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.

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 Jul 2019
Parts of a window - Budget Glass

Parts of a Window

Window Terminology: Understanding the Various Parts of a Window

If you’re thinking about replacing or upgrading the windows of your home or office, chances are the glass specialist or installer you hire might use some specialized terminology when discussing your window needs with you. There are more parts to a window than you might realize, and it helps to have a basic understanding of all the items a glass professional might refer to in the quotes they provide you.

Below is some window terminology to help you understand the parts that make up a window. After all, when you’re shopping for new windows, it’s better to have a clear picture.

Window Terminology

Window terminology can be divided into a few categories, such as the parts of the window frame, the glass itself, and the various safety and security features. Let’s start by taking a look at the parts of a window’s frame:

Window Frame Parts

  • Window Frame – A window frame holds and supports the entire window within the wall. Made up of smaller parts like the sill, head, jamb, and apron. Usually made out of vinyl, wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Window frames come in standard sizes or can be made custom.
  • Sill – The lowest part of the window frame, the sill is sometimes called a ledge or a stool. It’s often wide enough to store items on if the wall and frame are deep enough and the sill is flat.
  • Head – The highest or top horizontal part of a window frame.
  • Jamb – Each vertical side of the window frame is called a jamb.
  • Jambliner (or Jamb Liner) A strip placed on the jambs to buffer the glass and the frame.
  • Apron – An optional decorative trim installed beneath the windowsill that can aesthetically frame a window and add dimension.
  • Casing – Another term for trim, casing refers to the decorative molding (framing) around a window that covers up and conceals the gap between the wall and the window frame.
  • Panel – A broad term referring to a rectangular section of a surface, for instance, of a wall. A window panel can be made of several panes.
  • Fixed Panel – The panel of a window that is non-operational, such as on a single-hung window, a piece of decorative stained glass, or a sidelight. An entire window can be a fixed panel window, i.e. a window that doesn’t open. A term often used to describe shower doors.
  • Hinged Glass Panel – In a window with blinds that snap in between two panels of glass, the hinged glass panel is the panel that opens inward to allow for cleaning. In a shower glass door, the hinged glass panel is the part that swings or slides open.

Window Glass Parts

There are a variety of components that work together to hold window glass in place.

  • Pane – An individual sheet of glass in a window.
  • Sash – The moveable parts of the window that contain the glass. Sashes can be vertical or horizontal.
  • Mullion – A structural element that combines two or more windows together.
  • Muntins – Strips of material used to create the visual effect of multiple panes of glass.

Single-hung or Double-hung?

  • Single-Hung Window A type of window that opens via a single sash at the bottom of the window. When opened, single-hung windows are flush with the wall.
  • Double-Hung Window – A type of window that opens from either the top, bottom, or both via two operating sashes. When opened, double-hung windows are flush with the wall.
  • Check Rail: On a double-hung window, the check rail is the part where the bottom part of the upper sash and the upper part of the lower sash come in contact (the middle of the window).

Additional Parts of a Window

There are several important parts added to most professionally installed windows that improve their performance, safety, and security.

  • Lock Handle– The lock located on the jamb to allow the window to be locked.
  • Operator– A crank handle for opening and closing the window.
  • Sash Lock – A locking mechanism that engages with the sash lock strike to reduce rattling.
  • Weep Hole– A place where water and condensation can escape.
  • Weather Stripping– Used on some style of windows to create a weathertight seal, usually made of a combination of rubber, vinyl, felt and metal materials.
  • Balance – A counterbalance weight to keep some single-hung and double-hung windows open.
  • Screen– A fine mesh made from fiberglass or aluminum that covers a window to keep out insects.
  • Shades, Curtains and Blinds – Various types of window coverings that create privacy and protection from the sun.
  • Hinges – Metal parts that allow the window to open and close by pushing and pulling rather than sliding. The location of the hinges varies based on the type of window.
  • Window Film – A thin material that can be applied to window glass designed to protect inhabitants from UV rays and help regulate interior temperatures.
  • Exterior Aluminum Cladding – A factory-applied finish on exterior windows that help protect wooden windows from the elements. This is not required of vinyl windows.

