has condensation or appears foggy or grimy, this will affect the amount of light coming through.  If this is the case, we can often replace the sealed unit without having to replace the entire window.  

Whether you are looking to install a sun tube, get new mirrors, or change up the glass on your shower, we can help at Budget Glass. We offer a free consultation with no obligation, and provide you with a quote right away.

Budget Glass has been serving Nanaimo since 1983, and on top of providing top notch service, our team is highly skilled and knowledgeable. We are committed to carrying the best, most eco-friendly products, and we offer the best warranties in the business. If you’re looking to add some more natural light into your bathroom, get in touch with our experts today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 250-758-3374.

19 Aug 2021
glass railings on a deck

9 Reasons to Consider Glass Railings for your Deck or Patio

Glass Railing Systems Combine Style, Safety and Durability with Uncompromising Views

Adding glass railings to your deck or patio is an elegant way to create outdoor living areas that are not only beautiful, but safe and low maintenance as well.  In recent years, glass railing systems have advanced leaps and bounds, offering an endless range of features and customizations to meet your needs.  Whether you’re considering top rail framed glass or topless (infinity) panels, glass railings are a fantastic option for outdoor spaces of all shapes and sizes.  In this article, Budget Glass will take you through some of the top reasons to choose glass railings for your next project.


1. Glass Railings Ensure Unobstructed Views

Here on Vancouver Island and Coastal British Columbia, we’re privileged to have some of the most beautiful ocean and mountain views around, which is why indoor-outdoor flow is becoming one of the fastest growing features home buyers and builders look for.  Glass railings are ideal for ensuring that you make the most of those views, with options that can provide an unobstructed panorama of your surroundings. 


2. Versatile Custom Design Options for Glass Railing Systems

From texture to tint and from colour pallet to materials, glass railings provide countless options that make them easy to blend with any architectural aesthetic. You can even customize the height of your glass railing system.  Framed glass railings are available in a selection of different colours, finishes and materials all designed to create a stylish impact.  If you’re looking for a more modern, minimalist look, frameless railings will do the trick while still offering a variety of design options including colour tinting and custom etching.


3. Glass Railings Let the Light Shine Through

If you’re one of over 15% of British Columbians that struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder during the winter months, then you’ll know that a light can have a massive impact on your wellbeing.  With our comparatively mild climate, many of us are using our outdoor spaces – particularly patios and decks, year-round.  Make the most of that mood-boosting natural light, especially in the darker winter months, with glass railings!


4. No More Wind Chill with Glass Railing Systems

Glass railing systems are constructed from a series of solid glass panels that provide superior shelter from the wind.  Whether you’re living oceanside or at a slightly higher, more exposed location, glass railings will help reduce the wind chill so you can enjoy your deck and patio, even on those gusty, west coast days.


5. Glass Railings Provide Privacy Without Compromising Style

We know what you’re thinking, how can glass railings provide privacy?  If you’re looking to maximize light, but you also want to create a visual barrier for neighbours or passersby, glass railing panels can be customized up to 7 feet high with an opaque or obscured treatment that still maximizes light but also ensures complete privacy.  This is a great option for patios and decks in condominium or apartment complexes or in urban centres that are more populated.


6. Animal-Friendly Glass Railing Options

You can’t live in this beautiful part of the world without having a love for the native flora and fauna.  One of the common concerns we hear when it comes to glass railings is the potential impact on wildlife and, more particularly, the potential danger for birds.  As mentioned previously, designed with subtle etching or tinting to help mitigate bird strike and ensure as little impact as possible on surrounding wildlife.  


7. Safety & Durability With Tempered Glass Railing Panels

Glass railing systems are constructed using tempered glass, which is specifically designed to remain strong and durable for the lifetime of the product.  In the unlikely event that a glass panel in your railing system breaks, it will do so into many small pieces that will not have any sharp or jagged edges that would otherwise lead to injury.


8. Glass Railing Systems Are Low Maintenance

Unlike wood or other non-aluminum railing systems that require periodic staining, painting or other maintenance, glass railings are extremely easy to care for.  Just a quick clean with soap and water or household glass cleaner every so often will keep your surfaces looking like new.  


9. Glass Railing Systems Provide Value on Investment

The price of tempered glass railing systems start from about $140 plus per linear foot installed and can go up from there depending on features and customizations.  While this can make glass railings a somewhat pricier option upfront when compared to other railing systems, they are often less expensive in the long run because they require little maintenance, are extremely durable and last for many years.  This, combined with tremendous buyer appeal, makes glass railings an excellent value on investment.  


Beautiful, customizable, safe, durable, low maintenance and affordable – there’s so much to love about glass railing systems!  If you’d like to learn more about glass railing options for your special outdoor space, contact the team at Budget Glass, for a free, no-obligation consultation and quote.  


