Beautiful as they are, glass surfaces on our homes’ windows and doors are the most vulnerable parts in the case of both natural and human threats to your home, which is where the need for window security films comes in.
Whether it is an explosion, an earthquake, a break-in or a ravaging hurricane, glass is always the first to give in, since it is basically the weakest line standing between your house, family, valuables, and the outside.
As such, it is no wonder burglars, kidnappers and even thieves take advantage of the glass to gain fast access into the inside of a house. However, there’s some good news. With just the right window film, you could easily reduce or avoid such situations altogether.
Hold up, what is a window film, and how can it be of benefit to my home and the safety of my family? Not to worry, if you’re setting out to add a bit of security to your home, then this could be just the perfect start.
Why should I install a window security film?
These films have a number of advantages that could mean a lot of difference as far as the safety of your family and valuables goes. Here’s a rundown of some of the benefits of security window films.
If heated to extremely high temperatures, standard glass tends to break into large pieces, which can be risky if there’s anyone standing nearby when this happens. What makes this even worse is that it will most probably be the case in an emergency, when everyone in the house will be trying to evacuate.
Also, it makes it difficult for firemen and rescuers, as they could be at the wrong place when this happens, causing serious injuries. What a window security film does is that it keeps the shards from the glass in place, thus reducing any chances of damage in such scenarios.
Earthquakes cause all manner of mayhem and damage, and one of the most affected parts of a house is definitely the glass on the doors and windows. This could make living in an area with regular seismic activity Earthquakes for your family.
It’s thus important to get a security film to reinforce the glass just in case an earthquake hits, which will definitely help keep your loved ones safe from shards flying across the room, ready to tear through flesh.
From bombs to meteorites exploding in the air, an accident involving exploding natural gas to any other forms of explosions, the shock-wave that this phenomenon release shatters glass with ease.
And the last thing you want is the pieces from that glass panel on the window flying right across the room with your family inside the house. Sounds like the worst nightmare? Well, that’s another situation in which you can be thankful for having a window security film installed.
Window films come in different types as far as the issue of privacy goes, since some are transparent, while others are designed to add a bit of privacy in your home.
Each of these comes with its own perks, as the transparent ones are virtually invisible to the human eye, so they are a bit unobtrusive if that makes any difference for you.
The latter, on the other end, come with different designs, which can make them highly decorative, adding to the visual appeal of your home.
Even better, some films are see-through, but only from the inside, which means you can see what’s going on outside and enjoy the view of the compound without allowing someone sneaking up to your window and peeping through.
Delay or prevent burglary
Burglars are known to target windows and doors, and even more frequently the glass part, which makes entry to the house super easy and fast by simply smashing the glass and being able to open the door or window from the inside.
As long as the glass on these areas of your house can be easily breached, even installing advanced locks on doors and windows won’t make much of a difference. With simple tools such as a hammer, or a tactical pen that has a glass-shuttering end, your window could prove to be no match for a determined intruder.
That’s where a window security film comes to the rescue, as it helps keep the glass in place for longer even once it has been broken. Think of it as how your car’s windshield would handle an impact, in which case instead of shuttering, it cracks but stays in place.
Some films are even shatter-proof and others are bullet-proof, which makes them virtually impossible for a minor intruder, and even a well-prepared one to get into your property.
Top Security Films For Your Home
Everything said and done, it’s time to look at some of the top window security films that you can install on your glass windows for a safer home for your family.
It’s super strong, almost bulletproof
Super easy to install; and it comes with the installation instructions and tools
No cases of bubbles as is the case with other low-quality films out there
A lifetime warranty just in case you need it, but very unlikely
Virtually invisible to the human eye
It is quite expensive
Measuring 36 inches by 25 inches, this USA made window security film comes across as one of the best options you can turn to for that extra layer of security for your household. And true to its word as a film capable of taking on most violent of blows, it has been used by the US Military, the FBI, Bank of America, and even by Best Buy among other renowned institutions.
Sure, it is a tad expensive, but when you factor in its ability to resist some serious blows and even blows, you can understand why it’s going to cost you a bit more.
