WINDOW TINTING FAQs
What are the benefits of Solar Control Window Films?
-Reduces fading of carpets, upholstery, and interior furnishings
-Rejects from 98-99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays
-Reduces your energy bill thereby helping to keep warmer in winter and cooler in summer
-Increases your comfort by helping to eliminate “hot spots”
-Rejects up to 80% of the sun’s solar energy
-Reduces the sun’s glare
-Increases your level of privacy
-Enhances the appearance of a building by creating a uniform appearance
-Provides improved safety when glass is broken
How long does it take window film to dry?
One aspect to consider when talking about the drying time of window film is the time of year. Cold and non-sunny weather conditions can lengthen the dry-out time. Warm weather and direct sun light exposure will shorten the dry-out time. If slow drying occurs, do not be alarmed. The trapped moisture will dry-out completely.
Some safety and security window films will always have a longer dry- out period due to their increased thickness. Thicker films and a less than perfect drying climate will lengthen the dry-out period. Dry-out times can vary from a few days to as long as several months.
Window film creates an efficient vapor barrier between the glass and the film. During the installation process, your window tinting installer will remove as much of the mounting solution as possible by using a squeegee, although a small amount will remain. Trapped installation moisture can cause small water puddles and/or a slightly cloudy look. This is normal and should be expected. Do not attempt to pierce a water puddle during the dry-out period. This water and cloudy look will eventually dissipate. Attempting to pierce a water puddle in an effort to drain moisture will damage your film. This damage would not be covered by warranty.
Is window film scratch proof?
The manufacturers of window films utilize numerous types of scratch resistant coatings during the manufacturing process. This scratch resistant coating is applied to the exterior surface of the window film to protect the film from normal wear and tear and abuse by humans by the natural environment.
While most quality films are scratch resistant, no window film is entirely scratch proof. With a small amount of care and precaution, window film can provide you with years of service and protection.
Will window film cause my thermal pan windows to break or blow the seals?
When deciding to purchase window film for your home or office, the subject of glass breakage may come up. Industry wide, glass breakage caused by window film occurs in approximately 1/10 of 1% of all installations. In most cases, when breakage is reported, the film installation was not the sole cause for the failure. Breakage is usually the result of flaws, imperfections, or expansion restraints that existed in the glass or window framing prior to the installation of the window film.
Window films reduce the transmission of damaging and harmful solar radiation. By increasing the amount of solar radiation absorbed and reflected by the glass, less solar energy can enter the building. When glass is subjected to the effects of solar radiation, the normal and immediate result is the increase in the temperature. The sun naturally warms the glass as its powerful energy passes through. Glass with film has an increased ability to reflect and absorb solar radiation. Because window films are usually installed on the inside surface of the glass, increased amounts of solar radiation will be absorbed as it passes back and forth through the glass.
Some window films can cause excessive solar energy absorption in certain kinds of glass. The result can be extreme thermal expansion and stress, which can cause glass breakage or seal failure in an insulated glass (IG) unit. Additionally, thermal stress fracture can result from uneven temperature distribution across the surface of a glass plate. This is typically caused by partial shading of the window.
To avoid problems, you must select the correct window film for your glass. To do this, it is helpful to know how glass reflects, absorbs and transmits solar radiation and how its ability to reject solar radiation will change when a window film is installed. In the past, dark or highly reflective films were very popular and used to attain maximum solar energy rejection performance. Unfortunately, dark reflective films typically have high absorption ratings which can increase the risk of glass breakage and seal failure. Thanks to the technological and manufacturing advances used in today's window films, it is no longer necessary to purchase very dark films to achieve significant solar energy rejection performance. Today's high-tech films provide impressive performance without absorbing excessive amounts of solar energy. Best of all these films save energy, reduce ultraviolet transmissions, increase interior comfort and give a contemporary appearance to a building or home.
Why should I consider installing safety or security film in my home or business?
Every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world are injured, maimed or killed by lethal shards of flying or falling glass. Many events can cause glass to break unexpectedly resulting in potentially thousands of dagger-like projectiles.
