3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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19 Oct 2020
we fix foggy windows - Nanaimo BC

Trouble With Foggy Windows?

We Fix Foggy Windows (aka Condensation Between Window Panes)

Are you squinting to try and see through your foggy windows? Is your morning view being ruined by condensation? Worse, is water collecting around your window frames and damaging the interior of your home?

If your windows are fogging up, there are a few reasons why this is happening. In this post we’ll talk about why windows fog, what you can do about it and your options for replacement and upgrades with our glass experts at Budget Glass Nanaimo.

What Does it Mean to Have Foggy Windows?

Foggy windows are windows that look wet and in more extreme cases, are hard to see through with an annoying film of fog. When there’s a large difference in temperature between the outside and inside environments, moist air collects on the cooler surface, causing condensation and fog.

How Can I Treat My Foggy Windows?

To fix the problem of foggy windows, you’ll need to know why the windows are fogging up in the first place.

There are three main causes:

Condensation on the Outside

Windows that fog up on the outside are completely normal since this happens after a chilly morning when the window is still cool but the air around it begins to warm up. This type of condensation will clear on its own when the glass warms up.

Just like when your car fogs up on a cool morning, the windows of your home can too. If exterior condensation is ruining your morning view, try a product that is designed to repel water. We recommend ClearShield to repel buildup and enhance the clarity of your windows.

Condensation on the Inside

This is caused by moisture inside your house and can strike at any time. It can also be caused by condensation trapped within the window itself. The latter can lead to water damage in your home as well as mold and mildew.

First, give your window a good clean using a quality glass cleaning product to see if grease and grime buildup is making the problem look worse than it is. Sometimes grime buildup (particularly in kitchen windows) can appear as fogginess.

If you’ve given your windows a good clean and still see cloudiness and fogginess and suspect that your foggy windows are being caused by moisture in your home rather than within the sealed window unit, try these steps:

  • Open the windows up wide on a warm, sunny day
  • Turn on your range hood in the kitchen and any bathroom fans to pull out moisture
  • Turn off any humidifiers or scent diffusers for a few days
  • Turn on any fans to get the air moving
  • Check your thermostat and turn up the heat. A couple of degrees is usually all that’s needed
  • Sprinkle dessicants (moisture absorbers) around areas that experience higher levels of moisture (window frames, door frames, etc…) Salt, dry rice and baking soda all work really well to pull moisture from the air.
  • Try a dehumidifier or rent a commercial-quality appliance designed to quickly expel moisture

Condensation Between Window Panes

If the steps above didn’t help, it’s because condensation is collecting between the windowpanes. When this happens, it’s likely that the window’s seal has worn out due to age or is has been broken. All windows wear with time.

Due to weather and sun exposure, the seal will harden and crack. Once the seal is damaged, the only real solution is replacement.

The longer that moisture is allowed to collect, the more you run the risk of moisture collecting inside your home, leading to mold, mildew, ruined carpets and ruined walls.

What Type of Windows Do You Have?

Single Pane Windows

Single pane windows should be replaced whenever possible, even before fogging begins. Single pane windows don’t have an insulating layer, so they are prone to condensation that causes fogginess. Upgrading your windows will help prevent drafts, conserve energy, reduce noise and even increase the value of your home, since today’s double pane windows are designed to last up to 25 years.

Double Pane Windows

Double pane windows are made of two sheets of glass sealed together. What makes them energy efficient is the argon or krypton gas that fills the gap between them. If this airtight seal is broken or a pane cracks, moisture can get into the space between the panes. This leads to that fogginess that’s blurring your view.

Because the two panes are sealed together, both panes would need to be replaced. The good news is that it’s simple and affordable to replace the glass, leaving the window frame intact. Our expert installers will quickly install made to measure replacement sealed window units and frames.

Foggy Window Replacement By Budget Glass Nanaimo

When you need to replace your entire window or you’d like to change the location of the window,  consider our Thermoproof Vinyl Windows. These are Energy Star rated, made to last and very low in maintenance. In fact, all of today’s vinyl and aluminum windows are made to be extremely energy efficient. Choose from double or even triple pane glass and low-emissivity (Low-E) glazing. Low-E glazing is a special coating which deflects light. It’s highly recommended since it helps keep heat outside during the summer and inside during the cooler months, for energy savings and a lowered utility bill, since you’re using less energy to cool and heat your home.

As glass and window specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo, we can help by selecting and installing the right windows for your home. Choose from double or triple paned, Low-E or even tempered glass products to meet your specific needs. We guarantee the quality of our products and the installation, and will always ensure the work is done right, on time, and within budget. We’ll install your new windows, rain or shine, year round. So, if your windows are fogging or leaking, call Budget Glass at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online for a free quote today.

16 Sep 2020
15 Cool Ways to Use Mirrors in Your Home

15 Cool Ways to Use Mirrors in Your Home

Use Custom Mirrors to Light Up and Expand Your Space

Mirrors are one of the most forgiving ways to add style to a space. They do double duty by bringing in more light and adding a more open feel at the same time. Unlike windows, mirrors can easily be moved to update their reflection and effect on a room.

Ask any interior designer and they’ll tell you that one of the best ways to bring more light into a space is to add a mirror. Size and placement matters of course, but mirrors are such a forgiving addition to home décor that it’s hard to go wrong. Mirrors are simple to keep clean with a feather duster and a spritz of glass cleaner now and then, and the variety of sizes and shapes available make it easy to match your personal style.

At Budget Glass, we offer custom standard or beveled edge mirrors, as well as a variety of sizes ranging from 18×24 to 36×72. Choose from clear mirrors, tinted mirrors or even an etched design.

High-quality mirrors from Budget Glass are ideal for use in bathrooms, on closet doors, workout rooms, outdoor spaces and more.

