If you’re considering getting some home window tinting done there are a series of things you should know and understand so you make the best possible decision for your particular environment and circumstances.The first and undoubtedly the most crucial thing you need to understand about window film is the difference between good quality window film and poor film. Here’s why this is so important: Premium window film will last for the life of your windows whereas bad quality window film will only last a few years on windows, especially if your house is somewhere that experiences extreme heat in summer.
DISCRIMINATING BETWEEN WINDOW FILMS
The only way for a non-professional person to tell the difference between good and poor quality film is price and guarantee. When making enquirers with a supplier, be sure to ask how long the film is guaranteed for. If it’s not at least 12 years save yourself the pain. And also look out for the shady operator who offers you a guarantee on low quality 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 degraded.
Here’s the tip, (and incidentally 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 find yourself with the rubbish product and the real price you pay will be in 2-3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and look ghastly. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually just crap!
BENEFITS OF INSTALLING WINDOW FILM
There are a number of benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will package some of these benefits, so the first thing you should be sure of is the most important reason for applying window tint in your environment. Lets look at each advantage in a little more detail so you can better figure out the most appropriate solution for your application. The core advantages of good quality window tinting are:
Heat Rejection: Premium window film rejects heat by blocking as much as 73% of Total Solar Energy through windows. That’s cool!
UV Blocking: Good quality window film stops up to 99% of infra red radiation from penetrating your windows. And as a bonus, it also prevents 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 onlookers during the day.
Safety and Security: Specially designed safety and security films stop glass from fragmenting on impact. Safety films are made 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 spraying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass falling like a guillotine, the major issues associated with safety are avoided. It also stops your windows from becoming a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the impact and noise required to break and enter is so noticeable thieves, would rather just move on in search of an easier, ‘softer’ target.
Look and Style: Lastly of course there’s the matter of style. Good quality window film also makes windows look cool; and for many people it’s the aesthetic charm that tinted windows provide that is the driving force for their installation.
SPECIFIC ISSUES RELATED TO CARS & VEHICLES
The next point I want to discuss is relevant to vehicles and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car or truck.
Regulations vary in all States and Territories of Australia, but generally 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 cannot have any window film except for a visor strip across the top). The northern Territory and Western Australia are the only exceptions. In the Northern Territory you are legally allowed a minimum VLT of 16% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver. Now as most cars 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 vehicle. Here’s how the maths looks.
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 finalised by the addition of both tint ratings.
This needs to be considered because if a driver by mistake fails to comply with tinting laws, 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 make your insurance policy invalid, 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 final thing to consider is that by modifying a vehicle with darker than legal windows, the vehicle is deemed 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 for your car.
So what do I really want you to get from this article? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the best solution for your situation. That way you’ll end up with a range of benefits, instead of a bunch of hassles.
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