Budget Glass has been serving the Nanaimo area in central Vancouver Island since 1983 and our team of skilled staff take great interest in getting to know your needs. Our commitment is to carry the best products, hire the most qualified people, and offer the best warranties in the business. If you’re looking for glass railings in Nanaimo, BC, get in touch with the experts at Budget Glass.

13 Jul 2021
patio door security

Patio Door Security

Increase The Security of Your Patio Door with These Simple Tips and Upgrades

A patio door tends to be a high-use item in the home, particularly during the spring and summer.  As such, you’ll want to keep patio door security in mind. Most often installed off the kitchen, living room or family room, it’s a welcome addition to any contemporary house as it leads seamlessly to the outside. Often used to access the deck area, sunroom, pool, hot tub, playground and more, patio doors are convenient, they let in plenty of natural light and they add great accessibility to your house. 

As with any ground floor doorway, you’ll want to be sure your patio door is secure.  As a side or back entrance, it’s not as visible as the front door, but an unsecured patio door can still leave your home vulnerable to unwanted guests.

How Can I Make Sure My Patio Door is Secure?

There are a few different types of patio doors including sliding glass, garden and French doors and they all have a few different security features. 

Patio Door Locks

Traditional keyed locks are a budget-friendly way to ensure your door and screen is secured when you leave the house or close up for the night. Older sliding glass doors tended to just have a simple latch on the inside of the door as the only thing securing it against break-ins. Today, we know that’s not enough and you’re better off having a keyed lock to add an extra layer of security. Also, consider a three-point locking system with locks on the top and bottom of the door frame.

Window Coverings

The vast majority of patio doors let you look outside (and inside.) Most would-be thieves will lose interest if they cannot see what’s inside. If you add a set of good quality vertical blinds or thermal honeycomb shades and close them at night and when you know you’ll be out, your home will be that much more secure.

Of course, there are also automated window fashions, so if you’re away from home and you realize you forgot to close the blinds or shades, you can close them with a smartphone app. These automated and motorized window coverings do double duty as security and keeping your home evenly heated/cooled. 

The thermal properties of many of the newer window coverings on the market are designed to dampen sound, filter UV rays and insulate the glass from hot or cool air leaks. Combined with vinyl frame patio doors with insulated sealed units from Vancouver Island’s own Thermoproof windows or from Gentek Windows, your home will stay completely comfortable year-round with higher energy efficiency.

Double-Glazed Windows

Double-glazed glass is much more secure and shatter-resistant than single-glazed panels. These are a deterrent for would-be vandals. You can also have reflective glass installed, which lets you see out but limits the view of the inside, due to its mirrored properties. Providing the ultimate in privacy, you get to keep your view and go about your day with complete confidence. Not ready to switch to double-glazed quite yet? You can also add a security film, which provides extra protection.

A Dowel or Metal Rod

This is a low-tech, old-school method to be sure, but if you have a sliding glass door with tracks, it really works. Just lay a dowel or metal rod of medium thickness in the door track. The dowel will sit in the tracks behind the closed side of the door. If anyone tries to open the door, that dowel is going to jam the door and make it pretty much impossible to get it open. This is a good trick for windows as well, particularly for those on the ground level when you want to keep your windows open a crack without being vulnerable to a potential intruder. At Budget Glass, we recommend combining this method with other security methods like an alarm system or three-point locking system.

Anti-Lift Devices

Anti-lift devices bridge the gap between the top of the door frame and the patio door. Used with sliding glass doors, they prevent the door panel from being lifted off the tracks and out of the frame. These can be added to an existing door to lessen security risk.

Screen Door

We also offer custom sized screens for all doors and windows, so you can let the summer breeze in and keep the insects, and big pests, out. Designed to exceed industry standards, they’re the perfect complement to a new patio door, whether you prefer French patio doors, garden patio doors or sliding glass patio doors.

Do you have pets? Ask about our pet mesh screens, designed for higher-traffic areas and made to resist tearing and scratching. Pet screens are also excellent for keeping ring-tailed bandits (racoons) and sneaky squirrels from getting at Fido’s food dish.

Is it time to replace your old, unsecure patio door? At Budget Glass, we offer a wide variety of modern options, including double-glazed, ultra durable vinyl doors. Strong, energy efficient and in an array of colours to coordinate with your home, our patio doors are designed to last for many years to come. For advice on how to secure your existing patio doors, or to inquire about an upgrade, feel free to contact us at our Nanaimo, BC location. We’ll be more than happy to help you discover the perfect patio door and patio door security solutions for your home.

14 Jun 2021
fixing fireplace glass

Fireplace Glass FAQs

Repairing or Replacing Fireplace Glass is Easy with Budget Glass

Is your fireplace glass cracked, chipped or damaged? Do you own an older fireplace or stove with a tempered glass insert? Budget Glass can replace it safely and quickly. 

