Author Topic: Window protection - is this a viable option?  (Read 3592 times)

Offline ag2

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Window protection - is this a viable option?
« on: September 09, 2010, 10:11:21 AM »
Years ago I purchased a Honda Magna from a 3M sales guy.  This was when 3M had begun marketing the clear bras for the front end of vehicles.  He was a bit dejected because he was trying to sell the product to dealerships, but they were reticent at the time because the clear bra is rather permanent and the product was new and untested by consumers.  At the time, there was a huricane approaching the east coast.  I asked him about the clarity and strength of this 3M film and he said that it's designed to take hits from rocks and it is very clear.  I suggested that perhaps the film could be used on windows in huricane-prone areas.  His eyes lit up at my suggestion, but I never heard if he tried to sell it for windows.

The film is called marketed as "Scotchgard Paint Protection Film".  It may not prevent a window from being broken, but perhaps it can at least prevent a window from shattering glass all over the room and of course the water damage that follows during a storm.  (A vehicle windshield has a plastic layer sandwiched between two pieces of glass which prevents the glass from flying everwhere when broken.)  This 3M film might also be good for those who have a second, vacation home in these areas.  The house may be vacant already, but with this film on the windows, it is somewhat ready for a storm without looking vacant.  (Who wants to drive or fly to a house to get it ready for a storm, only to turn around and leave as the storm approaches?)  I know plywood is hard to beat, but it is not always an option for everyone.  Some windows are difficult to reach and sometimes the plywood is sold out.

Hurricanes may not be the only market.  In the Rocky Mountain area, we see our share of hail and tornados.  You don't have time to put up plywood before a tornado approaches.  How about those homes occassionally hit by golf balls on a golf course? Would this film add a layer of protection from a thrown brick or rock for a retailer's store-front window?

Now, before someone decides this is a great idea and covers every window, please be CAREFUL.  If you have a security system that uses glass break detectors, take caution.  I suspect that this film would completely change the way that the glass sounds when broken.  The glass break detectors may not detect the sound of breaking glass when covered with this film.  This should be tested.

I have not lived in a hurricane prone area in the CONUS and I have not tried this product.  I just thought that I would throw this suggestion out to the group for scrutiny and critical analysis.  It would be great if someone could buy a sample of this product, put it on a winodw and throw a rock or two at it.   These share the results with us.  Perhaps people already use this film on windows or there is a better product (besides plywood).  I am NOT affiliated with 3M in any way.


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Re: Window protection - is this a viable option?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 10:28:03 AM »
There's actually been a discussion of window films in other threads on home security.  3M actually manufactures a product just for windows that also protects against UV damage.  It's expensive and there's other manufacturers out there with competing products, some significantly cheaper (but perhaps thinner and less strong).

Personally, I think it's a great idea except perhaps on windows that should be reserved for emergency egress.  I haven't bought it yet because I'm just settling into a new home and haven't decided which windows we're going to replace (older home with some singlepane windows).  However, in the big picture I think it's a worthy investment.  If you search around enough, you can find 48"x10 yard rolls for under $150.  For me, at around $450 for my entire house, that's a bargain for the added security.  That's not even my homeowner's deductable for one break in.

Offline CtColtguy

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Re: Window protection - is this a viable option?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 10:56:38 AM »
I forgot the website, but I couldn't believe that they sell window film that stops bullets too! It WASN'T cheap, but then again it will save your life so it's probably worth the price.  ;)

Offline ag2

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Re: Window protection - is this a viable option?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 11:15:43 AM »
Film that stops bullets?  Wow!  Some in high-density populations might want to consider putting that in their BOVs.  Hopefully someone can find that product and post the URL.  I'm sure we will see a few contributions to that discussion. Thanks!

Offline mxitman

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Re: Window protection - is this a viable option?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 11:51:16 AM »
A good friend of mine recently installed some 8 mil window protective film on all his windows on the first story of his house to prevent break in. He said it wasn't too hard, you just wanted to take your time and make sure it was super clean, he stripped all his glass with paint thinner before adding the film. cost him around $600 for the film, he had some left over and we decided to test some out, put it on some glass panes from left over picture frames. We smashed it with a hammer and it holds it all together like you would see on the front window of a car... pretty cool stuff.

It would definitely hinder anyone from getting inside easily, after the glass breaks you would have to smash a hole or cut your way through. Anyone trying to make a quick smash and grab or try to enter quietly wouldn't be able to. He bought brand name 3m stuff, vendor told him don't use anything less than 4 mil.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Window protection - is this a viable option?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 12:49:11 PM »
We have the 8 mil film on our windows.

It is a PITA to install. Window must be very clean and all the water and air have to be squeegeed out completely. This is why, being old and lazy, I hired a professional installer to do it. That just over doubled the cost, but we got a first rate job, with no cussing on my part.  ;)

Offline sdcharger

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Re: Window protection - is this a viable option?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 06:22:13 PM »
You are a little late to the party.  Window security film has been big business since 1995 when that dumb a-hole McVeigh blew up 19 little kids at the daycare center in Oklahoma City.  Not to mention the other 139 plus wounded.  Many many flying glass injuries...

Every federal building inside and outside the US has the stuff now.  Not to mention all the state and local government facilities, government contractors, hotels, airports, etc.  It became increasingly popular with commercial facilities after 9/11.

Security film has become big business.

Offline soupbone

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Re: Window protection - is this a viable option?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2010, 08:01:17 PM »
"The Book" recommends in an urban setting, floors 1 - 3 should have 10 - 14 mil thickness, floor 4 and above should have 7 - 10 mil film. To be most effective, the film must overlap and be secured to the window frame. Also, to get the full benefit of the film, a catch bar should be mounted in the inside wall to catch the glass should it get blown in.

No film that I am familiar with will stop a bullet. It was not designed to. It was designed to keep the window glass from fragmenting into shrapnel. If a window does get blown in, it will come in as a single unit, and be caught by the catch bar.