Take note, however, that this film isn’t fully bulletproof per se, but it’s capable of reducing the impact of a bullet substantially, which could mean the difference between life and death for anyone inside the house and in the direct path of the bullet.
The manufacturer states that this film can stop small-caliber bullets, as long as it is on a protected window, which is a good thing despite the fact that it isn’t clear whether it’s in the case of tempered glass.
Another great perk that this film comes with is the fact that it is virtually impossible for a human eye to detect it, which means it won’t make any difference in the looks of your home.
What’s more, it still doesn’t affect any glass shatter alarms you might have installed in your property, which means if someone tried to break into your home by smashing the window, the alarm would still go off, although the film will stop them from being able to break in.
Another great plus to this film is that it even comes with the installation instructions, along with all the tools you’ll need for the installation. And above all, ShatterGard stands behind this quality with a lifetime warranty.
It is great at blocking UV rays
Easy and fast installation
There are different thickness options to choose from
you can use it on tempered and un-tempered glass
Offers a bit of privacy during the day
It allows someone to see the inside during the night, which isn’t very private
Here’s another window security film that you should give a try if you want something a bit more versatile, reliable, and yet affordable than the others.
It comes in 4 mil and 8 mil thickness, which is what makes it worth checking out if you want a bit of flexibility. However, these are not the only options available, as this film also comes in up to 13 different dimensions that you can choose from.
Still, on flexibility, it’s worth mentioning that you can use this film on either tempered or un-tempered glass, so you won’t have to weigh your options with this one, just grab it and put it in place.
However, to be safer, it’s best to go with the thicker one. And no, this doesn’t make the installation any difficult. This film comes with a strong adhesive that ensures you need little to no effort to stick it onto any surface.
And to make the installation even easier, the manufacturer advises the use of a lot of soap and water mixture to soak the window as well as the adhesive side of the film before installing it.
One more thing that makes this film really great is its ability to block up to 99 –percent UV rays, helping keep your family safe from this invisible threat that not many think of when in the comfort of their home.
What’s more, if you want a film that can offer a bit more privacy, you can as well go for an extra dark 8 mil one from this manufacturer, which offers the best of both worlds. The only downside is that it is only capable of keeping the interior invisible during the daytime when it’s bright outside.
It’s a thick, high-performance film
The installation is both easy and fast
Clear design makes it less noticeable to the human eye
It is capable of blocking virtually all UV rays
Trimming it to size can be a bit of a task
If you’re taking the safety of your home really serious, then this 12 mil security film is the one for you, as it is by far the thickest film in its tier.
But this doesn’t make the installation any complicated, thanks to its strong adhesive backside, which allows you to simply stick it on your window panel and you’re all set.
Keep in mind that this film comes in just one dimension, which is 30 feet by 25 feet, and if you order a larger one, it will come as a continuous roll up to 50 feet long. This would mean you’ll have to get down and do some trimming.
On that note, it’s advisable to use scissors for easier and faster trimming of your film. Those who have tried trimming it with razors have found that approach to take more time and need a fair number of the razor before you can get the desired size. It’s a thick film anyway, so keep that in mind.
Another great benefit of getting this film is that it’s also designed to block up to 99-percent of UV rays too, which is a big plus besides the protection it adds on your windows against shock.
What’s more, this film, just like the one we’ve listed above, is fully clear, which means you don’t have to worry about it getting in the way of your home’s appeal. Not to mention, it doesn’t block the view of your compound and the areas surrounding your home.
Window Films For Privacy
If you are considering getting a film that offers some privacy for your home, here are some of the best options that you can pick up.
It offers a combination of some privacy and decoration
Easy to take down from surfaces without leaving residue
Blocks pretty much all the UV rays
Easy to trim and install too
Comes with a static cling design, so it doesn’t need adhesive or glue
It is not completely private as some of the other privacy films
It is one of the most popular privacy films out there, for good reasons. It not only looks great, but it also packs in some awesome features too.
One such feature is the heat-control vinyl material that this film is made of, which makes it an excellent option for energy saving. What this means is, in the winter season, it helps retain the heat inside the room, while in summer it helps keep the heat out.
