If you’re thinking about getting some window tinting, whether it be residential or commercial, then there are a number of points you should know and understand so you make the best decision for your particular environment and application. The first and undoubtedly the most important thing you need to know about window film is the difference between good quality window film and bad quality film. Why is this so important? Good quality window film will last for the lifetime of your windows whereas poor window film will barely last 2-3 years on average, especially in a hot climate.
HOW TO GAUGE THE QUALITY OF WINDOW TINTING FILMS
If you arent a professional, the only way to discriminate between premium quality and poor quality film is price and guarantee. When making enquirers with a supplier, ask how long the film is guaranteed for. If it’s not at least 12 years save yourself the pain. And also look out for the shady operator who offers you a guarantee on cheap film and hikes the price, to make it seem like it’s good film, but will either not be around, or simply do nothing if you get back to them because your tint has degraded.
Here’s the tip, (and by the way I’ve found this to be true with most things in life), if your only consideration in getting quotes is looking for the lowest possible price, then you will naturally gravitate towards the bad product and the real price you pay will be in around 3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and look unsightly. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually the rubbish product!
BENEFITS OF INSTALLING WINDOW FILM
There are a range of benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will encapsulate some of these advantages, so the first thing you should be sure of is the most important reason for installing window tint. Lets look at each benefit in a tad more detail so you can better recognize the most suitable solution for your application. The main advantages of good quality window tinting are:
Heat Rejection: Good quality window film rejects heat by blocking as much as 73% of Total Solar Energy through windows. That really is cool!
UV Blocking: Premium window film eradicates up to 99% of infra red radiation from penetrating your windows. And as a bonus, it also prevents 93% of glare, which massively improves for your view and means things look cool!
Privacy: The right film will also provide daytime privacy, enabling everyone inside to remain cool, enjoy the views, and at the same time have total privacy from prying eyes during the day.
Impact Safety and Security Films: These specially designed films stop glass from fragmenting on impact. Safety films are designed to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand an explosion without shattering. Since the collateral damage from accidents where windows are broken comes from shards of glass spraying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass falling like a guillotine, the major risks around safety are avoided. It also stops your windows from becoming a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the force and noise required to break and enter is so noticeable thieves, would rather simply move on in search of an easier, ‘softer’ target.
Finally of course there’s the matter of style. Good quality window film also adds style to windows; and for many people it’s the aesthetic charm that tinted windows add that is the primary driver for their installation.
ISSUES RELATED TO DARK TINT ON CARS AND VEHICLES
The next point I want to discuss is relevant to drivers and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car, truck or work vehicle.
The darkest legal tint permitted in most countries where window tinting is regulated is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which is not allowed to have any window tint except for a visor strip across the top). There are sometimes exceptions allowed on windows behind the driver. But here’s the critical point. Most cars already have a slight tint in the glass in their front windows, so this needs to be taken into consideration when adding tint to a vehicle. Here’s how the maths looks.
If your factory windows on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the “darkest legal tint” of 35% is added to this window, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the final VLT reading will be finalised by the addition of both VLT ratings.
This needs to be considered because if a driver inadvertently fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But even worse, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, this could mean the nulling of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. Additionally criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
The last thing to consider is that if you install illegally dark window tint, the vehicle is deemed unroadworthy, which means you can’t drive the car again until it has been put through the pits, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you’re selecting the appropriate tint for your car.
Summing up everything I’ve discussed, what’s the critical takeaway from this article? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a good quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the best solution for your circumstances. Find a good installer who offers quality film and has easy to verify testimonials, something like this, and check out your local industry association.