Thinking of adding some tint to your windows? There are many reasons to get windows tinted; to reduce glare, block sunlight and UV rays, reduce heat and simply for privacy. Whatever your reasons for getting a tint, you may have questions about how it’s done, the types of tint and how you care for your windows after it’s done. Let’s take a look at tinting.
Types of Window Tint
Dyed Window Film: a layer of dye is put between an adhesive layer, and a top coating of protective polyester (which prevents scratches) is applied.
Metalized Window Film: made from several layers, one adhesive (to stick to the window), and one to block ultra-violet rays, another to reflect heat and one layer of protective coating.
Hybrid Tinting Film: combines the best of metalized and dyed films. It consists of four layers: an adhesive layer, dyed layer, one metalized and a protective layer bonded by laminating adhesive. It is more costly than either metalized or dyed.
Ceramic Film: an adhesive layer is bonded to a ceramic layer, and then a reflective top coat is applied. It reflects heat and makes the window very dark. This is the most expensive option.
How Is It Done
There are different laws for tinted windows, depending on your location. You should check out International Window Film Association (IWFA) for the limits of tint in certain areas. You will need to ask yourself what you want the tint for, and that will help decide on the tint’s type and darkness.
There are several processes, but the most common is to start with very clean windows. Any scratches or chips will affect the application. Windows are wiped and powder put on. Film goes over the window and the shape is cut out. Next, the windows are extensively cleaned as any dirt will not allow the tint to stick. The tint is rolled on the inside of the window, and any air or water is squeegeed out.
New Tint Care
It is a good idea to leave your windows up for at least 48 hours (two days.) The tint will have had time to fully stick to the glass. During the first few days, you may see tiny bubbles. Don’t worry, this is absolutely normal and the bubbles will disappear in time. If the weather is hot and sunny, the tint will dry quicker than if it is cloudy and cold. That is good to remember.
You will want to wait a couple days before you clean the windows, just so you don’t pull off the tint before it’s totally dry. Do not use any blue cleaner, especially blue Windex on your tinted windows. The blue cleaners usually have ammonia in them, and you want to avoid anything with ammonia. Any cleaner with citrus or vinegar in it is fine. Even plain soap and water, or vinegar and water works well.
It is always a good idea to have a tint professional do the job on your car or house. Even though do-it-yourself tints are cheap and easily available, they don’t always come out with the quality work you would get from an expert.