Over the years, our customers have asked different glass-related questions, some technical and some general. We’ve answered many of the most commonly asked questions here to assist you in making your decisions. If your question is not answered here, please call us at 519.642.0420 or send us an email at info@glasscanada.ca  and we’ll do our best answer it and include the reply here.

3M Window Film Solutions (13)

3M Window Film Solutions – General Information


Q: Can I install 3M window films myself?
A: No. 3M window films require professional application. Glass Canada, an authorized 3M window film applicator, is thoroughly trained and experienced in performing high quality work. In this way, our customers will enjoy the benefits of 3M window films and have the comfort of the 3M warranty.

Q: Do 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Films cause glass to break?
A: The application of 3M™ Scotchtint™ will increase the temperature of your sunlit glass, which will increase the stress on the glass edges. The quality of the glass edges and several other factors (external shading, interior shading, glass history, type of film, size/shape of glass, indoor/outdoor temperature) all contribute to the potential risk of glass breakage. 3M’s 30 years experience with applying 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Films to different types of glass enables us to make proper film/glass recommendations and minimize the potential for glass breakage. In addition, we support these recommendations with our 60-month glass breakage warranty against thermal shock fracture. Should the glass break within 60-months of application, 3M will replace the glass (maximum $500.00 with a $25.00 consumer deductible, or 5% of replacement cost, whichever is greater per claim), and we will replace the film.

Q: Do 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Films cause seal failure when applied to insulated (double-pane, Thermopane™) windows?
A: No. 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Films do not cause seal failure. We’ve been applying 3M™ Scotchtint™ films to insulated windows for over 30 years with several millions of square feet of film applied to date.

When recommended films are applied to the inside pane of an insulated glass unit, there will be some absorption (except with clear safety films) of the sun’s energy, which will increase the temperature of the glass pane. Some of this heat will transmit to the airspace, slightly raising the airspace temperature. However, even a 20 °F increase (unusual for most films) will result in a less than 3% change in air pressure, whereas properly made units are designed and tested to withstand 22% changes in air pressure.

Risk of seal failure is greatly determined by the quality of workmanship and the quality of the materials that go into building the insulated glass units. The best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made units from a reputable window manufacturer (like Glass Canada), a firm with solid experience and histories with insulated units.

Q: Do Window Films really make a difference?
A: The best indicator that window films work is the thousands of satisfied customers who have effectively addressed a variety of problems associated with their windows. It’s been proven that 3M films block up to 79% of the solar heat, reduce glare up to 83%, block 99% of UV rays and reduce heat loss in winter by up to 30% (low E films). 

Q: How do 3M™ Scotchshield™ (Ultra) Safety and Security Window Films work?
A: 3M™ Scotchshield™ Ultra Safety and Security Window Films are designed to make glass shatter-resistant by holding the glass pieces together when broken. Compared to 3M™ Scotchtint™ films, 3M™ Scotchshield™ Window Films are made with thicker polyester and a much thicker, more aggressive adhesive, 3M™ Scotchshield™ Ultra Films are unique in the industry; they are built using a special micro-layered polyester technology which increases the films’ tear resistance significantly. Pound for pound, the impact and tear resistance of Scotchshield Ultra films outperform all other films of similar thickness.

Q. How do I clean my 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Film?
A. After 30 days, you may clean 3M™ Scotchtint™ Films using normal household cleaning solutions, including ammonia based products: e.g., Windex, and a soft, lint-free cloth or towel. You may also use a squeegee to clean the films. Don’t use abrasive products that would scratch or damage the film.

Q: How do Scotchtint sun control films work?
A: Scotchtint sun control films are designed to help reduce the amount of solar heat transmission through window glass by increasing the solar reflection (not necessarily visible reflection) and solar absorption through the glass.

Typical colored or dyed films work primarily though increased absorption. The color absorbs the solar energy at the glass, thus reducing the direct transmission into the room. These films only offer marginal performance when compared to reflective films.

Reflective films are films that have been precision coated with metals. These metalized films are designed to increase the solar energy reflection of the glass and some of the absorption. Scotchtint reflective films range from moderate to excellent in solar performance (heat gain reduction).

