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Problems With the Removal of Window Shrink Film

Shelly Barclay

Window shrink film is a form of insulation that goes over the inside of windows. It helps seal windows that collect condensation or that allow air into or out of homes. Window shrink wrap is applied to maintain indoor temperatures and reduce heating or air conditioning bills.

However, methods of application may pose problems when removing the film.

Peeling Paint

The typical methods of window shrink film application are either double-sided or masking tape. This tape adheres to paint on the window frame. If the paint is cracked or fragile, removing window shrink film may also remove chunks of paint. There is no avoiding this if the paint is old and the tape firmly attaches to the paint. Applying fresh paint a month in advance of window shrink wrapping can help. Alternatively, affix the tape to the wall just outside of the window frame's edge.

Stuck Tape

Sometimes window shrink wrap comes off the tape, but the tape stays on the window. It may be possible to remove the tape after the shrink wrap comes off, but not always. The tape can remain stuck on the painted surface of the window frame. Methods of stuck tape removal include scrubbing with warm water, rubbing oil on the tape and scraping it off with a razor blade. All of these methods can damage paint or hard wood surfaces.

Wrap Stays on Stuck Tape

In cases when the tape remains stuck to the window frame when removing window shrink wrap, the wrap over or under the tape may remain stuck as well. If it's double-sided tape and the plastic shrink wrap is stuck over it, it can complicate removal of the tape. The plastic may block any edges of the tape that could be useful for removal. It also adds an extra layer to scrub through if scrubbing the tape off becomes necessary.

Window Frame Dinginess

The tape for window shrink wrap may leave glue residue, even if it doesn't stay stuck. There can also be dust and dirt on the edges of the frames from which the wrap and tape protected the rest of the frames. The leftover adhesive residue and contrast of clean and dirty surfaces necessitates cleaning the window frames. Use mild soap, warm water and a non-abrasive sponge to clean the frames.