Security laminate is ideal for windows in areas prone to storms. This thin, nearly clear layer of vinyl can protect your home from flying debris and glass during a hurricane, tornado or other severe weather.
It can also hinder forced entry, providing additional protection against burglars. Additionally, security laminate is available in tints that cut down on UV rays and heat in the home.
Follow these easy steps to apply security laminate to your windows.
Step 1 – Measure the Windows
Measure all of the windows in your home. Measure the inside surfaces, not the outside. Add ½ inch to each of your measurements to allow for error.
If you are installing the laminate for storm protection, cover all windows of the home, including skylights, dormers and any small windows, like in bathrooms. If your intent is to deter burglars, you could limit your installation to the first floor, though it's a good idea to cover second floor windows as well.
Make a sketch of each window and the panes in it, then the measurement of each pane. Number each pane for future reference.
Step 2 – Purchase the Laminate
Sketch out the width and length of the laminate material and the panes you need to cover. Sketch each pane onto the laminate drawing and you will be able to see easily how much of the material you need.
Work with a reputable online or brick and mortar company. If you were unable to convert window measurements into the square footage of material that you need, or if you have oddly shaped windows (like with rounded edges), the retailers should be able to assist you.
Security laminate film must be purchased in full foot increments, so you may have to purchase slightly more than you need.
Step 3 – Clean the Windows
Windows need to be thoroughly cleaned for the security laminate to adhere to them properly. Using a commercial window cleaner is fine, but don’t stop there. Use denatured rubbing alcohol on a lint free cloth and thoroughly wipe each window to completely remove any grease, dirt or old paint from the pane.
Allow the windows to dry completely before continuing with the installation.
Step 4 – Anchor the Film
With standard annealed glass, cut the film 1/8-inch smaller than the window frame to allow for heat expansion and the elimination of the slip agent required to install the film.
With double paned glass, use the laminate on the inside glass, and avoid tinted films since they tend to build up too much heat.
Tempered glass is stronger than annealed glass, and any security film applied to tempered glass must be fixed to the window frame.
Use the slip agent and a window squeegee to complete the installation process.