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 NEWS 
VLT shake up
Revised State and Territory laws across the country have helped close the gap between VLT limits for aftermarket film and privacy glass – at least for rear windows. 

In recent months we’ve seen VIC, NSW, QLD, SA and the ACT change the regulations covering the VLT limit for aftermarket film on windows rear of the driver from 35% to 20%. There’s only one State not yet following the 2016 NTC recommendation, Tasmania.

In each of these States/Territories a 35% VLT allowance is still in place for front side windows.

Most states require side rear vision mirrors be fitted to either side of the vehicle for it to qualify for this new VLT allowance.

For years, WA has allowed 20% on rear windows, and in the NT it’s 15% VLT.

Requirements for the windscreen remain unchanged.

Aussie tinters are encouraged to visit the AUTO LAWS page of the WFAANZ website and download the applicable document for your State or Territory, to ensure your understanding of the regulations is accurate and current. Our members can download the applicable technical bulletin from the MATERIALS page of the WFAANZ website, as a handy tool to refer to when talking to customers about the laws.

This is not the time for misinformation. WFAANZ has already fielded enquiries from customers and tinters who were told 20% VLT is now permitted all over the vehicle. That is not the case. This new rule only applies to windows behind the B pillar. You’ve also still got to factor in the existing VLT of the privacy glass. Once the film is applied, the combination of glass plus film must be within the VLT limits.

As always, defying the regulations (either deliberately or mistakenly) not only leaves your customer open to a fine or defected vehicle, it could expose you to litigation if the dark tint is found to be a contributing cause of an accident. 

New 35% VLT check cards like the one pictured right are available for you to order. Contact info@wfaanz.org.au for an order form. 


Small sticker, big responsibility

Be honest. How many tinters stick a safety label under the film on every pane of glass when you apply safety film? The labels look like the one pictured here. If you’ve never seen one and you install safety film, this article is a must-read.

Why do we need them?
A massive aspect of any safety film sales plan is that the application of the right film can qualify it as a safety glazing product.

Every WFAANZ distributor member has attained Grade A safety glazing certification for 100 micron (4 mil) safety films and thicker. When these films are installed in accordance with AS1288-2006 Section 5 Criteria for Human Impact, it is the tinter’s responsibility to adhere a safety label to the glass.

AS1288-2006 Section 5 Criteria for Human Impact requires glass in human impact risk zones – doors, low level windows, shopfronts, childcare centres, etc. – qualify as a safety glazing product, which essentially means it shatters safely when broken.

What do they look like?
As pictured here, they’re small unobtrusive stickers that come in sheets of 20. They’re black and white, 27mm wide and 20mm high, with the name of the supplier of the film clearly shown.

Where do they go?
AS1288-2006 requires they be stuck to every pane of glass that safety film is being installed on. They are to be positioned in the bottom corner of the window directly onto the glass, before the film is applied.

Where do I get them from?
While it’s your responsibility to stick safety labels to the glass, it’s actually your film supplier’s responsibility to provide them to you. Ask your film supplier about them immediately if this affects your business.

How do I get more info?
Contact WFAANZ for further info, or refer to our technical bulletin here


Grass isn’t always greener

Under Cayman Islands Traffic Law, illegally tinted windows can get you up to a 6 month prison sentence and $2,500 fine.

Connecting tinters

For years members have been telling me that finding good tinters to employ temporarily is hard.

Now WFAANZ has a solution. Launched last year, the WFAANZ online contractor directory is an Australian first. 
Its sole purpose is to connect tint businesses with individual tinters available for contract work.

Any tinter who wants to be considered for contract work can have a listing and ad on the directory, absolutely free of charge.

Say a tint business scores a major project, which will be completed in two weeks but will require an extra two tinters. They can visit the site, review the list of qualified tinters in the area, read about their experience and credentials, and then contact them if interested.

You must be a WFAANZ member to access the list, but you needn’t be a member to have an ad on the directory. Contact me here for more information or download this form to register for an ad. 
 

Booting by the book

If you’re in the unenviable position of having to fire someone in your business who isn’t working out, it’s crucial the process is handled by the book. What book, you may ask? This one. The Fair Work Commission released a guidebook to help small business owners ensure they're firing process won't put them in the firing line. Check it out here. Last October one research firm suggested Aussie employers collectively face 1.5 unfair dismissal claims every hour. It pays to follow the guidelines.

Auto glass standard revised
Auto tinters who are also involved in auto glass replacement take note - the glass replacement standard, AS4739:2017 Direct Glazed Automotive Glass Replacement – Light Vehicles, has been revised. You can purchase a copy of the revised standard from SAI Global.

 
FEATURE STORY 

Working together for the good of the court

Maybe they didn’t like a verdict, maybe they were rebelling against authority, whatever the reason, earlier this year vandals smashed four windows in Penrith’s Court House building in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. The solution seemed easy enough, call in a trusted glazier to fix them. But matching the new windows with the existing ones proved a little more challenging.

