Windows grant us the beauty and light of the outdoors without having to contend with noise, weather and pesky insects. Of course, these glass portals can also let what’s outdoors into your home whether you like it or not. To keep the unwanted out you can veil them with heavy drapes or shutters, but at the same time you lose light and a gorgeous view.
To have the best of both worlds, you can easily apply a thin layer of window film, which can help insulate your home, add a sense of privacy and be decorative all at once. So toss those heavy, opaque drapes aside and learn how window tint can transform your dormers:
What kinds of window film are there?
Window tint has a few different purposes ranging from decoration and insulation to privacy and security:
• Insulation: Along with reducing glare, insulating films can save you money when it comes to your heating and cooling bill. Look for a style that blocks UV rays, and be aware that tinting may also reduce the amount of light your interior receives. There are styles available that are spectrally selective and allow more light in, but they tend to be more expensive than your basic tint.
• Privacy: Privacy window films are typically available in varying levels of darkness and presents a frosted or reflective surface on the outside to prevent people from peeking into your home. It may also reduce the amount of light your interior receives, and some reflective films can be seen through from the outside at nighttime.
• Security: If the area you live in normally experiences strong storms or if you’re simply worried about the neighbor kids accidentally sending a fly ball into your windows, window security film is designed to increase the shatter resistance of your glass. If your windows do break, it will hold the glass fragments in place.
• Decoration: Decorative window films can add whimsy or elegance to your windows with a large variety of designs and colors. Stained glass window film is even designed to resemble the gorgeous illustrations of colored glass that adorn ancient cathedrals. While decorative styles do offer some privacy and insulating benefits, they aren’t nearly as effective as insulating or privacy styles.
How do I apply my window tint?
It’s recommended you use a special edging tool along with an utility knife to apply your tinted or frosted window film. Once you have these tools in hand, installation of your tint should be quick and easy. Be sure not to apply it to cracked or damaged glass, single-pane windows that are larger than 100 square feet or clear glass that’s thicker than 3/8 inches. It’s also best to install your tint when it’s cool outside, but be sure the temperature won’t drop below freezing in the next three days since the film takes at least a few days to fully cure.
• Step 1: Begin by thoroughly cleaning your windows and the film with a soapy solution. Be sure to carefully remove any residue left on your windows with a razor blade.
• Step 2: Apply your tint to the inside surface of your windows, then trim around the edges so approximately 1/16 inch of uncovered glass is left between the frame and your film. This will allow your glass to expand and contract as the temperature rises and falls.
• Step 3: Use your edging tool and a squeegee to smooth out any bubbles. Once this is done, let everything dry and set.
• Step 4: Be sure to clean your tint every so often to retain its effectiveness. Use a soft cloth and nonabrasive cleaner to avoid scratches.
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