Five Ways To Prevent Birds From Flying Into Windows

There are a lot of advantages in having an urban forest, and Winnipeg is no exception. One of the biggest draws is the abundance of wildlife, and that includes a variety of different birds in summer and winter. Many Winnipeggers love to attract these birds to their yards using bird feeders, houses, baths, and other accessories.  That’s all well and good – until the birds fly into your window. Hundreds of millions of birds die from window collisions in the United States alone – we can extrapolate from that and guess pretty confidently that billions die from window collisions each year. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent these deaths. 

 

  1. Rearrange Your Home’s Interior

 

There are a number of reasons why birds might fly into your window – one of them is that they see plants inside your home, and don’t realize that the window is an obstacle. They fly towards the plants and hit the window. Moving your plants away from the window, and thus away from a bird’s view, can help limit collisions. You can also focus on putting the blinds down in order to deter birds.

 

  1. Rearrange Your Home’s Exterior

 

This one is a bit counterintuitive, but hear us out: move your bird feeder/house/bath closer to your window. Birds are very precise flyers, so there’s no real risk of them overshooting and hitting the window. Should they decide that your window looks appealing, they won’t be flying fast enough to hurt themselves if what they’re perched on is only a few feet away. This solution means you can keep attracting birds to your yard without risking damage to them or your windows.

 

  1. Stick Stuff On/Near Your Windows

 

The reason birds are flying into your windows is because they don’t realize there’s a solid object between them and the inside of your house, or because they see a reflection of the outside in the window. Sticking tape or decals onto your windows will dissuade birds from flying into them. You can also put wind chimes right outside your windows as an obstacle between them and the birds.

 

  1. Netting and Exterior Shutters

 

There’s exterior netting available to stop birds from colliding with your windows; the stuff is relatively inexpensive and it can be custom-fit to your windows. You can also get shutters installed and they double as a great way to conserve energy. Close them when you’re away and there’s no chance birds will fly into your windows.

 

  1. Get Patterned/Tinted Windows

 

One of the most permanent solutions is to purchase windows with patterns on them, so it’s obvious to birds that they can’t just fly through them – this can be one of the more aesthetically pleasing options, too. We offer window replacement in Winnipeg, so if you’re interested in what patterns we can offer and how they can help deter bird collisions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! 

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Condensation on Windows: How to Reduce and Prevent It

This article is going to be focused on stopping condensation on the interior of your windows. Why? Well, because outside, it rains, it snows. Your windows are going to get wet. You can apply protective barriers to them, but it’s often a losing battle. Interiors, on the other hand, are quite worth protecting. When your window interior has condensation, the moisture can drip down and begin to rot the frames, creating a great home for mold and mildew.

 

Let’s start with the simplest solutions. Condensation is caused when warm, humid air hits a cold surface, in this case, your window. That means reducing moisture can help reduce condensation. So can increasing the surface temperature of your interior window. One way of reducing moisture is to run exhaust fans when cooking or taking a shower. Run them for at least 15 minutes after you’re done and you should see a decrease in condensation.

 

Speaking of fans, did you know you should run your fan in the wintertime? Strange, but true. Running your ceiling fan clockwise in the winter pushes warm air towards the ground, which can help heat your windows, and decrease condensation.

 

Using a bit of climate control can’t hurt your chances of eliminating condensation either. Running a humidifier in the winter? Consider turning it down. It’s rare to hear people complain of too much humidity in a Winnipeg winter, but if that’s what you’re experiencing, consider a dehumidifier. We’ve been talking a lot about heat here, too. If you crank up the temperature of your home, you might find your windows’ surfaces gets hot enough that condensation doesn’t happen.

 

Now, let’s consider why your windows’ interior surfaces are cold in the first place. Windows are supposed to insulate your home, and if they’re cold, it means a measure of cold air is getting into your home. It may not be a lot, but it is a sign that your window could be better insulated. One way to address this is by purchasing window insulation kits which, when installed on the inside, reduce condensation.

 

You may, however, find that window insulation kits are not enough. You may decide you simply want better windows – windows that are insulated against the cold, and thus, against condensation. Triple pane windows are a great solution because when there are three panes of glass, the innermost pane is unlikely to get cold because of the two insulating layers between them and the exterior. We can help you select and install top-of-the-line triple-pane windows.

