Residential window tint is a mystery for many homeowners but could be a viable option for those who find it too difficult or expensive to upgrade to Florida code-friendly windows.
As with anything, there are a lot of people trying to sell themselves as the best and the most inexpensive brand of tiny on the market. But when it comes to tint, remember, quality counts and an experienced installer matters. There are thousands of substandard window tint jobs with bubbles and delaminating material because someone bought the cheapest product or hired an unqualified installer.
Joy Schimborski, a client consultant for Florida Tint Specialists in Ocala, says the biggest mistake homeowners make when having their residential windows tinted is buying a poor-quality tint. The labor to install the tint is the most expensive and complex part of the job, and it is not worth a premature failure because of poor quality. Schimborski recommends a 3M Tint, which is sold in many types, shades and qualities that come with very strong lifetime warranties.
After choosing a higher quality tint, Schimborski recommends you hire a qualified window tint installer. Schimborski says, “A good tint installation should look as if the tint is part of the window. Furthermore, you should not be able to see seams or edges the closer you get to it.” A good tint installer will take his time and be very meticulous in cleaning the window prior to installation. Plenty of water is needed to install tint, and a good installer will put towels down to ensure the homeowner’s property is not damaged. A typical mid-sized home in one of the local active adult developments will take about a half day to have window tint installed around the home.
“There are three reasons why people have window tint installed in their home — to keep the sun and heat out of the house, decorative tint for privacy, or commercial and security tint for protection,” says Schimborski. Through computer modeling and what the homeowner wants to achieve, Schimborski is able to determine the correct type of tint to be used in the home. It is imperative for the homeowner to know and understand why they want tint installed. One huge benefit that is missed by most homeowners when considering window tinting is the reduction of fade of interior finishes and fabrics.
Security tinting is becoming more popular as homeowners search for non-intrusive ways to protect their homes from criminals and stormy weather. 3M started developing security tint after the tragic Beirut bombings in the 1980s for the United States government and the technology has really evolved to offer real security. Oddly, in the state of Florida, this tint has to be called security tint, but in the state of Louisiana it can be called hurricane tint. You get the picture — the stuff makes your glass extremely hard to penetrate.
Most reputable window tinting companies offer free estimates and require a deposit of 50 percent to start the job with the balance paid at completion. The better quality companies and installers typically have a couple of weeks in backlog, so be patient. You can always spot a good installer because they have pride in their work. Plus if you have an installer who tries to explain away bubbles or is not super clean when installing, go find a new installer.
Bad installations last forever or until you have them fixed.
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