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General


Security


Building Management


General Answers


How are 3M™ Window Films installed?

3M™ Window Films are professionally installed by skilled, well-trained authorised 3M Dealers. Almost all of our films are designed to be applied to the internal surface of your glazing.

The first step is to prepare the window area for the application; placing drop cloths on the floor protecting and/or moving furniture where necessary.

Next, the glazing is cleaned using simple cleaning solutions (often water and ammonia) and razor blade scrapers. The film is sprayed with a slip solution (detergent and water) for positioning, and applied to the glazing. Using a professional grade squeegee and following correct techniques, the application is completed by removing excess water, trimming the edges, and a final squeegee technique to dry the edges.

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How long does it take for 3M™ Window Films to dry?

We suggest allowing thirty days for the film to fully dry and cure. During this curing process, it is normal to have small water bubbles and/or a hazy appearance. These will disappear as the film dries. Depending upon the film type and weather conditions, drying may take as much as 30 (or even 45) days, or as little as a few days. Thicker 3M™ Scotchshield™ Security Films will take longer. Once dried, 3M™ Window Films will look great and perform for many years to come.

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Can I install 3M™ Window Film myself?

No, 3M™ Window Films require professional installation; our authorised 3M™ Window Film Dealers are thoroughly trained and experienced in performing high quality work. In this way, our customers will enjoy the benefits of 3M™ Window Films and have the comfort of the full 3M installation warranty.

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How do I clean my 3M™ Window Film?

After the curing period, you may clean 3M™ Window Films using normal household cleaning solutions, including ammonia based products, and a soft, lint-free, non-abrasive cloth. You may also use a squeegee to clean the films. Abrasive products, which would scratch or damage the film should not be used.

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How long does 3M™ Window Film last?

3M™ Window Films are made to last for many years; just how long may depend upon the type of film applied, type of glass it is applied to and the particular climate in which it is applied. Most applications last upwards of ten (10) years and beyond, and several applications are still performing after fifteen (15) years. All applications have a warranty period of ten (10) years (except exterior applications which are five (5) years and 3M™ Scotchtint™ Low E Amber Solar Control Films which are seven (7) years).

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What is the warranty for 3M™ Window Film?

3M™ Window Films are warranted to maintain their properties without bubbling, peeling, cracking, or crazing. Many of our films are warranted against discoloration, too. (Those which do not use dyed polyesters). Should the product prove to be defective, 3M and the authorised 3M™ Window Film Dealer will replace the film and provide the re-application labour free of charge.

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Do 3M™ Window Films cause glass to break?

The application of 3M™ Window Films can increase the temperature of your sunlit glass which will increase the stress on the glass edges. The quality of the glass edges and several other factors (external shading, interior shading, glass history, type of film, size/shape of glass, indoor/outdoor temperature) all contribute to the potential risk of glass breakage.

3M's thirty (30) years of experience applying 3M™ Window Films to different types of glass enables us to make correct film/glass compatibility recommendations and minimise the potential for glass breakage. In addition, we support these recommendations with a Thermal Stress Analysis to calculate potential risks so that the correct advice can be given.

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Do 3M™ Window Films cause seal failure when applied to insulated (double-glazed) windows?

No, 3M™ Window Films do not cause seal failure. We've been applying 3M™ Window Films to insulated windows for over 30 years with several millions of square feet of film applied to date.

When recommended films are applied to the inside pane of an insulated glass unit, there will be some absorption (except with clear safety films) of the sun's energy, which will increase the temperature of the glass pane. Some of this heat will transmit to the airspace, slightly raising the airspace temperature. However, even a 20° F increase (unusual for most films) will result in a less than 3% change in air pressure, whereas properly made units are designed and tested to withstand 22% changes in air pressure.

Risk of seal failure is greatly determined by the quality of workmanship and the quality of the materials that go into building the insulated glass units. The best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made units from reputable window manufacturers that have solid experience and histories with insulated units.

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Security Answers


How do 3M™ Scotchshield™ (ULTRA) Safety and Security Window Films work?

3M™ Scotchshield™ ULTRA Safety and Security Window Films are designed to hold glass fragments together when broken.

Compared to 3M™ Scotchtint™ films, 3M™ Scotchshield™ Window Films are made with thicker polyester and a much thicker, more aggressive adhesive. 3M™ Scotchshield™ ULTRA Films are unique in the industry; they are built using a special micro-layered polyester technology which increases the films' tear and puncture resistance significantly. The impact and tear resistance of 3M™ Scotchshield™ ULTRA films outperform all other films of similar thicknesses.

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Are 3M™ Scotchshield™ (ULTRA) Safety and Security Films Hurricane-proof? Bullet-proof? Burglar-proof?

No, 3M™ Scotchshield™ (ULTRA) Safety and Security Films are not hurricane-proof, earthquake-proof, bullet-proof, bomb-proof, nor burglar-proof. Again, they are designed to make glazing more shatter-resistant.

In the event of a windstorm, these films may have significant safety and security value. They can reduce the risk of injury from flying shards of broken glass, and possibly help prevent debris and water penetration through the window depending on the severity of the storm (and the type of glass, framing system, size and velocity of objects, and more).

