Frequently Asked Window Film Questions
What is window film?
The majority of window films are constructed from a base layer Polyester (PET) film that is either dyed, extruded or metalized. Some films can utilize a combination of compositions. An adhesive is applied directly to the film during the manufacturing process. Typically this adhesive is protected by a sacrificial liner that is removed right before the installation. The variety of raw materials and substrates used in a window film’s construction can results in a wide range of solutions that can be achieved.
What are some of the most common window film applications?
Solar Control is one of the most popular reasons for adding window film to your existing windows. Having window film installed to your glass can help reduce excessive Heat Gain, Intense Glare, Reduce Fading, Block Harmful Ultraviolet Light, and even retain heat in colder months.
Safety and Security window films are typically thicker than solar control versions. Security window films can range from 4mil’s thick all the way up two 21 mil’s. 8mil safety window filmsare the most widely used. Safety and Security window film can be used to bring existing plate glass up to code in a building, it can be added in coastal communities to strengthen the glass in from violent storms, and there are some that are installed on the exterior of a building to add a level of protection against graffiti. The two most popular uses for installing safety and security window films are for delaying entry into a building or for bomb blast mitigation.
*A mil is a thousandth of an inch — .001 inch. It is a typical manufacturing dimension. When we make a product we specify the thickness as a mil.
Decorative window films have the widest range of selections. These films can either be constructed on a polyester or vinyl substrate. They range from solid opaque colors, to translucent frosts, to distraction markers / geometric patterns, to even being able to custom print your company’s logo or a family portrait.
How does window film adhere to the glass? What types of adhesives are used for window film applications?
There are two predominant adhesives used by manufacturers of window film. The two types are pressure sensitive and dry adhesive. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Some installers prefer one to the other.
Pressure sensitive films form a mechanical bond to the glass. These are most common with thicker solar control films and safety and security films to help the heavier/ denser films bond to the glass quickly. The pressure sensitive films tend to remove easier when the film has reached its maximum useful life and needs to be replaced.
Dry adhesives form a chemical bond to the glass and will take a little longer to bond to the glass.
How is window film installed?
Most standard size windows can be installed in fifteen to twenty minutes. The window surface is first prepped and cleaned thoroughly. Dish detergent like Joy or Johnson’s baby shampoo are preferred by manufactures to use to clean the glass and mount the film. Once the film is mounted on the glass the edges are trimmed with a razor knife and then the water is squeegeed out.
Most films will look perfect immediately after the install but some may develop a slight haze or have some bubbles over the next few days after the installation. You should not be concerned if you do notice any of these conditions develop. Most films take 30 days to cure and some specialty solar control films and security films can take a bit longer.
Can I install window film myself?
Well yes and no. You could try to install the film yourself but it is best to rely on a professional. There are a lot of subtle nuances’ and techniques that make the installation by a professional a better choice. Sometimes even the simplest of applications can be tricky to a lay person. Most manufacturers will only provide a warranty if their film is installed by a professional.
How long will window film last?
Typically, most standard films will last ten to twenty years. There are a lot of variables that can factor in to the lifespan of a window film installation. Typically the further north you are the longer a film will last. Another factor that can determine the lifespan for a window film is what elevation that the film is installed.
What is the warranty for window film?
Most residential warranties are backed by a lifetime warranty for as long as you own your home. Most warranties are not pro-rated and will cover 100% of the labor and materials.
Most commercial warranties hover around 10 years, with some of our premium products have a longer term.
In addition to the warranty on your window film
Can window film harm my glass?
Yes and no. While sometimes a pane of glass will break after window film is installed it is typically not the window films fault. Almost 100% of the time a flaw already existed in the window that broke prior to construction. The window film just exploited that weakness which was hidden away for years. Sometimes during the manufacturing process of your glass an imperfection can be hidden inside the window frame.
Not to worry most warranties will cover the replacement cost of your window if this occurs. Additional coverages that are available for windows that are not fully covered in a standard warranty.
Will window film cause my insulated window to fog up aka seal failure?
No, window film has been independently tested and the conclusion is that window films do not cause seals to fail. However, most window manufactures will void your window warranty if you apply
Can window film be removed?
Yes, window film can be removed.
How dark will window film make my windows?
Window Films range from clear to very dark and reflective. Newly introduced technology even allows for window film to transition from very light to a darker shade when the sun shines on it and the transition back to almost clear when the sun moves to a new position.
Does Safety and Security Film make glass bulletproof?
NO, window film is not bullet proof.
What is an attachment system for safety and security window film?
Attachments systems can increase the performance of your window unit when applied to a window that has had window film installed to it. These system were developed to hold window units together in the event of an explosion from a bomb. They also work well when trying to delay an unwanted entry into a building and to hold the glass in place in the event of a storm.
There are two types of attachment systems. A wet glazed system utilizes a structural silicone to bond the window film and glass to the window frame. While a mechanical system uses a metal bar.
Will window film stop fading?
Window film helps significantly reduce fading. Not all fading can be attributed to the sun.
How much does window film cost?
On average window film will cost between $6 and $16 per square foot of film used.
What is a typical Return on investment for installing window film to my commercial building?
ROI typically ranges from two to six years on most commercial applications. Energy audits and modeling of your building can be provided to provide more accurate savings.
According to U.S. Department of Energy statistics, solar heat gain through windows is responsible for about one third of a building’s cooling costs. Energy-saving window film that can reduce solar heat gain by 75% or more can significantly reduce the run time of air-conditioning systems or allow them to operate at lower load conditions. This can reduce cooling costs in commercial buildings by as much as 30%, lengthen HVAC equipment life, lower maintenance costs for air-conditioning systems, and allow for replacement of cooling equipment with smaller, less expensive equipment.
Improving light since 1975New England Sun Control Boston, MA Providence, RI
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