Home & Office Window Tinting FAQ

Scotchtint sun control films are designed to help reduce the amount of solar heat transmission through window glass by increasing the solar reflection (not necessarily visible reflection) and solar absorption through the glass.

Typical colored or dyed films work primarily through increased absorption. The color absorbs the solar energy at the glass, thus reducing the direct transmission into the room. These films only offer marginal performance when compared to reflective films.

Reflective films are films that have been precision coated with metals.These metalized films are designed to increase the solar energy reflection of the glass and some of the absorption. Scotchtint reflective films range from moderate to excellent in solar performance ( heat gain reduction).

All Scotchtint sun control films are made to be transparent and optically clear.The ultraviolet protection in he adhesive system is there to protect the adhesive, the metals, the polyester film, and the abrasion resistant coating from UV degradation. This UV protection will also help protect what is behind the film (home and office furnishings), too. Most Scotchtint window films are protected with our patented abrasion resistant coating for long term durability and maintained appearance.

Scotchtint Plus All Season films, or Low E films work much in the same way as the sun control films except that they offer an increased performance against cold weather heat loss. The patented constructions of these films enable the metal coating to reflect more of the interior room heat back into the room where it is needed. This improves comfort by reducing potential draft feelings near the window, and may also save on fuel costs, especially in commercial buildings. The LE films are also protected with our abrasion resistant coating for long term durability and maintained appearance.
  • Improved tenant comfort
  • Lower heating and cooling operating costs
  • Lower utility demand costs
  • Utility rebates
  • Improved aesthetics, uniform appearance
  • Improved safety and security
  • Extended A/C equipment life
  • Valued alternative to adding more A/C equipment Most often, our commercial customers will purchase Scotchtint window films for tenant comfort and justify the purchase on energy cost savings. 3 Window Film Manual 101

Simple pay backs will vary depending upon the amount of sunlit glass exposure, the type of film, the type of glass, cost of fuel, cost of application, and other variables.However, we have seen pay backs often range in the 2-5 year period, with some reported to be even less than 6 months.

Scotchtint films are professionally applied by skilled, well-trained authorized 3M Dealer personnel. Almost all of our films are designed to be applied to the inside of your glass.
The first step is to prepare the window area for the application; placing drop cloths on the floor protecting and/or moving furniture where necessary.
Next, the window glass is cleaned using simple cleaning solutions (often water and ammonia) and razor blade scrapers. Then the film is sprayed with a slip solution (detergent and water) for proper positioning, and applied to the window glass. Using a professional grade squeegee and following proper techniques, the application is completed by removing excess water, trimming the edges, and a final squeegee technique to dry the edges.

We suggest allowing thirty days for the film to fully dry and cure.During this curing process, it is natural to have small water bubbles and/or a hazing milkiness appearance. These will disappear as the film dries; depending upon the film type and weather conditions, drying may take as much as 30 (or even 45) days, or as little as a few days. Once dried, Scotchtint films will look great and perform for many years to come.

No, Scotchtint window films require professional application; our authorized 3M Scotchtint window film Dealer/Applicators are thoroughly trained and experienced in performing high quality work. In this way, our customers will enjoy the benefits of Scotchtint window films and have the comfort of the 3M Scotchtint warranty.

After thirty (30) days, you may clean Scotchtint films using normal household cleaning solutions, including ammonia based products: e.g., Windex, and a soft, lint-free cloth or towel.You may also use a squeegee to clean the films. Abrasive products which would scratch or damage the film should not be used.

Scotchtint window films are made durable to last for many years; just how long may depend upon the type of film applied, type of glass it is applied to and the particular climate in which it is applied. Most applications last upwards of twelve to fifteen (12-15) years and beyond, and several applications are still performing after fifteen (15) years. All applications have a minimum warranty period of five (5) years (except exterior applications which are two (2) years), and several films carry a ten (10) year commercial warranty, and even a lifetime residential warranty.*
*(Lifetime for as long as original purchaser owns their home)

Scotchtint window films are designed to bond the film to the window glass for many years. Yet when it is time to remove the film, removal can be performed by following a relatively simple process.
First, try to pull the film off by lifting and peeling the film from a corner. If removing the film is difficult, spray the film with a solution of detergent (Dawn , Joy ) and water and cover with a plastic film (e.g., trash can liners work). Allow to soak for several hours or overnight. Now, try Step 1 again.
Next, the adhesive residue left on the glass can be sprayed with a sudsy ammonia and water solution and scraped with a four inch razor blade tool.
Unfortunately, other window films aren’t necessarily designed for removal in their future. They can prove to be particularly difficult with removal, and may require more drastic measures.

