If you've recently moved into a new home that has windows treated with film, you may be wondering what condition the glass is in. It can be hard to tell when it's covered up by a decorative film material. In order to look at the glass, you'll need to remove that film. Luckily, most window films are easy to remove, so you can actually do the work yourself. If you aren't sure how to do it, here are some steps to help you get things started and get a clear look at your windows.
Gather Your Supplies
Before you get anything started, make sure that you have everything that you'll need. In order to do the job the proper way, you'll want to invest in some paper towels, a scraper made specifically for use on glass, a razor blade, and a bottle of window cleaner that's ammonia-based. The ammonia will help to deteriorate the adhesive that's holding the window film to the window, which will make it easier to remove.
Remove The Film
Choose a warm day to remove the film. The warm weather will help make the adhesive a bit more pliable. When you're ready to tackle the job, spray the window well with glass cleaner. Saturate the entire window, that way you can let the cleaner sit and soak into the adhesive.
After letting the adhesive sit for a few minutes, it's time to start working the film off the window. Take the razor blade and cut the window film into small sections. That way, you can work on small pieces at a time, which makes it easier to get things done. Focus on one section and clear it away before you go to the next one.
Once the film is cut, you can start working it loose from the window. Use the glass scraper to lift the corner of the film in one section. Once the corner is loose, grab it with your fingers and pull it lightly to separate it from the window. Pull the film with one hand while you encourage it to separate from the glass with the scraper in the other. You may find that treating each section with more glass cleaner as you work helps to break it all loose.
As you get a section so that it's more than halfway off the window, you can usually just pull it off by hand without the help of the scraper. If it feels like it's sticking in any way, spray it a little more with cleaner and use the scraper to encourage it.
Repeat this process until you have removed all of the sections of window film.
Clean The Glass
After you've removed the film itself, there's likely to be a little bit of adhesive still left behind on the glass surface. Spray the glass thoroughly with window cleaner, then use the window scraper to scrape the adhesive up. Work slowly, methodically, and in small sections so that you don't leave any residual adhesive on the glass. Once you've removed all of the adhesive from the glass, you can clean the entire window one more time with the window cleaner and paper towels.
Evaluate The Glass
Once the glass is clear, you can look at it to determine what condition it is in. If it is damaged, cracked, pulling away from the frame, or otherwise not a good fit, you can work with your window replacement contractor to install new glass panes in the existing windows. As an alternative, you can replace the entire thing, but you may just want to replace the glass itself and keep the existing framework so that you don't have unnecessary upheaval.
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