Stained glass windows usually begin to show signs of deterioration around 70 years of age and beyond. Typically, after 90 years there is significant evidence that permanent damage is occurring. This is often represented by ‘symptoms’ such as bulging, sagging, light leaks, loose re-bar, and cracked glass. The glass itself is what we are trying to preserve. The lead caming and putty/cement is what is deteriorating. Once the glass has cracked, it is cracked permanently. The goal is to replace or stabilize the lead matrix before permanent glass damage occurs. This is best done through a complete re leading when necessary. A much higher degree of vigilance is necessary, if your windows are hand painted and include figures and faces etc. Once a face or painted piece is cracked, it is permanent.
It is important to note that simply addressing the ‘symptoms’ by doing general repairs on a stained glass window such as flattening, re cementing, and replacing or covering cracked glass, does not address the source of the problem, and is not considered a ‘restoration’. These issues for most windows over 70+ years old are caused by the lead caming becoming brittle and developing hairline cracks throughout. Too often, Church trustees are spending thousands on ‘general’ repairs over a period of years chasing the symptoms, only to find that a proper restoration / releading is inevitable regardless.
General repairs and flattening are a viable stained glass repair method in unique circumstances, usually for windows showing premature signs of deterioration at a much younger age. (Less than 60 years old)Â
Please see the typical ‘Step-by-Step’ stained glass restoration process here.
Our stained glass restoration services include:
Classic Glass, Ltd. Stained Glass Studio has completed countless stained glass restoration projects of all sizes and has the experience necessary to handle even the most demanding job conditions. Please feel free to contact any church on our project list for a reference, call 1-701-232-8999 or email Classic Glass for more information.
Because each window is different, contact Classic Glass to discuss your stained glass restoration needs.
Listing of Restoration Projects (Pictures of Restoration Projects below these.)