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How Long Will Your Window Film Last?

There’s nothing like a professionally executed window tint job to make any car, truck or SUV look brand-new. Window tinting does more than just transform the look of any vehicle by giving it the additional visual appeal that customers want. It also helps keep car interiors cool and free from the long-term damage often caused by constant exposure to excess heat and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The biggest question on most people’s minds when it comes to window tinting is how long the film will last. Window tint will inevitably break down over time, but the time it’ll take for that to happen depends on a variety of factors.

How Long Does Vehicle Window Tinting Last?

The amount of time it takes for window tinting to fade and eventually break down depends on the type and quality of window tint used and how it was installed. Poor-quality window film can show signs of color fading under constant and intense sunlight in as little as a few days or weeks, lasting only a few months. However, high-end carbon or ceramic window tint films often have a lifespan measuring more than 5-10 years. Hybrid tinting films with dye and metal deposits provide increased heat rejection with increased lifespan, so it is not unusual for high-quality professional window tinting to last approximately 10-20 years with the right amount of care. Dyed films without UV inhibitors in the polyester tend to fade faster than films with UV inhibitors.

Most films are backed by warranties ranging from three years to a limited lifetime and what they specifically cover varies among manufacturers. In many cases, these warranties will replace films that experience premature adhesion failure, cracking, crazing, delamination and other manufacturer defects. These warranties do not cover problems caused by the installer, so it pays to have a trusted and experienced professional perform window tinting.


Factors That Affect Longevity

As mentioned before, the type and quality of window tint used plays a big role in its lifespan. Films with 3rd or 4th generation dyes can resist color shifting (often to a purplish hue) better than a lower quality film.

Outside conditions also play a role in determining a window tint’s lifespan. Vehicles parked outside in southern climates will experience film fading and bubbling faster than vehicles in northern climates. Direct exposure to sunlight on a constant basis will also accelerate color fade, while constant high temperatures can exacerbate bubbling and eventual adhesion failure.

Ways to Insure Better Longevity

The best way to ensure that any window tinting application withstands the test of time is through careful research and by purchasing quality tint from a reputable dealer. Name brand films offer the best guarantees against premature fading and bubbling. Any window tint purchased should also carry a five-year warranty as a precaution against potential tint issues.

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