Window Film Provides Cost-Effective Storm Safety ProtectionMay 25th, 2022 by Chris Collier
With climatologists forecasting an above-average number of severe storms this summer, the nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA) recommends window film installation for added glass safety and additional benefits depending on the installed product.
Window films are permanently adhered to glass surfaces and commonly made of multi-layers of polyester strands with various technical coatings added to enhance their performance for solar heat rejection, glare reduction and blocking 99% of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Security window films may have similar traits, but they can be the thickness of two driver’s licenses stacked together or much thinner. In addition to the strong adhesive used to secure the film to glass, a wet-glaze system designed to lock the film’s edges to the sides of the window frame itself may also need to be added.
“What film does is make glass less of a potential hazard by helping to keep broken glass together and this may offer a barrier against wind and rain,” says Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “If the wind persists for a long period after the glass has been broken, then the repeating changes in wind pressure on the window system may cause the broken glass pieces to eventually cause a tear in the film even if fragments are still held together on the window film.”
Glass can be dangerous as strong winds and debris flying through the air can cause it to shatter and unleash shards that may fly across a room and cause potentially life-threatening injuries. Security window films (to a lesser degree, window films in general) make window systems more flexible and can secure broken shards of glass in place as they remain adhered to the film. Similarly, during an intense hail storm, the large ice pellets may cause significant damage to unprotected glass.
“Window films are not designed or approved to be a hurricane-protection product that meet the state of Florida’s requirements, but they are a cost-effective safety layer and may provide a protective barrier during severe weather periods,” Smith adds.