3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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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.

22 Sep 2019
upgrade your windows to be more energy efficient

Low E Coatings or Reflective Glass?

Two Ways to Upgrade Your Windows and Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

If your windows haven’t been replaced in years and it feels like your energy bills have been steadily increasing year after year no matter what you do, it might be time to consider upgrading your windows to double-paned sealed units made of Low E coated glass or reflective glass to slow down the transmission of heat into and out of your home.

What is Low E Glass?

Low E stands for Low Emissivity. In the glass and window industry, this term refers to glass that has been treated with a coating during the manufacturing process, which is intended to reduce the amount of infrared and ultraviolet rays entering your home through your windows. The coatings do not affect the amount of visible sunlight coming into your home.

In other words, Low E windows have a transparent, thinner-than-human-hair coating that helps keep summer heat out and winter heat in.

How Does Low E Glass Work?

The primary function of Low E glass is filtering out harmful solar radiation (ultraviolet rays). When such solar radiation hits a piece of glass that has a Low E coating, the coating is essentially acting as a sunscreen and blocking harmful UV rays. So how does this impact your energy costs? It’s simple – when regular glass is swapped out for Low E coated glass, less air-conditioning is required in the summer, and less heating is required in winter. Comfort levels go up, while costs go down.

In colder weather, Low E helps trap solar heat in the room. In other words, in the wintertime, Low E coated windows act as a mild insulator, helping to improve drafty windows and reflect the heat in the room back onto the occupants. Low E glass works the same as after-market window film, but it is applied during the glass manufacturing process – before the installation of the glass –  rather than being retrofitted onto existing windows.

Two Types of Low E Glass: Soft and Hard

There are two types of Low E glass: soft and hard coated, and each comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Hard-Coat Low E Coatings – These passive Low E coatings are manufactured using the pyrolytic process, resulting in a pyrolytic coating that is sprayed on and then fused to the glass during the production process. The hard coat is very durable and allows the glass to be tempered or accessorized with a blind in between panels, for example.

With hard-coated glass, the U-values will be higher, so the window won’t be as energy efficient. Hard-coated Low E glass also has a higher solar heat gain co-efficient, so more summer heat and light will be allowed to pass through. Hard coats are more ideal for extremely cold climates.

Soft-Coat Low E Coatings (Soft-Coat) – These softer Low E coatings are manufactured using something referred to as the Magnetron Sputtering Vapor Deposition (MSVD) process. The coating is applied once the pre-cut glass is off the production line at room temperature in a vacuum chamber. Soft coats need to be sealed in an insulated glass or laminated unit. In many cases, argon gas is used as the insulator. Soft-coat Low E glass has lower emissivity than hard coats and better solar control performance.

With soft-coated glass, two coats are required, and extreme care must be used during the handling of the glass as it is being installed. For this reason, soft-coat Low E glass is more expensive, but it’s ultimately better for milder climates.

Not all types of Low E coatings are compatible with all types of climates, so in order to be effective, the type of coating selected must match its intended purposes. Coated windows should also be installed by a professional glass specialist for best results, and then maintained properly so they can last for years to come.

A glass specialist can help you determine if Low E windows will work with what you are trying to achieve when you upgrade your windows, or if a coloured reflective glass, such as a bronze reflective glass, might add a more decorative touch.

Bronze, Silver, or Gold Reflective Glass

Another way to reduce your heating and cooling costs by upgrading your windows is to switch out the regular glass of your sealed units with reflective glass that contains a metallic coating on the surface. Like Low E coatings, reflective glass can be used in windows to control solar energy radiation. This not only protects your eyes and your skin from sun damage, it also helps protect your furniture and carpet from fading. Reflective glass also helps regulate the home’s indoor temperatures.

Reflective glass comes in a variety of thicknesses, allowing property owners to control its strength and colour. It can be cut, bent, tempered, heat-strengthened, and laminated without affecting the coating.

Unlike Low E coatings, which you cannot detect on your windows, some reflective glass such as bronze reflective glass is a different shade, so it alters the look of your home or building as well as your view out the window. Reflective glass also gives a mirror-like appearance from the exterior of the building, so in this sense, in addition to lowering your home’s heating and cooling costs, reflective glass can add more privacy and a decorative touch to your home.