 

You may also be experiencing condensation because of a leak and when your windows are damaged and cold air is flowing through, you might see a lot of condensation. We can help with that, too.  We do window repairs in the Winnipeg area, and we do it well. 

 

There are a number of other possible causes for condensation, from plants being too close to your windows to bad air circulation throughout your home. Try a number of different solutions, and you’ll narrow the problem down to its source! 

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Wooden Window Care and Maintenance

Wooden windows are gorgeous. They can add an incredible rustic look to your home and their natural look and feel is well-liked by many homeowners. With any building material, there are going to be best practices you should follow to make them last longer and with wood, proper care is especially important. Wood is naturally very porous, and it’s particularly vulnerable to moisture, grime, and salt. Following these best practices will ensure that your windows look their best for as long as possible:

 

Cleaning

 

Regularly cleaning your wooden windows is the best and easiest way to ensure their longevity. Fortunately, cleaning them is a breeze. All you need to do is get some warm water with a soft liquid soap (a tiny bit of dish soap will often do the trick), dunk a soft-bristle brush in the solution, and gently brush away the dirt and grime that’s accumulated on the window frames.

 

You should be mindful when you’re cleaning to inspect for cracks and nicks. Over time, mold can accumulate in these cracks. You can, once the window has been thoroughly cleaned, sand these areas down to remove old paint and grime, then patch them up using a window filler; that is if the crack is shallow! Deep cracks can cause structural damage and may need to be repaired by a professional.

 

Staining and Painting

 

The stain or paint on your wood frames isn’t just an aesthetic feature; it serves to protect them from the elements. Over time, wear and tear from the aforementioned salt and grime will cause the stain or paint to dissipate and when this happens, you’ll need to restain or repaint the wood. 

 

The restaining and repainting process is relatively simple, but you need to proceed cautiously. The process involves stripping off the old coating, cleaning,  then applying a new coating. You have to be patient during this process because if there’s excess moisture on the wood when you apply the new coating, the moisture can get stuck, causing your frames to rot. That means it’s best to restain or paint during the summer months when the heat will help the moisture evaporate quickly.

 

How often should you refinish your wood frames? There’s no easy answer because how quickly your finish will deteriorate can quite literally change with the weather. As a rule, remember that your exterior will need to be refinished more frequently than the interior. You can take a picture of your frames every year and compare year to year so you can spot serious degradation.

All in all, wooden windows are a breeze to take care of, and they can add a wonderful touch to your home’s aesthetic. The professional window installers at Polar will be more than happy to set you up with gorgeous new wooden windows. We’ll give you more maintenance tips so you get the most out of them!

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What to Do When Your Window Breaks

Windows are transparent, and so am I; that’s why I have a confession to make. I love bad jokes. I also love logic; understanding it helps you find truth in the world. One of the best ways of understanding logic is understanding what seems logical, but isn’t; you can do this by learning about logical fallacies. What do logical fallacies have to do with windows, you might wonder? Let me explain. Windowmakers need jobs, and the time people are most likely to repair or replace their windows is if their windows are broken. We want windowmakers to have jobs because we want everyone to have jobs; that means if there’s a dearth of broken windows, we should go out into the world and break windows to stimulate the economy!

 

Right?

 

Obviously not. This fallacy, known as the broken window fallacy, has been used as a demonstration of why war destroying your infrastructure shouldn’t be looked at as a good thing. Now that we’ve got the fallacy out of the way, let’s get to the more important detail for this article: what do you do when your window breaks?

 

This article is going to focus on broken window panes. The first thing you’ll want to focus on is getting the broken glass out of the area; it’s rather hazardous, for obvious reasons. Make sure to wear gloves and shoes, sweep up the glass in a dustpan; you can carefully grab the larger pieces yourself (or with a pair of pliers). Next, you’ll want to find a way to seal off the window. Be extremely careful during this process, removing large, loose pieces of glass. For cracks that aren’t full breaks, test them to see if they need to be sealed, or if there’s loose glass. For small breaks, you can use clear packing tape; slightly larger breaks can be sealed using layers of clear nail polish. When the breaks are too big, you can layer on thick,  transparent plastic sheets using packing tape or a staple gun.