All Scotchtint sun control films are made to be transparent and optically clear. The ultraviolet protection in the adhesive system protects the adhesive, the metals, the polyester film, and the abrasion resistant coating from UV degradation. This UV protection will also help protect what is behind the film (home and office furnishings), too.

Q: How is 3M window film applied?
A: 3M films are professionally applied by skilled, well-trained authorized 3M Dealer personnel (e.g. Glass Canada.) Most 3M films are designed to be applied to the inside of your glass. The installer first prepares the window for the application; the window glass is cleaned using special cleaning solutions and razor blade scrapers. The film is sprayed with a slip solution for proper positioning, and applied to the window glass. Using professional grade squeegee and following proper techniques, the application is completed by removing excess water, trimming the edges and a final squeegee technique to dry the edges.

Q: How long does it take for 3M window films to dry?
A: We suggest allowing 30 days for the film to fully dry and cure. During this curing process, it is natural to have small water bubbles and/or hazing milkiness appearance. These will disappear as the film dries; depending upon the film type and weather conditions, drying may take as much as 30 (or even 45) days, or as little as a few days. Once dried, 3M films will look great and perform for many years to come.

Q: How long does 3M™ Scotchtint™ window film last?
A: 3M™ Scotchtint™ window films are made to last for many years; just how long may depend upon the type of film applied, type of glass it is applied to and the particular climate in which it is applied. Most applications last upwards of 10 years and beyond, and several applications are still performing after 15 years. All applications have a minimum warranty period of 10 years (except exterior applications, which are 2 years), and several films carry a 10 year commercial warranty, and even a lifetime residential warranty.*

Most Scotchtint window films are protected with our patented abrasion resistant coating for long-term durability and maintained appearance.

*Lifetime for as long as the original purchaser owns the home

Q: What is the typical energy payback for Scotchtint window films?
A: Simple paybacks will vary depending upon the amount of sunlit glass exposure, the type of film, the type of glass, cost of fuel, cost of application, and other variables. However, we have seen paybacks within a 2-5 year period, with some reported to be less than 6 months.

Q: Why do commercial customers have Scotchtint film applied to their buildings?

A: Improved tenant comfort – Lower heating and cooling operating costs – Lower utility demand costs – Utility rebates – Improved uniform appearance – Improved Safety and Security – Extended A/C equipment life Most often, our commercial customers will purchase Scotchtint window films for tenant comfort and justify the purchase on energy cost savings.

Q: Will 3M™ Scotchtint™ Window Film stop my furnishings from fading?
A: Nothing completely stops fading. 3M™ Scotchtint™ Films are designed to help reduce the major causes of fading (ultra violet light, visible light, and solar heat), thus prolonging the life of your furnishings, perhaps as much as two to five times.

Keep in mind the article(s) to be protected; if they have a typical life of 5 years, then they may last 10 years to much longer, depending on the performance of the film selected. However, if the typical life is only 2-3 weeks, then the expectation should be expressed in terms of months. As a general rule of thumb, ultra violet (UV) is approximately 40% of the cause, visible light is about 25%, and heat about 25%. The remaining 10% can be attributed to humidity, pollutants, interior lights, dye stability, and more.

North Star Windows (9)

North Star Windows – General Information


Q. Do I have to replace my window if the seals are gone?
A. No. Due to temperature fluctuations and stresses of house movement, window seals can fail, and cause condensation to form between the panes. Once the seals are gone, they can’t be resealed, but you don’t need to buy a complete new window. Instead, replace the thermal pane unit and then you should be good to go with many more years of condensation-free windows. We’ve replaced the units on many older home windows – Hunter, Pella, Anderson-Dashwood—and the new refurbishing makes them function like new.

Q. Can you repair a window seal failure?
A. No. Once the hermetic seals are broken, they can’t be repaired. The condensation problem may remain constant for years, but at some point it probably will get worse and cause staining or fogging.

Q: If the thermal pane has failed, do I need to change the whole window?
A: Window frames can almost always remain intact and we can change the glass in the window. Often, this will extend the life of the original windows by 10 years or more.

Q: Can thermal pane be repaired if the seals are gone?
A: Simply put, no. They need to be replaced. Trying to reseal the unit does not work long term.

