Stained-Glass Window Physical Damage
Repair of damaged stained-glass windows varies from a single shattered piece of glass to replication of several missing pieces. The window in this image from National Park Seminary had suffered damage to both the historic stained glass and wood sash. As a result, we removed and completely re-built it, adding new matching glass where pieces were missing and replicating the wood sash using rot-resistant lumber.
The need for repair is not always the result of window age. Consequently, repair recommendations do not always include re-lead of the stained glass. It’s important to note that small repairs for broken glass are sometimes possible without removal of the windows. Recommendations for repair are on a case-by-case, window-by-window basis.
Damaged stained glass windows.
National Park Seminary Ballroom, Silver Springs, MD.
Replacing a single broken piece of stained glass
It is possible to replace a single piece of glass without removing the window panel. A rubbing is made of the broken piece to use as a pattern to cut and, if necessary, painted to match the existing window design. The new piece of glass is then carefully installed into the damaged window.
The window shown below has 2 broken pieces of glass. Because they are not adjacent and because the lead is not damaged, these pieces could be replaced without removing the window.
Replacing multiple pieces of adjacent stained glass
Often the lead is mangled and/or stretched. Typically, a repair of this nature requires the removal of the panel. New pieces of stained glass are cut and, if necessary, painted to match the existing window design. The lead in the damaged area is replaced with new lead came. Depending on the age and condition of the window, the recommendation may be to completely re-lead the damaged panel.
The window shown below has 3 broken pieces of glass. Because they are adjacent and because the lead is badly damaged, these pieces cannot be replaced without removing the window.
Window can be repaired in place.
Window cannot be repaired in place.