What’s more, this film doesn’t need any adhesive or glue, as it is designed with static cling. This design is great for easy repositioning and removal on different surfaces, not to mention that it doesn’t leave a residue.
With the ability to block up to 96-percent of UV rays, it also delivers that extra bit of protection that helps keep your family safe from risks that could come as a result of exposure to UV rays.
Albeit being a semi-private film, it still does a great job when it comes to privacy by blurring the view from the outside while still allowing light to come into the room. However, someone standing outside can still notice movements inside the room.
This makes it best-suited for toilets and bathrooms and using films that offer maximum privacy for other rooms instead. However, if you want a mixture of both partial privacy and decoration, then this film should fit the bill pretty nicely.
It’s great if privacy is of the essence for you
The thick design gives it an edge when it comes to performance
Installing it is pretty easy, just like is the case with most other films
It can block most UV rays, which is a big plus
There are up to 6 different sizes to choose from
Some issues with bubbles and or some lines during installation
For a combination of security and a bit of privacy, this film does a great job when it comes to offering you both. Thanks to the 12 mil thick size, it is capable of blocking out most of the UV rays, making your home safer for your family.
What’s more, it also delivers a bit of flexibility, as it comes in 6 different sizes, so you can always choose the one that best suits your needs. This allows you to get a more precise measurement, thus reducing the need for trimming.
Also, it features a rubber-based adhesive that helps spread the impact over a large surface area, thus reducing any chances of shattering from the glass in the event of an impact.
And although this film has received it’s a fair share of negative reviews, there are many users who found it to be great on their property.
Questions and Answers
Question: Do window security films work?
Answer: Absolutely, just as the windscreen on a car can withstand impact and hold up despite cracking, window security films prevent shattering of your window in case it’s hit by a rock, struck with a hammer, or such. Factor in the ability to block UV rays, and you have some assurance that you are protected from the unseen menace that could cut right through to your very core.
Question: Are all window security films capable of blocking UV rays?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. While some of these films offer a solid block against these rays, not all of them are built to keep UV rays out, so be keen when buying if you particularly want a film that can keep these rays out.
Question: How thick does this film need to be?
Answer: These films come in different sizes, and the thickness differs from one to the other. Some have one layer of polyester film that is laminated together using a special adhesive. Others have more layers, but the thickness is typically around 4 mils to 14 mils, and some are even thicker. In most cases, the thickest films feature several layers of thin films that are laminated together.
Question: So, how much will it cost me to install a window security film?
Answer: Again, it depends on the choice you want. The installation cost for a residential property should cost you about $6 to $8 for a square foot. However, this isn’t a fixed price tag, as some homes will be as low as $5 for each square foot, while others could cost well up to $20 a square foot. It’s all down to what you want really.
What To Look For When Buying
As much as these films differ in size, and especially the thickness, this one aspect is of importance when it comes to the film’s security perks. Thus, it’s no wonder the thickness usually dictates the pricing of the film, you could say the thicker it is, the better it gets.
Nevertheless, this comes with a fair share of exceptions too, as there are higher priced films that are usually thinner, and surprisingly stronger than the thick ones. Some of these include the type used by the FBI, the military and large corporations as well as governments.
The good news is, these ones too are available for residential use, as long as you are willing to spend a few more bucks for the thin, shatterproof performance of this type of film.
Adhesive or static cling?
Mostly, window security films come in two application methods, which include a strong adhesive backing for the security films, or a static “cling” that the privacy films sometimes come with.
This type of application is based on a pressure-sensitive adhesive that usually bonds to a surface. Films with this type of application are popular security window film options. And this popularity sometimes comes from the versatility of this film, thanks to its ability to stick better to a wide range of surfaces, both smooth ones and otherwise.
Besides, these film application types are not easily affected by environmental factors, and they tend to last longer. Even better, they are easier to die-cut when necessary.
That isn’t to say this film is all perfect, as it proves to be a bit difficult to re-position as well as remove, since the adhering sticks so for, and this is the downside to it.