15 Ways to Use Mirrors in Your Home

  1. Use in place of artwork – Instead of hanging yet another print or painting, hang a mirror! Framed or unframed, ornate or simple, it will add light to a dim room and help anchor the furniture.
  2. Use on adjacent walls – Let mirrors play off each other to brighten up a space. This will help a room (like a bedroom) feel more spacious.
  3. Use outdoors in a small patio or yard to add the feeling of more space Place a mirror at an angle that will reflect greenery or blue skies. You can even grow a vine around it for a “secret garden” feel.
  4. Use at the end of a narrow hallway to bring in more light and make it feel more spacious – Use a single large mirror to avoid a funhouse mirror effect.
  5. Hang a small framed mirror by the front door – Use it for a quick check before you leave the house. You can also add a full-length mirror for a complete once-over.
  6. Frame a mirror with a deep square or rectangular frame – This creates a mirror that will do double duty as a shelf.
  7. Add an ornate or framed mirror to a gallery wall Mix an attractive mirror in with artwork to add more visual interest to the space.
  8. Group similar sized mirrors together for a fun look Circle shaped mirrors are great for this since they can be hung in virtually any configuration without the design getting too picky.
  9. Place a mirror in between windows to add the illusion of additional windows If a window is oddly placed (talk to us, we can help solve your window problems) you can add balance to the room by “faking” it with a mirror.
  10. Add a framed mirror with a pop of colour – Bring instant visual interest to a bedroom, kitchen or living space. A bright red, cobalt blue or sunny yellow can add vibrancy to your home.
  11. Use a mirror as a centrepiece above a mantel – This adds instant style and as with furniture, will anchor the mantle as a focal point whether you prefer clean lines, an ornate metal framed piece, or anything in between.
  12. Add drama with oversized or floor to ceiling mirrors – This works especially well to open up a small bathroom.
  13. Add a mirror adjacent to something you want to see reflected – If used outdoors, it could reflect a water feature. Indoors, it could reflect a window or a favourite piece of art.
  14. Create an eye-catching pattern or mosaic – Play with shapes and textures and create an eye-catching design for that special place in your home.
  15. Let a mirror do double duty as a timepiece – A useful clock-turned mirror with clean lines is a thing of beauty.

 

Tips for Decorating with Mirrors

  • Hang mirrors at about eye level, with the center of the frame no less than 48-50” from the floor. If you’re very tall, hang the mirror so the centre point is around 65” from the floor.
  • When used as wall décor, mirrors should be two-thirds the size of the wall it is hanging on, or of the piece of furniture that it’s above.
  • Hang the mirror so the bottom is about 2-4” from the top of the shelf or furniture, so it appears as a cohesive part of the scene you’ve created with furniture and décor items.
  • Consider what the mirror will reflect. As well as adding visual interest, whatever the mirror reflects should make you smile when you see it.
  • Heavy mirrors should be hung by professionals. Our team at Budget is experienced with these more delicate installations.
  • If you’re DIY’ing the mirror installation, ensure that it’s straight by using a laser or bubble level. Mark the placement with a pencil before drilling any holes.
  • Use a wall hanger or picture hook on each end so the mirror will hang flat to the wall.

When you need custom mirrors created to fit a specific room in your home, the glass experts at Budget can help. We provide and install mirrors for a variety of spaces, offer a variety of pre-cut sizes and can cut custom sizes complete with openings for fixtures and outlets. Contact our staff today to discuss sizing, texture and placement for your custom mirror.

25 Aug 2020
Glass Shower Surround

Enhance Your Bathroom With Glass

Upgrade Your Bathroom with a Glass Bath Surround or Frameless Glass Shower Doors

The washroom, bathroom, lavatory, loo, or powder room — whatever you call it, your bathroom is a space that should always feel comfortable. Whether it’s a serene ensuite just for you or a place where the whole family gets ready in the mornings, your bathroom should fit your lifestyle and showcase its features.

Building a brand-new home and looking for bathroom design options? Updating an existing bathroom? Say goodbye to the 1980’s look of brass framed shower doors and bulky tub surrounds, and say hello to the fresh, open aesthetic of frameless glass.

What are Frameless Glass Bath Surrounds and Doors?

If your bathroom is feeling dated and you’ve tried updating the vanity and fixtures, but something still doesn’t feel quite right, look at your tub and shower. Do they look and feel dingy? Do they “spark joy”?

If your bath and shower space leaves something to be desired, consider upgrading to frameless glass. Our frameless glass products are created without any metal or rubber framing for a high-end look and feel. Made with thick, strong glass in your choice of obscure, clear, or even a custom-etched design, your custom-made door or surround will add new life to your bathroom.

Why Choose Frameless Surrounds and Doors?Glass Shower Surround Nanaimo

Frameless glass provides the best of form and function. We all know that shower curtains can be a real pain. Not only do they quickly start to look tired, but they let moisture escape onto the floor and nearby walls. This creates the risk of mildew and mould buildup and the potential to slip on a puddle of water. A properly fitted door will stop these problems while creating a beautiful, open feel in your bathroom.

Other Reasons to Choose Frameless Glass:

  • Add openness to even the most compact of bathrooms
  • Ideal for tub/shower combinations or a separate tub and shower design
  • Glass integrates with any look, from rustic retreats to elegant escapes
  • Add to your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers with a modern looking bathroom
  • Minimal attachments mean there are fewer parts to break
  • Easy to maintain and clean with no frames or joints to scrub
  • A properly fitted door will stop water from pooling onto the floor

Add ClearShield Eco-System

Heat and humidity combined with hard water can create limescale and bacteria build up that can rob glass of its natural sparkle over time. Mold and mildew resistant, award-winning ClearShield Eco-System coating can be added to your glass products to help maintain its pristine appearance.

Style and Design Ideas

When you’re in the midst of designing your new or upgraded bathroom, you want to have the very best selection of highest quality products to match your vision. We offer shower and bath enclosures by Agalite in your choice of tinted, clear and obscured glass. We even offer custom etching, so if you have a particular image in mind, we’ll work with you to bring the design to life. At Budget Glass, we’re the glass experts for showers, skylights and everything in between.