Considering new windows to enhance the look and comfort of your property and increase its value? The good news is that by upgrading your windows, you can drastically reduce your energy bills and increase the comfort inside your home!

Talk to Your Window and Glass Specialists

To fully maximize the money-saving potential of upgraded windows and/or sealed units, we recommend talking to your local window and glass experts who can help you decide between Low E coatings or reflective glass. They will go over the following factors with you:

  • Insulating performance,
  • ROI and initial costs,
  • Installation process,
  • Warranties, and
  • Effect on occupants.

The glass and window specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo can help by selecting and installing the right low e coated or reflective windows for your needs. We always guarantee the quality of our products and installation, ensuring your glass work is done right, on time, and within budget. Call Budget Glass for a free quote on sealed unit replacements.

Call Budget Glass Nanaimo at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online to start saving money on your energy bills!

25 Feb 2019

Ins and Outs of Cleaning Exterior Screens

Cleaning exterior screens is often one of those chores that just gets pushed to the very bottom of the to-do list. While screens work hard for us, there are plenty of household chores that get priority, and your time is valuable. So why bother with cleaning exterior screens? Do they even need cleaning? While it can seem like a small, frustrating task, it can make a difference to your home. Questions? We’ve got answers.

“Should I bother cleaning exterior screens?”

The short answer is yes! It might be surprising, but dirty screens will have a shorter lifespan. Since screens act as a barrier, there’s a whole host of outdoor particles that can degrade the fibres once they get stuck to the screen. Salt from ocean air is one example of this. If you’re living on the West Coast, this will be an important one! Cleaning exterior screens can reduce how often you’ll need to replace them.

Keep your windows looking great while keeping the bugs away with tidy screens!

“What else can cleaning exterior screens do for me?”

Aside from protecting your investment, cleaning exterior screens does several other things for you. Perhaps one of the most notable is improving your air quality. Opening your windows for some “fresh” air doesn’t help much if that air has to go through a dirty screen full of dust and pollen. Screens can also be home to mould build-up, especially when they’re regularly exposed to moisture. All of these things will be headed straight into your home with even the slightest breeze. Cleaning exterior screens will help improve the air you’re breathing by preventing these particles from coming inside.

Another reason to clean: a better view! Regularly removing dirt and debris will make your screen seem less noticeable when you are looking out of your windows.

Clean screens give you a better view!

 “How do I go about cleaning exterior screens?”

Cleaning exterior screens can be pretty simple. You can either clean them one at a time, or you can do them all at once. If you do them all at once though, make sure you label them as you remove them so you can reinstall them later. Before you begin, remember to be gentle and don’t push on the screen when you’re cleaning. Too much pressure will wreck them! It’s also a good idea to check for holes and damage while you’re cleaning exterior screens.

First, lay the screens down on a flat surface. To protect them, lay them on an old towel or bed sheet. Vacuum each side of the screen gently with a soft brush attachment. Cleaning exterior screens with anything other than a soft brush attachment isn’t a good idea, as it can damage the screen.

Next, stand each screen up and gently wash each side of the screen with soapy water. Be sure to use a eco-friendly soap, especially if you’re washing outside! A soft cloth or sponge does best.

Now you’re ready to rinse! Use a hose or place them in the shower for a quick, thorough rinse. Either way, make sure the setting is low so you don’t damage the screens.

Finally, let your screens air dry. You can gently use a towel to take up excess water, but make sure they’re fully dry before you reinstall them.

No harsh chemicals required, so keep your cleaner eco-friendly!

“When should I be cleaning exterior screens?”

Depending on how your home is situated, cleaning exterior screens should be done at least twice a year. The best times to clean them are late fall, before winter hits, and again in spring. If your home is located particularly close to the ocean or somewhere with a lot of dust and pollen, cleaning exterior screens at the beginning and end of every season is a good choice.

 

Cleaning exterior screens might not be the favourite chore, but thankfully, it doesn’t have to be difficult. And with so many benefits, it seems even easier to add it to the list! Eventually, even after cleaning exterior screens regularly, they will need to be replaced. When it’s time to say goodbye to your old screens, or you have a window that you’d like to add a screen to, give us a call. We’ll be happy to come take a look, measure, and get you a perfect fit!

