Owners of older homes admire the beauty of stained glass. In some cases, the stained glass home windows might also had been the emotional “cause” that induced you to shop for your own home. But as with so many different components of old residence ownership, stained glass desires upkeep and care. Below are a few recommendations on a way to take care of your home windows — and the way to understand when to name in an expert.
A stained glass panel is constructed of 1) personally cut pieces of clean or coloured glass, or bevels; 2) held together by means of a matrix of lead got here or copper foil. Lead got here dates to mediaeval times and is the traditional approach of assembling leaded glass panels. Zinc came is related to the prairie designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries. Copper foiling is the approach brought by using Louis Comfort Tiffany, and is the favored approach for building intricately designed art glass panels and lampshades. An additional step within the production of leaded glass panels is the software of cement to fill the space between the glass and the inside floor of the lead or zinc got here. Cement is applied to the back and front of the panel to weatherproof and add electricity to the panel. Large panels additionally ought to be braced with saddle bars or reinforcement bars.
Inspect your windows for age and buckling. To assess the situation of the lead or zinc cames, search for telltale symptoms of metal fatigue and corrosion. Old lead remains functional if the uncovered face of the metallic (the flanges) can be lifted and flattened with out cracking. Lead covered in a best white powder has oxidized and has reached the end of its useful lifestyles. Zinc covered with small white spots is worn out, too. Examine the steel for hairline cracks close to the joints, specially around the border of the panel. These imply steel fatigue.
Large or specifically complicated glass panels are regularly strengthened with metallic or brass bars. These saddle bars, approximately 1/8″ thick by means of ¼” huge, are attached to the cames and notched into the sash to stiffen the window and help help the panel’s weight. Some reinforcement bars are soldered to the cames, while others are mounted with twisted copper wires. If the bars have separated from the came, they must be reattached the use of the authentic approach. Bars that have split the came will require releading by means of a expert restorer.
If the panel has advanced a bulge, degree its intensity. A panel that is 1″ or less out of line and does no longer rattle have to be professionally examined, but won’t want to be repaired. Panels extra than 1½” out of actual want to be removed from the window and professionally flattened and releaded.
Check the glass. Because of the issue in matching a few old glass, it’s far top-rated to restore cracked glass instead of replace it. And now not every crack desires to be repaired. If the crack is small and in no threat of falling out, depart it alone. If glass is lacking or badly cracked, name a expert. If repairs are minimal and the panel is big, an on-website online repair may be feasible.
If you have to delivery the glass to a expert restorer, start via securing unfastened cames and glass panes with painter’s tape. (Do not use duct tape!) Remove the sash with panel nevertheless connected. For introduced protection, lay the panel on a bigger sheet of plywood and tape it down. Smaller panels can be wrapped and laid flat in a wood box.
Clean a sound leaded or copper foiled glass panel with a soft rag and a neutral pH cleaning soap. Wring the rag out properly. Avoid abrasive merchandise that can scratch the glass or metal. Do now not use spray merchandise or the ones containing ammonia. The liquid can get underneath the foil or lead got here and the ammonia can react with the lead or cement. Windows in lavatory or kitchen settings may be wiped clean with a dampened #0000 steel wool pad to dispose of cleaning soap residue, grease, and mold. Polish with a paste product along with Glass Wax or a stained glass polish available at any stained glass deliver retailer. Use a smooth rag rose gold glasses frames to use the paste, allow dry, and buff. CAUTION: This manner may launch lead dust into the paintings region. Clean any surfaces surrounding the panel (sashes, sill, and ground) with cleaning soap and water to include any lead residue. And put on a dirt mask.
Protective glazing, at the same time as no longer vital, can provide protection on your stained glass panel from vandalism or a wayward baseball. To maintain aesthetics, the storm window sash need to be of comparable fabric to the authentic sash. Depending on local building codes, the glazing may be double electricity glass or Plexiglas(R). Note that plastic glazing will yellow and scratch over the years. Lexan(R), to be able to not yellow, is despite the fact that very without difficulty scratched. Tempered double energy glass is steeply-priced, but gives the satisfactory safety.
Judy Soccio of SR Design designs and fabricates unique stained glass panels, domes, and glass art. SR Design also gives entire