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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.

 

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!