Types of Window Glass

You might come across the following terms used to describe types of glass or special styles of windows:

  • Insulated Glass Windows – Windows that have special components like argon (a type of gas) to help make them more energy efficient. Also commonly referred to as double-pane windows.
  • Vinyl Windows – Windows with frames made of vinyl instead of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Vinyl windows are easy to maintain, don’t require painting, and last a long time.
  • Laminated Glass– A super strong type of glass that resists breaking. If a laminated glass window were to break, the laminate prevents the window from shattering into shards.
  • Tempered Glass– A type of safety glass that has the same features as laminated glass but is heat strengthened and significantly stronger.
  • Low-E Glass– Low-emissivity glass that is coated to reflect thermal radiation. This type of treated glass bypasses the need for adding window film to regular windows.

Consult the Window Experts

For all your glass and window needs in Nanaimo and surrounding areas, the team of glass specialists here at Budget Glass Nanaimo are here to help! We are happy to answer any questions you have about choosing the best type of windows for your home or office. Call us at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

01 Jul 2019
birds flying into windows

Birds Hitting Your Windows?

11 Ways to Prevent Birds From Flying Into Windows

The sound of a bird, no matter how big, flying into your closed window can be quite startling. It can also lead to broken windows and inevitably, a few fallen birds. While keeping blinds and curtains closed at all times is effective at keeping birds at bay – most homeowners want to be able to look out the window from time to time! Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent birds from hitting your windows that still allow you to see out the window.

Let’s take a closer look at how to keep birds from hitting windows.

Why Do Birds Fly Into Closed Windows?

To start, it helps to understand why certain birds like robins and cardinals seem to aim straight for your closed windows. These birds are simply seeing a continuation of their habitat (more trees and open sky) reflected in your window.  Some species might also be mistaking their own reflections for other birds and go in for the attack.

To prevent broken windows in your future, and to perhaps spare a few birds’ lives in the process, Budget Glass Nanaimo has a few tips for bird proofing your windows – the bulk of these methods involve obscuring their reflection.

1. Paper Cut-outs of Birds

One cost-effective way of bird proofing your windows is to hang up paper cut-outs of other birds in the window. You can make these out of ordinary computer or construction paper. Not so into the DIY? Pet stores sell decals that are colored in an ultraviolet spectrum. These decals are transparent to human eyes but visible to birds.

2. Stained Glass or Other Adhesive Decalsstop birds flying into windows - bird decal

If birds aren’t your thing, consider dressing up the window a little bit with other types of obstructions, like stained glass art pieces, or other window decorations, like the reusable plastic decals found at most home décor shops, dollar stores, or craft stores. Even something as simple as multiple Post-It Notes will do the trick.

3. Films

Window films are fairly inexpensive and are applied like wallpaper to the exterior of the window to reduce reflection. Window films help protect your windows and the birds while making your windows more energy efficient at the same time.

One type of DIY window film we’ve heard people trying is dish soap, which, when thinly spread, creates an opaque film on the window. However, this type of film would need plenty of reapplications. Another approach is using window paint as a type of window film, which could be a fun project for the kids.

5. Window Treatments

A more permanent measure is installing manufactured glass such as UV-patterned glass or acid-etched glass – two types of commercially produced glass treatments. UV patterned glass is a glazing treatment that birds can see but humans cannot, which keeps your windows transparent and also helps with energy efficiency. Acid-etched glass obscures the transparency of the windows for both humans and birds. With this method, a chemical is used to etch a pattern or full opaque treatment onto the window. Acid-etched glass acts like film but is more durable and won’t scratch off.

 6. Adhesive Stripes

Rather than decals, vertical stripes might be more of the aesthetic you’re looking for. We recommend using 1/8″ window-safe white tape on the outside of the window spaced about four inches apart. You can also use black electrical tape in a pinch. There is also a specialty tape available at pet stores designed for this purpose, or you can use paint pens and stencils.

9. Bird Feeders & Baths

In addition to adjusting your windows, pay attention to what you have around your windows, such as bird feeders and baths. One approach is to keep feeders and baths far from your windows (more than 25 feet) so birds end up avoiding your windows altogether.

Alternatively, hang feeders very close to your windows. The feeders will draw birds in slowly, lessening the chance of them hitting your window at full speed.  This principle also works with wind chimes.

7. Netting, Screens, and Shutters

Beyond obstructing window reflections, you can also install physical barriers like thin dark netting, bird-safe screens, or shutters. All of these physical barriers can be customized to your window size and type, making them aesthetically pleasing. Sunshades and awnings also help reduce window reflections by shading the area.

8. Lighting

Exterior lighting can have an effect on birds and other wildlife and should be adjusted accordingly, starting with ensuring exterior lights are shielded downwards. Next, go for motion sensor lights to keep overall lighting to a minimum, and choose the wattage of your exterior light bulbs wisely to avoid over lighting. Warm-light LEDs are optimal.

