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How To Block UV Rays On Windows

If your home has big picture windows that show beautiful views and let in lots of light, you probably enjoy spending time in those rooms. However, you may not have realized that all that glass lets in a lot of UVA light, which has a damaging effect on furniture, fabrics, wooden floors, artwork, and skin.

You can prevent this problem by having a specialist install low emissivity windows coated with a thin layer of metal oxides, but these are expensive. For a cheaper solution, use solar shades or a window film that blocks 99 percent of UV. We’ll show you how to install solar shades and apply film to your windows.

Materials To Install Inside Mount Roller Solar Shades

  • Solar shades in their packaging
  • Impact driver with 1/4 inch hex driver and drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Step ladder (for tall windows)
  • Level
  • Steel tape measure
  • Pencil

1. Familiarize Yourself With The Shade

Carefully remove the solar shade from its packaging, and read the instructions accompanying it. The installation details may differ from what we have described here, and you should defer to what the manufacturer specifies. If your shade comes with a red clip on the end, don’t remove it – it will detach once you have installed the shade.

2. Attach The Fascia Brackets

If your shade comes with a fascia or cassette, attach the fascia brackets to the back of the fascia (there may be magnets for this purpose), place the fascia at the top of the window, and set it so that it’s flush with the wall.

3. Secure The Fascia Brackets

Once the fascia is positioned in the right place relative to the window and the wall, secure the brackets with the screwdriver and screws provided by the shade manufacturer. Once the brackets are attached, remove the fascia from them and set it aside for the time being.

4. Mark The Location Of The Shade Brackets

Use the steel tape to measure on the level from the top front corner of the window casing 1 inch toward the glass. Make a mark with the pencil to guide you. Hold the shade bracket to the spot and use the pencil to mark where the screw must go.

Repeat these steps on the window’s other side to mark the second bracket’s location.

5. Check That The Shade Brackets Are Level

Before you make any holes, check that the marks you have made are level with each other, using the tape measure and the level.

6. Screw The Shade Brackets Into Place

Make the screw holes for the shade brackets. To assist you in starting the holes, we recommend tapping the screws with a hammer or using the torque of your impact driver to create a pilot hole. Hold the shade brackets in place and secure them with the impact driver.

7. Mount The Inside Mount Roller Solar Shades

Insert the round pin end of the shade into the corresponding bracket and slide the pinhole over the idle pin. Then insert the spring-loaded idle end into the other bracket. It pops into place when you release the spring over the bracket’s center. If there is a red clip on the end of the shade, it will automatically eject.

8. Test The Inside Mount Roller Solar Shades

Once you have mounted the shade, pull down on the center of the bottom rail to ascertain whether there is even movement. Test the stopping feature to ensure that you can control how far down your shade comes – give the shade a slight tug to lock it into place. When you want to release it, give it another pull.

9. Mount The Fascia To The Brackets

Once you have mounted and tested the shade, reattach the fascia or cassette to its brackets, and you have installed your shade.

Materials To Install Outside Mount Roller Solar Shades

  • Solar shades in their packaging
  • Impact driver with 1/4 inch hex driver and drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Step ladder (for tall windows)
  • Level
  • Steel tape measure
  • Pencil

1. Familiarize Yourself With The Shades

Carefully remove the solar shades from their packaging and get familiar with how they work. Please read the accompanying instructions to see how to install the shades, as the installation details may differ from what we have described here.

2. Mark The Location Of The Shade Brackets

Hold the outside mount shade where you want it to be, and use the steel tape measure and level to check that it is level and centered. Make a pencil mark at the outside edges.

Use the tape measure to measure 2 inches inward from the pencil marks and 1/2 inch upward from the top of the window. Make a pencil mark at each of these 2 positions. This mark is where the brackets will go.

3. Mark The Location Of The Screw Holes

Hold the brackets to the marked positions and use the pencil to mark where the screws must go.

4. Screw The Shade Brackets Into Place

Start the screw holes for the shade brackets by tapping the screws with the hammer or using your impact driver to make a pilot hole. Hold the brackets in place and screw them in using the impact driver. Check that the locking mechanism has free movement.

5. Mount The Shade Back Bar

Hold the shade back bar to the bracket lip so the front groove is in it, and rotate it upward, so it snaps into place.

6. Mount The Cassette Valance

If your shade comes with a cassette valance, install it now by sliding it over the assembled shade and inserting the tabs.

7. Test The Outside Mount Roller Solar Shades

Once you have mounted the shade, tug downward on the center of the bottom rail to check that there is even movement. Give a slight jerk to lock it into place – a test that you can stop at any height you wish. To release the shade, give it another tug.

