Frequently Asked Questions about Window Film

Window film is a very durable polyester or ceramic that is applied directly to the surface of the glass. Depending on the film selected, we can reduce from 37% to 93% of the visible light, 60% to 85% of the infrared, and 99.9% of the UV rays. Once applied to the glass, window film can help to save money, decrease premature fading, and alleviate discomfort. Whichever film is selected, you are assured that it will enhance the appearance of homes or aesthetically improve the exterior appearance of commercial buildings and storefronts. (“What is Safety Film?”) ProTINT uses films which fill the various needs of the market for different levels of protection. Thickness is the key design feature which separates the basic solar film from the safety films. These films are made of layers of polyester film bonded by special adhesives and impregnated with ultraviolet absorbers.

Solar safety/security films can also contain high-performance metals and alloys which enhance their heat and glare reduction properties. Although all films are safety films, this series works like an invisible shield, helping glass resist penetration as the result of an accident or premeditated act.

As it protects people and property, it also helps protect against the relentless fading and deterioration of furnishings caused by UV rays. All of ProTINT‘s safety films meet or exceed the requirements set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in Z97.1-84 test break safe characteristics. The ability to secure a building or home has become a major concern. With our experts and films, being secure does not have to look ‘ugly’. (“Will Film Cause Seals to Fail?”) Sealed unit manufacturers, window manufacturers, and builders have often indicated to consumers that the installation of ANY window film will cause or contribute to seal failure.

While it is true that some window films are not suitable for sealed units, there are many films on the market today that are designed to be installed on these units.

The Window Film Committee of the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters, and Laminators (AIMCAL) commissioned A. William Lingell, P.E., a technical consultant to the Sealed Insulated Glass Manufacturers Association (SIGMA), to conduct the standard ASTM tests (E773 and E774) on standard sealed units with and with-out window film.

Based on the testing conducted on these units, window film had no observable effect on the performance of high quality manufactured insulated units. (“Will Film Cause Glass To Break?”) Glass breaks when stressed. There are five types of stress which may cause glass breakage:

  • Thermal Stress- from absorption of solar radiation.
  • Tensile Stress- from the weight of the glass itself.
  • Technical Flexing Stress – from wind.
  • Impact Stress – from flying objects, hail, baseballs.
  • Twisting Stress – from buildings or window frame sagging or settling.

The first type, thermal stress, is the only one which film may affect. The use of window film will increase the thermal stress on sunlit glass; however, different types of glass have different solar absorption rates and will withstand different degrees of thermal stress. (“What Kind of Warranty Does The Window Film Carry?”) There is a chance that window film will void an existing glass warranty. If you follow our recommendations, the film applied will be specifically for your type of glass. ProTINT offers the No-Risk residential warranty which matches the terms and conditions set in the existing glass manufacturer’s warranty. With this coverage, you can enjoy the benefits of our window film without losing your glass warranty.

Ask for details. (“Can Film Be Used On Low E Glass?”) There are two basic types of low E glass. One of these is a conductive coating put on glass as it is being made. It gives some heat loss reduction, but does little to help reduce heat gain in a building.

The second type is a more complex system of multiple layers and conductive coatings deposited on glass after it has been made. This type of low E glass gives heat rejection of 30% -50% in addition to reducing heat loss.

Adding window film can drastically increase the heat rejection. Also, on average, low E glass only filters 56% of the damaging UV rays, while our films have the ability to filter 99.9%. The combination of Low E glass and window film can be the best overall system in some climates. (“Will The Window Film Kill My House Plants?”) In most cases, if the plant is already receiving adequate light, the use of window film will not harm it. New growth or flowering may be retarded, and for a few days, the plant may go into a state of shock while it adjusts to the light change. If a particular plant would normally wilt by the end of a sunny day, it will actually thrive better with the film installed.

Although there are some obvious guidelines in determining what, if any, effect window film will have on a plant (for instance, dark green plants need more light than lighter colored ones), there is a simple test which can be done prior to film installation; that is, merely move the plant to an area with less sunlight for a few days. In addition, most nurseries or local agriculture agencies can advise you whether a particular plant needs closer to maximal or minimal light. (“Will the Film Look Dark Or Shiny?”) Yes and No. Yes, there are films that are dark and there are films that have a reflective finish.

And no, not all films are designed to look that way. With the advances in manufacturing techniques in recent years, the option of having an energy efficient film with little or no color that is virtually invisible and neutral in appearance is now available. (How Long Will The Film Last?”) There are many factors that can determine how long a window film will last. These variables include: film construction, type of glass it is applied to, the window construction, and the direction the window is facing. At ProTINT, we use films that utilize a special adhesive that has not had a documented failure since 1977. We use the best window films available with today’s technology. (“How Does Film Reduce Fading?”) To understand the causes of fading, one must know a little about the makeup of sunlight.

Sunlight is basically made of three elements:

  • Visible light – the part that we ‘see’.
  • Infra Red – the part which we ‘feel’ as heat.
  • Ultraviolet light – which we neither see nor feel but is the main factor in causing fabrics and furnishings to fade. Ultraviolet absorbers are used to stop UV at the film. The type, amount, and location of the absorbers in the product determine the film’s ability to reduce fading. Absorbers that are located in the adhesive only (blocking 95%-98%) instead of the film itself (blocking 99.9%) are far less stable and enduring. All of our solar control products absorb more than 99% of the UV rays.

FACTS ABOUT FADING : “As a Rule of Thumb”

  • UV LIGHT causes about 40% of the fading
  • HEAT causes about 25% of the fading.
  • VISIBLE LIGHT causes about 25% of the fading.

**MISC. (there is about 10% that falls here for a variety of reasons) See Below:

**Laboratory studies of a large variety of fabrics and woods show significant differences in the color stability of these products. Fabric fading results differ depending upon fiber type, dye, color, stability, and/or pattern printing techniques. Expensive fabrics are not necessarily a guarantee of fade protection. Natural wood finishes are much more stable than stains or finishes that alter the natural color of the wood. Wood may actually darken with prolong exposure to UV rather than fade to a lighter color. The nature of certain delicate fabrics and dyes will lead to premature fading regardless of the application of any window film or protective treatment. (“Will The Film Distort My View?”) Our professional grade window films are made for maximum optical clarity. Todays technology allows window films to be extremely effective and unnoticeable from the interior look out. For a film that will not be obvious from the exterior, choose from our large selection of films.

**These answers are based on information given by the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters, and Laminators (AIMCAL).**