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3M™ FAQ

 

Why should I choose 3M™ Window Film?

No one has more experience with window film than 3M™. In fact, not only did 3M™ issue the very first patent on 3M™ Window Film in 1966, but today 3M™ is still the only manufacturer that produces its own raw materials such as polyesters, adhesives, metals and scratch-resistant coatings. This gives 3M™ the quality control and product consistency other manufacturers just cannot match. With 3M™ Window Film’s reputation as an adhesives expert, you can rest assured knowing 3M™ Window Film is safe for your windows, and safe for you.

Where is the 3M™ Window Film installed?

3M™ Window Film is applied to the inside of existing glass. There is no need to remove the glass. For very high windows, scaffolding is used. Some difficult-to-reach skylights can still be protected with 3M™ Window Film’s exterior film. And 3M™  Window Film can always be removed without damaging the glass.

Do I need to clean my windows prior to 3M™ Window Film installation?

No. We will do that for you as part of our 3M™ WIndow Film installation process. 

How do you install the film?

First, your windows and frames are cleaned to remove all dirt and debris. Any paint or putty on the glass is carefully removed. 3M™ Window Film’s patented adhesive is already on the film and is protected by a clear liner. The liner is removed and the exposed adhesive is lightly sprayed with a solution of baby shampoo and water to ease installation. No chemicals are used. The 3M™ Window Film is then squeegeed to the glass and trimmed, leaving a small 1/16″ to 1/8″ border around the frame. This border is necessary for the proper installation of window film. Usually, this border is imperceptible. 

How long will the 3M™ Window Film installation take?

We finish most jobs in one day. A good guide to use is three to four windows per hour, per installer. 

Do you use professional installers?

Yes! Our team has been professionally trained by 3M™. Additionally, the owner of Firehouse Tint and Clean, Randy Womack, will be on the job or will stop by during your  3M™ Window film installation. 

Do I have to tint all my windows?

No. The new 3M™ Prestige Series films are virtually colorless, and will not change the external look of your home. And with Night Vision and the neutral films, you will hardly notice the film is there. However, if fading is your most important concern, all windows let in UV rays, even north-facing windows. If heat control is a concern, all windows receiving full or partial sun should be tinted, even if they already have blinds installed. Closed blinds may stop the glare, but the heat will still creep in. Plus, with 3M™ Window Film installed, you will find you can leave your blinds and drapes open and enjoy the view!

Commercial applications tend to use more reflective 3M™ Window Film. Since these films have a mirror appearance from the outside, the overall look of the building will be a prime factor in determining which windows to tint. The new 3M™ Prestige Series films are the perfect answer to storefront windows, where low reflectivity will allow a perfect view of your merchandise.

Can 3M™ Window Film be used on Low E windows?

Whether 3M™ Window Film should be used on low E windows and how much you will benefit depends on three factors:

  • Type of low E surface used on glass.

  • Location of low E surface in the window system.

  • The desired amount of heat gain reduction, heat loss reduction or other benefits.

There are two basic types of low E surfaces on glass. One of these is a conductive coating put on the glass as it is made. It gives some heat loss reduction, but does little to reduce heat gain. The second type is a more complex system of multiple layers of metals and conductive coatings deposited on glass after it has been made. This type of low E glass gives heat reductions of 30% to 50% in addition to reducing heat loss. Obviously, there will be more heat gain reduction using window film on the first type. If there is any question about the type you may have, ask your glass company or the window film manufacturer to send you the specific information about your glass.

The location of the low E surface in your window system is also very important in deciding whether 3M™ Window Film should be used. If the low E coating is on the room-side surface of the innermost pane of glass, the use of window film may reduce or eliminate the heat loss reduction of the glass itself. This may be more than offset by the heat gain reduction/heat loss reduction properties of the films to be used. Most low E window systems, however, consist of double pane windows where the low E surface faces the air space between the panes. In this case, 3M™ Window Film can be installed without eliminating the heat loss reduction benefit of the low E glass. The type of window film you choose for low E glass depends entirely on your desired benefit – whether you want to reduce heat gain, control glare, prevent heat loss, reduce fading, or enhance the safety of your windows and glass doors.

How dark is the 3M™ window film?