01 Feb 2019

Sealed Unit Replacement and Winter Storms

What does a sealed unit replacement and winter storms have in common? To get to the answer, we’ll have to do a little exploring. This winter has already seen some crazy weather, and it’s only half over. While Vancouver Island is no stranger to soggy, windy storms, they can cause damage to our homes. In particular, high winds and heavy precipitation are a recipe for trouble when it comes to windows.

What is a sealed unit replacement?

Before we can answer our question, we should take a look at what a sealed unit is and what a sealed unit replacement does. A sealed unit, in short, is the glass part of your double paned windows. It has a gas-filled pocket between the layers to help prevent heat from getting out (or in), which helps with insulating your home and improving your energy efficiency.

A sealed unit replacement is what we do when your glass is broken or your windows are fogging between the layers. It’s a budget-and-eco-friendly way to keep your windows going at peak efficiency. A sealed unit replacement does have limits though, as there are some damages that are better repaired with a complete window replacement.

Installing a sealed unit.

How does a sealed unit replacement relate to winter storms, though?

Winter storms are nothing new to BC. Wet coast, best coast, right? Most times, your windows can weather these storms with ease, but sometimes these storms can be a big hazard. In fact, a big winter storm caused a power outage of nearly 2 weeks for some people, right here in our backyard. Sometimes, high winds and heavy rain can cause damage to the sealed unit in your window, whether it’s a crack, dent, or something else. If this does happen, a sealed unit replacement can save you from having to replace your entire window after a storm!

West coast winters are wet!

Is there a way to tell whether a sealed unit replacement is the right choice?

Wind drives rain deep into places it might not otherwise go. After a windstorm, you should first make sure it’s safe to go outside. When it’s safe, you should visually inspect windows and frames for dents and cracks caused by debris, such as branches. Make sure to look in the less obvious places around your frames too. Watch for fog or condensation between the panes and look for any wet spots that may indicate a leak.

If you have sustained damage to the glass, but your frames are undamaged and there’s no sign of leaks, sealed unit replacement may work for you. If you’ve found leaks, drafts, or damage to the frames, you may still need to replace the whole window instead of the sealed unit.

Fog or condensation between the layers is something that needs to be addressed.

A sealed unit replacement can be a fantastic way to save yourself some repair money if you’ve sustained storm damage. If you haven’t already, you should also talk with your insurance broker about what coverage you may need for serious damages caused by storms. Severe winter weather is becoming more frequent, so make sure you protect your investment. Think a sealed unit replacement might be right for you? Need a second opinion on whether your window should be completely replaced? Give us a call!

11 Dec 2018

Top 3 Signs That Say It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

We all know that we should replace our windows at some point, but when is the right time, really? Most windows have a reasonably long life span. Newer vinyl windows can last upwards of 15 – 20 years and will do their job well for the duration of that time. However, there are a few cases where you should replace them sooner. Here are our top 3 signs to watch for!

Windows Don’t Open, Close, or Lock

If you are having issues with opening, closing or locking your windows, you should consider replacing them. There are a couple of reasons why this is something you should watch for. Windows are important for your safety and for your comfort, so mechanisms that don’t work can be hazardous.

In the event of an emergency, such as a house fire, windows offer important exit points throughout your home. If they can’t open easily, this significantly impacts your ability to use them for this purpose. Windows that don’t close or lock properly also impact your home’s safety.

Windows also provide comfort to your home. Being able to close your windows in the winter lowers your heating costs and keeps you cozier when it’s cold outside. Opening your windows allows for natural cooling of your home by allowing hot air to escape in the summer, reducing your cooling costs. Windows that don’t work can actually cost you money in the long run!

Windows Are Leaky, Sills Have Damage, Or Collect Condensation

Damaged windows need to be replaced. If you can see significant damage in the sills or frames, such as rotting wood, it might be time to replace your windows. Light damage can sometimes be repaired, so if you’re not sure, book a consultation to confirm. It’s important to deal with rot right away though, as it can easily cause further damage to window structure if left alone too long.

Leaks or significant condensation are also an indication that your windows need replacement. Water damage is dangerous for your home’s structural framework, as well as your health. Consistently wet areas can harbour mould, which can affect your air quality. It can also cause hidden rot. While some condensation can be normal, significant condensation can indicate a problem, and should be looked at.

