In some especially sunny regions of the country, you find that many of the residential windows are tinted to soften the glare of the midday sunlight streaming through the windows. Oftentimes, if you look closer, you’ll see blemishes that look like bubbles on the windows – trapped within the tint work. Why do residential window film bubbles form, and how can you minimize or eliminate their formation on your own windows? We’ll explore what causes them in the following; the information also helps you avoid them if you want a car window tint.
The Tinting Process And Bubbles
Any seasoned tint technician will tell you that bubble formation on residential window film is a normal process; the real problem comes in the prep stage when amateur tint techs fail to properly clean the windows. Any dust or dirt will exacerbate the problem of bubble formation by providing a “seed” around which the bubbles can set. Without the dirt, the bubbles would actually fade soon after the tint is performed, leaving behind an essentially perfect surface.
Furthermore, the dirt anchors the bubbles in place; once your windows are put back up, sunlight will exacerbate the problem by expanding the bubbles; to the point where the window becomes practically unusable as visibility becomes worse.
Although bubble formation on residential window film is normal after receiving a tint, these small blemishes seamlessly “melt” into the glass once the applied tint film sets – it shouldn’t take long for this to happen. It is only in the windows aren’t properly cleaned that the bubbles stick around, and then become progressively worse when exposed to sunlight. The air pockets that develop will only continue to get larger over time necessitating a greater expense as you have to get the windows redone. Thus; it is always preferable to retain the services of a demonstrably skilled professional the first time around.
Avoiding Bubble Formation
Bubble formation is often why it’s recommended you have your windows professionally cleaned before installing a tint. Of course; you could just clean them yourself – but can you really be certain that there’s no dust on the surface? At least with services, there’s insurance and a money-back guarantee. Even better, you can be sure they have years of experience using the best cleaning methods to prep your windows for the tint job.
A thorough cleaning job is essential for a tint application that doesn’t trap air bubbles; however, you must also use a high-quality tint to ensure that the final product comes out correctly. There are numerous little tint job shops scattered about any large city; however, not all of them possess the qualifications. It doesn’t make much sense to go through the hassle of a thorough cleaning, only to use a subpar tint provider!
Putting on a tint requires certain industry-respected guidelines to ensure a proper post-production appearance. Tint application is a complex, technical process that requires years of experience; as such, unless you’re committed to becoming an expert, having a certified professional do it ensures peace of mind and a job well done. Seek out a seasoned tint technician in your city; they will be happy to show you examples of their handiwork – in fact, their office should be practically littered with images from past, satisfied clients. The ubiquity of the internet also means you can check out online reviews using major aggregate websites such as YELP and Facebook. You’re just a few searches away from your excellent tint job!
CPFilm’s Clear Distortion Free (CDF) adhesive technology is based on a chemistry that is quite different from traditional pressure-sensitive technology. In most ways, it is superior for the solar control film applications.
Traditional pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) utilized in the window film industry is primarily based on acrylic co-polymer, acrylic-vinyl acetate and/or vinyl ether polymer systems. These are characterized by their permanently tacky nature and are usually easy to mount. This permanently tacky nature also forms the basic of its longevity problems.
PSA’s, being tacky, have to rely on specific and mechanical adhesion mechanisms for the development of bonding characteristics. These systems also have Tg’s (glass transition temperatures) below room temperature, which are responsible for their tacky nature.
The CDF adhesive has built into its backbone proprietary chemistry that is activatable by the installation solution. This allows it to be mounted with greater ease and chemically bonds to the glass. This chemical bond is much more stable than specific or mechanical bonds, affording it durability and longevity.
The CDF polymer is much harder and has some crystallinity as opposed to the soft amorphous nature of PSA systems. This allows for more chemical and environmental resistance. This harder nature also means greater mounting solution removability. Squeegeeing is easier and more complete, less water/soap remains behind to soften and degrade the adhesive. This is critical for initial appearance and longevity. PSA’s are much softer, making mounting solution removal difficult. The residual monomers, solvents, catalyst, and soaps/water left behind are free to react with heat/(IR)/sunlight/(UV) to degrade adhesion and product longevity.
The CDF chemistry is cleaner. It has much less variation in its’ molecular weight and less residuals in the form of monomers.
CDF technology, based on its unique chemistry and mounting solution, offers superiority in application, facility and longevity. It offers a harder, thinner, more crystalline adhesive that yields little or no distortion initially or under the pressure of environmental stress.
The CDF offers a chemistry that bonds directly to glass. This bonding system is more durable and reliable than mechanical bonding which is less resistant to environmental stress.