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When doing our annual spring cleaning, we often imagine things like cleaning out the garage, taking old household items to the dump, and starting with a clutter free home that seems to fill up again by the same time next year. Well this year go beyond the traditional de-cluttering and choose a few cleaning solutions that will last all year around.

window-cleaning

Window and Door Maintenance

Spring is the perfect time of year to give not just your home, but your house a thorough cleaning. Choosing to clean your windows, doors and frames will help increase longevity of these products as well as control risks of mold and allergens developing in your home.

When washing window or door frames, use a soft cloth or long-handled soft-bristle brush to avoid any damage to the finish. A mild abrasive cleaner will usually be sufficient in most homes, but keeping it away from glass will avoid creating any unwanted streaks or marks on your windows. Stay away from chlorine bleach or liquid grease removers. Provided you follow the instructions, products such as SoftScrub, Ajax or BonAmi are perfect cleaners to use near glass or other delicate surfaces, while still effectively getting rid of tough stains from dirt or top soil, caulking, rust, mold or mildew.

When washing glass in windows or doors, you must use cleaners made specifically for glass that will not damage the glass or leave streaks or stains. There are many products available for this that comes in a variety of potencies depending on how strong of a product you are looking for.

If you have a specific stain on your glass that you need to remove, there are specialty products that can get rid of wax, permanent marker, oil, paint, pencil, rust, tar and bubble gum. A combination of Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap and a solution of water vinegar and Windex can be made to combat each of these nasty stain causes.
Remember that for outdoor jobs or indoor windows that are high up, professional window cleaners will do a great job and have the proper tools to wash windows and doors effectively and safely.

Self-Cleaning Glass

If you are looking at installing new windows this season, consider self-cleaning glass. This specialty-made glass features a thin, clear, permanent coating on one of its surfaces. The coating makes raindrops spread out across the surface of the glass to wash away dirt particles. It also acts as a catalyst, when activated by sunlight, to break down organic dirt into water vapor and CO2 gas.

If you have a lot of windows or glass doors, self-cleaning glass is an investment in your home and a convenience you will enjoy for years after installation.

Posted by & filed under North Star Windows, Windows .

There is no question that new or replacement windows can make a dramatic impression on any home. Although this is a costly investment, it is one of the most essential because it affects the overall value of your home while providing your family with daily comfort and security. Surveys from remodelers and real estate agents indicate that window replacement has an 80 percent return on your investment if you plan on selling your home in the foreseeable future.

vinyl windows

 

Whether you’re trying to improve your home’s curb appeal, expand a spectacular outside view or simply upgrade old, degraded windows, energy-efficient and stylishly updated windows will serve you well. However, when you start looking at new and replacement window options you might find it confusing for deciding which type of window is best for you, vinyl or aluminum.

Since replacement vinyl and aluminum windows have a wide range of costs depending on their features, such as style, glaze and shape, it’s important to choose the best quality your budget allows. If you plan on staying in your home for a long period of time, avoid low-end and single pane windows that offer little energy savings. The higher the quality window, the better it will perform with upgraded hardware and a better guarantee.

Vinyl windows have grown in popularity for residential use over the past fifteen year. They have certain advantages over aluminum, especially for primary windows in comparison to secondary windows. However, if they’re used as the secondary window, many of the advantages are negligible because both vinyl and aluminum are used to improve the insulation values of a primary window.  However, aluminum windows have more mass versus vinyl windows and stop more external noise from getting into the house since they’re almost three times heavier and stronger than vinyl.On the other hand, aluminum windows have one huge drawback. They are less energy efficient because they are conductors of heat and cold, resulting in energy loss.

Durability:

Regardless of age, vinyl windows always look great and they are extremely easy to maintain. They are durable, low maintenance and the standard you’ll find in most of today’s new homes. In addition to their modern look, they are the most energy-efficient windows on the market. They will not rust, warp or corrode and remain almost 100 percent scratch free.

Aluminum windows are also known as a durable product and exceptionally resistant to moisture. They are resistant to dents and cracks and appealing in their appearance. Because they are extremely light-weight, they are the most common choice for high-rise apartments, condos and commercial buildings. Their one drawback is a poor energy efficiency rating in extreme climates (like the cold snap in Burlington this February of 2015) unless extra precautions are taken to insulate them properly.