Unfortunately, many glass breakage events are not predictable, such as a child falling into a patio door while playing. In these cases, existing homes or buildings may have no form of glass protection causing a high-risk potential of injury to the property and/or occupants.
There are many potential users of safety film. It may be a homeowner who lives next to a golf course, a storeowner with hight priced merchandise in a display window, or anyone who wants to protect him or herself from injury due to broken glass. Flying or falling glass shards can result from acts of terrorism, vandalism, smash-and-grab burglaries and natural disasters.
How long will window film last?
The life of your window film will vary due to a variety of factors including:
-The type of window film installed
-The type of glass
-The construction of your windows
All quality window films for both residential and commercial uses are warranted by the film manufacturer. At the time of the printing of this booklet, most residential window films are warranted for at least ten years.
Due to the wide variety of window films now available, consult with your window tinting professional about the specific warranty of the film you select.
Will window film effect my indoor plants?
Generally speaking, the application of window film will not have an affect on the growth of most indoor plants.
Near growth and flowering may be retarded in the initial days after your window film is applied as the plant adjusts. In some cases where plants are in constant, direct light for long periods of time which causes wilting, the plant may actually thrive after the window film is installed.
Where there is concern about possible plant growth being affected, it is recommended that owners move the plant, as a test, to another part of the room to stimulate a less lighted area before the window film is applied. This move will help to judge what the potential affects might be. In addition, it may be wise to consult a local nursery for advice, which is also recommended in the case of exotic plants.
Can you apply window film over decals or stickers on glass?
Many windows, especially those on storefronts, have stickers, decals, burglar tape, and other such items on the glass. Depending on the circumstances, these might have to be removed.
Your window tinting professional should discuss the potential problems with you and determine what to do with any decals. If they are not highly raised above the glass, window film can be applied over them. However, this will create a poorer bond on the decal than on the glass. More highly raised stickers should be scraped off.
Burglar tape and alarm contacts are also found on windows. Tape is usually only slightly raised above the surface of the glass. Film can be installed over such an irregular surface, but customers should be advised that the installation will not be tip quality. Alarm contacts, however, should be removed before applying film, but should not be done by the window film installer. It is better to ask you, the customer, to contact your security company to remove and replace the alarm contacts.
Can I tint my skylights?
Application of window film to the inside surface of skylights is very difficult. The film tends to hang down at a ninety-degree angle, and is extremely difficult to handle and apply to the glass surface. Another difficulty is that many of the newly designed homes today have tunnels leading to the skylights. This along with the difficulty level is the main reason why you should make sure that the window film company you choose has the specialized equipment and training to do skylights properly.
The cost of tinting skylight can be slightly higher than tinting other windows. This is due to the difficulty and height of most skylights as well as the length of the tunnel leading of the windows.
The benefits of tinting skylights are tremendous. With the sun rays being more direct in the spring and summer, window films will reduce the fading of items below the skylights. Window films also reduce the heat coming in thru your skylights by 50%-80%.
The application of window film to skylights is more restricted versus tinting other windows in your home or business. Home or business owners should consult with their window film professional and be aware of any restrictions.
Our home is under construction. When should we have the window film installed?
Window film should generally be installed in new or renovated buildings only when all other work has been completed. There are many reasons for waiting until the end of construction.
There is little sense in applying window film to windows that have frames that may need to be stained or painted. This could lead to stain or paint splatters on the film itself which would need to be cleaned off. Some cleaning agents would damage the film requiring the film to be replaced.
Other reasons could be the potential for damage to the film due to the high amount of activity in a construction environment. Also, in many cases, there is a high level of dust and particles, such as wood dust or carpet fibers, in a construction area that could become trapped between the glass and the window film.
The best, most convenient time to install the window film is just before your furniture is placed in from of your windows and before the window treatments have been installed. However, this is rarely the case.
Can window film be installed on tinted glass?
Tinted glass is a major absorber of heat, and leads to a great deal of stress within the glass. Window film itself absorbs a certain amount of heat. If the combined absorption of the window film and tinted glass if very hight, this can result in the glass cracking as a result of thermal stress.