As the old windows were covered with 35% dual reflective window film, the glazier, Brian Cox from Alifix Glazing, had to work closely with a window film installer to ensure the building façade remained cohesive.

Michael Miller, Vision Window Tinting, said, “Film is usually applied to the interior surface of glass, but access was restricted in this case as the four windows had already been fitted. External film was also out of the question as it would have been too different in appearance.”

The solution agreed upon by Michael and Brian was simple. Brian would remove the windows one by one, Michael would apply the film, and Brian would refit the windows.

Michael comments, “The whole process took around 35 minutes. For a little extra effort by Brian and myself, we could deliver the best possible result for our client, Penrith City Council.”

This approach is somewhat rare in an industry where glaziers and tinters can feel pitted against one another. According to Michael, however, he and Brian have been working together on projects for near on 13 years. 
Michael adds, “The Penrith council representative for building maintenance called me to say how happy they were that one of their most important heritage buildings looked like new again. This is one of many successful projects I’ve partnered with Brian on over the years. Our joint approach has definitely been mutually beneficial, I even got him to install custom glazing at my home three years ago.”

Ally Cronan, Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand (WFAANZ) President, comments, “Window businesses sometimes see tinters as direct competitors, which is extremely unfortunate. A glazier’s core business is new builds or situations like this when glass needs replacing. The flat glass film industry is centred around retrofit, with a different target market altogether. This case study highlights how a strong partnership between a glazier and tinter can work in everyone’s favour.”

 

ASK AWAY 

Frost and anchors

I've been researching a thermal window film solution for my 1960s flat in Melbourne using the ATA and WERS comparison tables. My flat faces east and west, and is mostly shaded by a 3-storey apartment building on the east side where my bedrooms are, and a 5 metre-plus fence on the west side where I have a 3-metre wide courtyard.

I want to get maximum natural light into my flat in all seasons while keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I have timber window frames and floor to ceiling windows. The top and bottom panels are fixed glass and the middle panels are awning windows. 

I also want to get security film on some of my windows because I am on the ground floor. To complicate matters, my bedroom windows have internal frosting on the bottom panes (in keeping with the rest of the apartment block). Security film placed over the existing frosted film will partially reduce the effectiveness of the security film (it will need special anchoring on the frame), but will there be any reduction/increase in effectiveness of a thermal film then applied over the security film? 

I will also need to install security screens on some of my windows, so I can get ventilation at night in summer, so I will lose more natural light there. And I need to have a sheer curtain for daytime privacy in my bedrooms. I'm not sure if I'm assessing my options properly given my requirements. Would it be best to remove the frosting on my bottom bedroom window panel before installing the security and thermal films and then putting another frosted film on the outside?
1. Q; should you remove the frosted film before installing security film? A; yes, you should as part of the security strength of the film is to have the high strength adhesive in contact with the glass. The adhesive on the frost is not security strength. If you need the frost look though then you can install the frost film over the security film just make sure the frost film used has a pressure sensitive adhesive (your installer will know what that is). Also, you might find that your warranty is void if installing one film over another but ask the WFAANZ member providing you a quote to confirm that.

If installing film over another film then your installer should use isopropenyl alcohol (especially when installing the security film) as this will help dry it out. When you install film over film it can take a long time for water to evaporate. He only needs about 5% alcohol in the water.

2. Q; what about anchoring the film to the frame? A; That can be a good idea when it is feasible and that depends on the frames and how the installer could do an anchoring method. It’s often a structural silicone. Ask the person quoting about that, unfortunately you may find that the frames are just not suited. As for whether you really require edge anchoring there are some things to consider:
• If the glass is toughened glass, then edge fixing is more important.
• If the glass is normal float/annealed or heat strengthened, then edge fixing is less necessary IF you are in the opportunistic category. Typically, with residential threats, the intruder expects the glass to break easily. If you have security film on normal float glass and no edge anchoring, what will happen is the glass will break into large shards when he kicks or hits it, with the large pieces in tact at the edges of the film. The intruder will be surprised here that the glass still offers a strong membrane. He must hit it many times to make a hole big enough to enter. That means a lot of noise to be heard by neighbours, alarm systems, dogs barking, etc. Residential burglars are often opportunistic in selecting your windows to break into and the effort and risk to gain entry through the filmed window without an edge attachment is too great, so they move to another house. An edge attachment will make entry harder still, but if it is difficult to do with your frames then frankly the incremental benefit edge anchoring offers in residential installs is typically not worthy.
• If your glass is non-laminated toughened glass, you do need to edge attach because on breakage the whole pane fails completely around the edges and offers no resistance.

3. Q; will the thermal film still work if installed over security film? A; it will not affect the Low E performance of the film as long as it is installed over the other film/s, the vice versa install though will stop the film working.

