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See-through Window Graphics Cold Weather Application

If you are preparing to install see-through window graphics as temperatures drop, have you considered whether you are using a perforated window film that can cope with low application temperatures?

All self-adhesive vinyl including perforated window films have a minimum application temperature and low temperatures can make installation difficult, if not impossible. If temperatures are below the minimum application temperature the adhesive can become hard, resulting in the material failing to bond effectively to the glass.

Extensive testing has shown that Contra Vision® perforated window films can be applied reliably at 4°C/39°F. This is considerably lower than most other perforated window films, which typically have minimum application temperatures of 10°C/50°F.

Some customers have reported success at even lower temperatures, down to below freezing point in good, dry conditions on static (non-vehicular) applications.

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Cold Weather Application

The minimum application temperature of 4°C/39°F refers to the temperature of the glass, not the air temperature, as the temperature of the glass can remain lower than the surrounding air. We recommend that when installing in cold weather, Contra Vision perforated windows films are applied in the afternoon, preferably after the windows have been warmed by the sun. Temperature should not drop below 0°C/32°F within 2 hours of application and not drop below -5°C/23°F within 24 hours of application.

In the winter months storage temperatures can significantly drop and we recommend that the material is warmed to room temperature well before application. The same applies when transporting graphics, the material being allowed to reach room temperature before application, and not left in a cold vehicle overnight.

If temperatures never reach our minimum application of 4°C/39°F, consider applying see-through graphics to the inside of a window by printing our clear perforated window film with the image and then black and white backing layers. We have Contra Vision® Performance HD Clear for high-definition and long-term applications or Contra Vision® Campaign Clear for short-term applications.

Tips for a successful cold weather installation:

1. In colder months storage temperatures can significantly drop. Avoid leaving graphics overnight in a cold environment such as a vehicle. We recommend that the material is warmed to ‘room temperature’ before application.

2. If possible, apply your graphics in the afternoon once the windows have been warmed by the sun. Investigate other steps to raise the temperature of the glass, perhaps retracting any awnings or leaving the heating on overnight. Don’t use a heat gun to warm the glass or it may shatter.

3. Ensure that the surface is dry and free from any condensation and thoroughly clean the surface from dust, grease or any contamination that could affect the adhesion of the material.

4. Application must be dry, ensuring that the graphics are cut back from the edge of the window by 1-3mm (3/16”-1/8”) and that all joins are butt joins. Do not overlap.

5. We recommend that the graphics are not cleaned for a minimum of 24 hours after installation. Do not use a chemical adhesion promoter.