Choose from:

  • Sliding doors – Great for keeping your frameless glass doors concealed when not in use. Frameless sliding glass doors have a clean, classic feel without additional framing and hardware for a truly minimalist design. These are ideal for any sized bathroom
  • Swinging shower doors – Also called a hinged shower door, these open by swinging in one direction, just like a regular door inside your home. The hinge can be attached in a variety of ways, including to the wall, tub surround, or glass panel. These are ideal for larger bathrooms with more space to open the door without interference.
  • Neo-Angle shower doors – Neo-angle shower doors are made of three glass panels set on an angle with one (the door) that swings outwards. This space-saving design is ideal for maximizing space in corner showers.
  • Tub doors – Never buy a shower curtain again or fuss with a liner again. Fully frame your tub with a sliding glass door or have a fixed glass wall installed. Tub doors and panels are ideal for standalone bathtubs and bath/shower combos.

Once you’ve decided which type of door best suits your bathroom, consider whether you’d like a walk-in shower or a shower with a curb. A shower enclosure is usually 78” above the curb. If you choose a curb-free (walk-in design) where the glass is flush with the bathroom floor, the enclosure would be 78” above the floor. This height allows air flow while keeping the showerhead(s) well under the glass. You’ll also want to have the shower door hinged on the same side as the showerhead and other hardware for easy access to controls, and to prevent water from escaping.

More Ways to Upgrade Your Bathroom with Budget Glass

Mirrors – Often overlooked, mirrors are the best way to reflect light and open up a space. At Budget, we offer pre-cut and custom sized mirrors. Not only do we offer tips on what size and placement would be best, but we’ll come and install your mirror as well.

Glass Backsplash – Adding a hint of sparkle, glass backsplashes add depth with all kinds of tones and textures. Glass backsplashes are also environmentally friendly. It’s fully recyclable and no extra waste is created during manufacturing.

Skylights – Brighten up your bathroom and reduce the need to have lights on during the day with skylights. If you need to have existing skylights replaced, we can help with that too.

Love the look of glass tub surrounds and shower doors? Professional installation by our expert team at Budget Glass will ensure that the frameless glass surrounds and doors you choose will last for many, many years. Contact us today for a free quote. Your frameless shower and tub surround can be installed in as little as 2-4 hours and be ready to enjoy the very next day.

14 May 2020
benefits of natural light in your home

4 Benefits of Natural Light for Your Home or Office

Natural Light Not Only Looks Good, It Feels Good Too!

 

There’s a reason why builders of new homes and modern office buildings choose to install those stunning floor-to-ceiling windows – and it’s not just to make the building look good or take advantage of a gorgeous view. Installing tons of windows also means letting in tons of natural light, which provides numerous benefits to the building’s future occupants.

So, whether you’re building a new home or office, or you’re updating your home’s existing windows and doors, here are 4 reasons you should plan for maximizing the amount of natural light coming into your residential or commercial space.

 

1. Boosts Your Mood

Natural light is proven to have a positive effect on your mood and ward off depression. This can be seen with the overwhelming amount of people who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter. The theory is that sunshine makes people happier, and that without enough natural light coming into your spaces, things can feel dreary and stuffy, which ultimately brings a person down.

 

2. Boosts Your Productivity

Several studies have shown that natural lighting boosts productivity in the workplace. One such study by Future Workplace reported that out of more than 1,500 survey respondents, 47% of employees admitted that they feel “tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light.”

This might have to do with the fact that natural light is the best source for vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”), which is known to be a natural energy booster, hence, the increased productivity levels. The boost in productivity could also be the result of the better night’s sleep people have the night before – another notable benefit of natural light is sleeping better at the end of the day.

If you’re planning a renovation that can accommodate larger windows in the office or boardroom, your staff and clients will thank you!

 

3. Easier on the Eyes

Too much artificial lighting can be tough on a person’s eyes, especially when combined with a lot of screen time. Certain types of older artificial lighting can cause a person to strain their eyes more without even noticing, which can lead to headaches, dry eyes, and even weaker vision over time. Such artificial lighting can even cause some people to have elevated stress responses.

We recommend supplementing artificial light with as much natural lighting as you can to reduce this eye strain. This is especially true in spaces where children and young adults frequent, as the natural lighting ends up supporting their healthy eye development.

 

4. Energy savings

Another great reason to add more natural lighting to your residential or commercial setting is that you’ll be required to spend less on your electricity bills. This is because you’ll be running less lights less often, and because natural light, when it’s entering the building through modern, energy-efficient windows and glass, will help control your indoor temperature.

A significant amount of energy you use at home, at your business, and at your office goes towards lighting, heating, and cooling, so by adding more natural light to your space, you’ll likely notice a drop in your monthly operating expenses. The key here will be making sure windows are installed properly, without drafts, and that windows are at least double pane.

 

How to Add More Natural Light to Your Space

There are plenty of ways to bring in more natural light into your interior living spaces, such as:

  • Mirrors: Adding more mirrors can leverage the light that’s already coming in.
  • Paint Colours: Switching your paint colour to white or off white can have a drastic effect, as can switching to lighter coloured flooring, cabinetry, and accent rugs.
  • Ditch the Drapes: Try taking down the drapes completely or switching to a sheer fabric window covering. Pull up the blinds every once in awhile and let the light shine in!
  • Skylights: If your top floor can accommodate them, consider professional skylight installation. Note that for skylights, positioning matters. South-facing skylights could lead to the overheating of a room, whereas north-facing skylights are your best bet for softer, continuous light throughout the day.
  • Patio Doors: If your layout accommodates it, consider knocking out part of a wall to accommodate a slider door or French double doors to your back yard or deck.
  • Front Doors: Swap out your plain front door to a door with a full window panel. Or, if you can expand the width of your main entrance, switch to a door frame that has window transoms down each side and along the top of the door.
  • Larger Windows: If you’re already thinking about updating your old windows, why not see if you can make one or two of them even larger during the process? Professional glass installers can advise you if an expansion of your existing window frame would be possible.
  • Additional Windows: If your existing windows are in great shape, maybe there is an opportunity to install an additional window somewhere, like in a corner bedroom or in the kitchen if you can sacrifice a cabinet or two.

