Window Tint FAQ’s

Below are some of the most common questions we are asked. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please give us a call.

What is window film?

Window film is a thin, multi-layered polyester material that incorporates the many different layers to control different properties, including Ultra-Violet (UV) light, heat, glare, and privacy. Window film comes in a variety of performance levels and shades.

What are the benefits of window film?

The many benefits of window film include eye comfort, UV protection, aesthetics, and increased safety, privacy, and energy savings.

What do the different levels of film mean?

Film percentages stand for light transmission, or the amount of light that is allowed through the film. The lower the number/percentage, the darker the film.

Is the tint applied on the outside of the window?

No. In most cases, window film is installed on the inside of the glass. This allows for maximum durability. On vehicles, the window tint is hand-cut on the outside of the glass, then installed on the interior of the glass.

Will the film affect my rear defroster, or will my rear defroster affect the film?

No, window film and a car’s rear defroster will not affect one another.

How long does it take to tint my vehicle?

The amount of time it would take to tint your vehicle depends on the vehicle type. A complete car can take anywhere from one to two hours. Full-sized trucks generally take about an hour or so. If you are interested in only tinting the two front doors, thirty to forty minutes is usually satisfactory. If your vehicle has old film that needs to be removed, this process adds about two to three additional hours to the film installation. These time estimates are for ideal situations; as with anything, things may happen that can extend window film installation time. Please keep this in mind when making your appointment.

I just had my windows tinted, why do they look hazy?

The moisture that remains between the film and the glass after installation can cause a hazy, streaky, blistered appearance. It takes several days for the adhesive/film to completely cure. The remaining moisture will evaporate through the film; depending on the type of film, this process may take a couple of days, or even a couple of weeks. When the water evaporates completely, your windows should have excellent clarity.

Can I roll my windows down right away after I’ve had film installed?

We recommend that you leave your vehicle windows rolled up for at least 3 days after the window film installation. This allows the film to cure and adhere to the glass before the window is moved.

What should I use to clean my windows after I’ve had them tinted?

After window film installation, wait a week before cleaning the inside of the window where the film was installed. After a week, use a window cleaner without ammonia and a soft cloth or rubber squeegee. We recommend foam cleaners because they do not streak, and are usually ammonia-free. Never scrape the film with any type of blade or clean your tinted windows with anything abrasive, as it will scratch the film.

What causes window film to turn purple?

Purple window film is usually caused by a few factors. Cheap tint, repeated ammonia use, and age can all be contributing factors. The window film used by Smith Window Tint has the technology to make film color stable, thus carrying a lifetime warranty that guarantees no color change. This means that our window films do not turn purple like the cheap films sold in other shops or auto parts stores.

What if my vehicle already has old film on the windows? Will it need removed before I have my windows tinted? (aka: Can I tint over tint?)

Old film will need to be removed before installation of new window film. It is always best to have the old film removed by a professional, as the vehicle’s rear defroster can be easily damaged. There is an additional charge for removal of old film, and the process adds about two to three hours to the window film installation process. If your vehicle has old film that will require removal before installing new film, it is best to drop your vehicle off in the morning and let us call you when the job is completed.

If my window film is damaged, can it be fixed?

Typically, no. The damaged film would need to be removed and replaced.

Does window film prevent glass from breaking?

No, window film does not prevent glass from breaking. Window film does increase the safety of the glass; due to a very aggressive adhesive, the film helps to hold the pieces of broken glass together. In the event the glass breaks, due to an auto accident, a person running into it, or an attempted break-in, the glass will shatter, but in most instances, the film will help keep the glass together.

Can window film increase safety and security?

Yes, and no. Window film adds a degree of shatter resistance to the glass areas of your home, building, or vehicle. These films bond to glass and help hold dangerous glass fragments in place, should breakage occur due to accident, natural disaster, or illegal entry.

Does blocking UV rays help prevent fading and deterioration?

Yes. The same sun that brightens a room’s interior can be detrimental to fabrics, furnishings, artwork, and rugs. Ultraviolet rays are the main cause of both fade and deterioration. Window films can screen out 99% of the damaging UV rays that can fade richly colored furniture, tapestries, and artwork. Heat and light also play a part in fading, but using window film to block nearly 100% of UV rays will increase the life of your personal property for years.

Can window film be applied to any surface?

No. Window film should only be applied to glass surfaces that have a smooth finish, since the adhesive is meant to adhere to glass only. Plastics, Plexiglas, or Lexan contain too much oil for the film to adhere properly for a long period of time.

How does window film lower energy costs?

In summer, window film reflects the hot sun, reducing heat gain and lowering air conditioning costs. In winter, window film retains heat to reduce heating costs. This year-after-year reduction in energy costs can yield an impressive return on investment.

How does window film improve year-round comfort?

Window film creates a more comfortable environment through consistent climate control by eliminating “cold wall” and “hot wall” problems. Rooms stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, no matter where the sun is shining.

Can window film reduce glare?

Yes. Glare not only causes eye fatigue, but it can also be dangerous when driving. Drawing curtains or closing blinds can make a room feel darker and smaller, and it can increase utility bills due to artificial lighting. Window films allow light through but not glare, and it helps maintain an “open” feeling. Glare can be dangerous when driving as well; window film can reduce glare 50%-90%, allowing for a much safer driving experience.