Even if your fireplace glass does not have obvious damage, there are many advantages to switching to neo-ceramic glass which has superior heat resistance, is free of heavy metals and has many other industry-leading advantages.

What is Neo-Ceramic Glass?

Neo-Ceramic glass is now recommended for all gas and wood-burning fireplaces.  It has become the building code standard due to its superior features, including:

  • Ability to resist very high (over 1000°F) temperatures without damage
  • Ability to withstand high temperatures over a continuous period of time
  • Does not contain arsenic or heavy metals
  • Resistant to damage from thermal shock 
  • Has improved surface quality and colour compared to regular or tempered glass
  • Comes in 5mm thicknesses
  • Quick and easy to cut using regular glass cutters 

What is The Difference Between Neo-Ceramic Glass and Tempered Glass?

Although tempered glass has traditionally been used for fireplaces where the door is not close to the heat source; the superior safety of neo-ceramic glass makes it the best choice whatever style of fireplace you have:

Tempered glass:

  • Is safety glass, it shatters into small harmless pieces if broken
  • Is made using a process that creates tension and compression in the glass
  • Can stand temperatures up to 600°F, higher temperatures could cause it to shatter from thermal shock

Neo-Ceramic glass:

  • It is still glass so can break if damaged, but less likely to break from thermal shock
  • Formed in a 2-step process that creates crystals within the glass, making it very stable
  • Originally designed for telescopes
  • Can withstand temperatures well over 1,000°F

Can You Replace Fireplace Glass?

Yes! Budget’s fireplace glass experts can remove old or broken glass from your existing fireplace, clean and prepare the door and install new, custom cut, neo-ceramic glass. The process is very quick and we always leave your home as clean as we found it.

Do Glass Doors Reduce Heat?

No, because the glass absorbs the heat from the fire so it helps it to radiate around your room, so in fact glass helps retain the heat. Glass doors also help prevent warm air escaping from the room up the chimney when there isn’t a fire lit.

How Hot Does Fireplace Glass Get?

Very! Definitely hot enough to cause serious burns to skin. While fires will burn at between 300°F and 600°F on average; the glass doors on a fireplace or stove can get even hotter, especially if the glass is close to the heat source like in a wood-burning stove.  Neo-ceramic glass is safe at temperatures exceeding 1,000°F and is thermal shock resistant, meaning it is unlikely to shatter due to high temperatures.

Why Did My Fireplace Glass Break?

If your fireplace glass is not neo-ceramic, it’s very likely because it got too hot. While the tempered glass found in many older fireplaces is heat resistant, it can crack or shatter if it reaches temperatures over 600°F.

Fireplace glass can also break if it’s damaged in some way. If something hits or falls onto the glass it may break or crack right away, or when the glass next gets up to a high temperature.

Can You Repair Broken Fireplace Glass?

Fireplace glass that is cracked or chipped should not be repaired in the same way a car windshield, for example, can be filled. Due to the extreme heat fireplace glass experiences, the fixed area may shatter when it gets hot again.

Budget Glass recommends that the safest way to deal with fireplace glass that is cracked or damaged in any way is to completely replace it.

What Should I Clean Fireplace Glass With?

To clean fireplace glass, use a simple homemade or shop-bought glass cleaning solution and a soft cleaning cloth. If your wood-burning stove or fireplace has soot build up on the inside of the door, take some damp newspaper, dip it into the cool ash in your fireplace then rub over the glass. This will remove the soot marks; you can then finish with a general cleaner.

Never use anything abrasive to clean the glass as it could create scratches which could become a problem when the glass is hot. For safety, always allow the glass to cool before cleaning it.

How Is Fireplace Door Glass Installed?

When fireplace glass is replaced it’s important that the seal between the glass and the door is as tight as possible to prevent air leakage when the fire is lit.

Glass replacement requires the safe removal of the damaged glass, cleaning and preparing the door, reinstalling the new glass and finally, ensuring it’s sealed in place.

How Do You Prevent Your Fireplace Glass From Going Foggy?

When you first light your fire, your glass doors may get foggy due to condensation. Once the glass has warmed up the fog should dissipate fairly quickly.

Sometimes, the glass on gas fireplaces can develop a white, foggy appearance over time that does not go away. This is likely caused by the sulphuric acid in the gas leaving a deposit on the surface of the glass. A gas fireplace cleaner from a local hardware store should be able to remove this, as long as you’ve been cleaning the glass inside and out regularly. If the residue is left for too long, the glass may actually become etched by the acids and require replacement. If you are unsure whether your glass needs replacing, contact our team at Budget Glass. We’ll inspect the glass and provide you with the recommended next steps for your fireplace.

Choose Budget Glass for All Your Glass Needs

Budget Glass is your local glass expert. Serving central Vancouver Island since 1983, we provide glass products and installation services for your home and vehicle including:

Need to replace your fireplace glass or want to know more about the benefits of neo-ceramic glass? Contact us today or stop by our office at 3900 N Island Highway in Nanaimo, BC.