 

Too Much of a Good Thing?

While natural light comes with all the above mentioned benefits, it’s important to note that too much solar energy radiation beaming into a room can harm the occupant’s skin and eyes. Powerful UV rays can also fade furniture and carpeting after awhile, while untreated windows that are south facing can actually overheat a room, causing it to need more AC.

To protect against these issues, and significantly reduce cooling costs in the summer, consider installing windows with low-e coatings or reflective glass. Either of these options will help make your home more energy efficient while providing the benefits of natural light.

 

If you are interested in increasing the natural lighting in your home or business, Budget Glass in Nanaimo is here to help. We have several different window and glass styles and solutions for you to choose from and we are happy to advise during every step.

 

We always guarantee the quality of our products and installation, ensuring your glass work is done on time and on budget. Call Budget Glass at (250) 758-3374 for a free quote on new windows, window renovations, skylights, patio doors, and more! You can also schedule an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!

29 Apr 2020
how to remove water spots from windows

Tips & Tricks for Removing Water Spots from Glass

How to Treat and Prevent this Common Window Problem

The one thing worse than a window with smudges or dirty fingerprints is a window that’s constantly covered in water spots. If you strive for clean windows every day at your home or business, you might find that you’re constantly battling water spots, which are left behind by the minerals in rain, snow, or your garden’s sprinkler.

Luckily, removing water spots and preventing them from happening again and again is easy! Just follow these tips from the glass experts at Budget Glass in Nanaimo to have your windows shining 24/7.

But before you going through all that effort to remove water spots, it’s a good idea to identify them as such, and think about what might be causing them in the first place.

What are Water Spots?

Water spots are what get left behind when hard water that contains minerals (e.g. calcium and magnesium) is left to dry on a glass surface rather than being dried off with a cloth or squeegee. As the water dries and evaporates, the minerals get left behind on your window or glass panels.

Windows and glass with water spots appear grimy and dirty. Affected windows will look dusty, as if they have a film that is patterned or dotted with whitish circles, depending on the source of the water. They are common on windshields, glass shower doors, glass patio tabletops, household windows, and commercial storefronts.

What Causes Water Spots on Windows?

Common causes of water spots on windows and glass include:

  • Rainwater
  • Snow
  • Showers
  • Sprinklers
  • Leaking Gutters

Preventing Water Spots

Addressing some of the common causes of water spots will help you reduce their occurrence. For example, you can add awnings to windows that need a bit more protection from the elements, fix your leaking gutters, and re-position your sprinklers, and voila!

You can also apply a rain repellent product to your windows. Other things to consider adding to older windows is a glass sealant or some carnauba paste wax. One commercially available product we always recommend is Surface Protector – a transparent polymer coating that protects windows and other surfaces against buildup by actually sealing the pores of the glass. This multi-purpose product also works on porcelain, ceramic, plastics, polished metals, fiberglass, and marble to make the surface water, soil, and stain resistant.

These treatments work by causing rainwater to roll off the windows instead of beading up on the surface. With no rain clinging to your windows, there is no mineral residue left behind to leave a mark.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your windows soon, ask about factory-applied treatments that assist with this issue.

How to Clean Water Spots

Because they are actually minerals and not dirt, water spots are actually alkali, so using an acid to remove them is recommended.

To deal with your existing water spots, check out our top 5 suggestions for removing water spots from windows:

Vinegar

This is a classic window cleaning trick, no matter what type of marks you’re dealing with. Simply mix a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar. Spray onto windows, thoroughly saturating the more problematic areas. Wait a full two minutes, then use a small, rough towel that has also been saturated with the vinegar and water solution to gently scrub the glass. Dry with a soft cloth, paper towel, or even newspaper. Repeat this process as necessary until all the water marks are gone.

You can also use a higher concentration of vinegar if the water spots are severe.

Lemons

Lemons also work to remove water spots, as the citric acid easily neutralizes the hard minerals. To use the lemon method of removing water spots, simply slice a lemon in half, then rub it on the glass using a fair bit of pressure. Dry off the lemon juice left with a soft cloth or paper towel (no need to rinse). For the most streak-free shine possible, finish off with just a touch of glass cleaner.

You can also use lemon or orange essential oil to remove water spots if you don’t have fresh lemons handy. Just mix several drops in some water and apply as a glass cleaner. This solution has the added benefit of the residual oil preventing (repelling) future water sports from forming.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another great way to neutralize and melt away hard minerals left on windows after it rains. To use this method, make a paste out of baking soda and a tiny amount of water. Use a cloth to apply the paste to the window. Wipe with enough pressure until the baking soda removes the hard water spots. Next, you’ll need to thoroughly rinse the glass with water. Finish off with traditional glass cleaner to remove any remaining residue and streaks from the window.

Commercial Glass Cleaners

There are several commercial cleaning products on the market that have the specific, marked purpose of removing water spots. Simply follow the directions found on the label of whichever product you’ve chosen. Some products may leave streaks, so a final once-over with a window cleaner might be required.

Sparkle Cleaner is one of our favourite commercially available water spot removers. It’s perfect for removing water stains that are too tough for regular cleaning products to handle. Pick some up from our storefront, or have us bring you some on our next trip over. You’ll find that this product is especially effective on your glass shower doors, glass deck railings, and vehicle windshields – in addition to your home’s windows.

