If you are considering getting some window tinting done be it for a home, car or office, then there are a series of things you should know and understand so you make the right choice for your particular environment and situation. The first and undoubtedly the most crucial thing you need to grasp about window film is the difference between good quality window film and bad window film. Here’s why this is so important:
Premium window film will last for the lifetime of your windows whereas bad quality window film will merely last a few years, depending on the rigours of your environment. The only way for a non-professional person to tell the difference between premium quality and low 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 save yourself the pain. And also look out for the unscrupulous operator who offers you a guarantee on cheap film and hikes the price, to make it look 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 in life), if your only goal in getting quotes is looking for the cheapest possible price, then you will naturally find yourself with 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 just look horrible. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually just crap!
REASONS FOR INSTALLING WINDOW FILM
There are a number of benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will encapsulate some of these benefits, so the first thing you should identify is the most important reason for applying window tint in your circumstances. Lets look at each benefit in a tad more detail so you can better recognize the most suitable solution for your circumstances. The primary benefits of good quality tint are:
Heat Rejection: Premium window film rejects heat by blocking as much as 73% of Total Solar Energy through windows. That’s cool!
UV Rejection: Premium window film prevents up to 99% of IR radiation from penetrating windows. And as a bonus, it also blocks 93% of glare, which does wonders 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 specialist films stop glass from breaking 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 flying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass falling like a guillotine, the major risks associated with safety are prevented. It also stops your windows from being a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the effort and noise required to gain entry is so noticeable criminals, would rather just 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 main reason for their purchase.
ISSUES RELATED TO USING 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.
Generally speaking, the darkest legal tint allowed 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 with the exception of the visor strip across the top). The only exception where Im from (Australia) is in the NT and WA. In the NT you are legally permitted 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 their front windows, so this needs to be taken into consideration when adding tint to a window. Here’s how the maths looks.
If the factory glass 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 finalised by the addition of both VLT ratings.
This needs to be respected 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 cancellation of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. Furthermore criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are injured.
The last thing to consider is that by modifying a vehicle with illegally dark windows, the vehicle becomes unroadworthy, which means you can’t drive the car again until it has been put through roadworthy testing, 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 for your car.
Summing up what’s the critical takeaway from this article? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality film and that your installer has the expertise to be able to offer you the right solution for your situation, that way you’ll end up with a range of benefits, rather than a number of issues. Look for good testimonials like the ones on this site (click here), and check your local association, just Google window tinting associations.