Thermal stress may also occur if the sheet of glass has not been installed with the appropriate amount of care. An example of this would be if the edge of the glass is either chipped or damaged.
In cases where tinted glass is tempered or strengthened, the application of window film is unlikely to result in the glass cracking or fracturing.
If you have tinted glass or are unsure if your glass is tinted, ask your window tinting professional which films are safe to install. Though the selection of films is limited, there should be a film available to solve your solar control needs.
Definitions for understanding window films?
Below are a few definitions to help you understand how to choose the best window film for you:
Total Solar Transmittance: The percent of incident solar radiation to be directly passed through a window system
Total Solar Reflectance: The percent of incident solar radiation to be reflected by a window system.
Total Solar Absorption: The percent of incident solar radiation to be absorbed by a window system.
Visible Light Transmittance: The percent of total visible light to be passed through a window system.
Visible Light Reflectance: The percent of total visible light to be reflected by a window system that can be seen visually.
Percent Ultraviolet Transmittance: Percent of total ultraviolet light to be passed through a window system.
Percent of Total Solar Energy Rejected: The percent of incident solar energy rejected by a window system, equals solar reflectance plus the part of solar absorption which is reradiated outward.
Why should I choose to purchase window film from a window tinting professional?
Window films are available at a variety of automotive self-service stores as well as many home improvement stores for the do-it-yourselfer.
Window films that are available at automotive self-service stores are very limited.
The selection of window films that are available at home improvement stores do not come with any type of manufacturers warranty. These films also come in a very limited selection.
Only your window tinting professional can offer the quality, variety of selection, and manufacturer-backed warranty that gives you the best window film for your money. Though the process of installing window film for your money. Though the process of installing window film appears quite simple, your window tinting professional has the training and expertise along with years of service to provide you with the best films available. Most high quality window films are available with superior warranites as well as glass and seal-failure warranties.
How does window film work?
Most window films are applied to the inside glass surface of a window. As the sunlight hits the glass surface, four basic things occur:
A. Sunlight hits the window and a part of its energy is reflected away from the window.
B. The glass absorbs some of the sun’s energy.
C. A portion of the sun’s solar energy is transmitted thru the window film into the room.
D. Part of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the window film and part is reradiated in and out of the room.
How does window film work in the winter?
In the winter, window film helps to reflect radiant heat back inside your home. By reducing your heat loss, you will stay warmer as well as save money both day and night all winter long.
How long has window film been around?
Window film dates back to the early 1960’s. Originally, window films were made only of a silver base with a highly reflective appearance.
As the concept of the window film was developed and improved, a demand required the improvement for better window films. With new architectural designs requiring window films to compliment the appearance of homes and commercial buildings, the manufacturing of sun control window films in a variety of colors became a reality.
What are the leading causes of glass breakage?
Glass breakage can occur as the result of many different factors. Some of the most common causes of glass breakage are:
-Twisting stress from building movements
-Tensile stress from the weight of the glass itself
-Mechanical flexing stress, i.e. from the wind or pressure
-Impact stress from flying objects
-Thermal stress from absorption of solar radiation
How does the film stick or adhere to the glass?
Window film manufacturers have developed and utilized a variety of patented adhesive formulas to apply their films to the glass surfaces. These formulas are know as mounting adhesives.
Films, utilizing all types of adhesives are installed in similar fashion. Most films are installed by using soapy water sprayed on both the glass surface and the film adhesive surface after the protective liner has been removed . The film is then positioned on the glass, cut to size, and squeegeed to remove excess water.
What is a thermal pane or insulated glass window?
The term insulated glass, or (IG) unit, does not refer to the physical makeup or construction of the glass, but how the glass is fabricated into an IG unit. An IG unit consists of two sheets of glass separated by an airspace of constant thickness.
â€œSpacersâ€ or edge seals are placed between the two sheets of glass to create airspace.
The seal between the glass sheets is accomplished through the use of a variety of different types of materials and sealants. In addition, a desiccant is incorporated into the edge seal technology to absorb water vapor that migrates across the seal.