Hard water spots can be an unsightly pain to deal with sometimes, especially if you’re maintaining a storefront window day after day. If this sounds like you, Budget Glass in Nanaimo can help! Call us today at (250) 758-3374 to ask about our water spot resistant glass windows and panels. You can also schedule an appointment online to inquire about replacement windows or glass.

27 Mar 2020
unbreakable glass

Understanding Unbreakable Glass

Can Glass Ever Truly be Unbreakable?

At Budget Glass in Nanaimo, we constantly get asked the question, “Does unbreakable glass actually exist?” The short answer is no, it does not. But there are products on the market that come very, very close. Below is our longer, more in-depth answer to the question, “Is there glass out there that can ever be truly unbreakable?”

Whether you’re upgrading all the windows in your home, building your dream home from the ground up, or you’re replacing a shattered storefront window at your business, chances are good that unbreakable glass is something that has crossed your mind. A type of glass that cannot be broken is an intriguing concept, and so is the idea of switching to unbreakable glass to strengthen the security of a building and protect the occupants inside from broken glass.

If you’ve even suffered through a break-in at your business or your home and have had to deal with getting a window replaced, your first thought might be making sure the next panel of glass you get installed is unbreakable!

Is Unbreakable Glass Truly Unbreakable?

First, let’s get this fact out of the way: there is no type of glass out there on the market that is truly unbreakable. However, there are two common window materials that are marketed as such: laminated windows and polycarbonate windows. While these materials can still break, they significantly help to keep your home, business, and family safe from shattered glass, home invasions, and stormy weather.

Two Types of Unbreakable Glass

Both laminate and polycarbonate windows are two very popular types of super resilient glass that are stronger and more durable than normal glass windows. They are also lightweight while being excellent insulators at the same time.

Laminated Windows

Laminated windows have a thin piece of transparent plastic – usually either polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) – manufactured in between two thin sheets of normal glass. During impact, the plastic layer stays in-tact and bonds the broken pieces of glass, resulting in a shatterproof product.

The glass of a laminated window will break, often creating spiderweb-looking cracks, but there won’t be piles of glass on the ground. Having the window in place is enough of a barrier to:

  • prevent a thief from entering
  • prevent a tree branch from crashing through
  • prevent occupants of the home from being struck by shards of broken glass
  • keep your home or business sealed up until a repair can be made.

Laminated windows are commonly used for windshields, skylights, and curtain walls. And when you take several layers of laminated glass and add them together, the result is bulletproof glass.

Polycarbonate Windows

Polycarbonate windows are made of fused panels of thick, sturdy, flexible polycarbonate (a type of plastic). There is no glass involved with polycarbonate windows. Given that these windows are actually plastic and not at all glass, a polycarbonate window is a lot more difficult to break than a standard glass window. The plastic absorbs the impact of whatever is coming for it, making it another great material that protects against break-ins, baseballs, birds, and branches.

It’s important to note that while they are marketed as being unbreakable, these two types of glass products cannot always stop a thief from entering your home or business. Determined thieves can always find a way in beyond windows, but specially reinforced windows such as the ones mentioned here go a long way in slowing down entry into the home, oftentimes until the would-be thieves either give up and move on to the next property, or law enforcement shows up.

A Note on Safety Glass

There are other types of glass on the market, such as tempered glass, toughened glass, and wire mesh glass, that are deemed or marketed as “safety glass”.  While stronger than normal glass, these types of glass should not be mistaken as unbreakable glass. The reason is because these products are designed to crumble upon impact.

Such crumbled glass is safer than jagged sharp edges, so these types of glass are indeed safety glass, but since the glass falls to the ground, safety glass certainly breaks. In the case of tempered passenger windows in a vehicle for instance, the desire would be for the window to break apart safely (crumble to pieces rather than shards). Tempered glass cannot provide protection against thieves, so if this is your goal, make sure you’re shopping for unbreakable glass and not safety glass.

Installing Unbreakable Glass Products

If you’re unsure if unbreakable products are right for you, consider the fact that both laminated glass and polycarbonate windows work double duty by increasing the security of a residence or business while also increasing energy efficiency and adding some sound deadening. They are also just as effective at reducing break-ins as they are at toughening up windows against stormy weather.

Such glass products should be considered by consumers looking to not only increase the security of the property, but also to protect occupants from injury resulting from broken or shattered glass. They are also perfect for storm-prone regions as well.

Two Ways to Switch to Unbreakable Windows

Looking for unbreakable glass for your home or business in the Nanaimo area? At Budget Glass, our professional glass and window installers have you covered. We can replace your existing windows with all-new unbreakable glass, or we can add layers of glass polycarbonate over top of your existing windows.

This simple addition to your existing windows is a more budget friendly way of increasing the security of your existing windows, without having to replace the entire unit. How does it work? We simply adhere polycarbonate products to your existing glass windows. These products reinforce your home or storefront’s existing standard windows while providing additional shatter-resistance without affecting your view outside!

Call Budget Glass for Unbreakable Glass Guidance & Installation

If you are currently dealing with broken glass or a shattered glass window affecting the safety of your home or business, call Budget Glass on our emergency line at (250) 755-6901 for immediate assistance in the Nanaimo, BC area.

Read More: Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

If you are not sure what type of glass upgrades are right for you, our window experts can guide you through the process. To learn how the glass professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help increase the strength and security of your windows with unbreakable glass, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

12 Feb 2020
triple pane vs double pane windows

Triple Pane vs Double Pane Windows

Are Triple Pane Windows Worth the Extra Price?

Whether you’re building your dream home from the ground up, or you’re looking into cost estimates of upgrading your old windows, chances are the topic of triple pane vs. double pane windows has come up in your research. Many of our clients at Budget Glass ask us if it’s worth paying the extra money for triple pane windows. And we understand why: the price difference can end up being thousands of dollars!

Here is our long answer to the common question of, “Are triple pane windows actually worth the additional cost?”

Understanding Double and Triple Pane Windows

Back in the day, a window consisted of a single sheet of glass sealed in a frame. Nowadays, these single-pane windows are slowly but surely getting replaced with double pane or triple pane windows.