The new Prestige Series 3M™ Window Films are virtually colorless. And the neutral and Night Vision Window Film series will surprise you. You will hardly notice the tint once it is applied to your windows. Depending on the amount of control you need, colors range from practically clear to dark gray. Often, while we are applying the darker gray films, our customers will comment on how subtle the color change is. In fact, they often can’t tell which windows have been tinted with 3M™ window film!

Security 3M™ Window Films come in clear and sun-control tints of light neutral, medium neutral, Night Vision 25 and silver (reflective). 3M™ has recently introduced the 3M™ Prestige Series (Prestige 70 and Prestige50) Ultra Safety and Security Films. 

How long will the 3M™ Window Film last?

3M™ Window Film can last up to fifteen years. And some 3M™ Window Film is still doing its job after nearly 20 years. Windows in high-traffic areas like patio or entry doors may receive more wear and tear. You may wish to replace those areas sooner. 

Will window film kill my houseplants?

In most cases, if a houseplant is already receiving adequate light, the use of window film will not harm it. New growth or flowering may be hindered and, for a few days, a plant may go into a state of shock while it adjusts to the change in light. If a particular plant normally wilts by the end of a sunny day, it will actually do better with film installed. Although there are some obvious guidelines in determining what, if any, effect window film will have on a plant (for instance, dark green plants need less light than lighter colored ones), there is one simple test which can be done prior to window film installation: merely move the plant to an area with less sunlight for a few days. In addition, most nurseries can advise you whether a particular plant needs closer to maximal or minimal light.

How do I care for windows with 3M™ Window Film?

Our favorite cleaning solution for 3M™ Window Film is the same solution we use to clean your windows prior to installation: Johnson’s original formula baby shampoo and water. Fill a spray bottle with water, add a few drops of baby shampoo and shake. Use a soft lint-free towel (flour sack dish towels or the blue shop towels from Ace Hardware are great). Lightly mist the window and wipe with one towel. Then, with a dry towel, buff the film dry. Once you do not feel any resistance, your film is spotless! The use of Windex and similar glass cleaners has been approved by 3M™. However, cheap paper towels should not be used. They may contain wood fibers and, over time, can scratch the film. 

How much heat is reduced with 3M™ Window Film?

3M™ offers many different types of 3M™ window film, from clear to neutral to highly reflective. In general, on clear double pane glass, the neutral films will reduce about 28 to 38% of the heat coming in through the glass. The more reflective films can reject up to 58%. On single pane glass, the numbers go even higher to about 59% for the neutral films and 72% for reflective.

How much is glare reduced with 3M™ Window Film?

Again, the numbers vary with the type of 3M™ window film. Prestige films reduce glare from 23% to 56%. Neutral and Night Vision films reduce glare from 30% to 71%. And reflective films go as high as 81%.

How much UV is rejected with 3M™ Window Film?

Across the board, all 3M™ Window Films reject 98% to 99% of the UV rays coming in through your glass. And the 3M™ Prestige Series rejects 99.9%. Ultraviolet radiation is the largest factor (40%) leading to the fading of carpets, upholstery, draperies, woodwork, photographs and art.

Skin Cancer Facts

Most of the more than 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the United States are considered to be sun-related. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for about 59,600 cases of skin cancer in 2005. There are over 10,600 deaths due to skin cancer each year.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recently awarded its “Seal of Recommendation” to 43 3M™ Window Film products as effective UV protectants. These products, when applied to windows in vehicles, homes and offices, block up to 99% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, and help to reduce the risk of sun-induced damage to the skin, including premature aging and skin cancer. 

What is the 3M™ Window Film warranty?

The 3M™ Window Film warranty is the best in the business! 3M™ Window Films are warranted to maintain their solar properties without bubbling, peeling, cracking, or crazing. Many films which do not use dyed polyesters are warranted against discoloration, too. This part of the warranty is Lifetime for most residential applications, ten years for most commercial applications, and five years for some specialty films. Should the product prove to be defective, 3M™ and Firehouse Tint and Clean of Leawood, KS, will replace the window film and provide reapplication labor free of charge.

3M™ also warrants residential and commercial installations against glass failure due to thermal shock fracture (see What is a Stress Fracture below), to a maximum value of $500 per window. The stress fracture must be caused only as a direct result of the application of 3M™ Window Films and provided that the film is applied to recommended types of glass. The glass failure must be reported to 3M™ or Firehouse Tint and Clean of Leawood, KS, within the specified time (listed below) from the start of the installation.