Style:

Vinyl is a favorite in this category because you can create any look with different colours and a wide assortment of styles. Another bonus with vinyl is that the colour is part of the vinyl material, making them scratch resistant. There is never a need to scrape or paint. You can also match the window frame colours to most other paint colours you’re using on the house.

Aluminum has a variety of colours as well, but unlike vinyl, aluminum frames may be painted if you choose to go this route.  Since aluminum windows are similar in look to steel, they offer a sleek, contemporary and industrial look. The sleek frames are simple in appearance and perfect for a modern loft, home or residential building.

Costs:

The cost of vinyl runs the gamut and they’re made to fit any budget; however, even though the lower-end vinyl windows are cheaper yet durable, it’s best to step up to a mid to high-end window. This is a long term investment that is geared to reducing heating and cooling costs, so for the best energy-efficiency, invest for the future.

Aluminum windows are seen as an economical choice. They are also affordable and their cost is mid-range, somewhere mid to upper range for vinyl. However, because their energy efficiency is less than vinyl, they can typically be more expensive if you get anything other than a bottom-line product.

Your Choice:

Like everything in life there are pros and cons to anything. What type of windows you decide to install will be determined by many factors, including price, climate, esthetics look of your home, maintenance requirements and energy-savings features. Do some research ahead of visiting your local retailer’s showroom so that you will a more informed consumer in making your final determination. Jans Awning Products can answer any questions concerning windows you may have concerning whether you should get vinyl or aluminum.

Posted by & filed under North Star Windows, Windows .

There are many benefits that you gain from installing energy-efficient windows if you’re building a new home or renovating a current one. Installing custom-made windows is a rewarding investment that yields many rewards such as lower utility bills, better soundproofing and improved curb appeal, which enhances the appearance of your home. A number of reports suggest that your return on investment can range from 80 to 90 percent with window replacement ranking in the top 5 for highest return on investment projects.

snowy day windows and fireplace

It is always a wise investment to install high-quality windows that suit the design and style of your home and North Star custom-made products can fit your every need in any shape or size. Their energy-efficient windows can save you money by reducing energy costs while keeping your home comfortable in any season. Your home is filled with more natural light, better airflow, and it stays cool in during the summer months and warmer during the wintertime.

Independent studies show that installing new or replacing old, single-pane glass windows can improve your home’s ability to sustain a warmer interior by as much as 50 percent. Today’s energy efficient windows, like North Star, are made with cutting-edge technology. The windows combine durable vinyl with double-glazing and frames with high-performance glass packages.

Vinyl is today’s choice in high-quality windows because they are both attractive and low-maintenance. They never need to be painted, are easy to clean, energy efficient, built to last and either double or triple glazing provides exceptional energy efficiency in colder climates. North Star’s offers energy-saving low-e glass with Super Spacer® technology to resists condensation, boosts R-values and reduces noise. The fiberglass frames are inherently stable and the hardware systems are constructed of durable die-cast zinc or stainless steel material. These features provide not only durability, but they offer homeowners peace of mind.

There are several key signs that you windows need to be replaced such as inefficient and drafty one single pane glass, damaged or rotting wood caused by moisture, cracks in sashes and sills, excessive outside noise and condensation between glass panes. In particular, new windows have the ability to significantly reduce noise transmissions from the outside environment. With population density on the rise each year, controlling the frequencies that result in external noise filtering into the house is becoming an important aspect for new windows.

When these sub-standards occur over time, you know that you have windows that are inefficient and costing you money in utility bills. Their degraded appearance is detrimental to the curb appeal of your home and its value. Now is the time to retrofit your home with North Star’s high-quality, durable windows. They are built with the best materials to dramatically enhance the look of your home and measurably improve its energy efficiency for outstanding performance for many years to come. Additionally, installing new or replacing your old inefficient windows has a positive effect on our earth. By reducing energy consumptions, you reduce dependence on the production of natural resources that often cause harm to our environment.

