Too Cold to Tint – Winter Weather Preventing Window Film InstallationsFebruary 12th, 2014 | Category: Featured Content, Industry News
If you live east of the Mississippi, chances are you’ve been impacted by the recent onslaught of winter weather. From snow and sleet to freezing rain, schools and businesses in the East and Midwest have been closed multiple times since the start of the New Year. For window film companies, the consistently frigid climate is preventing many installations.
“Because of the cold weather and the cold temperatures we were prohibited to install film,” says Ed Golda, president of Michigan Glass Coatings in Auburn Hills, Mich. “When we sprayed the glass it froze and you can’t install film over ice. It was challenging. With the weather conditions and snow days, residential customers had their minds on kids and trying to get to work. The last thing on their mind was window film … Everyone is just in survival mode. It’s been a brutal winter.”
“We’ve had two days where all of the installers were off. We’ve gotten shut down other days when the glass was frozen,” adds Steve Pesce, president of New York Window Film Co. in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Even south of the Mason-Dixon line, typically warm-weather companies are feeling the chill.
Matthew Erbrick, owner of United Home Solutions in Alpharetta, Ga., says his shop has had to close and reschedule work as a result of the weather.
“People were very cooperative. We did have to work on Saturday and Sunday which we don’t typically do this time of year,” he says. “It was only a day-and-a-half we had to make up because of the snow. It did affect us—minimally fortunately.”
In the Midwest, Northeast and South, snowy weather is continuing to promise slow working conditions for window film companies.
“They’re talking like it’s an apocalypse,” says Erbrick. “We got a little snow, but now they’re talking ice. We’ll probably have to reschedule and work to catch up.”
As far as the weather goes, Erbrick says it’s relatively unpredictable.
“In Georgia, you just never know until March, but in 1992 we got hit in April with 10 inches of snow, so you just can never tell,” he notes.
Some dealers have a brighter outlook when it comes to improving conditions.
“It’s the same as every other year, so it’s nothing new around here,” adds Pesce. “I’m expecting this whole thing to blow over by next week and get warmer. This is one of the few times I can remember where it’s consistently snowing … that’s the only difference.”
For Golda, though, the hits his company has felt since the start of the year have been some relatively tough blows.
“I had to let one of our installers go on unemployment. It’s tough. Thank God we diversified into graphics and security films … the air temperatures are just brutal. This has been an extraordinary winter, as we all know,” he says. “The problem is once January is gone, that’s it. There’s no way to get it back. Only the tough will survive.
“You keep a positive attitude and keep trucking and hope for a decent February, but the cold just won’t go away,” Golda adds. “When the sun is shining, it does help, at least it starts warming up the glass. But a cloudy overcast day, it’s very difficult.”
To try and maintain business during this time, Golda says his company works in a variety of creative ways.
“We’re trying to book out in advance as well as work with the sun when it’s on the East side, then follow it to the West,” he states. “We also try to do a lot of graphics job inside buildings. If we’re in the hallways putting up graphics it’s a little easier because the interior temperatures are 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. We also try to make introductions and set up business for later on down the year. It’s tough but you have to do what you have to do.”
For more tips about how to keep your company operating during the winter months, click here.