Removing Old Window Tint

Should you do it yourself?

FILM ADHESIVE TYPES

There are two main types of window film adhesive. Pressure Sensitive adhesives used in automotive, as well as commercial safety and security films,  and Dry (aka CDF) Adhesives which are exclusively used in residential and commercial solar control films.

Dry adhesives provide a chemical bond with the glass and are durable and long lasting. Flatglass films are commonly made up of multiple layers are rarely peel off in one sheet, leaving the remaining film thinner and more brittle to remove. Removal of a dry adhesive system can be extremely difficult, as chemicals and solvents have little to no effect. Often the only way to remove these films is with a detergent based lubricant, and high quality blades. It is also important to understand the type of glass the film has been applied to, as scratches in the glass can often occur if done incorrectly. Removal of these films is best left to a professional.

Pressure Sensitive adhesives are very sticky / tacky to the touch. Techniques for removing these films include scraping, heating, steaming, and soaking with appropriate adhesive remover solvents. In automotive applications, care must be taken to avoid water damage to interior trims, and potential damage to the demister system in the rear window. The best solution for removal of glue from a rear window is a very fine grade of steel wool. 00 or 000 grade is the only kind that will not cause scratches in the glass. Never use Steelo pads or other kitchen based scrubbing pads of any kind. These will scratch the glass.

REAR WINDOW DEMISTERS

There is always an inherent risk that removal of any window film from the back window of a vehicle may result in damage to the demister lines on the glass. This is not always the films fault, as degradation of the bond between the demister lines and the glass itself causes it to simply lift off as the film is removed. This is not restricted to older vehicles either. As car manufacturers look for ways to reduce the cost of production, build quality of vehicle parts decreases. Even a brand new vehicle has the potential for demister failure if window films are removed after being installed. Although every reasonable measure is taken by installers to avoid this, many companies (ourselves included) are now requiring the signing of liability disclaimers whenever removing film from a vehicle to avoid being blamed for circumstances that are beyond their control.

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