Home window tints add value to your home by increasing your energy savings and adding curb appeal to the outside look of your house. Many window manufacturers now offer windows with films installed at the factory, and many new homes come with this feature. To retrofit home window tints on your already existing windows, you can hire a professional installer, or choose to install the films yourself.
The Basics of Window Films
A window film is basically a very thin layer that is installed over the glass of a window, and is generally made of a polyester base with a coating of scratch resistant polymer. Some manufacturers use many layers of this polyester film to make their tints, but even these are still only millimeters thick. These films are then glued to the interior side of the window glass.
Some films are dyed during this process, which creates a barrier to the sun and gives the film a tinted look. There are many different formulas used by different manufacturers of home window tints, and each has its own distinct characteristics. There are reflective films, lightly shaded tints, and a variety of metallic looks. Tinted films offer more privacy and usually have a mirror effect on the outside of the window, particularly at night. Clear films are generally less reflective, but offer less privacy.
Applying Home Window Tints
Hiring a professional to apply your window tinting can be expensive. There are many options available for do it yourself installation. As energy savings and environmental concerns become more widespread, more and more manufacturers are offering easy choices for home window tints that can be installed by virtually anyone.
The application procedure is generally the same, regardless of the type of film you purchase. The windows should be cleaned with a non-streaking glass cleaner. Be sure no residue from your cleaning towel is left behind. Window films are delivered in sheets, which must be cut to fit each window during installation. Instructions can vary, but generally home window tints are cut ¾ to 1 inch larger than the window on each side, to allow for overlap of the edges.
Films are made with a plastic cover over the adhesive side of the sheet. Expose this adhesive by peeling off the covering. This can be a two person job, as the glue is very sticky and it’s easy to accidentally stick it to itself. Some adhesives are water activated; these films require you to spray the film and the window with an even coating of water. The window films are then placed over the glass and a squeegee or hard card are then used to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles. When the film is smooth, a sharp blade is then used to trim the edges against the window trim.
The window films will then require time to cure, which can take up to a month to fully dry. During this time, keep a careful eye and use a hard card to smooth out any bubbles that may come up. When the home window tints are completely dry, they should feel like a solid window and look like a part of the glass.