27 May 2021
how to clean a glass shower

How To Clean A Glass Shower

5 Ways to Keep Your Glass Shower Sparkling Clean

Your shower is a place to refresh, wake yourself up, ease aching muscles or just enjoy a few luxurious minutes to yourself.

However, there’s nothing more frustrating than having your beautiful, shiny glass shower door stained with dried water marks. It can be even more frustrating when the steps you take to clean it just don’t seem to work.

So how can you put that sparkle and shine back into your shower glass?

There are many different products, hints, tips and old wives’ tales out there, offering a multitude of solutions. Here are some suggestions that the team at Budget Glass recommends you try when trying to clean your shower glass.

Five Ways To a Clean Shower

  1. White Vinegar and Baking Soda – If you prefer a natural solution over a chemical product then this is a good option. The vinegar dissolves watermarks while the baking soda acts as an abrasive cleaner for stubborn stains. You’ll likely have the ingredients you need on hand in your pantry.
  • Wet shower glass with water
  • Spray thoroughly with white vinegar
  • Leave to soak for 10 minutes
  • Dip a soft cloth or sponge into baking soda and scrub the glass
  • Rinse with water and thoroughly dry with a soft microfibre cloth
  1. Lemon Juice – Another natural solution that is simple and easy to make at home. Lemon juice is good for removing lighter cases of soap scum build-up, and it smells better than vinegar too!
  • Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle
  • Spray glass and wait 5 minutes
  • Wipe clean with a sponge and dry with microfibre cloth
  1. Ammonia – This chemical is effective at breaking down grease and grime and dries fast and streak-free, making it popular in glass cleaning products. Keep in mind ammonia can be dangerous if not used correctly. Make sure you ventilate the room well and never mix ammonia with bleach as it can create toxic gasses.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of ammonia with 2 quarts of warm, distilled water in a large spray bottle.
  • Spray onto glass, wait 3 minutes
  • Wipe dry with a microfibre cloth
  1. Dryer Sheets – Although designed to soften fabric; damp dryer sheets magically transform into glass shower cleaners, as the softener in the sheet breaks down soap scum stains.
  • Dampen fabric dryer sheet and use to wipe over glass doors and walls
  • Rinse door well after use and buff with a microfibre cloth
  1. Store Bought Chemical Product – Of course, there are many products available in your local hardware or grocery store which can be used to clean shower glass and the rest of your bathroom. Some work better than others, and some also include extra benefits like mould and mildew removers.

Note: When using cleaning products and DIY solvent solutions, be careful to remove all cleaning materials from all silicone sealants, as these can break down the bond over time.


Daily Maintenance Will Keep Your Shower Glass Looking Brand New

Now your shower glass looks fresh and fantastic again, how do you keep it that way? A daily post-shower cleaning routine is the first step, but there are also some more permanent solutions available too.

A Simple Post Shower Cleaning Routine

The key to preventing soap scum and water stains from building up is to make sure the shower glass is cleaned after every use. Removing excess water and product from the glass right away will stop it from drying and creating streaks or spots on the glass. This is particularly helpful if your home has hard water. Routinely keeping your doors and walls dry will also help keep mildew and mould at bay and keep your home healthier overall.
Try the following post-shower clean routine:

  • Keep a squeegee in the shower and use it on all glass as soon as you are finished your shower
  • Spray with a daily cleaner. You can make your own by placing ½ cup rubbing alcohol, ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon dishwasher rinse aid and 1 teaspoon dish soap in a 32oz spray bottle. Top it up with water and it’s good to go.
  • Wipe down with a soft microfibre cloth and leave the door open so air can circulate and dry the glass.

Add Long Term Protection to Your New Glass

Hydrophobic coatings can be applied to shower glass. These actually repel water and product from the glass, keeping it cleaner for longer.

At Budget Glass all of our glass shower doors come with the option of adding ClearShield, a hydrophobic coating that protects glass from the build-up of dirt, limescale, water spots and mildew. Ask how you can add this to your new shower and spend more time relaxing in the shower and less time cleaning.

To protect your investment, we also recommend using specialty cleaners to repel and remove unsightly, stubborn glass stains. In addition to ClearShield, we also supply high-quality CRL cleaning products, like CRL Surface Protector to repel stains and CRL Sparkle to remove stubborn stains. These products can be used instead of, or in addition to the DIY solutions listed above.


Call Budget Glass Today For Your New Shower Needs

If you try all of the above ideas and your shower still isn’t looking like an inviting place to get clean, you may want to consider a new or replacement glass shower door, walls or a bath surround from Budget Glass.