Energy Efficiency

If your energy costs are increasing, it may also be time to replace your windows. This can be a sign that the windows in your home have lost their insulative properties. Old windows, especially single pane windows, are extremely inefficient at keeping heat in during the winter. Replacing your windows with energy efficient ones can save you quite a bit, even more if they’re on the most efficient list!

Older windows may be the more obvious choice to replace but there are some cases where other types of windows can reduce your energy efficiency. Cracked windows of any type will lose their ability to insulate effectively and should be replaced. Sealed unit windows with condensation between the panes have also lost their ability to insulate and should be replaced too.

 

Windows are an important part of your safety and comfort, so if your windows are showing any of these signs, you should consider repair or an upgrade. If you’re not sure whether something should be replaced or repaired, or you’re ready to upgrade and want to book an installation, give us a call. Our team is highly skilled and experienced, and we’re happy to help! Contact us today!

28 Nov 2018

Winter Installations: Can You Install Windows In Cold Weather?

Installing windows in the winter is not often the first thing we think of when it comes to cold weather renos. Luckily for us, on Vancouver Island, we don’t experience the same level of cold as our friends from the Interior. Sometimes drafts and moisture issues only become apparent in the colder months, and your spring window installation might seem just a bit too far away. Since drafty old windows are nobody’s idea of a cozy winter, this begs the question. Can you install windows in winter weather? The short answer is yes, but let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t worry about booking your window installation in cooler temperatures.

Is it safe to install windows in sub zero temperatures?

Surprisingly, windows can be installed in cold weather up until about -20C. Since we live in the more temperate coastal regions of BC, window installations are definitely possible throughout the winter months. There are still some challenges when it comes to cold weather installations though. The vinyl in newer windows becomes harder to cut, so tricky windows with lots of cuts, like bay windows, might need to wait until the spring.

What about when it’s wet outside?

Rain is one of the most common winter elements we’re exposed to on the Island. In many cases, installation during precipitation is possible, but this will depend on a number of things. High wind and heavy rain can make installation difficult, as it can present a safety hazard for our team. It can also lead to moisture entering the interior of your home, which is what we’re trying to prevent with high quality windows in the first place!

However, we can assure you that our installers are experienced in all types of weather, and they know when to try again another day. If conditions are really bad, we’re happy to reschedule an installation at a time that works for you.

Why should I install windows in the winter anyway?

Weather conditions aside, the winter is actually a good time to install windows. Installations in the winter don’t really have any disadvantages compared to the summer months and might even have some benefits. If you’re experiencing significant condensation or window leaks, waiting until the spring isn’t necessarily a good idea. Rain storms and high winds common to Vancouver Island can drive moisture deep into cracks and crevasses, causing lasting damage.

Installing your windows during the winter means that most of the issues you might have with a window will already be present, making it easier to find and fix them. Winter is a slower time of year as well, so you may have more options when it comes to installation dates.

 

In reality, while the weather isn’t as friendly, the benefits from upgrading your windows exist throughout the year. Replacing existing windows any time can give you energy savings and increase your comfort level. If you’re experiencing significant issues with your windows, waiting can even be detrimental. If you have window issues, such as leaks or cracks, don’t wait until the spring! Give us a call and book your consultation today!

23 Oct 2018

3 Tricks for Getting Rid of Window Condensation

As the weather gets cooler, it’s pretty common to get window condensation. There’s a simple reason this happens. Condensation is generally the result of temperature change. When the temperature drops, humidity tends to increase indoors along with the heat. Cold air cools your windows, causing the warmer, more humid air inside to condense as it hits the cold glass. It is normal to have window condensation, even with newer panes, if your home’s humidity is high. It’s a good idea to monitor window condensation and it can easily be removed with a soft towel. Regular removal can help prevent mould and mildew buildup from excess moisture. While drying your windows is effective, we’ve got a few tricks to help get rid of window condensation before it hits the glass.

Remove Humidity to Prevent Window Condensation

One of the easiest ways to help remove condensation is to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. If you have humidifiers, turning them down will reduce some of the condensation on your windows. If you experience high humidity without a humidifier, using a dehumidifier will also help reduce moisture in your home. Dehumidifiers come in many different models and sizes, so look for one that works for the space where you’re finding the most condensation. Common areas to find condensation include bathrooms and kitchens. Hidden humidity culprits include plants and fish tanks. Lids are available for most aquariums to prevent excess moisture from escaping and moving houseplants away from windows can help prevent condensation from building up.