From the customer who made the enquiry:
“Thanks so much for all the great information and tips you provided. Very impressive. Your comprehensive answers will definitely help me make the best decision.”

  

The lowdown on Low E

What’s the best film to use in our house that has large expanses of glass to reduce heat loss in winter. We have a northerly aspect and get lovely sun in the winter with minimal sun in summer. Would you be able to recommend a particular film?
What you need is a film with low emissivity ability, or a Low E film. This means the film will reflect heat back into the room and so reduce the amount of heat lost through the glass. There are only a handful of films that have this ability.
Low E films are available in varying darkness levels. The lighter films are premium films and are usually more expensive than ‘standard’ films. Other Low E films are available that are cheaper than the lighter films, but are darker, i.e. below 50% visible light transmission. 


Band practice

Could you please supply the current safety band (manifestations) requirement for full height glass in buildings?
The requirements for manifestation applied to glazing that’s susceptible to human impact come from AS1288 Glass in Buildings, Making glass visible. An opaque strip may be installed across the glass, which can be computer cut with logos or decorations provided it meets AS1288 criteria. Clause 5.19 covers what is permissible in detail. 

The manifestation shall be an opaque band no less than 20mm high, located so the vertical distance from the floor is:
a) Not less than 700mm from the upper edge of the band, and
b) Not more than 1200mm to the lower edge of the band

The band must be visible, so it should have luminous contrast, i.e. contrast with what’s behind it. So, if the other side of the door is bright then install a black film band and if dark install a white band.

Buildings with access for people with disabilities have different manifestation requirements, outlined in AS1428.1.  
 
Learning the ropes
What sort of hands on training options are there to learn how to properly install window film?

WFAANZ is not involved with hands on training, most tinters usually learn on the job. We do offer a flat glass course and WERS For Film training and accreditation, both done online. There are also plans for an online training portal through the WFAANZ website in 2019 (read more about it in the Marketing section of this newsletter).  
Clearing the fog
How do I prevent condensation?
When the glass is cold and the room is warm and humid (moisture in the air), water droplets form on the window. The colder the outdoor temperature, the greater the chance of condensation.

Interestingly, condensation is becoming more prevalent with advances in building and product design. Thermal improvements make houses more airtight and energy efficient, so excess moisture in the air can’t escape. Condensation on the windows usually means there’s also moisture between the walls and in the insulation, so it can serve as a warning sign.

Some humidity is good for comfort and health. Occasional fog on our windows isn’t a concern. But when condensation covers the entire window and drips down the walls - it’s a problem.

Too much condensation means humidity is too high in your home, when it reaches dew point. Dew point is when the air gets to 100% relative humidity. At this point, the air can’t hold any more moisture and will release it.
 
To address condensation, you either have to:
• lower the dew point temperature of the air to a level below the dew point temperature of the window surface, or…
• warm the window surface to a temperature above the dew point temperature of your home, or…
• a combination of both.

Here’s some tips:
• Clothes dryers are prime culprits for adding moisture to the air, they should be vented to the outdoors and windows and doors should remain open during the cycle
• Turn bathroom exhaust fans on during/after showers/baths, and vent externally (not just into roof cavity)
• Turn the heating down
• Open windows and ventilate for short periods, especially the kitchen, bathroom and laundry during and after use
• Use the dehumidifying setting on your air-conditioner
• Wipe down wet surfaces and keep the windows and walls dry
• Ensure windows are correctly and adequately sealed and that weather strips close gaps on sliding window parts 
 

Standard setting
What standards do I need to know about when installing flat glass film?
For all information about the standards relating to the installation of flat glass window film, refer to the WFAANZ website. We also advise you purchase the relevant standards from SAI Global.  

 
MARKETING

The value of credentials
Fact one – window tinting is a non-licensed trade. Fact two – sub-standard films that peel, bubble, discolour, etc. have tarnished the reputation of the product. These two factors combine to make it harder for tinters to win the trust of car and home owners. A powerful tool to help you establish trust is WFAANZ membership and WERS For Film accreditation.

In all honestly, customers probably won’t ask if you’re a WFAANZ member or WERS accredited as their knowledge of these things is limited. It’s up to you to promote them, and promote them hard.

Your return on membership and accreditation is directly related to how you market them. Having the logo on your materials, using WFAANZ materials, issuing WERS certificates, linking to the website, etc. will ensure everyone in contact with your business knows you mean business. Simply talking to your customers about how WFAANZ membership means you abide by a code of practice or how your WERS accreditation means you’re an industry energy expert, gives you an advantage over competitors. 
 

Why it pays to be a WFAANZ member

For more information on the benefits of WFAANZ membership, download the 2018 membership benefit document here.


Houzz it going?

