If you’re looking for a professional to install residential window tint, then there are a number of things you should know and understand to ensure you get the best tinting option for your home.
The number one and undoubtedly the most important thing you need to understand about window film is the difference between good quality window film and bad film. And this is why: Premium window film will last for the life of your windows whereas poor window film will barely last a few years, depending on the rigours of your environment.
HOW TO DISCRIMINATE
The only way for a novice to discern between premium quality and bad quality film is price and guarantee. When making enquirers with a supplier, ask how long the film is guaranteed for. If it’s less than 12 years keep looking. And also beware of the shady operator who offers you a guarantee on cheap film and hikes the price, to make it appear 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 spoiled.
Here’s the tip, (and by the way I’ve found this to be true with most things), if your only consideration in getting quotes is looking for the lowest possible price, then you will naturally gravitate towards the poor product and the real price you pay will be in around 3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and just look awful. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually just crap!
BENEFITS OF INSTALLING WINDOW FILM
Each window film brings together a unique series of advantages, so the first thing you need to be sure of is the most important benefit for your situation. Lets look at each advantage in a tad more detail so you can more completely understand the most appropriate solution for your circumstances.
The core advantages of good quality window tinting are:
Heat Rejection: Good quality window film rejects heat by blocking up to 73% of Total Solar Energy through windows. That really is cool!
UV Blocking: Premium window film blocks up to 99% of infra red radiation from penetrating windows. And as a bonus, it also prevents 93% of glare, which massively improves for your view and means things look really 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 shattering on impact. Safety films are designed to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand a bomb blast 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 problems associated with safety are prevented. It also stops your windows from becoming a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the force and noise required to gain entry is so noticeable criminals, would rather just move on in search of an easier, ‘softer’ victim.
Lastly of course there’s the matter of looking good. Good quality window film also makes windows look cool; and for many people it’s the aesthetic charm that tinted windows add that is the driving force for their installation.
ISSUES RELATED TO CARS & 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.
Legislation varies around the world, so use Google to check on yours, but in Australia the darkest legal tint legally permitted on a vehicle 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). The only exception to this are in the NT and WA. In the NT you are allowed a minimum VLT of 15% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver.
So here’s the critical point. Most vehicles already have a slight tint in the glass in the front windows, so this should be considered when adding tint to a vehicle. Here’s why.
If the factory installed 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 will be calculated by the addition of both tint ratings.
This needs to be taken into consideration 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. And if that’s not bad enough criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
The last thing to remember is that by modifying a vehicle with illegally dark windows, the vehicle becomes unroadworthy, which means the driver can’t drive the car again until it has been put through the pits, in which case the illegal tint will have to be stripped off the windows. That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you’re selecting the appropriate tint.
What’s the moral of this story? When it comes to tinting windows, make sure you use a good quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the right solution for your situation. That way you’ll end up with a range of benefits, instead of a headache.