How to Install Window Film
Window film is a simple but useful home how-to, ensuring security by adding a literal layer of privacy from nosy burglars or even nosy neighbors. But it can be even more than that, depending on which type you choose. Window film can keep your home’s temperature, preserve your furniture, and even reduce glare inside, all without inhibiting your view of the outdoors.
First, you need to choose the right window film for your needs. Then, we’ll walk you through installing it.
Selecting and Purchasing Window Film
Nearly every big box store carries a variety of window film options you can apply right to your window panes. There are window films for a variety of purposes, so consider your options:
- Dark, frosted, and/or reflective film for privacy
- Decorative film that adds aesthetic appeal to your space
- Temperature and glare control film that can block up to 99% of UV rays and 80% of solar heat
- Security film that makes glass break-resistant and keeps a shattered window together.
Some are, as noted, more utilitarian in nature while others offer some decorative splash. And many window films fall into more than one of these categories.
Security film is the most serious contender for home protection It makes glass less likely to shatter should an intruder attempt to break in via the window. It can delay a criminal’s entry into your home, buying you time to report the crime. It also adds a layer of safety by preventing shards of glass from flying everywhere. Window security film comes at a higher cost, but it’s a worthwhile investment. As a bonus, it’s a thicker film that helps regulate your home’s temperature.
How to Install Window Film
After selecting your window film of choice, it’s time for installation. It’s an easy task, but there are a few steps involved to get the film attached smoothly and reliably. These general guidelines should work for most films, but you should always defer to any instructions that come with your film kit.
- Measure your window glass area. Window film is available in a variety of sizes and can be cut to fit, too. The film is typically installed on the inside of a window to maintain its quality.
- Assemble your supplies. These include the film, scissors, a razor blade or exacto knife, a squeegee, a microfiber or other lint-free cloth, mild soap and water in a spray bottle, paper towels, and a bucket to hold everything. Many kits also come with a card-sized scraper. If yours doesn’t, purchase one or simply use an old license or credit card.
- Cut the window film. It should fit the glass area of a window plus some wiggle room for placement—up to an inch in extra length and width. Then set it to the side.
- Start with a clean base. You’ll want your window surface to be clean and smooth. If you’ve got tough, built-up dirt, use a bristle brush to remove it. Avoid wire bristles, as they will scratch glass. Avoid vinegar, ammonia, Windex, and other similar products, which can actually degrade the film. Instead, spray a mild soap and water solution on the glass and then wipe it clean with a squeegee, removing any residual streaks with a microfiber cloth. Avoid using paper towels, which often leave dust and fibers behind.
Affixing the Window Film
- Remove the film’s backing. Carefully set it to the side.
- Wet the window. Some installation kits come with a solution for you to mix and spray. Otherwise, you can use your mild soap and water solution. Cover the entire window glass with the liquid, leaving no dry spots.
- Apply the film. Start at the top and carefully work your way down, positioning the film flush with one corner of the glass. Because you allowed extra film, it will hang over the opposite side from the corner you’re working on.
- Wet the window again. Once the film is in place, spray the surface with additional solution.
- Smooth the film. Use the squeegee to smooth everything from top to bottom, from the center to the left, and from the center to the right, eliminating any bubbles. Go over the edges and corners to ensure a smooth fit.
- Trim the excess. Grab your utility or exacto knife and trim down the far side and then along the bottom. Trim the corner areas last. Allow up to 1/16” of exposed glass around the perimeter of the window. This allows you to push out any remaining water and dab it away.
- Add more pieces if necessary. If your window is big enough to require more film, repeat these steps. You may want to overlap the second piece by an inch or two to ensure there are no gaps.
- Cure the film. Once you’re done applying, spray the film and use the squeegee to ensure the film is saturated thoroughly. When you’re content with the finished product, wipe the window with your microfiber cloth. Then, allow the film to sit and adhere. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Don’t attempt to move or clean the film during this time, or you may ruin your hard work.
Add More Layers to Your Home Security
Window film is one piece of a multipronged approach to securing your home. In many cases, security window film is a deterrent to a thief who just wants easy and uncomplicated access to a household.
If film alone doesn’t get the job done, you’ll want security with more “firepower.” Deep Sentinel offers video surveillance backed by live security guards and AI. For an extra layer of protection, trust a security monitoring service that has eyes on would-be burglars before they can even approach your home. The Deep Sentinel guards watch, evaluate, intervene, and call the cops—all in under 30 seconds, without you lifting a finger.
Adding Deep Sentinel is one home security decision that’s crystal clear.
Need a Solution that Prevents Crime?
Deep Sentinel is the only security technology that delivers the experience of a personal guard on every customer’s home and business. Call 833.983.6006 for your free security consultation.