Stained and Leadlight Windows

How to Repair Stained and Leadlight Windows

When it comes to captivating, authentic window designs none are quite as traditional as stained leadlight glass. For centuries, these styles have adorned churches and chapels – and have been used to accentuate key rooms within a home. Although typically installed to last for years with minimal fuss, there can be times when issues arise; from colour fading, right through to sun damage. And this is where knowing how to repair stained glass and leadlight windows can come in handy. Here are some tips on how to repair stained glass windows from

When Might You Need to Consider a Repair to your Leadlight Windows?

The first thing to consider is that although similar in appearance, these two window types are created and installed in different ways. For example, stained panels are exactly what their name might suggest; they are coloured sections of glass that are exposed to metallic salts which in turn stains them ready for assembly. On the other side of the coin, leadlight windows are housed within ‘lead cames’ and are then individually assembled to create a complete installation.

There are three main factors that can be affected as far as a repair is concerned and these include:

  • The original colour of the glass, which can be prone to fading over time – particularly when exposed to the elements
  • Any lead framing in the form of cames, which can warp or deteriorate as the years go by
  • Jarring, which can lead to misalignment and cause damage to the solder used to connect the lead (or to the cement, if that has been used around the outer edge of the design)

In any event and when a repair is required, it might be a good idea to get in touch with a specialist.

Stained Glass: Handling a Repair

Working with glass can be tricky, not to mention dangerous. If a piece becomes dislodged, it could trigger a chain reaction in the worst-case scenario. Generally speaking however, the lead cames that feature within leadlight windows are typically capable of acting as structural reinforcement, allowing individual pieces to be removed and replaced as necessary.

Although the same can be said for stained windows, it’s not uncommon for entire sections of colour to be affected by the same issue (such as fading), so in these cases it may be necessary to have the pieces removed, re-coloured and then reinstalled. Fortunately, and due to the smaller nature of the individual pieces, correction can be fairly straight forward. In some instances, a specialist may not even need to remove the flats at all.

Other Methods for Dealing With Your Stained Glass Repairs?

By using metallic salt and combining the formulation with pigment, it can be possible to apply a fresh coat to any affected pieces; allowing the liquid to coat the glass and dry. Once dried, the fresh layer can restore the necessary colour and correct fading in equal measure.

In specific cases, the glass may need to be removed and re-coloured in a factory before being reinstalled and taped into place for a firmer hold (typically using copper tape), but an expert will be able to assess exactly what will need to be done to achieve the best results.

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