We carry a wide range of options to suit any taste or size of bathroom, with your choice of clear, tinted or obscured glass and metal finishings to match your existing décor. When you have a beautiful and clean glass shower or bath surround, your bathroom can be your sanctuary again, your place to unwind and refresh … and get ready to clean the rest of your house! Based in Nanaimo, we’ve been serving the whole central island since 1983 as full-service glass experts. Our friendly and knowledgeable team at Budget Glass can be reached at (250) 758-3374. You can also easily contact us via email for all your household, commercial and automotive glass needs.

21 Apr 2021
how to insulate patio and other glass doors

How to Insulate Patio Doors

6 Simple Ways to Insulate Your Glass Doors for Energy Efficiency

There’s nothing like a glass door to let in all that beautiful sunshine. Favoured for walk-out basements, porch and deck entries, kitchens and more, sliding doors and French doors are a great addition to any home. They help create an airy open feeling and are particularly useful in rooms that may not have many windows. They also open up the view so you can easily see the kids playing in the yard, or just enjoy the stunning mountain vistas at sunrise.

Like windows, poorly insulated glass doors can also be a big source of energy loss, making it tough to balance the temperature. Is the space around your patio door feeling a bit drafty? It’s probably time to insulate your patio doors to help improve your home’s energy efficiency.

We’ve created this article outlining 6 great options to insulate your glass doors for optimal energy efficiency and temperature regulation. Follow these tips to start enjoying your sliding door-year round.

  1. Use Window Coverings – Curtains or drapes with thermal backing are an excellent solution for keeping the warmth in, cold out, or whatever you like, depending on the time of year. They also block any harsh morning sunlight and help provide greater privacy at night. This is particularly useful if your glass door faces the street or allows an open view into your home. Another energy saving window covering option are cellular blinds like Hunter Douglas Duette. The honeycomb shape provides great insulation and sound dampening. The Duette product is also available in everything from sheer to room darkening fabrics for a truly customizable finish.


  1. Clean the Door Track – Grit and grime can easily accumulate throughout the year. This debris from your shoes, pet’s feet, etc… create tiny little air pockets that lets air in through the bottom of the door. To help your sliding glass door function at its best, you’ll want to clean the tracks. Vacuum the door track then gently wipe it down using some dish soap diluted with water. You’ll want to clean your door and its components before trying any other methods for insulating, like caulking or adding weather stripping.


  1. Add Weather Stripping – Weather stripping should be replaced on all your doors every few years and glass doors are no exception. Installing weather stripping between sliding doors keeps air from flowing between the sides of the door for better insulation.


  1. Add Rubber Compression Strips – Adhesive-backed rubber compression strips are great for glass doors since they can be easily cut to fit perfectly. Just measure and apply to your clean tracks and sash. They’re made to stand up to cold temperatures, so they won’t contract when the temperature drops. They’re also moisture-resistant, which is ideal for our humid and rainy climate.


  1. Add a Window Insulation Kit – Old school and still a very effective way to insulate windows and doors. Plastic film insulation kits (also known as storm window kits) are readily available at any hardware store. Just clean the glass well and cut the film to fit any size or type of door. Double-sided tape secures the film to the frame of the door to hold it in place. Once you’ve placed the film, just use your hairdryer or heat gun to shrink the plastic. This creates a barrier on your glass, blocking heat and cold, making your door much more energy efficient.


  1. Redo the Caulking- Another constant of homeownership, caulking is useful in any room where insulation or moisture blocking is needed. Doors are no exception and it’s a quick DIY to caulk any areas that are leaking. First, remove the existing caulking for either the whole door or just the area you’re touching up. The caulking rope should be rated for doors and windows. Carefully apply the caulk. Doityourself.com has some great tips for caulking application.


Time to Replace Your Glass Doors?

These DIY tips should help to solve the problem of air leaks around your glass doors. Of course, if your door has reached the end of its lifespan and requires replacement, it will save you time and frustration to price out a replacement door.

At Budget, we’re experts in everything glass and we have many different solutions for your home, depending on your individual needs. Offering high-quality double pane vinyl and Low-E coatings to reflect infrared light, you’ll be amazed by how much difference our modern glass doors make. We’ll make sure your home is comfortable and as energy efficient as possible with no more drafts or heat loss!

Consider Replacing Your Screens at the Same Time

Chances are, if your door is at the end of its life, your door screen is too. If the bugs are bugging you, talk to us about our screen door options. We manufacture a wide range of screens to suit all types of exterior doors, including options for aluminum, vinyl and wood frames. Made to last, our screen doors are high quality with heavy-duty framing and are designed with metal ball bearing rollers for a smooth glide.

We also offer colour and material options for the screening material, including beige, brown and white, with standard fiberglass or optional aluminum screen mesh. To figure out the best product for your home’s interior and exterior style, our expert installers can help you choose the best colour, style and materials for a new door and screen combination. We’ll also do the measuring to ensure a perfect fit!