These newer windows are more than just glass – they are a new technology that consists of two or three sheets of glass (panes) that are sealed together with a bit of space left in between them. This airspace is quite often filled with a clear, odourless gas like argon or krypton to provide further energy-efficient insulating properties. These multiple pane windows are sealed units or insulated glass units (IGUs).

Double pane windows are designed to reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs by making it more energy efficient. The double panes provide a noticeable amount of added insulation to the home. In triple pane windows, the third pane adds another insulating barrier, creating the ultimate in energy efficient windows.

In Canada, multiple pane windows are required for all new buildings as per the National Building Code.

So, which is better?

Because double pane windows offer a home increased energy efficiency and reduced heating and cooling costs, a lot of homeowners are curious if it’s worth it to pay a bit more to get triple pane windows, which offer even more energy efficiency.

The bottom line is that triple pane windows are only worth the investment if you plan on living in your house for enough time to benefit from the energy savings. In a mild climate like Vancouver Island, this could take up to 25 years, depending on your average heating and cooling costs.

Triple pane windows are also considered worth it for homeowners who are sensitive to cold drafts in the winter and want to avoid them at all costs.

It’s important to note that triple pane windows will pay for themselves faster through energy savings if you live in a colder climate. They make sense in places like Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and in Northern BC where temperatures drop dramatically in the winter (in some cases they are actually mandatory!).

However, here on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, double pane windows – the building code standard – provide a very satisfying level of insulation for most homeowners, especially when they come with special low-e coatings that help further reflect infrared light, which keeps your heat indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer. The addition of the third pane in most Nanaimo homes would not make that noticeable of a difference where temperatures don’t really drop much below freezing (and when they do, it doesn’t stay cold for months at a time).

Advantages of Triple Pane Windows

All that being said, there are some advantages to triple pane windows. For example, they can:

  • Better resist condensation
  • Offer additional sound insulation or noise reduction
  • Help reduce your heating and cooling costs if you live in a cold climate where winters last a long time
  • Add value to your home if they are installed professionally
  • Provide extra room for more special coatings to be added to your window

Disadvantages of Triple Pane Windows

  • The energy savings from installing triple pane can take up to 25 years to equal the cost of the windows, depending on your average energy usage.
  • They cost more than their double pane counterparts by up to 30%.
  • They come with extra weight, so you will need to ensure your home can handle the extra weight.
  • They are only effective if all the windows are upgraded. If drafty skylights, front doors, and sliding patio doors aren’t upgraded or addressed, the energy savings from triple pane windows won’t be realized.

Costing Out Your New Windows

Triple pane windows can cost anywhere from 10 to 30% more than double pane windows, depending on things like any additional coatings and glazes that are requested, and whether or not your frames need to be altered to accommodate the larger, heavier sealed units. It might not seem like that much higher of a price for just one or two windows, but if you’re upgrading all of your old windows, going up to triple pane can cost thousands of dollars – which might have an impact if your renovation budget is already tight.

So, at the end of the day, are triple pane windows really worth the investment? If you have a small home and need to swap out a couple of windows, the above advantages might be worth it to you to spring for triple pane windows. However, double pane windows are more often than not more than sufficient for homes in our region’s mild climate.

For builders and remodelling professionals, the jury’s still out on this topic, with some companies only offering up triple pane windows, and some companies only offering up double pane windows. However, as federal and provincial codes continue to evolve and prioritize energy efficient building designs, we won’t be surprised if triple pane windows become standard issue for all new builds in the near future. We are keeping a close eye on this one, but for now, please know that our double pane windows with added specialty coatings more than meet the province’s minimum energy rating (ER) of 25 for the Zone 1 climate of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

Professional Window Installation & Replacement

If you are still unsure if double pane or triple pane windows are right for you, our experts can guide you through this decision-making process, basing our expert opinion on current building codes, your current heating and cooling costs, and your budget.

To learn how the glass professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help with your window installation, repair, and replacement needs, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

21 Jan 2020
Budget Glass - Plate Glass on Live Edge Table

Plate Glass Uses & Benefits

10 Ways to Add Plate Glass to Your Home or Business

If you’ve ever window shopped around downtown Nanaimo, or browsed through Woodgrove Mall, you’ve likely peered through a plate glass storefront or two, installed by the glass professionals at Budget Glass. Plate glass, also called flat glass or sheet glass, is commonly used for everything from windows to windscreens.

What is Plate Glass?

Plate glass is a common type of glass used for commercial purposes such as storefronts, restaurants, and offices. It is also used around the home for things like large windows, glass doors, skylights, display cases, mirrors, and glass table-tops. It is unstained and single-pane, and each piece or sheet has a uniform thickness. Plate glass is most often flat and smooth, unless it is deliberately curved or etched during the manufacturing process. It is a soda-lime-silica glass, meaning it’s made of a combination of sodium carbonate, calcium oxide, and silica.

Plate glass is considered by many to be the first truly flat glass that was created (centuries ago!). The name plate glass refers to how the glass was originally manufactured. The process involved spreading molten glass across a solid, flat metal plate or table (cast iron and lead were both commonly used back in the day) and rolling it while it slowly cooled and a uniform, desired thickness was formed. The product was then sanded down as necessary.

In the 1950s a new manufacturing process was developed called the float glass method, which involved floating molten glass on top of a “bath” of molten metal (usually tin). The molten glass floats to the top as it dries, resulting in a smooth, immaculately flat piece of sheet glass without any additional grinding and sanding.
Although the float glass method has more or less taken over the plate glass manufacturing method, many builders and glass professionals still refer to the resulting product (float glass) as plate glass. The manufacturing methods and end product are more or less the same. Flat glass and sheet glass are additional terms that are often used interchangeable with the term plate glass.

