All About Window Tint
Here are answers to some questions you may have about automotive window tint.
Types of Window Tint
Window tint is generally separated into two broad categories, “factory tint” and “aftermarket tint”. Factory tint generally refers to dyed rear windows or a strip of tint applied to the top of the front windscreen. This type of tint is most common on older vehicles, and it is usually quite obvious whether or not it has been done.
Aftermarket tint is done by applying an adhesive film to the inside of a vehicle’s window. The relative strength of tint is measured by the VLT (Visible Light Transference) level; a low VLT means that the tint blocks a lot of light from passing, so it appears dark. A VLT of 100% would be perfectly clear, and a VLT of 0% would appear black. Factory tint generally has a VLT of around 80%.
DIY kits are available but are fraught with bubbling, creases, tears, and typically don’t last very long.
Across Canada, there are different laws regulating the darkness of tint that can be applied to windows. These laws can vary significantly between provinces, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area. Our friends at Window Tinting Laws Canada have compiled a useful list for provincial regulations. A huge benefit of having your windows tinted by professionals is knowing you won’t end up on the wrong side of the law. Professional tint installers stay up-to-date on all the laws so you can drive confidently.
Why Bother Tinting?
Window tinting has many benefits, but the most common reasons we hear relate to privacy, aesthetics, comfort, safety, and preservation.
- Dark tint turns the interior of your vehicle into a sanctuary where you can feel relaxed.
- Tasteful window tint can improve the looks of any vehicle, making your ride look more rugged, sporty, or luxurious.
- Window tint reduces the heat inside a vehicle by up to 70%. This makes the inside of your vehicle cooler and more comfortable, and reduces the load on your AC unit.
- Window films are strong enough to hold together shattered glass during an accident, protecting the occupants of your vehicle from injury. Tint also blocks 99% of harmful UVA and UVB rays, protecting those inside your vehicle from sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
- Blocking UV radiation doesn’t just protect you, it also protects the interior surfaces of your vehicle. Tint will keep the inside of your car look newer for longer.
The Process of Tinting
For aftermarket window tint, there are two main options: You could have new windows made with dye mixed in with the glass (an aftermarket “factory tint”). This process is extremely expensive. The more popular option is a window film. Properly installed film lasts for decades, so there is no concern about longevity. That being said, the application is very tricky, so it is best left to the professionals. Film tint can have a VLT as low as 2.5% or as high as 90%, so there is bound to be an option that will work for you.
Window tint and resale value have a complicated relationship. Tint will raise the resale value of your vehicle if it is done properly because it will protect the interior, improve the car’s performance, and make the vehicle more comfortable. However, if the tint was applied sloppily or has an illegal VLT then it might actually lower the resale value. If you are considering tinting your windows, it is best to consult a professional so you know that you end up with a great tint.
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