 

These solutions are, of course, temporary at best. They’re less insulating, less long-lasting, and less aesthetically pleasing than your window would be. That means you’ll want to either repair or replace the window, and the choice that you make will depend largely on how attached you are to your current window, the extent of the damage, and the price you’re willing to pay. 

 

We’ll run a whole article on repairing and replacing windows soon; there are advantages to both, depending on what your circumstances are. Windows can increase the energy efficiency of your house, and older windows can be quite hard to repair; put these things together, and it may be more economical to replace a broken window. 

We’re here for your Winnipeg window repair needs – we’re here too if you need your window replaced. Basically, if you need any advice on windows, get in touch with us. Keep the discussion to physical windows, mind you – that’s our specialty. Metaphorical windows, Microsoft Windows, and logical windows – not so much.

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5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

 

 

 

 

 

1. Condensation

One of the first signs of needing new windows is you’ll have condensation between the panes. That means the gas which is used to insulate the window has escaped so virtually there is no insulation value other than an air space

 

 

 

 

2. Bubbling Drywall

Your drywall on the inside is bubbling, showing signs that there’s leakage from the exterior. So driving rain and moisture has gotten into the cavity of your wall causing moisture to bubble your drywall.

 

 

 

 

3. Discoloured Stucco

If it’s a stucco finish the corners will show discoloration or cracks. Meaning your house is shifting and that it’s causing driving rain to get into the cavity of your wall.

 

 

 

4. Draftiness

Draftiness is another way to tell that you need new windows. If you feel cold coming through that window it’s definitely time to upgrade to triple pane.

 

 

 

 

5. Rotted Window Frame

The outside frame of the window is typically wood and that is showing signs of severe rot. That’s definitely time to replace your window.

 

 

 

What To Do Next

If you find any of these signs it may be time to replace your windows. Visit the Polar Windows website to find out more about your upgrade options.

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Window Styles

In this brief blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the different styles of window you can get. One thing that’s absolutely essential to know is that this is not an exhaustive list of the windows that we can offer. Why? Windows, you see, are endlessly customizable; you can pretty much invent a “style” of the window no one else has, something completely custom made to your home. That said, there are a few common window types that you should be acquainted with; these will give you a good idea of what kind of window might be best suited to your needs.

 

Single and Double Hung

The difference between single and double hung windows is quite straightforward: in single hung windows, the bottom window can be opened, while with double hung windows, the bottom and the top can be opened. They open towards the house, letting air in; double hung windows give you a bit more control over how much airflow is entering into your home. They’re particularly practical in kitchens, where opening windows can let out some of the heat and smell.

 

Casement 

Casement windows are opened with a crank; they’ll open from the left or right, towards the outside of your home. Casement windows are usually fairly large and are well suited to a living room or den where you might want to let air in, but still, want windows that add a bit of flair. They can also make wonderful egress windows; they leave a lot of room for you to escape from.

 

Awning

Awning windows have fallen a bit out of favour recently, but they do have their practical uses. Awning windows open upwards, towards the exterior; this means that they can be helpful in rainy conditions when you want a bit of air, but don’t want raindrops to enter your home. That said, the wind can get water into your house despite your awning windows, depending on the angle, so be cautious.

 

Bay

Who wouldn’t want an amazing view of the bay? No matter where you live, bay windows can add character to your home, while giving you an exceptional view; they’re usually comprised of three windows, two on an angle and one in the centre; they create a small island in your home near the windows. Generally speaking, your bay windows won’t open, but it’s worth repeating that customization is one of our specialties.

 

Slider

You can probably guess exactly how these windows work, just by the name; they slide. Namely, one window will slide to overlap another window, leaving a space for airflow. These windows are quite practical, and they’ve become more popular in recent years.

 

As we mentioned at the top, this is nowhere near a comprehensive list of all the windows; there’s a lot we haven’t touched on. We might run another article on window styles in the near future, but for now, know that no matter what you want to have done, we can consult with you and help you pick the best window, then provide professional window installation services to get everything working perfectly. 

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Customize Your Windows

Variety is the spice of life. Your home is a reflection of your personality. Put those two things together, and you get something remarkable: you can customize your home to suit your unique personality and tastes. One way that you can customize your home is by customizing your windows; there are a number of different ways to do this. You can choose from different window styles, different colours, different types of glass, and more; we’ll delve into all of these in this brief post.