North Star’s premium quality windows and doors are proudly 100 percent Canadian. Since 1985, they have been an industry leader, and their windows and doors are manufactured with pride in St Thomas, Ontario. Their products meet all testing requirements and they are certified by the Canadian Standards Association and comply with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) standards since their products are exclusively made for the North American Market.

North Star’s has a list of exclusive dealers who carry their products throughout North America. This highly reputable company is very selective about who they choose to represent them. Jans Awning Products in Oakville/Burlington is a recognized as an authorized dealer, but you can find a dealer in your location by clicking find dealer in your area.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

This year we will be attending a number of home and garden shows. Please visit us at one of these shows:

interior home and gardens view

Feb 20th and 21st

Ancaster Lifestyle Home Show at the Marritt Hall

Ancaster Fairgrounds, 630 Trinity Road South, Hamilton, ON

Booth 228

Fri 3-8
Sat 11-5

(We don’t tend the booth on Sundays)

Mar 6,7

Greater Hamilton Home and Garden Show

85 Seaman Street, Stoney Creek ON

Booth 708

Fri 2-8
Sat 10-7

Mar 27 – 28

Remax Spring Home & Garden Show

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 9280 Airport Road, Mount Hope, ON L0R 1W0

Booth 811

April 3,4

Milton Lifestyle Homeshow

Milton Memorial Arena

April 9,10

Oakville Homeshow

Booth 75

April 24, 25

Burlington Homeshow

Booth 52

Posted by & filed under Windows .

During fall, you may experience some condensation on your windows when you turn on your heating systems. In extreme cases, you might even notice water running down the glass windows. This could be a temporary annoyance. In some cases, this may signal a more serious moisture problem.

foggy window

In order to solve this problem, you should know how moisture circulates inside your home. If the situation is not serious, you will only have to make some changes to your daily routines. If the problem is serious, you will have to modify your windows, add ventilation and improve heating equipment.

Why Do My Windows get Foggy?

You will notice steam on the windows when vapor in the air of your home condenses on the cool glass surface. Since windows are some of the coolest surfaces in your home, moisture tends to form there first. Condensation occurs when moisture comes into contact with a cool surface.

How to Solve the Wet-Window Problem

For most homeowners foggy windows are a temporary annoyance. When you are a few weeks into the heating season, indoor air will dry and then steam will stop forming on the windows. However, in some other homes condensation may continue and become a more serious problem. If you allow water to run off the windows, it will eventually damage wood surfaces causing rotting window sills or mildew problems. Also, ice might form on your windows and window frames. This problem should be fixed before it supports mildew growth and rots wood. There are two ways to reduce window condensation problems. First, you have to reduce moisture levels inside your home. Second, you have to increase the surface temperature of glass windows.

How to Reduce Moisture Levels

The most effective way to reduce moisture levels inside your home is to limit the sources of moisture. Activities such as cooking, washing and showers increase the moisture level in the air. Here are a few things you can do.

  • Fix damp basement problems. Drainage problems too should be corrected.
  • Make sure that your basement floors and walls are sealed and that the sump pump maintains the water level approximately 12 inches below the basement floor.
  • Turn off the humidifier if your furnace has one built into it. You should also cut off the supply of water to the humidifier.
  • Don’t dry clothes indoors. You also need to ensure that your clothes dryer vent to the outside.
  • Keep firewood outside and limit aquariums and plants.
  • Don’t use kerosene heaters indoors.
  • Make sure that your water heaters and furnaces are drafting up the chimney properly.

If you cannot reduce the sources of moisture, you should increase ventilation.  There are several ways to do this. Use ventilation fans in your bathrooms. Use kitchen exhaust fans when you cook food. You also need to ensure that they are routed outside. Keep a window slightly open when condensation begins to occur. Dehumidifiers may help but they consume a great deal of electricity.

Increase the Surface Temperature of your Window Glass

Open curtains to increase the circulation of air around the windows. Use ceiling fans. You should also consider directing warm-air supply ducts towards windows. All of these steps will make windows warmer. Jans Awning Products is located in Burlington, Ontario.  We install windows and awnings all throughout Burlington, Hamilton, Milton and Binbrook.  If your windows are covered in mildew or are rotting out, give us a call to repair your windows and assist with fixing your houses’s moisture problems.

