Ask an Orlando Tint Professional
- What exactly is legal window tint in Florida?
- How do I get rid of those bubbles in my window film?
Legal window tint in Florida
Lots of sun in Florida, so most people will look to tint their car windows. Here are the laws about the subject.
As always, we do not recommend any tint on the windshield. For the front side windows, the film must allow more than 28% of the light into the vehicle. For the back side windows and the rear window, 15% light is the magic number.
Finger Bubbles in Tint
Have you ever seen car windows that have those “bubbles” in the tint? I have plenty of times. I always wonder, “How the heck do people drive around like that?”, and “Why don’t they just get that fixed?”!
Believe it or not, there are actually different kinds of finger bubbles. Yes, I know. More than one kind.
Let’s take a look at these and explain what they are all about.
Surface Discrepancy Bubble
This type of bubble looks like they cut the film too long, and the installer tried to fit it all on the window anyway. This will happen mostly on the front side windows. Many side windows have a compound piece of glass. The film is flat and the glass is curved, so you have a discrepancy in surface area. The bubble has a long, skinny shape….kinda like a finger.
The way to fix this issue is to heat mold the film. Grab a heat gun and once the window is hot enough, flatten it out and you should be good to go.
Stress Finger Bubble
The stress finger, or shifting finger bubble occurs on the side windows. When the tint is installed, everything seems ok, but later on, you can see a shift in the film at the top of the window. This shift will probably cause additional “fingers” on the window. There are several things that can cause a stress finger bubble. You can also experience this issue on the back window.
As you are installing the film, you might get a shift in the film that might cause that finger. This may end up being problematic, and you might be able to salvage the job or just start over.
There are ways that you can prevent these film slips. Using a hard tool can fix the issue. After you have anchored your film, spray the window and run the hard tool along the top edge of the window. Be sure to apply some pressure as you do this. Then, run the tool in the middle of the window in the same manner. If done correctly, you should not have any issues when rolling up your window.
Other ways that you can get rid of the stress fingers or bubbles:
- Know the type of film that you are using. Some types have an aggressive adhesive and some do not. The type of film may also cause the slipping problem on the rear and the side windows.
- Pay attention to how you mix your slip solution. Be aware if you are using detergent based slip solutions or slip solutions like baby shampoos.
- Climate can make a difference. If you are car window tinting in Orlando, this will definitely be an issue.
All of these variables will affect the slip, and how you expect your film to cooperate with you.
Moisture Finger Bubble
Moisture fingers can show up on both rear and side windows. You get them when moisture draws up into the window film. When you install film, you create a suction onto the glass. On the bottom of a rear window or side window, you will have moisture in the area. This moisture can draw up into the film from the suction that was created on installation. This can draw up trash, and it makes it difficult to complete a clean installation once you see those fingers. Now you have to deal with the issue. You have to use hard cards, heat guns, etc. This can also cause additional issues.
The best way to get rid of these moisture related finger bubbles is to prevent it from happening. You should remove the door panel, removing the bottom seals or just removing the moisture source. Do this to eliminate the possibility of air creeping underneath the film.
Another way to prevent the moisture fingers is by a technique called the “double snap.” You should use this method if you do not want to remove the door panels and you want to keep the rubber “L’s” in place. You quickly shrink the finger patterns on the outside of the glass of the car, then you over shrink the film all throughout the bottom. Once you do this, you will smooth the bottom out, pushing the finger out on both sides. This will create tension on the inside, which will stop the moisture from seeping in through the bottom of the window.
The double snap technique should eliminate the issues, and you will end up with a nice tint job.
Weakened Adhesive Finger
You will normally get a weakened adhesive finger at the top or at the side of the window. You guessed it, the film will have a weak adhesive on it. Yes, some films will have an aggressive adhesive, and some will have a weak adhesive. If you install the tint correctly, getting rid of the fingers as you go, the tint should apply nicely.
There are two ways to prevent this type of finger.
- Choose the correct film, one that had an aggressive adhesive and one that compliments your tinting style.
- Pay attention to how you mix your slip solution. Too much soap, or the wrong soap choice can cause this issue, even with film that has an aggressive adhesive.
Bottom line here – Use a film with an aggressive adhesive.
With the four fingers or bubbles that we mentioned above, they all can be very frustrating to deal with. It is better to deal with these fingers before they occur, rather than after.
For those of you that are car window tinting in Orlando, then use these tips to prevent the bubbles from occurring. If you need an Orlando tint professional to help out, feel free to give us a call.