WFAANZ has partnered with Houzz website, the ‘…world’s largest online community for home design and renovation’. Apparently, 1.5 million Aussie and New Zealand users visit Houzz every month to connect with designers and home professionals. 

Click here to view the WFAANZ profile.

A major aspect of the page is the Project files, where case study images are displayed. There are two examples set up already, provided by members. Members, any time you do a job take some pics and email them to ally@acpublicrelations.com.au for inclusion on this page.

The WFAANZ home page now features a scroll of the projects featured on Houzz.

WFAANZ members can:
• Create a free profile on houzz.com.au
• Link to the WFAANZ page
• Add a WFAANZ member badge to their profile 
• Enjoy priority access to the Houzz marketing and support team
• Complimentary consultation with Houzz expert
• Receive invitations to local and exclusive Houzz events, workshops and webinars
Contact me for more info or advice to set up your own FREE Houzz profile page. It’s a free and simple way to generate exposure for your business.


Safety push
Safety film is a hot topic in the window film industry right now. Concerns and questions surrounding random glass explosions, matching film to glass types, anchoring techniques, compliance with the standards and safety film training have not gone unnoticed by WFAANZ. 

WFAANZ members would have received two new procedure documents recently – one regarding filmed toughened glass retention and the other about toughened glass and scratching. They were developed in reply to industry demand for information. Contact me if you did not receive your copies of these files.

Also in the works is a safety film training course. This will be the first in what we hope to be many instructional training courses for Aussie tinters keen to learn more and consolidate their credentials. It will be within a new online training portal on the WFAANZ website. ETA is early 2019.
 

Password protection
Passwords unlock our entire digital existence, which is why they’re gold to cybercriminals. The more passwords they crack, the more value they get out of them, which is why they don’t necessarily target the rich and famous, the target the many.

Who are the most vulnerable? People with weak or reused passwords across their accounts. So, pretty much all of us.

Here’s what not to do:
• Don’t use dictionary words as they’re sitting ducks for hacking programs
• Don’t use common or popular culture phrases, e.g. ‘StarWars’ was found to be a commonly used password in a recent Virginia Tech study of 61 million passwords
• Changing letters for characters doesn’t guarantee protection, e.g. changing your password from “password” to “pa$$w0rd123”. Hacking software exists that exposes this practice
• Don’t tell anyone or post it near your computer
• Don’t reuse your password

The last one is a biggie. Even slightly amending your password for every site is a risk as hackers can easily identify your modification technique. If you’ve got the same password for everything, the moment it’s hacked once, then everything, everything, becomes accessible.

Here’s what to do:
• Password should be at least 12 characters long
• Make sure your device is secure
• Use letters, numbers, symbols and random caps
• Make it unique and nonsensical, i.e. not all your kids names, birthdays, etc.
• Use a password manager. Dashlane is one popular example. It’s a program you can install on your computer to remember passwords. It inserts the username and password for you, automatically logging you in 
• Use pass phrases instead of words. They should be relatively long and consist of random words strung together along with numbers, symbols and upper/lower case letters. Think of something you can remember but others couldn’t guess, like MisterPuddle#56FordFi$h

 
MEMBER SERVICES 
Tropical tinting
Keen for the ultimate lifestyle change? Long-established tinting business is for sale in Maryborough QLD. Tint Mart is a flat glass and auto business, successfully operating for 29 years. On the gateway to Fraser Island, 2.5 hours north of Brisbane, you couldn’t hope to set up shop in a nicer place. If interested, please contact Mario via email at Maryborough@tintmart.com.au 
 
Sort it out
Yearly WFAANZ membership invoices were emailed last month, thanks to everyone who’s paid already. If you haven’t paid, please contact info@wfaanz.org.au or call 02 9498 2768 today. Remember, you can pay easily over the phone. Your membership equates to about $6 a week – or two small coffees (depending on where you live) and your support helps us build a more robust and durable industry.  
 
Meeting of minds
Thanks to everyone who attended the WFAANZ AGM and committee meeting in August. Another constructive session that brought together all sides of the industry to develop ideas for moving forward. Everyone from the industry is invited to attend our committee meetings. We welcome it. You needn’t be on the committee, you needn’t even be a member. History shows that once you see first-hand what we’re about, you’ll want to be part of it. Let me know if you’d like more info.   
 

In the loop

Members please remember to let us know when your contact details change. Incorrect details in your members directory listing or our correspondence lists could mean you’re missing out on jobs or vital industry news. Email Deb if you change email, phone, business name, etc. 

Keen to join the tint team?

Installers wanting to join WFAANZ can contact us here for more info about what's involved. 

 

There is a new info sheet for anyone wanting to learn why WFAANZ was formed, what we do, fee allocations and what's involved with membership. Download here.

 

Copyright 2018 © Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand. All rights reserved.
Phone: 02 9498 2768 | Email: info@wfaanz.org.au
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