Upgrade to one of our energy-efficient patio doors this year and put aside worries about hot summer days and cold winter nights. Serving Nanaimo and area customers since 1983, we’re proud to hold an A+ BBB rating. Whether you need a custom mirror, vehicle glass repair, skylight replacement, or anything in between, Contact our team of professional glaziers and installers to discuss your project. We can be reached at (250) 758-3374, or send us a message via email.

23 Mar 2021
how to fix a foggy windshield

How to Prevent Your Windshield from Fogging Up

10 Tips to Stop and Prevent a Foggy Windshield

A foggy windshield is not only an annoyance, it can be a real safety hazard since it impairs how well you can see while behind the wheel. To help prevent the possibility of risk to other drivers and yourself, always let your windshield fully de-fog before driving away. Is your foggy windshield a constant nuisance no matter the weather? At Budget Glass, we’re experts in everything auto glass so we’ve created this post with 10 useful tips for keeping your field of vision clear while driving.

What Causes a Foggy Windshield?

To know how to prevent a foggy windshield, you first need to know what causes it. Just like the foggy air over the water, the fog you see gathering on your windshield is caused by warm and cold temperatures mixing, plus high levels of humidity. Have you ever noticed that when the backseat is packed, your car quickly fogs up? This is because the air we breathe out is actually around 100% humidity. No wonder you find yourself scrambling for the defroster! Sometimes, all it takes is a rainy day where the air outside is cooler than the air inside. On Vancouver Island, we’re no strangers to damp weather – a common cause of tiny water droplets (fog) collecting on the glass.

1. Hands off Your Windshield

A dirty, dusty windshield can be a magnet for moisture particles, making the problem of fog much worse. Resist the urge to wipe it between cleanings, since oils from your skin will leave a smudgy film behind. If you want to spot clean, try keeping window cleaning wipes on hand for quick touchups. For best results, use your vehicle’s climate control and allow your vehicle to defog on its own.


2. Keep Your Windshield Clean

Use an ammonia-based window cleaner to really get at the build-up on the glass. This will leave you with a streak-free shine. It will help prevent fog as well as clear up those smudges that can really impact your vision while driving on a bright day. Clean your windshield and windows regularly to keep them sparkling.


3. Use Shaving Cream

It sounds odd but shaving cream creates a protective film that helps stop fogging. Use a clean and dry microfibre cloth to wipe a thin layer of shaving cream across the windshield (you can do this inside and out) then use a second cloth or towel to wipe it up.


4. Turn off Recirculate

If there’s already a lot of humidity inside your vehicle’s cabin, recirculating that air won’t help to de-fog your windshield. Instead, it can make the problem worse. You’ll want your vehicle to be pulling in air from outside, to even out the temperature.


5. Use your Air Conditioning or Heater

When there’s a difference between inside and outside temperatures, you’ll want to use your vehicle’s climate control. When it’s warm and humid outside, the air conditioner pulls the excess moisture out of the cabin. When it’s cold outside, the heater will warm up the glass.


6. Keep Wet Items Out

On the West Coast, we love outdoor fun. All this fun equals mud, sand and soggy stuff. Because any excess moisture can cause glass to fog, you’ll want to stow wet towels and equipment away from the main cabin. If you don’t have separate storage space, use a bag or bin for muddy shoes, wet bathing suits, towels, etc… Also be sure to dry off your pets too, since a damp dog can really add moisture to the air. Try keeping a towel on hand for those quick pre-trip wipe-downs.


7. Open Your Windows

Open the windows just a crack to let air circulate. This will regulate the temperature inside and outside of your car by combining the humid and dry air. If you can safely leave your windows open a crack while your vehicle is parked and turned off, this will help the inside and outside air balance, preventing foggy windows.


8. Check your Cabin’s Air Filter

Any vehicle manufactured after the year 2000 will have a cabin air filter, which is a frequently overlooked item for many drivers. This air filter collects pollen, dust and debris to help with the air quality inside the vehicle. If your vehicle’s defroster isn’t working efficiently, it could mean that there’s excessive debris inside the cabin air filter, leaving your windshield susceptible to condensation and fogging.


9. Talk to Your Mechanic

If you’ve tried the steps above, the air filter is clean, but fog is still persistent, it could be a problem with your vehicle’s HVAC system. If your vehicle is fogging up when you use the defroster, your car’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system could be the culprit.

10. Have Your Windshield Looked at by a Pro

Come and see us at Budget Glass. Chipped or cracked glass can let excess moisture inside your vehicle, so you may need to have the windshield repaired. Any issues with the seals around the windshield can cause this as well. If you’re experiencing frequent, heavy fog inside your vehicle, come and see us.

Our Nanaimo and area customers have trusted us for their auto, home and commercial glass needs for over 35 years! We love glass, and we’re committed to providing the best quality products and service for you and your vehicle. Make an appointment with our helpful service staff today.