In an earthquake, these films can reduce the risk of serious injury from flying shards of broken glass, and possibly prevent glass from falling out of a home or building. Again, much may depend upon the severity of the quake (and the type of glass, framing system, and more, too).

Bullets: these films are not designed to stop bullets.

3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety and Security Films were originally developed to address international concerns and needs for improved safety and security against terrorist acts of bombing. These films can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury from flying shards of glass due to blasts. However, much depends upon the severity of the blast and the proximity of the glazing to the blast (and glass type, framing system, and more too).

3M™ Scotchshield™ (ULTRA) Security Films are a low profile, high performance measure of security in the battle against 'smash and grab' crime. The tough, shatter-resistant qualities of the film can hold the window glass together even if a brick (or similar object) were actually to pass through the glass. The thief must then make a choice; continue to attack this window, try another window, or move on. Time is short, and often they move on. However, if they are determined to gain entry, they will get in. It is generally recommended that 3M™ Scotchshield™ (ULTRA) Security Window Films are used as part of an integrated security system.

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Will 3M™ Scotchshield™ (ULTRA) Safety and Security Film stop my glass breaking?

This is difficult to answer with any degree of certainty because it is difficult to test for this. Glass varies in strength from piece to piece, and lot to lot. So, if a 3M™ Scotchshield™ protected window were impacted, yet, failed to break, it would be difficult to determine if the glass alone, the film alone, or the film and glass together resisted the breakage.

When glass breaks, 3M™ Scotchshield™ (ULTRA) Safety and Security Film demonstrates it's best performance!

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Building Management Answers


How do 3M™ Scotchtint™ Solar Control Films work?

3M™ Scotchtint™ Solar Control Films are designed to reduce the amount of solar heat transmission through window glass by increasing the solar reflection (not necessarily visible reflection) and solar absorption through the glass.

Typical coloured or dyed films work primarily through increased absorption. The colour absorbs the solar energy at the glass, thus reducing the direct transmission into the room. These films are not as effective as reflective films for reducing heat.

Reflective films are films that have been precision coated with metals. These metallised films are designed to increase the solar energy reflection of the glass. 3M™ Scotchtint™ Reflective Films range from moderate to excellent in solar performance (heat gain reduction).

All 3M™ Scotchtint™ Solar Control Films are made to be transparent and optically clear. The Ultraviolet Inhibitors in the adhesive system are there to protect the adhesive, the metals, the polyester film, and the abrasion resistant coating from UV degradation. This UV protection will also help protect home and office furnishings.

All 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Films are protected with our patented abrasion resistant coating that provides long-term durability and maintained appearance.

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How do 3M™ Scotchtint™ Low E Amber Solar Control Films work?

3M™ Scotchtint™ Low E Amber Solar Control Film works in much the same way as the standard Solar Control Films except that they offer an increased performance against cold weather heat loss. The patented construction of these films enables the metal coating to reflect more of the interior room heat back into the room where it is needed. This improves personal comfort by reducing drafts near windows.  The films can help save on fuel costs, especially in commercial buildings. The LE films are also protected with our abrasion resistant coating for long-term durability and maintained appearance.

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Why do Commercial buildings have 3M™ Window Films installed?

  • Lower Heating and Air Conditioning costs

  • Lower utility demand costs

  • Utility rebates

  • Improved occupant comfort

  • Improved aesthetics, uniform appearance

  • Improved safety and security

  • Extended A/C equipment life

  • Valued alternative to adding more A/C equipment

Most often, our commercial customers will purchase 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Films for occupant comfort and justify the purchase through energy cost savings.

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What is the typical energy payback period for 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Films?

Simple paybacks will vary depending upon the amount of sunlit glass exposure, the type of film, the type of glass, cost of fuel, cost of application, and other variables. However, we have seen paybacks often range in the 2-5 year period, with some reported to be even less than 6 months. See your authorised 3M™ Window Film Dealer to analyse the potential energy savings in your commercial property.

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Will 3M™ Window Film stop my furnishings from fading?

Nothing completely stops fading. 3M™ Window Films are designed to help reduce the major causes of fading (ultra violet light, visible light, and solar heat), thus prolonging the life of your furnishings, perhaps as much as two to five times.

Keep in mind the article(s) to be protected; if they have a typical life of five (5) years then they may last ten (10) years or more depending upon the performance of the film selected. However, if the typical life is only 2-3 weeks, then the expectation should be expressed in terms of months.

As a general rule of thumb, ultra violet (UV) is approximately 40% of the cause; visible light is about 25%, and heat about 25%. The remaining 10% can be attributed to humidity, pollutants, interior lights, dye stability, and more.

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Does the Ultra Violet protection lose its effectiveness over time?

No, the ultra violet (UV) protection that we use in our proprietary adhesive system is indefinite. It does not lose its effectiveness over time. In fact, we tested an actual glass sample from The Dumbarton House, Washington, DC. This was a ten (10) year old application and the ultra violet transmission still measures 1%!

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