Adding window film to glass is quickly becoming a trend for health- and safety-conscious people who want to protect themselves and their families. The film, once applied, screens almost 100% of existing ultraviolet rays (UVRs) without compromising visibility. “Ultraviolet rays are sneaky,” says the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Not only can they cause skin cancer and visible signs of aging, they’re also very good at finding you. . . . When you’re inside your car or house, if you’re sitting next to a window with sunlight streaming in, you’re at risk for UV damage.”
What are the advantages of window film?
Window film is like sunscreen for glass. Applying it to your windows will lower energy costs by cutting down on the amount of cool air loss during hot weather and heat during winter. The sun’s UV rays can damage fine flooring and fade upholstery. Also, applying safety film to window glass serves a dual purpose: Not only will it lower energy costs by filtering damaging UV rays, but if your home or business suffers damage from weather or vandals, the window film will hold the shattered glass in place. This offers another level of protection from additional damage and also guards against injury to pedestrians and pets who walk near the damaged glass site.
Window film application
Applying window film is tricky, so unless you are an expert DIY (do-it-yourselfer), it’s best left to professionals. The film is a self-adhesive, polyester material that is applied to existing glass on vehicles, homes, and commercial properties. Based on what you want and what you need, you can choose from transparent film, decorative, high-tech compounded film, non-reflective, metallic, or dyed film that will absorb and reflect solar energy.
Once you have selected the glass film, you or your installation professional will thoroughly clean the glass area. The glass must be clean and very dry. DIYs will need a utility knife, a spray bottle of clean water and a (plastic) squeegee.
- Cut the film. Make your cuts at least 1/2″ too big on all sides. Using your spray bottle, spritz the window with water, remove the film backing, and apply it to the glass. Some glass film specialists also spray the water on the application side of the film.
- Using your squeegee, gently press the film onto the window. Air bubbles should be worked out to the edges.
- When the film is firm and flat, trim the edges with your utility knife.
How long does it take window film to dry/cure?
The drying time for window film depends on the location of the glass (facing a hot sun or in the shade) and the type of film you selected. Most people are surprised to learn that it takes about 30 days for glass window film to “set up.” During the curing process, the film may appear hazy and you might see a streak or bubbles. Don’t panic; just wait thirty days.
How long will my window film last?
Once again, your film’s durability depends on the glass type and its exposure to the elements. The type of film installed – decorative vs. transparent, for example, also makes a difference in its lifespan, but there should be some type of warranty for your film product. Warranties may depend on whether you installed the film yourself or had it professionally installed, too. Bottom line: The film application warranty can be from 2 years to 15 years.
Thanks to technology and education, the stigma about films appearing unattractive is history. Window films are the right thing to do for your home, your business, your vehicles and YOURSELF.