Posted by & filed under Sunrooms .

As we endure a classic Canadian winter, full of snow, ice, wind and storms, it’s great to have a place to get away and enjoy the sunshine. While many of us spend money on a trip south to catch up on some vitamin D, there are ways to enjoy the sun at home all year round. If your finding yourself trapped indoors all winter long, consider the addition of a sun room to your home.

sunroom

What is a Sunroom?

Also known as a solarium, Florida room or garden room, a sun room located in a home allows for full enjoyment of the surrounding landscape while being completely sheltered from less-than-perfect weather conditions. Sunrooms can come in all shapes and sizes but usually protrude from the home so that there are more exterior walls and window opportunity.

A sunroom is a great investment for your family because while adding value to your home, you are gaining something that your family will enjoy. On average a sunroom’s value is about twice its cost. The cost of a sunroom depends on the size, scope, quality of finishes and conditions of the construction area. It is important to get comparable quotes when committing to an investment like this. Remember, if multiple homes in your area are for sale, a sunroom can make the difference in what sells first.

When making the decision to design and build a sun room there are many factors to consider. First the location and size should be determined so that you know what style of finishes you can afford for the space. Next the roof style, foundation and deck, type of glass, flooring, and furnishing and décor will be chosen to complete the look you desire.

Sunroom Engineering

To build a sunroom on your property, your engineer’s plans must be approved with a building permit, distributed by the relevant municipality. The job must be completed and passed by a municipal building inspector. Different factors must be considered such as snow, wind and soil bearing load for the design. All building roof structures must be designed to hold adequate snowfall determined by the municipality, as well as stress caused by wind and the soil below the sunroom must also be checked. It is also important to consider any Green Certifications you would like your sunroom to qualify for such as an Energy Star rating or a Gold Level Certification. These qualifications may cause the initial cost of the sunroom to increase, but money can be saved on the maintenance on this room for years to come, as well as its impact on the environment.

Posted by & filed under North Star Windows, Patio Doors .

Sliding patio doors

Many new homes are often built with sliding doors, especially as alternative exits to the home or leading to the backyard. Sliding doors provide excellent sight lines to the outdoors and a source of natural light in the home. When old homes are renovated, many owners decide to change over to sliding doors for entry ways that look out to personal property. However, especially in a northern climate, are sliding doors an efficient option for your home?

If you live in an older home with original doors and windows, any new door will insulate better than older types and replacing them can be a good investment resulting in lower heating and cooling costs.

When purchasing new doors the best way to determine if they are an energy efficient option is to check their energy performance rating. This will make it easier to purchase a door most appropriate for your home’s climate and orientation. The energy performance rating will provide information about their potential for gaining and losing heat as well as transmitting sunlight into your home.

Heat Gain and Loss

Sliding doors can lose heat through direct conduction through the glass or glazing, frame or door. The radiation of heat into a house and out of a house from room-temperature objects. Although uncommon in most new doors, air leakage through and around them can cause heat loss, usually when installed incorrectly.

In comparison to most new doors, sliding doors usually lose much more heat than other doors because glass (the main component in sliding doors) is a very poor insulator. The most energy efficient glass doors will have metal frames with a thermal break which is a plastic insulator between inner and outer parts of the frame. Models with several glass layers are a good investment, especially in extreme climates. You can also use a foam caulking to help seal the new door frame as well as weatherstripping. Weatherstripping can be replaced annually to ensure the best seal possible around your doorways. Regardless of age or style, swinging doors still offer a much tighter seal than sliding doors. However, most home owners are still very drawn to sliding doors and they are often seen as a great value-add to any home because of high demand.

Posted by & filed under Windows .

Every year, billions of birds smash into glass windows and kill themselves. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

Window Awning

Birds fly into windows because they can’t see the glass. They only see the reflections of trees and other natural elements in the glass. They assume that they can fly through the landscape reflected in the window. Unfortunately, they can’t.

One way of preventing this from happening is to make them realize that there is something there. Glass windows are one of the greatest threats that birds face today. They pose a threat to all bird species, but migratory birds are the biggest victims of these home design elements.