Benefits of Plate Glass

Plate glass has a wide range of benefits, such as:

  • It can be custom cut to any size and shape, including rounded edges.
  • It can be manufactured into custom thicknesses, based on your needs.
  • It can be kept shiny, frosted for privacy, or etched for decoration.
  • It is easy to clean and doesn’t retain odours.
  • It is mold and mildew resistant.
  • It is engineered for exceptional quality and clarity.
  • It can be bent or curved in a variety of ways.
  • It has a clean, slick, attractive, high-end look.
  • It is a sustainable building material as it is 100% recyclable.

The two main drawbacks of plate glass are that it is less shatter resistant than its tempered glass counterpart, and it doesn’t insulate very well, so you wouldn’t want your entire house done in plate glass windows. However, there are still many uses for plate glass. Check out our top 10 recommended ways to use plate glass:

  1. Room Dividers or Partitions – Transform open concept layouts using clear or frosted glass room dividers made of plate glass. The effect can work well in waiting rooms, lobbies, front counters, offices, and even residential properties.
  2. Storefronts – Many of the storefronts you see are plate glass, especially in shopping malls where the desire is to have the floor to ceiling look, but the insulating properties of a tempered, double-pane insulating window aren’t required.
  3. Restaurants – Large glass dividers made of plate glass can help section off portions of a restaurant without making the space feel small or cramped. The glass will add a modern touch and will fit in with any existing design choices and colour themes.
  4. Family Heirlooms – Use plate glass to create a shadow box for family heirlooms like pocket watches, metals of honour, silver spoons, and more.
  5. Child Artwork – Design a few custom frames or boxes for your children’s paintings, 3-D crafts, and trophies. Their creations and achievements deserve to be displayed!
  6. Display Cases and Counters – Install custom-built display counters in your next small business or storefront to give your shop a boutique feel while artistically protecting your products.
  7. Custom Tabletops – A custom-cut piece of plate glass can be added to many a sturdy object to quickly create a one-of-a-kind table using upcycled household items or reclaimed wood.
  8. Protecting Your Wooden Furniture and Antiques – A wooden desk, bedside table, or dresser made out of exotic or reclaimed wood can be protected using plate glass, which also gives the item a shimmery, refreshed, contemporary look.
  9. Works of Art – In some instances, plate glass itself isn’t used to display art – it becomes the art, based on where and how it’s installed, and any patterns etched into its surface, etc.
  10. Kitchen Cabinets – Replace your kitchen cabinet doors with plate glass to start showcasing your dinnerware and stemware.

Professional Plate Glass Installation & Replacement

Getting custom plate glass work done is easier than you think! All you have to do is provide the measurements of the glass you need, and our glass professionals will cut your glass to order. If you are not sure about the type of glass you need, or how thick it should be, our experts can guide you through your project, including suggested edge work to keep your project clean and safe.

To learn how the professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help with your plate glass installation, repair, and replacement needs, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

12 Dec 2019
how to clean up broken glass

Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

6 Ways to Clean Up Broken Glass Safety and Effectively

It doesn’t matter if the sound came from a dropped dinner plate, a knocked over wine glass, or a tree branch coming through a window – hearing glass smash is always a cause for concern. Because even a small bit of broken glass can become a safety hazard for people in the proximity. Another reason for concern? If you hear broken glass before you see broken glass, you don’t know exactly what has broken – or how. And if you see it break, you still don’t quite know where all the pieces have landed until you’re able to get down for a closer inspection.

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to clean up broken glass, without contaminating your regular household broom!

But first, safety! When approaching a pile of broken glass, you can never be too careful to avoid the sharp, dangerous mess. No sudden movement – don’t go straight for the mess. First, make sure everyone near the smashed glass carefully backs away from the area. If there are people without shoes on, everyone should play it safe and stand still until the designated cleanup person acts. If that person happens to be you, for safety’s sake, reach for a pair of rubber gloves if you have them, then get to work!

Here are 6 clever hacks for cleaning up broken glass around your house. Simply reach for whatever is closest to get the job done. The following tips work well once the largest pieces have been picked up and discarded.

1. Damp Paper Towel

Fold a few pieces of paper towel, dampen, and then gently press down on the pile of broken glass. The broken glass should all stick to the damp paper towel that’s protecting your hand. Simply dispose of the paper towel, and the job is done! The damp paper tower trick is also great at safely packaging up the shards for the garbage can.

2. Bread

If you don’t have a roll of paper towel, but you have a couple slices of bread, use them much like you’d use the paper towel, by gently pressing the slices of bread into the glass. Bread is soft and moist, which are both elements that attract and hold the broken glass. White, brown, or multigrain – it’s all good to go!

3. Potatoes

Use a large raw potato cut in half lengthwise to pick up glass shards from the floor. The potato’s moist flesh acts just like the bread or damp paper towel would have. Potatoes go after even the tiniest pieces, and of the 3 methods mentioned on this list so far – protect your hands the best. Toss the potato when finished, then check the floor for any starchy residue left behind.

4. Tape

As you’d imagine, tape – either masking tape or duct tape – works just as well as the above mentioned methods. To use tape to clean up broken glass, simply wrap your gloved hand with tape several times, sticky side out. Then brush up the glass with your taped, gloved hand. Duct tape is strongest but any kind of tape will do.

5. Vacuum

A vacuum can be used to help clean up any lingering shards of glass near and on the carpet. In fact, if you suspect there could be broken glass hiding in the piles of your carpet, a vacuum is essential here, used only after you’ve carefully picked up the pieces big enough for you to see. Go forwards and backwards to ensure all pieces are collected!

After vacuuming, clean out the dust compartment or replace the bag right away, instead of waiting until it’s full. You want that broken glass to become a distant memory!

