Earthquake Windowfilm

About windowfilm and 3M products

The biggest cause of injury in earthquakes often isn’t collapsing walls or a failing understructure, but flying glass from shattering windows. An earthquake can shatter windows and send jagged, high-velocity shards of glass flying for feet. Since most homes have at least one window in every room, an earthquake can put people in every part of the house in danger of serious injury within the first few seconds of impact.

Broken glass is contained by windowfilm.

Broken glass is contained by windowfilm

Fortunately, windowfilm can significantly reduce the risk of injury from shattering glass. Windowfilm is a thin but strong plastic adhesive that is applied to both sides of a window, binding the pane so that it remains in position even if the glass is shattered. Scotchshield windowfilm’s holding power is so strong that a pane will retain its shape even if a portion of it is broken through.

Many brands of windowfilm are available, but A-FFIX LLC uses 3M Scotchshield Windowfilms. Well-known for many of its other household products, 3M produces superior windowfilms that are routinely used to secure highrises, commercial offices, and national airports. As a mark of its confidence in the excellence of its products, 3M offers a comprehensive lifetime warranty on its films to homeowners. To ensure that its windowfilms are correctly installed, 3M personally trains the contractors that apply the windowfilm. As well as having received 3M‘s training, A-FFIX LLC has extensive in-field experience installing windowfilm in the Puget Sound area. We are happy to offer windowfilm either in conjunction with or independent of a home retrofit.

Beyond reducing the risk of injury, windowfilm also offers numerous other benefits (see below). Reinforcing windows against shattering is an important part of safeguarding a home’s inhabitants during an earthquake. Every safety-conscious household should consider installing windowfilm to prevent some of the most hazardous consequences of an earthquake.

Why should I protect my home with windowfilm?

Shattering glass is usually responsible for a significant percentage of injuries in a serious earthquake. In the Loma Prieta California earthquake of 1989, for example, half of the 3,700 injuries were caused by broken or breaking glass.

A house destroyed in the major 1989 Loma Prieta Quake. The house's windows have been completely shattered.

A house destroyed in the major 1989 Loma Prieta quake. The house’s windows have been completely shattered.

After a serious earthquake, materials needed to replace windows will be in short supply. It may also be difficult to find a professional to replace them. These factors can lengthen the amount of time residents must spend out of their homes after an earthquake. Without windows to provide shelter from the elements, the interior of a home may be exposed to the outdoors for a significant amount of time, adding further property damage to the cost of repairs.

Besides guarding against shattering glass, Scotchshield windowfilm also filters harmful ultraviolet light that causes skin damage and makes furniture and hangings fade. Furnishings may retain their color for twice as long as they would normally. Tinted Scotchshield film, which regulates heat from sunlight, minimizes heat loss, and reduces glare, is available as well.

Windowfilm-enforced windows can also serve as a crime deterrent, since they are significantly more difficult to break through. A thief may decide to move on rather than waste valuable time breaking the windows. This is one way to reduce the chances your home will be looted following an earthquake.

How does A-FFIX handle windowfilm application?

A-FFIX LLC begins the windowfilm application process with an assessment. We take professional measurements of your home’s windows and use these to estimate the cost of the job. If our clients give us the go-ahead, we proceed by removing window-dressings, such as blinds and curtains, and then thoroughly cleaning the windows that are going to be treated. Once the glass is clean, the inner panes are coated with the selected windowfilm (usually Scotchshield Safety and Security film) using a squeegee.

The process is fairly quick, depending on the number of windows being secured, and will typically be finished in a day or two. Windowfilm takes thirty days to dry completely, although its benefits–containing the glass and reducing ultraviolet light–take effect immediately. 3M windowfilm is guaranteed for life, and, in the unlikely event that either the film or its application are unsatisfactory, A-FFIX will reapply the product free of charge.