Q: Condensation is a nuisance on my old windows, but I hear it can also cause damage. Is that true?
A: Condensation can be a serious problem. The moisture produced by everyday activities such as cooking and showering shows up first on cool dense surfaces such as windows. Over the long term, this dripping can damage windows and nearby surfaces such as drywall and promote growth of mould, a potential health hazard.

One solution is to reduce humidity, but levels can’t always be lowered sufficiently, especially in the winter when moisture is needed to prevent drying. A better solution lies in the windows themselves. North Star windows feature Super Spacer® technology which boosts window R-values by 30 per cent. The advanced warm-edge technology in North Star windows keeps the glass much warmer so they are less likely to fog.

Q: How good is the North Star warranty?
A: North Star stands proudly behind its products with a transferable, limited lifetime warranty. The generous protection provided to the original purchaser is extended to a subsequent owner. Please speak your Glass Canada representative for details.

Q: What if I have a problem with my North Star windows?
 A: The first step is to contact us. Glass Canada is familiar with all characteristics of North Star products and we install windows and doors according to North Star´s stringent guidelines. We will make an on-site inspection and provide any adjustments that may be necessary.

Q: Why do old windows even need to be replaced?
A: There are several factors to be considered:

Energy loss: Perhaps 25 per cent of your energy bill is lost through windows. For example, a 3’X5′ window with a 1/16″ gap around the sashes is like having a hole the size of a brick.

Condensation: Energy-efficient windows stay warmer on the interior surface, so humidity can be raised without getting moisture on windows, which can eventually damage walls. Less condensation also helps reduce growth of mould.

Air quality: Tight windows keep out dust, bugs, pollen and sound – so the indoor environment is healthier.

Q: Why should I choose vinyl?
A: Vinyl is a relative newcomer, but gaining rapidly through advances in energy efficiency, strength and versatility. Vinyl is resistant to moisture, doesn’t need painting and has a very good insulating value. Wood windows have similar insulating value, but they will warp and rot if not painted, resulting in poor efficiency. Vinyl is an attractive low-maintenance option for renovators and homeowners.

Glass (9)

Glass — General Information


Q: What is low e-glass?
A: Low-e glass significantly improves a window’s thermal performance and fights UV degradation of furnishings. The “e” stands for emissivity. Heavy metals like tin and silver are molecularly attached to the glass or imbedded into it, and the metal coating acts like an invisible thermal curtain to control energy flow in either direction. Old-fashioned low-e is called hard-coat, where the metals were burned into the molten glass during its cooling stage to become embedded into the finished glass. Since then, technology has evolved to favor soft-coats, where significantly more layers of metals and other products could be “sputtered” onto the finished glass and then sandwiched into hermetically sealed insulating glass units. Soft coats are superior to hard coats.

Q: What is tempered glass?
A: Tempered glass is extremely strong and often used for its safety characteristics. Not only is it extra strong, but when it breaks, it breaks into little pebble-like pieces without sharp edges. Tempered glass is ideal for reducing the likelihood of injury in the event of breakage in applications like patio doors, side-lights, and bathroom enclosures for showers and tubs.

Q: Is glass a good sound barrier?
A: There are laminated glass products that are excellent for sound protection. Various thicknesses of this product wil offer good results. The inner vinyl layer can be made thinker to allow for more sound protection.

Q: Is there one-way glass?
A: Yes, one-way glass, or mirrorpane, works very well in the right conditions. There should always be a 3:1 light raio for this product to work best.

Q: What is non-glare glass?
A: This type of glass is typically used where there are bright lights to display artwork. Non-glare helps to reduce the glare and allow clear visibility of the artwork.

Q: Can we design a custom shower?
A: Shower enclosures and steam rooms can be totally custom designed – that’s the great feature about glass! We can discuss layouts and ideas well before your renovation or new construction even gets started.

Q: What is smoked glass?
A: There is no product called smoked glass. It is referred to as tinted. Ther are three common tints available – bronze, grey and green. Blue is also common. Stained glass houses also carry many other colours for use in custom designed patterns.

Q: Is there bullet proof glass?
A: Absolutely there is. Glass is rated in different levels depedning on how strong it needs to be. This product is custom designed to provide the protection required to stop a 44 Magnum if desired.

Q: Can you cut my tempered glass?
A: No, templered glass cannot be cut. Once glass goes through the tempering process it cannot be cut. It is strengthened through this process for safety reasons.