The intervening airspace reduces heat transfer by conduction and convention through the glass. In order to increase the insulation performance of the IG unit, inert gases such as Argon and Krypton may be used to replace air between the panes of glass. Both Argon and Krypton are invisible, harmless, odorless, and heavier than air, which results in slower convective movement and a reduction in heat transfer. IG units pose a risk of thermal stress fracture for many types of dyed or sputtered films that absorb excessive amounts of heat.
Will window film prevent my glass from breaking?
Generally speaking-No. While the glass industry has yet to make a product that will prevent glass from breaking, both solar control window films and safety films provide protection against the effects of glass breakage. Window films help to prevent glass that has been shattered from flying dangerously through the air resulting in personal injury or property damage.
Flying and broken glass can be a result of a variety of acts ranging from natural disasters, playing catch with your son or family pet, to vandalism or theft. Standard window film will hole broken glass in place to some extent.
If safety of your glass is a concern, talk to your window tinting professional about their line of safety and security in mine. Most residential films are 2 milliliter thick. Safety and security films can range from a 4 milliliter to up to 14 milliliter thickness.
Can window film be applied to plexiglass or plastic windows?
Standard window films should not be applied to acrylic or polycarbonate (plexiglass) windows. These are plastic sheeting products and they all have the potential to outgas. Heat and visible light from the sun causes outgassing. Outgassing is the release of chemical components and/or moisture absorbed by the plastic. The outgassing interferes with the window film’s adhesive system, and results in bubbling between the plastic window and the window film
It should also be noted that many window film adhesive systems, when applied to plastics, will create a permanent bond. In the event that the film should have to be removed, it will be almost impossible to remove the film completely without damaging surface of the plexiglass window.
What causes fading?
Fading is a complex issue. Each and every material will fade at different rates from exposure to ultraviolet radiation as well as other contributing factors. An example of this is the different color dyes in fabrics. Red and green colors tend to fade faster than other colors.
It is generally accepted that UV radiation can be responsible for roughly 40% of all fading. In addition to ultraviolet radiation, other factors that cause fading include:
-25% of fading is caused by heat
-25% of fading is caused by visible light
-10% of fading is caused by a variety of factors including artificial light, fabric eyes, age of the fabrics and the humidity in your home or office.
How is window film installed?
The basic procedures for installing window film will vary for different types of window film and from installer to installer. It is the responsibility of each installer to determine the best method for installation depending on the type of film being installed. Whatever method is used, the end result should be a clean, optically clear installation.
The installation begins by clearing access to the windows. Any furniture or window treatments should be moved to the side or out of the way to provide easy access to the windows. Care should be taken since window treatments are very expensive.
Your window tinting installer should cover any flooring or carpeting in from of the windows. Drop cloths should be used to protect the flooring from the water solution used during the installation process.
The next step is to properly clean the glass and frame. Your installer should pay special attention to remove any foreign particles from the glass and from around the edges of the window, such as paint, varnish, caulks, etc. The window is then squeegeed to dry.
The window film is now ready for the actual installation. A release is pulled from the top of the film to expose the adhesive on the film. While the film is being peeled, soapy water is sprayed on the film and window. This helps to reduce the static electricity generated by the liner removal and allows for proper positioning of the film on the window. The film is squeegeed and trimmed to fit the window. A final check for excess water both under the film and around the framing is done.
Finally, any drop cloths are picked up and removed. Any window treatments that may have been moved are replaced along with any furniture moved back into place.
Do window treatments need to be removed for installation?
The majority of the time, a qualified window tinting installer can easily work around most window treatments. In the event a window treatment restricts an installation, this instance should be discussed with the customer at the time of the estimate.
During the window tinting installation process, most installers use a soap and water mixture (such as baby shampoo or a dishwashing liquid, such as Dawn). Your window tinting installer will use this mixture to both clean and install the window film. This soap and water solution is recommended as it does not stain or discolor any fabrics, woodwork, or paint.
Can window film be installed on the outside of the window?
The application of window film to the outside surface of some windows may also be considered.