26 Feb 2021
Budget Glass Windshield Repaid & Replacement Services

DIY Windshield Repair Kits

Do It Yourself Repair Kits for Windshields – Do They Really Work?

Did you know that your windshield can bear over half of your vehicle’s weight in the event of a rollover?

That’s a major reason why it’s so important to ensure that your windshield is in good shape. Even the smallest imperfection can impact the integrity of the glass and the driver’s visibility. Driving with a cracked windshield is also illegal, even if it doesn’t reach the driver’s line of vision.

You’ve probably seen DIY windshield repair kits that claim to save you time and money… but do they really work?

DIY Repair Kits – A Temporary Fix At Best

When you’re truly in a jam and can’t get to Budget Glass, you can try a couple of stopgap measures. While they’ll temporarily keep the crack from spreading, it’s always best to have cracks and chips filled by a professional. These DIY kits also cannot repair a crack that’s larger than 1 inch around or deeper than the first layer of glass, so it’s really a vanity fix for small imperfections.

Here’s a review taken from Amazon.ca for a DIY repair kit from a popular name brand:

“Sadly, this works better on the internet than in real life. After seeing videos of how amazing products like this are, I was hopeful. I tried this on multiple windows. It did minimize the appearance of an ultrafine hairline crack. However, the regular sized cracks are still completely visible. I thought it was going to work as I did notice fluid going into the cracks, but they are still visible. After reading and following every direction to a “t” I was let down.

If you do choose to try this product, be careful of the shavings that come off while using the razorblade, they can stick to your car’s paint if you’re not careful. Wish I had put the money I spent towards a professional job.”

What’s the Difference Between a DIY Kit and Professional Glass Repair?

Let’s face it, the only reason anyone would consider fixing their own windshield is because it’s cheaper.  But is it really cheaper in the long run?

If you’re going to do a DIY repair on your windshield, you’re likely going to use one of the following methods: clear nail polish, crazy glue or you buy a kit with a resin filler. These methods, however, just don’t stand up to a professional windshield repair.

With the do-it-yourself method, there are a lot of ways the repair could go wrong. Maybe the instructions are not clear, maybe you don’t follow the instructions properly, maybe the resin isn’t of high enough quality, maybe it’s too cold or hot for the resin to set properly. At the end of the day, without the advice of a professional, you don’t even know if the repair is fixable in the first place!

Glass repair technicians use a very high-quality UV resin, and have the proper equipment and industry training to get the job done right.

The Windshield Protects the Driver and Passengers

Like we mentioned above (and this bears repeating) the windshield is designed to help sustain the structural integrity of the vehicle. It’s made of two sheets of glass bonded together by a sheet of plastic in the middle.

This structure is what makes the windshield able to stand up to shattering and why you see a spiderweb pattern form after a fender bender. This is also why rocks and other debris will chip the windshield, rather than breaking through. It’s never fun to hear that “ping!” sound as a rock hits your windshield, but you’ll be in good hands by bringing your vehicle to Budget Glass as soon as you can.

When to Seek a Professional Service for a Cracked Windshield

Ideally, you should bring your vehicle in to have the windshield repaired or replaced right after you notice a crack. When the crack in your windshield continues to grow larger than one inch around, the windshield will need to be replaced to prevent further damage. This is because cold and hot weather can easily change a hairline fracture into a full-on crack across the windshield. Windshield replacement is more involved than just having the layers of glass repaired, so it makes sense to have the repair done right away.

Great News! Windshield Repair or Replacement May Be Covered

Look at your insurance policy. Many private insurance companies cover rock chip repairs, just check with your provider. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage with ICBC, you may be able to have your repair done at no cost and with no deductible. Not to worry- windshield repair doesn’t affect your insurance premiums since it’s a no-fault incident. For complete details on eligibility, visit ICBC.ca.

Budget Glass Nanaimo is Your Local ICBC Certified Glass Repair Shop

Speaking of insurance, Budget Glass is an ICBC- approved Glass Repair Program Facility (ICBC Glass Express.) This means that we are recognized by the insurance provider as a top choice for windshield repair. It also means that we can process claims quickly and efficiently, since we invoice directly to ICBC.

We also offer a lifetime warranty on auto glass installation and guarantee your new windshield free of flaws and defects and provide a “no leak” guarantee for as long as you own your vehicle. If a flaw is noticed within 90 days of installation, we will replace the windshield for free.

My Windshield is Damaged, What Do I Do Now?

Drop on by our shop in Nanaimo, and our expert team will be able to determine whether your windshield can be repaired or if it will need to be replaced.

Windshield Repair

If your windshield needs a repair, you generally do not need an appointment and the rock chip repair
can be done in as little as 20-30 minutes. Repairs improve the appearance of the chip or crack by at least 80%, vastly increasing the safety of your vehicle. Our highly skilled glaziers will inject the high-quality adhesive into the pit, chip or crack.

