Tinting Your Car Window When You Live at Elevation: Things You Need to Know

24 May 2016
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If you live in the mountains and are thinking about adding window tint to your car, you may be wondering if it offers any special advantages for people who live at elevation and if there are any tips for mountain dwellers who decide to get their windows tinted. There are answers to all of your questions.

Here is what you need to know about car window tinting at elevation:

1. Sunlight is more intense at high elevations.

At high elevations, the atmosphere does not filter sunlight as much as it does at low elevations. As a result, sunlight is more intense. This makes the value of tinting your windows potentially greater when you live at elevation. If you spend a lot of time in your car, window tinting has been linked to lowering your risk of cancer.

Arguably, when you are at elevation, the risk of sunburns and skin cancer is higher, making protection even more important. For the greatest reduction in the amount of UV light that can get into your car, use the highest maximum tint allowed in your area.

2. Window tinting cannot stop glare.

In addition to sunburns, glare can be a huge issue when you are driving at elevation. This is especially true when you are driving as the sun is rising or setting, and that fiery orb is directly in front of you. Unfortunately, window tinting can not help with this issue because it is illegal to add tinted film to the windscreen of your vehicle.

That means you will need to continue to use your sun visor or sunglasses, even if you tint your side and rear windows.

3. Shade is critical when letting the film cure.

If you decide to tint your car windows, the film will need some time to cure after it has been applied. Ideally, you want to keep the car out of the sun while it cures -- this is especially important at elevation where the sun can be considerably harsh. The sun can cause the film to blister or bubble and prevent it from adhering cleanly to the car windows.

Make sure you organise a garage or a shady spot to park your vehicle after the tinting appointment.

4. Fluctuations in temperature may affect curing.

Parking your car in a garage also helps protect it from fluctuations in temperature, which can also affect the curing process. As the temperature goes up and down, water molecules in the adhesive expand and contract, and too much of that can cause the film to bubble or crack.

Also, keep in mind the temperature fluctuations that can happen when you drive from low to high elevations. If you have your film applied in a city at a low elevation and then drive back up to the mountains to go home, you may move from warm to cool temps. If possible, try to schedule your film application at a facility close to your home or have a mobile service apply it at your home. Alternatively, schedule it for a day when the temps are forecast to be relatively similar at all of the elevations your car is going to be at.

5. Applying tint in cold weather presents unique challenges.

In addition to intense sun and possible temperature fluctuations, elevated areas also tend to have cool temperatures. If you hire someone to tint your car windows, make sure that they are experienced with applying window film in cool temperatures. If the weather is too cold, it can cause some adhesives to crystallize and not stick to the window properly. However, experienced installers know how to select adhesives and use techniques that work well in cold temperatures.

For more information on tinting your car windows when you live at elevation, contact a window tinting professional.