Increase Air Flow to Prevent Window Condensation.

Increasing air flow will help to prevent window condensation, especially in problem areas like kitchens or bathrooms. Using stove and bathroom fans will help remove some of the warm air released when cooking or taking a shower. Ceiling fans will help keep warm air circulating. Keeping your windows open a crack can also help prevent window condensation. Another option is an air exchanger, which brings in fresh air from outside and removes stale, humid air from the house. While more expensive, there are several options available and these units can also help keep interior air clean.

Upgrade Your Windows to Prevent Window Condensation.

Upgrading your windows can help prevent window condensation too. Single pane windows are notorious for condensation, as they lack the extra insulating effect that newer windows have. Newer windows with condensation between the panes should also be replaced, as this is generally a sign of a broken seal. In any case, checking weather stripping around doors and windows is a good idea, as poor seals will contribute to moisture problems.

Preventing window condensation is an important part of looking after your home’s health. Mould and mildew buildup can cause many issues, so it’s necessary to control it. While these tricks can help prevent significant condensation, it’s important to dry off any remaining condensation with a soft towel often, which will also prevent moisture damage to your sills. If you’re experiencing excessive window condensation and are thinking of upgrading, we’ve got you covered. Don’t wait, give us a call today!

25 Sep 2018

Exterior Winter Prep: Getting Your Exterior Ready for a Long Winter’s Nap

Fall has returned, and with it comes the yearly list of exterior winter prep. Packing lunches and raking leaves is about to become the norm, and along with that, colder weather. Before the frost hits and the dark nights commence, keep your house cozy and your yard set for winter with these tips.

Exterior Winter Prep for Windows, Doors, and Gutters

Windows and doors play a pretty big part in your home’s performance, especially in winter. Windows and doors that are improperly maintained can add to your energy bill and keep you feeling chilly from
drafts. Checking for leaks around windows and doors is an important part of exterior winter prep. Airtight seals helps to lower your energy bill and keeps the heat in. Checking seals is particularly important for single pane windows. If your windows are in bad shape, it might be time to consider upgrading. New vinyl windows keep heat inside the house and reduce your overall energy consumption. Replacing damaged weather stripping is also part of exterior winter prep.

Now’s a good time to remove any excess dirt and debris from window sills and tracks, and give the windows a good wash too. If your home experiences high humidity, it may also be a good idea to invest
in a dehumidifier or lowering the thermostat slightly, to prevent condensation. Prevent damage to exterior walls by giving them a scrub to remove dirt, mould and moss. Doing this as part of your exterior
winter prep can help prevent them from growing in the ideal conditions that wet winters bring. Gutters should be cleaned as well to promote drainage.

Condensation from humidity.

Exterior Winter Prep for the Yard:

Part of exterior winter prep is preparing tools and equipment for winter, as well as making sure that winter tools like snow shovels are easily available should you need them. Prep your equipment for the cool weather by removing gas from tanks and draining water from hoses and water features. Clean garden tools before putting them away to keep them from rusting or degrading. Bring out snow shovels or blowers, salt, and any other tools you need to make your job easier when the time comes. Doing this has the added bonus of keeping you from tripping over the beach chairs to get to them. Checking the roof on your home and the shed is also worth adding to your exterior winter prep, as missing or damaged shingles can allow water to leak into your home or shed.

Broken shingles allow moisture to cause permanent damage over time.

Exterior Winter Prep for the Garden

Another important part of exterior winter prep is the garden! Now is the ideal time to plant some colourful fall plants to liven up your space. It’s also a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom in spring. If you have any plants that need to be divided or transplanted, the cooler weather will make it easier on them. Mulching is another great addition to exterior winter prep, as it will help protect the soil and the roots as the temperatures get colder. Be sure to bring sensitive plants to a sheltered or indoor area to prevent stress. Doing the same with container plants will also keep pots from cracking if the soil freezes. Adding both these things to your exterior winter prep checklist will make the eventual switch to spring a lot easier.

Chrysanthemums and other fall flowers add brightness when other plants start to die off.

Taking the time to do a little bit of exterior winter prep will save you time, money, and a headache later. If you need windows or doors replaced, even in the dead of winter, we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s a new patio door, a sealed unit, or something else, we’d love to help you stay cozy this winter! Give us a shout today!