Retail and other commercial establishments use large glass front designs for many reasons. For retailers, storefront styles provide clear views of interior displays while adding dedicated showcase areas facing high traffic locations. For non-retail businesses, massive glass walls create an inviting and airy feel to the interior. In both cases, glass walls let natural light in, which may factor into ambiance and energy efficiency. However, maintenance and security are often big issues for glass walls.
Benefits of Exterior Window Film
Application of window film is a solution for many of the security and maintenance issues that come with massive glass wall designs. That said, it must be emphasized that exterior film used in commercial applications must meet certain standards in terms of strength and resistance to gouging.
Anti-scratch and Anti-graffiti Qualities
Glass film that is used on office buildings and retail fronts that are located in areas with high pedestrian traffic should protect the glass from scratches and minor abrasions, resulting from sharp objects scrubbing on the glass, which may be untintentional. The right type of film can minimize if not totally prevent damage from intentional gouging intended to deface graphic displays or ruin the glass itself.
Commercial grade window films are usually impervious to acid etching solutions that are favored by graffiti vandals. Unlike concrete, glass walls subjected to graffiti damage cannot be restored by whitewashing and repainting. In most cases, glass that is etched with acid will have to be replaced at great expense to property owners.
Improving Security and Protection
Exterior film does not obscure the interior as it is usually a clear or opaque material. This makes it easy to view the interior of an office or retail store for security purposes. At the same time, this film is also strong enough to hold damaged glass together in the event of damages due to severe weather conditions, explosions or intentional acts of breaking the glass.
The film will reduce the property owners’ liability for damages or injuries caused by broken glass. With the film holding damaged glass together, interiors are also protected from the elements and from looters.
Enhancing Energy Efficiency
Depending on the type of film, window tint can provide some significant protection from ultraviolet rays. By limiting heat absorption on the glass, exterior film can reduce energy consumption due to heating and cooling. Window tint on commercial buildings can also reduce glare that may contribute to employee discomfort that may lead to reduced productivity. This feature is especially important in sun-drenched places such as Orlando, Fla.
Clear or tinted film that lets natural light in may also cut down electrical lighting expenses while improving indoor lighting and workplace ambiance.
Other Features of Commercial Window Film
The adhesive used on antigraffiti film was chosen specifically to allow easy removal of damaged material. Any residue can be removed with glass or adhesive cleaners to prepare the panel for a new film application. When dealing with graffiti on glass defacement especially if it is a recurring problem, film replacement is certainly less costly than glass panel replacement.
Whether the exterior film is clear or tinted, commercial-grade material should be distortion free to allow unobstructed views, which is typically one of the main reasons for the use of glass walls.
The crystal clear version has other applications, including protection of glass-encased graphics, mirrors and similar surfaces.
What Types of Film are Available?
When it comes to exterior window film, Huper Optik, a U.S. based manufacturer specializing in this niche, offers state-of-the-art options with its nano-ceramic technology. Simply put, Huper Optik film is actually a multi-layer material of metal oxy-nitride with a unique molecular structure. These films can be customized to suit the structure rather than providing a one-type-fits-all product. Professional film installers will recommend suitable exterior film products by first examining specifications of the existing glass. Recommendations will also take into account return on investment considerations.
Huper Optik’s nano-ceramic film has been installed extensively in the U.S. with an estimated 2.5 million square feet of glass applications.
How to Choose an Exterior Film Installer
The process of applying protective film on glass panels appears to be deceptively simple, but application may require specialized tools along with experience in this field to make sure that the presence of the film is unobtrusive. A professional film supplier will offer information about the various options available to property owners and managers. An exterior window film company would also be aware of maintenance issues specific to local conditions. They would be prepared with a film removal and replacement plan, and each project would qualify for a lifetime warranty.
As with all professional contractors, make sure to deal only with licensed, bonded and insured film installers who will stand behind their projects. Call Ultimate Window Tinting for an assessment and free estimate today.