Window film (also known as window tint) is an ultra-thin polyester-based material with an adhesive backing that is applied to glass windows. It is a cost-effective way to reduce heat in a room or protect furnishings from fading.

There are many different myths that applying window film to your windows will cause them to shatter through thermal shock. Let’s take a look at thermal shock and talk about the likelihood of it affecting your tinted windows.

What is Thermal Shock?

Thermal shock in a glass window is caused by differences in temperature from one part of a window sheet to another. The higher the temperature difference, the greater the stress. And solar energy is the primary cause of temperature differences in glass. 

In some instances, using window film to block solar energy can cause an increase in temperatures in your windows and may cause them to break – in certain circumstances!

But your windows can also break through other factors such as the weight of the glass, wind, objects or by building movement.

How to minimise the risk of a thermal breakage when applying window film:

  • Firstly, consider the glass you’re applying the film to:
  • How old is the glass?
  • Is it damaged?
  • How big is the window?

Window film should not be applied to damaged or weak glass.

The type of window film used can also reduce the risk. Always choose a premium quality film from brands such as 3M or Llumar and ensure a professional installer applies the film as per the manufacturer’s specifications.

Window film will never cause thermal shock on tempered (or toughened glass), or heat strengthened glass.

Seek a professional opinion

While many tinters won’t fully guarantee that your windows will not crack or shatter, here at tint.melbourne, we deal with window film and glass every day. We can advise you on the best type of film for your windows to minimise the risk of thermal shock and guarantee that the films we recommend and install will not be a thermal shock risk to your windows.

The advice from a professional you will not find at your local hardware store or on a manufacturers website.

So, the bottom line is – window film which is applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications will never be the sole cause of thermal breakage. The glass itself is an enormous contributing factor. To minimise your risk, ensure your windows are in good condition, and a reputable and professional installer applies your window tint.