Most window film manufacturers make a few products for exterior applications. As these films are subjected to an extreme amount of weathering and may easily be abused because of their location, or as a result of careless window cleaning, they have a somewhat limited life. These products generally have limited warranties for shorter periods of time.
Weather conditions need to be considered in the installation of exterior window films. When an exterior application is needed, high winds, cold temperatures (outside air temperature less than 40 F), rain and snow can prevent installations from being scheduled. Please remember your window film professional is at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Can I use tape, decals, static clings or suction cups on my window film?
While all interior window films have a protective scratch resistant coating they are still subject to physical abuse and damage. A problem can occur when foreign matters are applied to the film or inside window. This is a very real issue for commercial retail accounts such as convenience stores, fast-food outlets, grocery stores, clothing stores where the use of merchandising signs is a common practice-such as special offers, holiday sales, etc.
Signs such as static cling, are preferable and should cause no damage to the window film if properly applied and removed. When other types of signs are applied and removed. When other types of signs are applied using various tapes with a sticky adhesive, as the tape is removed it leaves a residue or adhesive on the window film. This residue will eventually attract dust and other airborne particles giving the area a cloudy appearance. Such tape residue can only be removed with a cleaning solvent such as Goo Gone, taking precautions to use a soft cloth or paper towels to dry the window. Some types of tape do no leave a residue. However, if at all possible, tape should be avoided. Signs which are affixed to the glass by suction cup devices should not damage the window film and are recommended.
Can I apply window film to a wired glass window?
Solar control window film should not be applied to the interior surface of the wired glass which receives any direct sunlight. The wire contained within the glass absorbs heat and if the film is installed on the interior surface the heat reflected out of the film greatly increases the heat absorption of the wire, leading to a high rate of expansion. The wire expands to a point that the glass can no longer withstand, resulting in glass breakage.
For the above reason, we strongly recommend that are wired glass window not be tinted.
If your wired glass window received no direct sunlight or it is an interior window and has a smooth surface, this window may be considered for tinting.
Can patterned glass or textured glass be tinted?
Patterned or textured surfaces will not allow window film adhesive to form an adequate strong bond to the uneven glass surface. Obviously, the type and degree of pattern or texture will influence this bonding.
How is window film manufactured?
Most solar control window films are the result of a sophisticated manufacturing process using only the finest raw materials and manufacturing technologies that are available. Under very careful monitoring, a number of transparent layers of quality polyester are laminated together. These layers are then coated using special adhesives, ultraviolet inhibitors, and finally covered with a special, protective, scratch-resistant coating.
Next, a concentration of metal particles are sputter coated onto laminated sheets of polyester. This sputter coating allows for the varying degrees of color as well as the degree of solar energy rejection.
How do I clean window film?
Most window films have a scratch resistant coating on the outside surface of the film. This scratch resistant coating is used to protect the film from normal wear and tear. However, care and caution must still be used in cleaning the surface of the glass on which film has been applied to reduce possible damage:
Use any normal household glass cleaning solutions or plain soapy water.
Do not use any solution that contains abrasive material, such as baking soda. Comet, Softscrub, etc. Also, do not use anything sharp such as razor blades or scrubbing pads.
Use soft clean lint-free towels or synthetic sponges to apply cleaning solutions.
Use a soft cloth or soft rubber squeegee for drying the glass. Care must be taken when using a squeegee for drying the glass. Care must be taken when using a squeegee, as to not gouge the film any sharp metal edges.
While most window film companies use scratch-resistant films, you should ask to make sure. If a company has an extra charge for a scratch-resistant film, you may wish to contact a few more companies for quotes. With today’s technology, scratch-resistant films are considered standard.
Will window film help improve the comfort of my home or business?
Yes, window film will definitely help improve the comfort of your home or business.
The biggest problem in controlling comfort in homes and businesses is dealing with the radiant heat from the sun. The energy generated by the sun literally pours through the windows and is absorbed by all it touches. The greater the glass area of a home or building, the more potential for excessive radiant heat gain.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of solar control window film is its ability to regulate or control the amount of solar energy that passes through the glass.
Your window tinting professional should be able to assist you in choosing the right window film to help with you comfort needs.