Stained Glass Window Repairs
Pristine stained glass windows require regular repairs and maintenance. Our world-class craftsmen perform on-site repairs so that your valuable stained glass maintains its brilliance and beauty.
Over the years stained glass windows are often damaged and need to be repaired. Associated Crafts® & Willet Hauser® craftsmen can come to your site and repair your stained glass windows while they remain onsite. Our specially skilled craftsmen, project managers, and apprentices will be certain each repair is done with the highest level of quality and care.
Stained glass maintenance is broken down into two categories: repair and restoration. Often a combination of the two is required. Find out more about Historic Restoration.
Stained glass windows are made up of glass, lead came and solder, cement or putty, and rebar. Over time, any of these materials may need repair or replacement to ensure the window is structurally sound and beautiful.
Stained glass window repair can include any and all of these techniques:
Following the guidelines of world-recognized conservation experts, Associated Crafts® & Willet Hauser® maintains a CONSERVATION PHILOSOPHY to preserve the original artwork wherever structurally reasonable. Therefore we do not, as a matter of course, replace individual pieces of cracked or faded painted glass unless individually specified. Once a piece of glass is deemed broken and in need of replacement our studio has the resources to provide the best possible match available.
Bulging occurs in most stained glass windows due to years of exposure, heat build-up, gravity, settling, or improper bracing. Bulging and buckling will create cracks and fractures as the glass and lead support weight they were never meant to endure. To correct this problem we remove the affected panel from the frame and carefully flattened the bowed panel. Once the panel is correctly flattened it is supported with new bracing.
When braces need to be secured we solder them directly to the panel, or wire them to the panel using copper ties. It is important that the re-securing is achieved using the original method used on the stained glass window.
Our craftsmen will improve the ventilators’ operation by mechanical adjustment, light grinding or lubrication. We will make the double-hung ventilators operational by sanding the sash perimeter, reattaching sash weights or replacing sash ropes or chains.
Routine cleaning of stained glass isn’t recommended. Improper cleaning agents and methods can cause more harm than good, damaging the glass surface. But, stained glass does get dirty from years of exposure to dust, pollution, and grime, all of which can reduce the amount of light passing through the window. Determining first that the stained glass and its paint is stable and able to be cleaned, Associated Crafts® & Willet Hauser® will gently clean the window and restore that shine.
Should the window not be stable or if the stained glass was improperly made, it may be best to wait for the window to need restoration and address the problem then.
Years of exposure to elements and heat will dry and reduce the cement compound in a stained glass window, often faster than the lead came itself deteriorates. This loss can weaken the window as well as no longer be waterproof. With this protection lost, moisture can get in between the glass and lead. When the temperatures dip below freezing, this is a critical problem, distorting lead, pushing out cement, and destabilizing more of the window. It is important to rejuvenate this cement on the exterior and to strengthen and waterproof the window.
When wood frames are neglected and left exposed to the elements, they deteriorate faster than necessary. As that frame deteriorates, so too does its ability to stabilize and support the stained glass window properly. Minor wood repair for wooden frames or stone repair on masonry frames should be performed as needed to prevent moisture from working its way in. Recaulk and repaint the frames to protect them from the elements.