Scotchtint window films are warranted to maintain their solar properties without bubbling, peeling, cracking, or crazing. many of our films are warranted against discoloration, too. (Those which do not use dyed polyesters). Should the product proved to be defective, 3M and the authorized Scotchtint dealer will replace the film and provide the reapplication labor free of charge.
In addition, the 3M Scotchtint window film warranty includes 60 months glass breakage coverage for all qualified applications Should your glass break due to thermal shock, 3M will replace the glass (maximum $500.00 per window) and the dealer will replace the film.
The length of the warranty is determined by film type and market (residential or commercial).

No, Scotchtint window films do not cause glass to break. However, we do understand that the application of Scotchtint 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) all contribute to the potential risk of glass breakage.
3M’s thirty (30) years of experience with applying Scotchtint window films to different types of glass enables us to make proper film/glass recommendations and minimize the potential for glass breakage. In addition, we support these recommendations with our two year glass breakage warranty against thermal shock fracture. Should the glass break within two year of application, 3M will replace the glass (maximum $500.00) per window), and the dealer will replace the film.

No, Scotchtint window films do not cause seal failure.We’ve been applying Scotchtint films to insulated windows for over 25 years with several millions of square feet of film applied to date.
When recommended films are 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 22% changes in air pressure.
Risk of seal failure is greatly determined by the quality of workmanship and the quality of the 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.

Nothing stops fading. Scotchtint films are designed to help reduce the major causes of fading (Ultraviolet light, visible light, and solar heat), thus prolonging the life of your furnishings, perhaps as much as two to five times. Keep in mind the article(s) to be protected; if they have a typical life of five (5) years then they may last ten (10) years to much longer depending on the performance of the film selected. However, if the typical life is only 2-3 weeks, then the expectation should be expressed in terms of months.

As a general rule of thumb, Ultraviolet (UV) is approximately 40% of the cause, visible light is about 25%, and heat about 25%. The remaining 10% an be attributed to humidity, pollutants, interior lights, dye anchorage, and more.

No, the Ultraviolet (UV) protection that we use in our proprietary adhesive system is indefinite. It does not loose its effectiveness over time. In fact, we tested an actual glass sample from The Dumbarton House, Washington,DC. This was a ten (10) year old application and the Ultraviolet transmission still measures less than 1%!

Scotchshield Ultra Safety and Security window films are designed to make glass shatter-resistant by hold the glass pieces together when broken.
Different from Scotchtint film, Scotchshield window films are made with thicker polyester and a much thicker, more aggressive adhesive system.The Ultra films are unique in the industry; they are built using a special micro-layered polyester technology which increases the films’ tear resistance significantly. Pound for pound, the impact and tear resistance of Scotchshield Ultra films outperform all other films of similar thickness.

No, Ultra films are not hurricane-proof, earthquake-proof, bullet-proof, bomb-proof, nor burglar-proof. Again, they are designed to make the window glass more shatter-resistant.
In the event of a wind storm, these films may have significant safety and security value. They can reduce the risk of injury from flying shards of broken glass, and possibly help prevent debris and water penetration through the window depending on the severity of the storm (and the type of glass, framing system, size and velocity of objects, and more).
In an earthquake, these films can reduce the risk of serious injury from flying shards of broken glass, and possible prevent glass from falling out of a home or building.Again, much may depend upon the severity of the quake (and the type of glass, framing system,and more, too).

Bullets: these films are not designed to stop bullets.

3M Scotchshield films were originally developed due to the international concerns and needs for improved safety and security against terrorist acts of bombings. These films can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury from flying shards of glass due to blasts, however, much depends upon the severity of the blast and the proximity of the window glass to the blast (and glass type, framing system, and more too).

Scotchshield ultra films are a low-profile, high performance measure of security in the battle against ‘smash and grab’ crime. the tough, shatter-resistant qualities of the film can hold the window glass together even if a brick (or similar object) were actually to pass through the glass. The thief must now make a choice; continue to attack this window, try another window, or move on.Time is short, and often they move on. However, if they are determined to gain entry, they will get in. It is generally recommended that the property have proper alarm systems in addition to Scotchshield ultra window film.

This is difficult to answer with any degree of certainty because it is difficult to test for this. Window glass varies in strength from piece to piece, and lot to lot. So, if a Scotchshield protected window were impacted, yet, failed to break, it would be difficult to determine if the glass alone, the film alone, or the film and glass together resisted the breakage. When glass breaks, Scotchshield Ultra Film demonstrates it’s best performance!

This may seem a very odd question, however, there are some competitive dealers that wish to confuse our customers with the boldest and strangest of claims. So even odd and obvious, it bears a response.

In the thirty (30) years since we developed this business, there have been many imitators and impostors. However, there is only one company that has ever made Scotchtint and Scotchshield window films, and that, of course, is 3M.We offer the genuine article and back it with our genuine warranty.

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