*Note that the process isn’t perfect, and there’s always a chance that the crack may spread during or after repair. If this happens, replacement would be your only option.

Windshield Replacement

For windshield replacement, you’ll want to make an appointment first. After replacement, we recommend waiting at least 3 hours for drying time. The entire process will take 4 or more hours—especially if your vehicle needs to be recalibrated. After replacement, be sure to wait at least 24 hours before going through a car wash. The new windshield could have a hard time standing up to water at higher pressure. Hand washing is okay during the first 24-hour period.

At Budget Glass, our happy customers have trusted us for their home, commercial and auto glass needs for over 35 years. We love glass, and we’re committed to providing the best quality products and service for you and your vehicle! If your windshield needs a makeover, come and see us at our Nanaimo shop, or make an appointment with our helpful service staff today.

20 Jan 2021
pet resistant pet screens

Pet Screens for Doors and Windows

Protect Your Screens, Protect Your Pets

Window and door screens are the most effective way to let fresh air in while keeping bugs and other debris out. They can also get destroyed by our beloved pets who gnaw, climb, or crash into screened windows and doors.

If your screens are being damaged by dogs or cats wanting in (or out!) consider a pet screen. Also called pet mesh, It’s ultra-durable and made to withstand high traffic areas. This pet-proof solution will let you enjoy having your windows and doors open again!

What Is Pet Screen Made Of?

Pet screen / pet mesh is made of thicker vinyl coated polyester fibres. It’s made to ensure toughness while preserving the view inside and out, thanks to a finer weave. It’s strong enough for kitties who like to climb. It’s tear-resistant too, for animals who bump into the patio door. When the screen gets bumped with some force, the screen frame will pop out of the housing. This prevents ripping, which can cause harm to your pet. This strength makes it excellent for homes, daycares and any other spaces with small children. If your window or door screen gets knocked out, we can service and / or replace it without any fuss.

Protect Your Pets by Screening Them In

Screen panels not only guard us humans against mosquitoes, wasps and other pests, they also help protect your pets from fleas and ticks by keeping them away from the source.

Screens also keep your pet contained on the deck or patio without having to be on a run or a leash. Cats love to explore and hunt. Even the most docile of canines may wander and disrupt the neighbourhood. This can be a problem and result in injury or illness to your furry friend if they’re able to escape. The sturdy pet screen material can also help keep hungry squirrels or curious racoons outside where they belong.

Pet mesh is also great for office spaces. These days, many people love to take their pets along to their 9-5. You can leave your door or window open and let fresh air flow through your workspace, while keeping your desk buddy safe and happy.

Sized Right for The Perfect Fit

At Budget Glass, we offer custom screens made to measure. This ensures the most secure fit for any door, window or patio / deck enclosure. We can make screens for aluminum, vinyl and wood windows and doors in all dimensions and shapes. Our expert technicians will measure your windows and doors for a small $20 fee. We recommend this option to ensure a perfect fit, which will also help prolong the life of your screen.

These screens for pets install like standard fibreglass screening material. You can do it yourself or we can install your screening and splicing in no time flat. Screens are available in black or grey to match any home or commercial space. You can even have it installed in your RV for complete pet protection while camping.

Stop Replacing Your Screens Because of your Pet

Lower quality screens from a big box store are made of thinner materials that don’t stand up well to the wear and tear of daily life. Simply put, they’re flimsy. They fade, sag and rip easily and they just can’t do a good job of keeping insects, leaves and other debris out of your home. They also need to be replaced frequently, which can put a dent in your household repair piggy bank.

The Benefits of Door and Window Screens

  • Energy efficiency – Screens can block UV rays and excess heat.
  • Pest and particle blocking – Screens are designed to block pests, dust and other debris, like leaves and pollen, from entering your home so you can breathe easier.
  • Air flow – Open your windows and doors and let the fresh air in!
  • Keep windows clean – Screens can act as a guard against dirt and water splashing against your windows. This helps keep them cleaner longer.
  • Security – Screens can be a deterrent to would-be thieves thinking of easy, open window / door pickings.

If your screens are at the end of their life, consider upgrading to pet mesh from Budget Glass. Our screens adhere to (and often exceed) industry standards. Time to upgrade your patio door and your screen? Make it a full package with our top-quality patio doors. Designed with heavy duty framing and metal ball bearing rollers for the smoothest glide, our screens are also easy to clean. All you need is soap and water to keep them looking their best.

We’re known for our top-quality products and our door and window screens are no exception. Get a jump on the spring and summer seasons and have your screens replaced with durable pet screening today. At Budget, we’re more than just glass, we’re a full-service solution for everything from stylish vanity mirrors to whole home window replacements. We’d love to hear from you! Call or email our friendly staff at our Nanaimo showroom for product information or an estimate on our pet screens for windows and doors.