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How long does window film last?

By November 23, 2022Window Film
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Most of us prefer the “set it and forget it” method whenever possible. But nothing lasts forever. In general, the lifespan of window films, when applied professionally, can be upward of 20 years. However, there are several circumstances that play into that level of success.

These include:

  • the directional position that the windows are facing
  • the climate
  • the condition of the glass window or door on which the film has been placed
  • the quality of the materials used
  • interior or exterior application

As you can see from the list above, there are numerous determinants that weigh in on the life of a window protection film. Some exterior applied window films hold up better to the elements of nature, particularly security window film. Let’s review the list of window films below to better discern what you can expect from each.

Security window film

Security window film is typically applied to the exterior of a window or door glass in a building. This window film can be applied to both interiors and exteriors of glass. And some business owners choose to apply to both the interior and exterior of the glass for more security protection.

Because security films are generally applied to the exterior of buildings, they are made to withstand greater environmental challenges. They have a scratch-resistant coating designed to protect windows and doors from harsh weather. As a result, better quality security films have a life expectancy of a decade plus.

However, security films may need to be replaced if a building is attacked or breached. These window protection films are designed to hold together the glass if it is shattered, preventing spall from hurting people or causing further property damage.

Solar window film

Whereas solar window film can be applied to both the interior and exterior of buildings, predominately it’s applied to the interior of the building in order to protect the window film from exterior elements. This can and does afford the window film a longer lifespan.

Energy building modeling assessments provide property owners with the assurance that they are applying the best possible film for their building. By utilizing government-approved software, engineers can determine the best film for your property according to the direction it faces, the local climate, as well as other determinants. This also ensures that you will receive the maximum lifespan for your window film application.

Energy-efficiency window film also offers varying levels of tint. Tinted window films can be installed on the outside. However, interior applications are more common. Interior-applied tint draws heat and sunlight through the window glass and then redistributes it outside. And this application often lasts longer than exterior-applied tinted window films.

On the other hand, exterior window solar film absorbs and redistributes sunlight and heat before penetrating window glass, making it an effective option for protecting your home. Again, quality makes a difference here. If you choose a superior manufacturer, you can still expect twelve-plus years of quality protection before the window film needs to be replaced.

Decorative window film

Decorative window films are often, although not always applied to the exterior of a glass door or window. It’s used for business graphics or simple privacy. Typically, such applications last 5 to 7 years. However, longer installations have been recorded. Again, how much sunlight or intense weather your property incurs can play into how long exterior applied decorative window film will last.

Quality films & warranties

Window film manufacturers continue to expand and multiply with every year that passes. The first window film manufacturer, and leader of the pack still, is 3M™. They have been producing architectural finishes and window films for decades. They take their business seriously and are the only manufacturers that make all of their own components for their products to ensure quality.

3M also has the longest warranty for their window films – 12 years. However, they have a list of specifications to ensure that each and every installation of their product meets intense standards and is implemented by certified installers.

Moreover, NGS adds an additional two years to 3M’s warranty which provides the strongest warranty for window films in the industry. This alone affirms that you can expect 12 to 14 years from the life of your window films if using quality films that are applied by certified installers.

Professional Installation

Window film installation is a leading factor in ensuring the lifespan of your window film. Certified installers can ensure that you are getting the maximum potential out of your window film.

NGS installers are 3M certified and located across the nation. Wherever you are located, we can provide the greatest quality window film for your property and a premier, certified installer. This will give you the most bang for your buck. More importantly, it will give you the longest possible life for your window film installation.

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