Materials Required To Apply Solar Film To Windows

  • Solar window film. Window film comes in various types: ensure that the film you are using blocks UV and is suitable for your windows – some films cannot be used on double-glazed windows.
  • Water spray bottle
  • Clear liquid soap/baby shampoo. Ensure that whatever you use does not contain ammonia or vinegar, as this will damage the film.
  • 2 dry microfiber cloths
  • Low-lint cloth
  • Steel measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Transparent sticky tape
  • Long-handled squeegee
  • Wallpaper smoother or plastic card squeegee
  • Straight edge

1. Read The Instructions For Your Window Film

Because different manufacturers use varying processes to create window film, you will not apply all of them in the same way. Please pay attention to whether the instructions differ from what we present here.

2. Clean Your Windows

Create a cleaning mixture using 1 gallon of bottled or filtered water and 1 teaspoon of clear liquid soap/baby shampoo. Put some of this mixture into the spray bottle and spray the mixture onto the glass. Use one of the microfiber cloths to remove any built-up grease, grime, silicone, or paint from the window.

Ensure that you clean the window frame too, and if applying the film on tall windows near the ceiling or the ground, ensure that they are clean too. Beware of flying insects, and remove your pets from the area to ensure no hairs get onto the glass.

Use the low-lint cloth to dry the window and its frame after cleaning it.

3. Unroll And Cut The Solar Window Film

Keep your solar window film flat to prevent it from folding or creasing. Ensure that a flat surface is clear of any obstacles to unroll the film.

Keeping the liner side of the film uppermost, carefully unroll the film. Measure the window’s length and width using the measuring tape. Use the scissors to cut the film so that its length is 1 inch more than the window’s, and its width is also 1 inch more than the window’s.

4. Remove The Backing From The Film

If your film has a backing, now is the time to remove it. If you are using a static cling film, it will not have a backing.

Stick 2 pieces of transparent tape to a corner of the film, one on the backing and one on the film itself. Use the pieces of tape to peel the transparent backing off the film and reveal the adhesive.

To prevent the film from being contaminated by your fingerprints, wash your hands and keep them moistened while you remove the backing. If possible, get someone to assist you with removing the backing. Keep spraying the glass side of the film with the solution of baby shampoo you have prepared. Wet the glass too.

5. Apply The Film To The Glass

To apply the film, keep the wet film’s surface parallel with the damp glass’s surface and taut. Begin laying it down from the top, letting it “flow” onto the glass.

If the film comes with a factory-cut edge, line this up along the edge of the glass. If you are applying the film to a large window, have 1 or 2 assistants to help you.

6. Remove Bubbles From Under The Window Film

Spray the baby shampoo solution onto the film, and use your squeegee to remove the water and air bubbles from under the film. Do not let the metal parts of the squeegee touch the film, as this will damage it.

Work from the center in one direction (for argument’s sake, to the right). Move the squeegee from the center to the edge. Using overlapping strokes, slowly work downward, moving the air and water bubbles to the edge of the film. Repeat this process working to the left.

Keep the film wet while you remove the bubbles – keep the spray bottle on hand and apply the solution if the film starts drying out. You may have to repeat this process. Check for bubbles trapped between the film and the window glass, and gently push any you find to the edge.

7. Secure The Edges And Corners Of The Window Film

Once you have worked out the bubbles, use the wallpaper smoother or plastic card squeegee to work the film into the edges and corners of the window. Ensure that you press firmly, as these points are where contact between the film and the window is weakest.

8. Trim The Edges Of The Window Film

Once the window film is applied to the window and is securely in place, use the straight edge and the X-acto knife to trim off any excess from around the edges. When approaching a corner, stop and trim back from it to ensure a complete cut.

9. Dry The Applied Window Film

Spray and squeegee the glass again, and then wrap the low-lint cloth around the wallpaper smoother or plastic card squeegee and remove excess moisture. Dry the applied film with the other (dry) microfiber cloth.

There may be some tiny bubbles remaining – do not worry about these, as they will disappear over the next couple of days. Do not be concerned if you notice any fuzziness when looking through the window, as this will also dissipate.

10. Give The Film Time To Adhere

Give the film around 30 minutes to adhere. After that, you can touch it, although we recommend leaving it alone for at least a week to cure fully. To be safe, allow 2 to 3 weeks before cleaning the window.

Conclusion

If you have installed a solar shade, you will now have a beautiful addition to your window that will help to cut down the amount of UV that makes it into your rooms. Whether you’ve chosen an inside or an outside mount, solar shades are highly effective in taming the sun.

If you have installed solar window film on your windows, you will be enjoying the benefit of reduced UV. This sort of film also cuts down glare and improves the insulation capacity of the window, moderating the climate inside. You will be glad you have applied it.

References

Jordan Harris

From the earliest age I can remember, I was planning and building things, and there was no question that Architecture was the right career fit for me. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, I am absolutely thrilled and privileged to share my knowledge and experience with everyone through this blog.

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