DIY vs. Professional Window Film Installation
Window film is becoming increasingly popular with commercial businesses and homeowners. Not only can window film improve the look of your building, but it can help you save on energy bills, protect interiors from fading, and improve climate control indoors.
But before you start your project, you’ll want to do some research. There are a lot of different window films out there, including solar control, thermal control, security, and decorative. With so many options to choose from, you’ll need to think carefully about which film is best for you. There’s another thing to consider too: is this going to be a fun DIY project, or is it time to call in the professionals?
Common Challenges When Installing Window Film
Applying window film is one of those things that looks deceptively easy to do on your own. It’s often available at your local hardware store, so people tend to assume it’s nothing more than a quick weekend project. While it’s not impossible to DIY, putting up window film requires tools, time, and a lot of patience. Below are some of the top challenges folks can face when installing window film. You’ll want to consider all of them before making the decision to tackle this precise project.
Creases and Bubbles in the Window Film
Generally, window film is made from a metalized polyester base that is no more than millimeters thick. If the film bends before it’s applied to a window, it will crease. Forever. No going back. So, if a crease does happen, and you still use that film, you can expect to look through a wrinkled window every day. No one wants to see the world through a wrinkled window. Grab a new piece of film and start the process again.
Bubbles occur more naturally during the window film application process. The trapped air can be usually be squeegeed out, and smaller bubbles should disappear on their own a few days after installation. However, applying window film horizontally is a surefire way trap A LOT of bubbles, making it extremely difficult to remove excess air. Never, and I mean never, apply horizontally.
Not Enough People To Help Install
DIY-ers like to do things themselves, and that’s great! For a lot of projects. When you’re applying window film however, working alone isn’t necessarily the best approach. Working in a pair or a team is usually the way to go when applying film, especially if you have to use a ladder for your installation.
Using the Wrong Type of Solution
Not all window film solutions are the same. If a de-greasing or concentrated detergent is used as a lubricant between the glass and the window film, the glass can become foggy looking. Worse yet, your film may not even stick to the surface!
Not Cleaning Windows Thoroughly
Before window film can be applied, all dust, dirt, and grime need to be removed. If not, you’re just going to trap all that dirt right on the window, for everyone to see. Not only does dirt trapped underneath window film look gross, it can harm the longevity of the film.
Solution, Shaken not Stirred
Sometimes, people are tempted to shake the solution in the bottle before spraying it onto the glass. Shaking creates air in the solution, and we already know what that leads to. Air bubbles. This will only make applying the film more difficult, as the more bubbles you trap between the film and your window, the harder it is to remove them later.
To DIY, or not to DIY? That is the Question
Installing window film is not the easiest project to undertake. With the right tools and a lot of patience and precision, it’s completely possible to get the job done. However, a professional installer has a lot of experience well, installing. The experience they bring to the job provides crystal clear results that would be difficult to achieve otherwise. Really, it all comes down to personal preference and how concerned you are with the aesthetic aspect of your window film.
The Pros of DIY Window Film
- Doing the job yourself provides a sense of accomplishment.
- DIY window film kits are available to assist you.
- Taking the DIY approach can also help you save money. If you are worried about making mistakes though, remember that they can end up costing you more in the long run. If you have concerns, it might be a good idea to go with a professional.
The Pros of Having a Professional Window Installer
- There are a lot of types of window film out there. A professional can help you select the right kind of film that suits your needs.
- Having an experienced technician means that the film application will be crystal clear with no overlap, bubbles, or creases. Professionals can also tackle more complex surfaces like curved glass.
- A professional installer is usually certified, and the window film applied comes with a warranty.
- You can save time and frustration by having a professional help you get the job done.
Making the Right Decision for Your Windows
Hopefully, this article has given you enough information to decide if a DIY project or professional window film installation is right for you. If you have more questions about window film installation, however, our experts are here to help. We can help you see your windows in a whole new light.