Does Window Film Cause Seal Failure?
While perusing online window film forums or speaking with new clients, we often hear concern about window films causing seal failure in multi-pane glass windows. Seal failure in glass is obvious when it happens – you’ll immediately notice foggy or hazy windows. People want the benefits of high-performance window film, but are understandably scared for the health of their windows. The good news is that the idea that “window film causes seal failure” is a thoroughly busted myth. Here is what window film actually does, and what actually causes seal failure.
Myth Busted: Window Film DOES NOT Cause Seal Failure
Window film has never actually been proven to cause seal failure. In fact, laboratory test results have shown that insulated windows are unaffected by window film. In testing, failures only arose from manufacturing defects of the window itself.
One thing to keep in mind, and possibly why this myth came around in the first place, is that not all film is meant for insulated windows. Using the wrong type of film on insulated windows is not a good idea, which is why you need to consult an experienced professional When you choose to go with an experienced professional installer, you are getting someone with the knowledge of which film is right for your windows.
Seal failure has conclusively been proven to happen at the same rate whether or not window film has been applied. Additionally, you may get extra protection from seal failure if your windows are still under warranty.
Window film has never actually been proven to cause seal failure. In fact, laboratory test results have shown that insulated windows are unaffected by window film.
So, What Causes Seal Failure?
Okay, so if proper use of window film doesn’t cause seal failure, then what does? Before we can answer that question directly, we need to talk about how insulated windows are made in the first place. If you already know this, skip the next paragraph.
Insulated glass has been used in residential and commercial buildings since the late 1990s, and continue to be desired for their energy-saving properties. These windows are composed of 2 or more panes of glass with air, or another gas, trapped between them (these windows are often referred to as “double” or “triple” pane based on how many layers of glass are in the glass sandwich). The gas is what provides the insulation. In addition to the gas between the panes is a desiccant (drying agent) to absorb any moisture that condenses inside or otherwise finds it way between the panes. Once the sandwich is made, a sealant is applied to seal the glass panes together.
If so much moisture migrates past the seal that the desiccant can no longer perform its job, the window will be deemed to have a “seal failure”. It’s pretty obvious, as the excess moisture will quickly condense onto the insides of the panes and look foggy. Once this happens, not only are your views ruined, but the windows lose their insulation properties as well (it’s like getting your sleeping bag wet… bad news!).
Fortunately, the correct type of window film will not cause seal failure on your windows or have an adverse effect on your manufacturer’s warranty. The best thing you can do to ensure the safety and longevity of your windows is to talk to an expert. At Sun Shade, we have been helping the businesses and residents of Vancouver Island for over 20 years – so don’t hesitate to give us a shout.