Also try to keep interior lights off as much as possible so birds aren’t drawn to your home at dusk when the natural light starts to fade.

9. Plant Lifeplant in window to prevent birds hitting window

We have seen a few homeowners attach branches or small pieces of driftwood to the exteriors of their windows using suction cups and fishing line. This artistic approach gives birds something to perch on and draws birds in slowly enough so that they get what they are looking for without divebombing the window.

You can also plant trees and hedges or planter boxes near your windows to obstruct the view and also add privacy to your space.

If you have houseplants, consider moving them away from the window.

10. New Windows

When it comes time for installing new windows, talk to your window installers about your concerns about birds. Slightly tilted windows may be an option. When windows are installed at a slight vertical tilt facing downward, the window surface reflects the ground, rather than the sky and the trees. The tilt is subtle enough that homeowners don’t notice it.

11. Consult the Pros

If you need help solving the problem of birds hitting your window, the glass specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo can help. To learn more about our specialized glass, window films, and windows for homes and businesses, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

20 Jun 2019

How to Paint Around Windows

Tips & Tricks for Painting Around Windows

When it comes time to paint the house, painting around your old wood-framed windows is oftentimes the most tedious part of the entire project. Painting wooden windowpanes and frames can be time-consuming and is often a messy, frustrating experience if you aren’t slow and steady, or you haven’t taken the time to properly prep the area.

If painstakingly taping your windows with painter’s tape doesn’t appeal to you, there are a few different ways you can protect your windows while you paint the frames. The methods below are faster than using painter’s tape, work just as well, and best of all, they don’t leave behind any sticky adhesive!

Here are 4 clever hacks for painting around windows:painting around windows

1. Masking Liquid

Masking Liquid H2O, a painter’s best friend, is an acrylic-modified, water-based clear coating that peels off of glass once it’s dry. Masking Liquid is easy to use both indoors and outdoors. To use this product, simply brush the liquid onto the edges of the glass, give it some time to dry to a gel-like finish, and then start painting. Afterwards, the masking liquid can be peeled away easy enough. We recommend using the sharp edge of a razor blade to slice the gel away from the edge of the frame, and then the flat edge to scrape the gel off.

2. Lip Balm or Vaseline

If you don’t have any masking liquid lying around the garage, it’s no problem! Regular lip balm or Vaseline can be used instead. Using a cotton swab or your fingers, apply a generous coat of lip balm or a thin coat of Vaseline on the areas you wish to protect from paint.

Once the paint is dry, simply wash off the protective coating with a dry cloth and some window cleaner.  This method works exactly the same way as masking liquid at a fraction of the cost.

3. Wet Strips of Paper

Wet paper strips, cut carefully using a paper cutter or straight edge to make sure the lines are straight, are a genius way to protect glass when you’re painting around your windows. The wet paper sticks to the window just like tape but is easier to get into position and a lot easier to remove around into the perfect position.

Here’s how to do it: Take carefully cut strips of paper – regular copy paper is just fine – and dip them into a tray of water. Make sure the strips are saturated but not falling apart, remove the excess water, and then apply the strips on the glass you wish to protect. The wet paper sticks to the glass easily and can even be moved around until each strip is positioned just right.

Once applied, dry up any excess or dripping water from the windows and then simply paint around the window. Remove the paper strips once the paint around them is dry—these paper protectors will likely dry at the same rate as the paint colour.

Additional Tips for Painting Windows

  • Before using any of the methods above, thoroughly clean the windows and their frames of dust, debris, and spiderwebs.
  • Fully remove screens – paint drips on screens are difficult to clean.
  • Have cotton swabs and a damp rag on hand to clean any messes up as you go.
  • Use a paintbrush intended for cutting in and painting in closed quarters. A 1.5 inch stiff angled brush will help out a lot, as stiff bristles are more precise and don’t splay out.
  • Work from the center outwards if possible and aim to paint rails (horizontals) before stiles (verticals).
  • Remove any paint drips from glass windows once they are fully dry using a razor blade or specialized tool like the MaxCraft Stubby Scraper made exclusively for removing adhesives and dried paint.

Big or small, a painting project is often a chance to get a little up close and personal with your home’s walls and window frames. Sometimes setting out to give the place a fresh coat of paint leads to other renovation projects. If, as you’re prepping your windows for a paint job, you realize that you might be better off replacing your old windows with new vinyl windows, the team of glass specialists here at Budget Glass Nanaimo can help! Give us a call at (250) 758-3374 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!