When pressed against surfaces or items that have a similar cohesive force, this film reacts pretty much like a suction cup. To get the most out of this type of film, consider installing it on smooth and non-porous surfaces such as windows or display cases made of glass.
One great thing about this option is that you can reposition or remove it with ease if need be, but it still has its downside too. First, it isn’t as protective as its counterpart, as it doesn’t adhere strongly to it.
Also, the lack of solid adhering means the film can be compromised by dust or other particles that might build up underneath the film.
Size is yet another important aspect that you need to factor in when deciding on the window security film to buy. It should be large enough a sheet o roll to cover the entire window, or several of them if that’s the case for you. Also, make sure it isn’t difficult to trim, as you might need to do a bit of trimming if you are not lucky enough to find one with just the perfect fit.
Keep in mind that precision is if the essence when it comes to doing the trimming, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a surgical operation kind of thing anyway. The key thing here is to be able to cut the film to fit on the surface, covering at least 95% of the glass surface if not more.
Why is getting the fit just right all that important? Well, mostly for the benefit of it, really. But it also counts when it comes to getting the film there and still retaining that awesome look that you want on your window.
The price tag is, of course, the other aspect you have to keep your eyes on when going for that option that you believe will make a best fit for your home. Thankfully, however, different window security films come at different prices, so finding one that is within your set budget shouldn’t be far-fetched.
The only thing that you should make sure of is the uality, after all, you shouldn’t sacrifice the perfomance for affordability.
Now that you have your window security film ready, it’s time to look at some of the ways in which you can install it. Mostly, you have two ways to choose from.
These include the professional way (where you have to get an expert to install it for you) or the DIY approach (which should help save you the extra cost, but you have to be sure of what you’re doing), it’s all a matter of convenience here.
With the professional installation, you will have to part ways with the installation fee. But that shouldn’t come across as a bummer, after all, it could be a small price to pay for a convenient installation that will serve you for years.
One of the ways on how to do this is to get a local handyman, preferably one who pays close attention to important details, as it is of importance that the film adheres nicely to your window. Done incorrectly, bubbles or scratches might easily form, and you can bet these are not going to give off an appealing look.
Another way is to check out window application services such as Amazon Home Services. They have a good number of great customer reviews, you can give it a look.
What happens; Well, an installer will email you to set the date and time as well as other details on the project including the product name of the film among other details.
A pro will measure and cut the film to fit the dimensions of your window. Then he/she will set the charges, which might differ depending on whether there’s any complicated cutting or fitting involved.
Going the DIY way
If you are a handy person and considering taking on the challenge yourself, here’s a run-down of some of the things you need to do to get it right.
What you’ll need:
The window glass
Window security film
A razor blade or an Exacto knife
A clean cloth or paper towels
Start by cutting a layer of film that is slightly larger than your window
remove any dirt that might be on the glass using a razor
Next, use a glass cleaner to spray the window
Then wipe down using paper towels or a cloth
Now, put a layer on the window, then trim the excess with your knife or scissors
remove the layer and put it aside
Wipe your glass again, removing any dust that the layer might have left there
Spray your window film application solution to your glass
Start removing the thick protective layer that the film comes with
Spray the film’s sticky side with that application solution while slowly removing it
Carefully place your film on the glass, I say carefully because you have to ensure it doesn’t fold up
With the film secure on the glass, spray it again, from the outside this time to keep any scratches off
Now, use a squeegee to iron out out any air bubbles
All done, wipe it with a paper towel to remove any excess application solution
As it turns out, installing a window security film isn’t too difficult or too costly; well at least not much when compared to the protection that it can add to your home.
Let’s face it, there’s very little that we can ever do about what other’s negligence or ill intend could throw our way. And the same holds for the whims of mother nature’s fury.
But one thing’s for sure, the result or impact of all this could in part, or entirely come down to the efforts we put forth to protect our homes. It might take some time, some money, and sometimes a struck of good luck to achieve just the right protection for your home.
In the end, however, what matters the most is fortifying your home enough to take on those uncontrollable events that might strike at any time. And a window security film is hands down one way to go.