Window Help

This isn’t really about cleaning a window but figuring out what is on the window

We have these windows that have privacy features. During the day, it’s mirrored outside and it lowers visibility (everything is 30-40% darker) and during the evening, it is a mirror on the inside. I saw a bunch of scratches in it (where the light was lighter, letting in the normal light) so I thought it was film but upon feeling some of these scratches felt like grooves. A professional tinter came over and said its not tint and then made a point of scratching the glass with his knife with the point but said its a coating? He claimed he was scratching the coating but i think he scratched the glass.

My questions are

  1. Is this either tint or coating and not like gas pumped into the inside of the glass? I assume not
  2. The glass is from multiple manufacturers (its stamped as such) but the reflective coating is the same so could it be tint or did they just buy the same shade reflective glass from everyone

My goal is to remove this tint as it’s really depressing. I think for coatings you can use a polisher and polish it away and film is easier? I’d rather not scratch the windows. There’s tons of existing scratches I’d like to get out too since it’s unsightly.

Also a few of the panes are tempered so need a safe way of getting them out

My advice? Just replace the windows. No idea what or where that coating it. IF it is factory installed coating, it’s probably between the panes of glass.

You will sometimes see lines like that that look like scratches, when a seal goes bad on windows. Anderson windows around me are notorious for bad seals.

IF you end up scratching a lot of the glass, or end up with real scratches to be polished out, it actually could be pretty expensive to fix it. What you need to do in reality, is first call the manufacture, OR someone you trust that is an educated installer.

Nothing lasts forever, and neither do windows. We can only make a guess at what is going on, we are not there to see it.

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Unfortunately not realistic to get rid of the windows and the scratches are on the outside

There’s tons of them and one of them was replicated with sharp end of an exacting knife

There’s over 20 windows in a 2800sq ft rental apartment on a high floor and can’t be putting up scaffolding to remove

I just need to figure out first if its tint or coating.

Someone said that coating can be removed by polishing glass which would get rid of all the random scratches.

This is original glass when the apartment was built in 1980s.

The fact that there are multiple glass manufacturers but the same reflective tint makes me wonder if it really is just film? the film has been on here for so long that it’s bonded with the glass? Otherwise it must be coating because it certainly is not in between the glass. If its in between, can’t scratch it like this (i didn’t put these in but these are scratches from previous tenant who tried to get rid of this annoying tint i assume)

I am with @anon82274079 on this one. If it is that old you can’t figure it out I would just Keep It Simple and replace them.

Well, my final thoughts are:
You are in a pickle. You need to find a pro locally and ask them what can be done. This IS NOT something that the average Joe can take on, and expect a good result. Breaking out a blade and scraping the glass in likely going to leave you with more scratches than you started with. This isn’t a simple job. It’s not a hour and they are out of there, kind of job. It’s going to be expensive any way you look at it.

And, there isn’t really anything we can tell you without physically being there to see what is going on, the extent of any damage, what it would take to remove the film (if it is even removable), or what we could do to remedy the situation.

Keep in mind, IF the scratches are deep, you aren’t going to polish them out. They will have to be ground out with the proper equipment. That stuff is expensive and not many people do it/know how to do it. There is no DIY internet solution to this problem. You need to call a local pro.