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Ian McChesney

Hi – thought I’d add my long term experience with plastic film. When CEA first started sourcing and selling plastic windows (I think about 15+ years ago) a window in our very first trial lasted less than one day because a cat put its claw through it! At about the same time I put some up in my own home, over higher up lead-light windows, and while the film is looking a bit ragged around the edges and worse for wear the seal is still good. So, expected life…less than 24 hrs to 15 years and counting!
Apart from physical damage, the main reason for failure I’ve experienced (apart from my poor installation practice) is moisture getting between the film and the glass and fogging up. The moisture has come from the outside and inside. From the outside – through leaky lead-lights, through failure of external putty/paint seal, and in one case a dodgy frame joint. From the inside – this appears to have been when I installed film during winter, and the condensation had started and some moisture had penetrated into the frame.
Lessons – the windows need good putty/paint sealing on the outside, and unbroken paint on the inside. I’ve also been very wary about installing film in the winter unless I’m certain the frame is dry and room humidity low.
As for the visual quality of plastic film – personally I think it’s fine for out of the way windows, and where the view is not paramount. I’d struggle to recommend plastic film in places where you value the quality of the view.