When birds hit windows, most of them die instantly. Others fall prey to predators like gulls and cats. Not only skyscrapers, private homes also endanger birds.

Why birds hit the windows?

Birds don’t see a glass window as a barrier. They only see the reflections of the trees or the sky. This is not surprising because sometimes people also walk into glass doors. While this is merely a matter of embarrassment for us, it is fatal for birds.

Home owners can prevent or reduce these collisions in several ways. Here are some solutions to this problem.

If you place bird feeders outside your windows, make sure that they are within 3 feet of the window. This will ensure that birds eating from the feeder will not gain enough speed to hurt themselves even if they try to fly through the window.

Another inexpensive and uncomplicated solution is to install a pattern on the window. Decals of hawks are not very helpful. The birds will probably never realize whether they are an abstract design or birds of prey.

Other seasonal fixes include the following.

• Place tape strips vertically or horizontally on the outside of the window. They are highly effective.
• Use window paints to obscure the window.
• Draw blinds. If you have indoor plants near the windows move them away. However, this will not help if there are reflections of the surroundings in the window.

Permanent fixes include the following:

• Install an opaque window film. This will reduce reflectivity and keep birds from hitting the windows. You can buy films that look opaque from the outside but allow you to view everything from inside. Films have to be placed on the outside of the windows for maximum effect. There is no guarantee that they will stay on these surfaces for a long time, but most of them do.
• Install awnings or shades in front of the windows. They are quite effective. They not only prevent birds from hitting your glass windows, but also provide protection from heat and dust.
• Install netting in front of the windows.

Glass Window Conclusions:

Glass windows are here to stay. They allow you to watch birds, plants and trees from inside your home. Though unintended, bird casualties are a consequence of modern home design. However, by applying some creativity you can make your windows safe for the birds.

Posted by & filed under Awning Products .

Branding is essential for the success of your business. It helps you stand out from our competition. Your logo isn’t the only branding tool that you have at your disposal. Your corporate awnings also play a crucial role in improving the recognition of your brand.

Hair and Body Works Awning

Awnings not only provide protection from weather elements; they are also great branding tools. Even large corporations use awnings as a marketing tool.

How to use awnings to promote your brand

Many organizations use awnings to protect their commercial space from heat and dust. Besides offering protection from the weather elements, they act as excellent marketing tools. Corporate awnings are quite versatile. They offer numerous benefits. They can complement your signage and the exterior of your building. Here are some of the benefits offered by commercial awnings.

Anwnings Create an Impression

Awnings complete the look of your commercial building. They add a signature touch to the façade. Small businesses install awnings above their doors and windows. One way of impressing your brand upon your customers is to use awnings made with your corporate colors and logo. Install them on the exterior of your buildings to brand your business.

Create Landmarks with Awnings

Some businesses occupy historic buildings. This is done to distinguish them from their competition. However, in cities most buildings look more or less the same. You can make your corporate structure stand out from the rest by having unique awnings installed on them. This will differentiate your building from other similar looking buildings in its surroundings. This is a great branding method. In addition, the awnings will enhance the look of your building.
The same awnings can be used to cover your side entrances and parking areas. They provide a consistent look to your commercial property and also offer protection from the weather elements. To make your business look modern and smart, you have to work on your branding efforts continuously.

Awning Permits

You need a building permit to install an awning on your commercial structure in Burlington. You have to follow certain norms. There are also restrictions regarding the kind of materials that can be used.
• All awnings installed over your commercial building have to be supported by metal rods. They should be attached to the building and leave the sidewalk unobstructed. All awnings have to be installed at least seven feet above the sidewalk.
• The awning fabric should cover the supporting structure properly. There should be no unsecured/loose edges.
• The colours as well as the materials should blend well with the surrounding structures. Make sure that you choose awnings that complement the overall design theme of the street.
• The awning has to be installed in such a way that it does not extend into public sidewalk.
• The awning has to be installed below the signage that represents your company.
• Lighting and other materials attached to the awning should be fixed to the supporting structure properly.

As we have already seen, commercial awnings are great branding tools. If you need help with choosing the right kind of awnings for your business, get in touch with us.