 

Choose Different Types of Windows

 

You’ve probably walked by a home with beautiful bay windows, and thought to yourself “I wish I had windows like that”. Great news: you can. Even if the windows you currently have fitted into your home aren’t bay windows, so long as you’ve got the space, your home can be modified by window companies in Winnipeg to fit windows of all types. You might even opt for picture windows, which go from ceiling to floor, to dramatic effect; especially nice if you like a lot of sunlight!

 

Choose Different Colours

 

Gone are the days when window trim simply matched the material the frame was made of; you can choose any number of different colours for your window. At Polar, there are over 20 stock colours you can choose from to match your home; if none of those work for you, it’s easy to create custom colours that suit your needs. That’s the joy of being both the installer and the manufacturer; customization is simple.

 

Choose Decorative Glass

 

There’s nothing wrong with ordinary glass; with a beautiful window frame, and the right style, ordinary glass can be quite lovely! Some homes, however, want to add a bit of texture, a bit of pizzazz, to their glass. For you, we have a wide variety of different decorative glass to choose from; you can select from a traditional style, like frosted glass, or you can develop custom patterns that are unique to your home. Read about some different types of decorative glass, and get inspired! 

 

Choose Eye-Catching Grilles

 

Window grilles are as customizable as anything else. You might go with a more classic nickel grille, or you might instead opt for something a bit funkier, like brass. You can get a classic square or rectangle grilles, or you might opt for a complex grille pattern, turning your window into something more akin to a painting.

 

As you can see, there’s a number of different ways to customize your window – you can opt for anything from quite classic to extraordinarily unique. At Polar, we make sure all of our windows are of the highest quality; after all, we have a lifetime guarantee. That means that no matter how you customize, you can rest easy, knowing that the materials being used aren’t second rate. When we offer customization options, it’s because we know we can do them right. 

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What’s In a Window?

A great many things in life are more complex than they first appear. That’s actually one of the principles of great design; when something is designed exceptionally well, you won’t take notice of how well designed it is, because it’s so easy to use, and it performs its function so effectively. Such is the case with windows. You might associate windows with some pretty simple principles, seeing them as little more than a pane of glass in a frame; of course, great windows have a lot more depth than that.

 

One of the things that adds a depth of complexity to talking about windows is that there are all sorts of different windows, and they have all sorts of different components. The linked article shows eight different types of windows: double hung, casement, awning, slider, transom, and others. Each of these windows has its own distinct advantage; we’ll run a brief post on those different advantages, later. No matter what type of window you have, you can expect a frame; the glass is fitted into the frame. This frame will have a head (the top), and a sill (the bottom).

 

Windows are often thought of as a pane of glass, but here in Winnipeg, a single pane of glass isn’t going to be enough to offer the insulation you want for your home. Windows in Winnipeg should be double, or even better, triple pane. Triple pane windows have three panes of glass; in order to make that system work, a few key components are needed. The first is a spacer bar; this bar creates the space between window panes and should be made of a material that doesn’t readily conduct heat. The space between the panes is then filled in a variety of ways; there might be a vacuum seal, an air seal, or a seal made of inert gases. The substance used to fill these spaces can have an important impact on the energy rating of your window.

 

Weather seals and gaskets form another integral component of your window. With Polar, you’ll get weather seals that are built to last. Our Santoprene™ Weatherstrip technology comes with a lifetime transferable warranty; what’s more, it’s easy for us to replace in minutes should you experience any problems with your window’s insulation. 

 

As we mentioned, there’s a number of other parts to various types of windows. Fairly soon, we’ll run articles explaining what the different types of windows are, what they’re best suited to, and what different components they’re made up of. For now, if you take away one thing from this post, it should be this: windows are more complicated than you might think. It’s important when you’re buying windows, that the manufacturer tells you about each individual component, why they chose to make it the way they did, and how it will help you as a consumer. Does it insulate better? Does it last longer? Is it easier to repair or replace? Asking questions, and understanding how complex the topic is – these are the keys to getting the right windows. 

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What to Look For In A Window Installer

Let’s face it: new windows aren’t cheap. That means you can’t afford subpar labour; you need window installation services that do the job right. After all, when windows are poorly installed, they don’t look as good, and they don’t insulate as well; in other words, you’ve wasted a lot of money. Finding a good window installer isn’t always the easiest thing, but with a few tips, you’ll be on your way to finding the right service.