6. Dedicated Broom & Dustpan

If you work, live, or play where there is a higher chance of broken glass, consider having a dedicated dustpan and broom on hand to use for cleaning up broken dinnerware and windows. This is instead of risking getting glass caught in your normal household broom and inadvertently spreading it throughout the house the next time you do a regular sweep.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

  • If the only thing around you is your regular household broom, be sure to thoroughly rinse it after each time you use it to clean up broken glass.
  • Broken glass can travel much farther than you might realize. Always look beyond the area where the glass has broken, by about 15 feet. Move furniture if need be to ensure you’ve gotten every last piece.
  • Broken glass should always be disposed of mindfully. Either wrap it in newspaper or other padding, and take out the trash immediately after cleaning up the glass. This is to avoid other members of the household or your coworkers from using their hands or feet to create more space in the trash.
  • Consider keeping broken glass separate from the regular trash altogether if your municipality has a facility for glass recycling.
  • Remember to clean off the soles of your shoes or slippers!

Finally, once you’ve finished cleaning up the broken glass and otherwise securing the area, you’ll need to eventually get the glass replaced if it was a window or door, or otherwise essential to your home or business’s sense of safety, security, and comfort. Call Budget Glass Nanaimo for help repairing and replacing your broken glass.

For emergency glass repair in the Central Vancouver Island, called Budget Glass Nanaimo at (250) 755-6901.

If your glass repair job isn’t time sensitive, schedule an appointment online with one of our glass specialists, or call us during regular business hours at (250) 758-3374.

15 Nov 2019
foggy windows need replacing

Foggy Windows

3 Reasons Why Your Windows are Foggy (And What You Can Do About It)

Windows Keep Fogging Up? Here’s Why:

In this blog post, we’ll go over the three main reasons your home’s windows appear foggy, and outline several ways you can fix foggy windows.

What Are Foggy Windows?

Foggy windows are windows that appear to be wet due to water droplets that have built up on or inside the window. Sometimes the moisture present can be so prevalent that it looks like a fog has formed and you can no longer see through your windows. The culprit? Condensation that occurs when humid air meets a cool surface, or when there is a large temperature differential between the indoors and the outdoors. During this time, water in the air (humidity) starts to collect on cooler surfaces.

What Causes Foggy Windows?

There are 3 main ways condensation makes your windows appear foggy:

  • Condensation on the exterior of the window. This is simply a product of the morning dew or when the A/C is running high and the temperature inside is much lower than the temperature outside. Exterior condensation can occur on both single-pane and double-pane units.
  • Condensation on the interior of the window. This is simply the humidity of your home (moisture from cooking, showering, and occupants breathing) being drawn to your windows. Interior condensation can occur on both single-pane and double-pane units.
  • Condensation trapped in between your windowpanes. This happens with aging double-pane units and is usually the result of a broken seal. In this case, condensation from the early morning dew and your home’s humidity is seeping in and getting trapped inside your once-sealed double-pane windows.

What Can You Do About Foggy Windows?

Exterior Condensation

Foggy windows that are the result of condensation from the outdoors will clear up on their own, after the morning chill is gone. There is no real action to take here, aside from waiting things out.

If you’re serious about getting rid of the exterior condensation affecting your view of the morning sunrise, consider a product such as RainX.

Interior Condensation

Foggy windows that are the result of condensation from the moisture inside your home can be resolved by taking a few simple steps. Start by ensuring your windows are clean, and that what you suspect is condensation is actually condensation – and not dirt, kitchen grease buildup, or other grime creating the illusion of foggy windows.

If cleaning doesn’t help and you still get foggy windows as the day progresses, try the following remedies:

  • Run your kitchen and bathroom fans to expel moisture from your house.
  • Circulate the air with a general ceiling fan or oscillating fan.
  • Reduce your use of diffusers and humidifiers.
  • Open your windows to let out moisture.
  • Turn your heat up.
  • Check the condition of the weather stripping around your windows.
  • Use moisture eliminators (desiccants) in strategic areas.
  • Unblock your home’s fresh air intake if you have one.
  • Move houseplants away from windows.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier or air-to-air exchanger.

If windows are still foggy after all that effort, it might be that your foggy windows are due to condensation trapped inside your window’s sealed unit.

If this is the case, it’s best to treat the problem sooner rather than later. This is because foggy windows are more than just unattractive and inconvenient – they also can lead to water damage, mold and mildew growth, and floor stains.


Condensation Trapped Between Windowpanes

If you suspect your windows are foggy due to condensation in between your windowpanes, it’s highly likely that the window’s seal framing the edges of the glass is broken and has allowed moisture to seep in and get trapped.

A double-pane window contains insulating airspace sandwiched and sealed in between two glass panels. This airspace is extremely effective at maintaining a consistent temperature and reducing heat loss, especially when paired with a desiccant at the bottom of the window, and/or argon gas.

Most modern double-pane windows have an inner seal for protecting against moisture, and an outer seal for increasing the strength of the window. Once both seals weaken and crack open, condensation begins to seep into the airspace, creating the foggy, wet appearance you can’t just wipe away. At this point, a repair or replacement of your window’s sealed unit is required to fix the problem.

The seals of double-pane windows are not impervious to the elements, and eventually weaken due to age (think decades of exposure to sunlight, wind, and rainfall – over time, the window’s sealant hardens and starts to crack.) Seals can also break when there is water retention in the frame (improper drainage around the window).

Double-pane window seals last about 15-20 years. After this time, if a broken window seal is the only issue affecting the quality of your windows, only the window’s sealed unit requires replacing. This means you can leave the window frame in-tact and only replace the glass – it’s a faster, more convenient, and more affordable solution than replacing the entire unit.

Remember that repairing or replacing aging windows comes with many benefits in addition to eliminating your foggy panes! For instance, they can go a long way in increasing your home’s energy efficiency, thereby reducing your heating and cooling costs. Completely new windows can also improve the curb appeal of your home, as well as make it more secure.

Need help fixing your foggy windows? Call Budget Glass in Nanaimo at (250) 758-3374 for a free quote on sealed unit replacements, or schedule an appointment online.