In addition, residential installations are also warranted against seal failure (maximum value of $500 per window). The seal failure must be reported to 3M™ or Firehouse Tint and Clean of Leawood, KS, within the specified time (listed below) from the start of the installation.

Sixty (60) months coverage against thermal shock fracture.

Forty (40) months coverage against seal failure if covered by original window manufacturer. A copy of this warranty must be provided to 3M™.

There is a consumer deductible of $25.00 (or 5% of the replacement cost, whichever is greater) per claim.

Please note that all warranties apply to the original purchaser and are not transferable.

Any glass failure covered by this warranty must be reviewed by Firehouse Tint and Clean of Leawood, KS, prior to repair, and only covers window film and glass replacement. 

What is the Optional Platinum Warranty?

The 3M™ Platinum Warranty (for residential applications only) matches the terms and conditions of your existing window manufacturer’s warranty for a mere $.35/square foot. This allows you continuous coverage on new windows and the peace of mind having assurance that a product from 3M™ is protecting your investment.

What is the Optional Platinum Select Warranty?

This warranty is basically the same as the standard Platinum Warranty. However, it increases 3M™’s maximum payment per window from $500 to $1,500. It is available only for Night Vision, Prestige and Affinity  window film on residential applications. The cost is $.55/square foot. 

What is a stress fracture?

The application of 3M™ Window Film will increase the temperature of your sunlit glass which will increase the stress on the glass edges. The quality of those glass edges and several other factors (external shading, interior shading, glass history, type of film, size/shape of glass, indoor/outdoor temperature) may contribute to potential glass breakage.

Stress fractures tend to occur during the first year after installation, most often in the winter. At night, the glass is cold. Then, during the day, as the sun starts to shine on the glass, part of the glass is warmed by the sun, while the part still in the shade remains cold. This is the time when a stress fracture may occur. The fracture will appear as a hairline crack radiating from the edge of the frame.

3M™ has over forty years of experience applying window films to different types of glass. This enables 3M™ to make proper window film to glass recommendations and minimize the potential for glass breakage.

If glass breakage should occur, contact us and we will take care of the problem for you. 3M™ has you covered up to $500 per window, including application of new film and labor, for a period of sixty (60) months from date of installation. As mentioned above under warranty information, there is a $25.00 consumer deductible, or 5% of replacement cost, whichever is greater, per claim.

Do 3M™ Window Films cause seal failure?

No, 3M™ Window Films do not cause seal failure. Seal failure is, quite simply, a failure in the seal of dual pane windows (also called thermal windows, insulated glass or sealed units). Too much moisture is allowed past the seal. The result of seal failure is a hazy or foggy appearance between the panes of glass. Extensive testing has been done on the effects of window film on dual pane windows. The quantitative results showed “no detrimental effects of the use of window films on quality manufactured sealed units.”

When a recommended window film is applied to the inside pane of an insulated glass unit, there will be some absorption (except with clear safety films) of the sun’s energy, which will increase the temperature of the glass pane. Some of this heat will transmit to the airspace, slightly raising the airspace temperature. However, even a 20 F degree increase (unusual for most films) will result in a less than 3% change in air pressure, whereas properly made units are designed and tested to withstand a 22% change in air pressure.

Risk of seal failure is greatly determined by the quality of workmanship and the quality of materials that go into building the insulated glass units. The best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made units from reputable window manufacturers that have solid experience and histories with insulated units

Therefore, 3M™ warrants your insulated units against seal failure only if:

You have a window film manufacturer’s warranty in effect when the seal failure occurs and the failure occurs with the forty (40) month warranty period, unless you opt for the optional Platinum Warranty, in which case 3M™ matches your window manufacturer’s warranty.

Where is your window film service area?

Firehouse Tint and Clean of Leawood, KS,  serves the Kansas City metropolitan area. For a list of areas, please see below.

Are you interested in having 3M™ Window Film installed on your windows? If so, contact our Leawood, KS, location at (913) 685-8125 for more 3M™ Window Film information.

Proudly providing Overland Park and its surrounding areas with 3M™ Window Film services.