 

Certification

Certification is important anytime you have a tradesperson working on your house, be it for plumbing or windows. When it comes to windows, the best way of finding out whether or not a tradesperson is certified is to see whether or not they have the endorsement of the manufacturer; the Government of Canada conveniently provides a list of window manufacturers. When it comes to Polar Windows, you know the installers are manufacturer endorsed; that’s because all of our installation team is in-house, just like our manufacturing team. In other words, the same people who make the windows are installing them; it’s pretty much the best endorsement you can find!

 

Estimate

A good window installer should give you a precise estimate. That doesn’t just mean they should tell you about how much it will cost. The estimate should be incredibly detailed, including the estimated timeframe, and a breakdown of the cost into different categories, so you know exactly what you’re being billed for.

 

Your estimate should also include information about how the installation will proceed. Let’s say you’re getting windows installed in the wintertime; how will the installer prevent blowing snow from entering your house and interrupting the installation process? A good installer will be able to answer any and all questions you might have about the process.

 

Check Reviews

Getting other people’s opinions on an installer’s work is the best way to guarantee you’re in good hands. There are three real tiers of review. The first is a referral from someone you trust intimately; a friend or family. Failing this, you can go to a professional who wants to keep a good relationship with you; a doctor, lawyer, or banker who recently got windows installed is a good bet. The second option is referrals from the installer; ask them for a list of people you can call to confirm their good work. The third, and least useful, is online reviews: a lot of 5-star reviews are a handy indicator, but you want to delve a bit deeper, because online reviews can be gamed.

 

See Their Work

Take a look at the installer’s portfolio; see whether or not you like the work they’ve done. Windows are exterior, so if you want to go the extra mile to do your due diligence, you might ask referrals if you can drive by their home to check the windows. The best homes to check are those where installations took place some time ago, so you can see whether or not wear and tear has affected the installation drastically. 

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When To Replace Your Windows

They say that eyes are the windows to the soul – I guess that means that windows are the eyes of your house. Your eyes need regular checkups, and you might need some corrective eyewear in order to see better; in a similar way, your windows might need to be touched up on the regular, and you should look for signs of wear. Unlike your eyes, there’s a pretty high likeliness you’ll need to replace windows at once point in your life. When it comes to windows, it’s all about determining whether or not you need to repair something, or replace the windows.

 

Let’s start with things you can probably repair. Windows are a bit drafty? There’s a good chance you just need to replace the weatherstripping, redo the caulking, or replace the window sash. Window sashes aren’t present on every window; they’re essentially the frame that the glass panes are fitted into, and easy to use window sash replacement kits are available. Doing these things can help you avoid the cost of replacing your window, or hiring professional labour to do repairs for you; it’s fortunate that the right to repair extends to windows, even though it doesn’t extend to Apple (bad pun, I know). 

 

Window replacements should occur if you’ve seen severe damage to your windows. When the glass of your windows is seriously damaged or totally shattered, it’s of course time to replace. For window in a wood frame, replacement is a good idea if the wood has seen serious rot. Minor rot can sometimes be dealt with using a bit of elbow-grease, replacing the rotted bit with something like a Dutchman’s patch. When you’re looking into repairing or replacing wooden frames around older windows, consider when your house was constructed; older homes may have lead paint, so precautions should be taken.

 

Aside from wanting to replace windows because they’re broken, you might want to replace them for aesthetic reasons. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get stylish new windows installed; you can have them retrofitted, or you can have the frames replaced entirely, something called new construction windows. Which one of these approaches you’re going to want to take depends on a few considerations. You might not like the frames you have, or they might be damaged; in those cases, you’ll obviously want new construction. When possible, you’ll want to opt for retrofit, as it’s almost always less expensive.

 

Want window repairs or window replacement Winnipeg residents can trust? Look into Polar Windows. We were established in Winnipeg, specifically because Winnipeg’s climate is different than other cities; it’s harsher, and our windows need to provide better insulation in both the summer and the winter. We’ve dealt with new home window installations, and window installations for homes that are a century old, so no matter where you live, or what you’re looking for in a window, we can help you. Take a look at our stock, ask us about how we can customize a window for you, and we’ll get you the window of your dreams! 

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