Why does film go bad?
Unfortunately, just like most things in life, there is a life-span for everything, except cockroaches. At some point, all films will end up going bad, either by distorting, peeling, bubbling, turning purple, or delaminating. The root of these issues would be our great almighty sun! A combination of the heat and extreme UV rays slowly diminish the life of your film. Most film manufactures understand that the average person will keep their vehicle anywhere between 3-7 years, so they do offer a lifetime warranty. Within this time, if a good quality film has been applied, you will most likely trade in your vehicle before any problems present themselves. For a select few, if there is an issue before you trade up, the lifetime warranty will be useful.
How do you remove the film?
There are various methods for removing old tint. The older the tint, the more time and harder it becomes. There is a certain threshold of the film to keep the integrity in tact. Once this has passed, the film becomes extremely brittle and difficult to remove.
- Assuming the film has not reached this point, a clothes steamer works well. By applying a steady stream of steam, this will help release the adhesive bonding the film to the glass. As you continue to apply the steam, begin to pull the film off the glass slowly. Once the film is off, a slight clean up of leftover adhesive may be required.
- The trash bag method: Similar to the steamer, you will create steam using the heat from the sun. This works especially well on rear windows due to the and radio/defroster lines. Start by cutting a trash bag to the size of the window. Generously douse the inside of the glass with water and place the trash bag over the window, from the inside. Place the vehicle in the sun with the sun directly hitting the glass. As the sun heats the glass, it will turn the water moisture to steam and help release the adhesive. Wait about 5-15 minutes before attempting to pull the film off the glass to allow plenty of time to heat up.
- If the film is in extremely bad shape, grab about 50 razor blades and be sure to have 2-4 hours blocked out in your day. Unfortunately, there are times there are no other options. Take the razor blades and slowly scrape the film off the glass. Keep in mind, this will damage your rear defrosters. If you live in a climate where defrosters are a necessity, you may want to consider replacing the entire piece of glass and then have new tint put on.
Should I leave it to a professional?
Film removal is not necessarily rocket science. It just takes time and a lot of patience. There are plenty of things I rather not do, such as mow my backyard. I am more than capable, but I rather pay someone to do it. We charge $125 for a complete removal for a 2 door/4 door car or SUV/truck. Some companies charge more, some charge less. Ultimately, what is it worth to you NOT to have to do it. Keep in mind, if you decide to remove it yourself, be sure to completely remove all film and adhesive from all sections of the window. Not doing so could still result in a removal fee.
Be sure to check out our FAQs for more information on window tinting!