Can you put window film on the outside?

Exterior tint installed on the outside

Exterior window films are some of the best performing films hands down. Manufacturers have solved the longevity issues of the past, making exterior window films an even more desirable solution for daylight and temperature control applications. 

Exterior Tint applied on a home in san diego
Exterior window film with high heat absorption and rejection while maintaining views looking out.

A common question we get is; Can you put window film on the outside?

Yes, you can put films on the outside surface of the glass. Keep in mind that window films are generally installed on the inside to protect them from the elements. In the past, exterior window films were overlooked because of the perception of poor durability and performance. For this reason, manufacturers have taken steps to improve the overall performance, esthetics, and longevity of exterior window films. The industry’s leading manufacturers have made considerable improvements to meet customer demands for these products. In spite of their durability, interior window films are not always ideal, and at times their application isn’t feasible. 

Exterior window film on a commercial building

Outside weatherable window films technology 

Exterior window film is applied on the outside glass; this surface is known as surface 1. The main innovation of exterior window film is the hard-coat that’s designed to withstand the elements. The primary way that exterior window film works are in its ability to reflect inferred light (heat) before ever reaching the glass surface.

Exterior window films are available in several variations. To meet customer expectations, the film can be optically transparent or reflective. It’s possible to apply the film selectively; this comes in handy when you are trying to keep the current esthetics of a building or home as well as improve glass performance. 

Dual-pane windows and outside window films

Tinting a dual-pane window is perfectly safe if you follow the proper procedure. Exterior films are often a great solution when trying to improve the thermal rejection properties of dual-pane windows. As you might know, dual-pane windows are usually coated with a Low-E coating.

Low-E coatings help to increase the insulation properties of glass. The Low-E layer helps lower the effectiveness of a material surface to emit energy as thermal radiation; in other words, it blocks heat. 

How exterior window films made?

Exterior window films start with a base of acrylic adhesive that is dyed and thinned to hold multiple layers of polyester plastic. The acrylic adhesive serves as a base for additives such as UV inhibitors, dyes, and even precious metals, depending on the purpose. A plastic roll of film is then used; the type of plastic depends on the purpose of the film.

The plastic film is unwound over rollers into a coating machine. At the same time, the acrylic adhesive is applied evenly thought the plastic surface. The coated film is then dried and cured. Next, a hard coat, mounting adhesive, and liner are applied. A worker checks the finished product by testing it on a glass surface.

Exterior window film for a home
Exterior window film with high heat absorption and rejection while maintaining views looking out.

The four advantages of exterior window films

1. Accessibility – Exterior portions of glass are easy to access, making outside films ideal in some situations.

2. Longevity – Advanced materials, superior manufacturing, fantastic warranties, and well-trained installation technicians have made exterior window films a viable solution when considering window film options.

3. Performance – Exterior window films are some of the best performing films when compared to interior applied films. Solving the longevity issues of the past have made outside weatherable window films an even more desirable solution.

4. Aesthetics – Having the ability to improve the performance and aesthetics of glass has never been more attainable. If you’re considering building re-imaging, exterior window films is a great option!

When to use the window film

Sometimes interior films are not a realistic option in terms of accessibility. For example, in a large commercial building, there may be an interior where you can not move heavy machinery or furniture, and you can not reach the windows. The external film provides an excellent choice.

Exterior window films are some of the best performing films you can keep the current esthetics of a building or home as well as improve glass performance.
Exterior window film with high heat absorption and rejection while maintaining views looking out.

Advantages of window outer film

In addition to the ease of installation, external films are usually better than the internal solar specifications. Because light and heat touch the outer surface first, the glass is less affected.

Types of outer window film

Although there are not as many options as interior films, the external window film version have about the same amount of shades and colors to choose from as interior applied films. The most common are natural, silver, and bronze. There are also many exterior security films, including the popular anti-graffiti film.

How the exterior window film is different

The outer window film, in most cases, looks and feels the same as the inner window film. It is applied precisely the same way (with soap and aqueous solutions), although the windows may require some additional cleaning since they are on the outside.

The most significant difference is that the outer film of the window has a more scratch-resistant coating. This helps you resist wind, rain, and other factors exposed to.

Therefore, it is always better to use an external film outside the window than an internal film. You may have to change it otherwise. The outer film usually lasts 5-7 years before you can see any damage.

Why Choose Exterior tint for your home or office building?

In conclusion, Outside Weatherable window films provide impressive and effective heat suppression, glare control, 99% UV protection, and help save money by reducing the load on overworked HVAC systems. They also have a robust scratch-resistant coating that makes them resistant to inevitable wear and tear caused by nature.

Exterior window films are durable and efficient, designed to overcome the challenges of transforming buildings without access to interior surfaces. These films are also safe for most types of glass, so there are fewer compatibility issues, unlike interior applied films.

Architects, designers, building managers, and owners – thank you for choosing this solution for your next “problem” project.


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