Window Film Repair/Replacement
Is your window tint looking bad?
Is it: Damaged/Scratched, Bubbling, Peeling, Fading, Hazy, Cloudy, Delaminating, Etc.…
If so, rely on the professionals at A1 Window Tinting to remove and replace it for you.
Window tint films are made of thermoplastics (polyethylene terephthalate), when your vehicle is exposed to the hot sun over an extended period of time (usually years) it will impact the strength of the film and adhesive. This extreme heating and cooling causes cheaper (low grade/dye based) films/tints to fade and breaks down the adhesive & dyes, resulting in blurriness.
If your window tint is failing, you should rely on professionals for removal and replacement. Removing window film can be tedious and damaging to your vehicle. Proper precautions and suitable tools should be utilized.
The most common damage when removing film is to the defrost lines on the back windows. Depending on the quality of the film and the quality of the adhesive utilized, length of time the film has remained on the vehicle, exposure to elevated heat and UV the process can take several hours and require several steps for proper removal.
Window Film Repair/Replacement FAQs
The process is time consuming especially when removing film applied over defrost lines and from windshields.
- First, we attempt to peel the film by first using an industrial steam cleaner to soften the adhesive. This process works great on 75% of the vehicles especially the film hasn’t been on the vehicle for over 5 years.
- Usually on the side windows where there are no defrost lines, we are able to utilize a proper blade tool (that won’t scratch the glass) to aid with the film and adhesive removal. This can’t be utilized on areas with defrost lines.
- Some films will delaminate when being removed, a byproduct of cheap window films. This will require a secondary process in which we add a new layer of film over the delaminated film to give if some strength for removal. This process might take a couple of application increasing the time for removal and costs.
- Some films with low grade adhesives when exposed to the harsh sunlight for extended periods of time can become degraded and baked to the glass. When this happens in the areas where there are defrost lines and the adhesive won’t easily come off we will apply an adhesive removal chemical to aid with softening the adhesive. This doesn’t always work and then we will need to go through the same process of
There is a large variety of reasons that can cause window films to bubble.
- The most common cause is low quality/grade adhesives used on the films (mostly imported films and low-cost manufacturers), these films are used to keep costs down for film. Additionally, if the adhesives are not properly treated with UV blockers it will allow the solar spectrum rays (UV, Infra-Red & Visible light) to degrade the adhesive and film prematurely.
- Another cause of premature bubbling is the poor quality of some adhesives combined with length of exposure to extreme heat, high UV levels and bright lights. Cars that are driven for short periods of time during daylight hours and kept in a garage might extend the life of the film.
- Applying poor quality film over thick defrosts lines might cause small gaps difficult to see when being applied. These gaps trap small amounts of oxygen that with the defrost lines activated and the poor quality of adhesive will cause oxidation that breaks down the adhesion to the glass causing bubbles.
- Poor film application independent of the quality of adhesive will also contribute towards bubbling. This is because film needs to be properly shrunk to the contour of the windows and especially over the defrost lines. A1 Window Tinting professionals are experienced in this technique and have the proper training and tools to correctly apply automotive window films.
- This is common when utilizing cheap films, especially when dyes are used in the film. Dyes are not a stable product hence the reason for the fading/discoloration. All of the films utilized by A1 Window Tinting are non-dye films and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Sun exposure will speed up the deterioration of the window film, causing the dye in the film to break down and the color to fade. Usually, the film will start to turn purple, since the yellow dye in the tint is the quickest to break down, leaving red and blue behind.
- Most films have a scratch resistant coating applied to the surface of the exposed film. Ammonia based window cleaning products will breakdown this coating, exposing the films dyes to direct sunlight (UV rays) fading the coloration in the dyes. These ammonia cleaning products need to be avoided when cleaning window films.
The process is always time consuming especially when removing film applied over defrost lines and from windshields. In most cases we are able to remove the old film and adhesives but there are situations that make this more difficult or not cost effective.
- Film that was applied for more than 10 years combined with poor quality adhesive or aggressive adhesives will make the film removal more difficult.
- Vehicles with tint applied for more than 10 years and spent most of those years parked in direct sunlight versus in a garage will cause poor quality adhesives to bake itself into the glass pores and defrost lines. This combination age/sun/adhesive can be so extreme that it becomes impossible to properly remove the film/adhesive remains, making it economically not viable and a glass replacement would be the best option.