When a home has a stained glass window, how do you know when these unique kind of windows need to be repaired or replaced?
What is the Age of Your Stained Glass Window?
Consider the age of the window. If you live in a particularly old home, there’s a chance your stained glass window is over 100-years-old. Once a window gets to be over 100, it’s probably time for such much needed “TLC” to clean and/or maintain it.
Blemishes to Consider on Your Stained Glass Window
What should you look for? Notice if there are any scratches or abrasions on the glass, impeding its clarity. Perhaps chemical agents and/or smog has built up on the glass over the years causing it to look dingy and dated. Does the window “no longer shine” like you remember it used to? Are there any tiny chips or cracks in the glass? What about broken panels? If you’ve got broken panels, that’s messing with the overall structure of the window, and that’s not good.
Examine the Leaded Glass
What’s the main way leaded glass breaks down? Typically, it’s all about the skeletal structure holding it in place. Frames (or the leaded came) can rot, deteriorate or sag over time. When this happens, glass near the “edge” can crack. If it’s not taken care of promptly, there’s a chance the stained glass could fall out. All it takes is a strong wind or vibration for loose glass to fall!
Don’t Fret Over the Dirt
Older stained glass can become dirty. This could be due to pollution, smoke and/or oxidation. Dirt, grime and soot can build up on either or both sides of the glass. Sometimes the window becomes so dirty that colors look different– pink looks red, purple looks black, etc. You’d be amazed at how much a professional cleaning can restore shine, sparkle and color to stained glass that hasn’t been cleaned in years.
Small or Large Repairs?
Much of the time there are just some small repairs needed… but what about replacement? When the lead in the windows weakens, the window might end up bowing outward or inward. Leaks can occur. This is when you might need to replace the whole window and start over. If a window has big cracks, corrosion and mold, it’s probably time for replacement.
Water Damage Can Cause Major Issues
Water damage is a main reason people have to get their stained glass windows replaced. Water damage happens when grout fails, breaks in the glass allow for leaks, and/or the lead has fatigued and the window is no longer water-tight. Even if you use protective glass or storm windows to help protect your home’s stained glass window, it can still be ruined by weather elements. Years of ice and wind storms may render a window obsolete. If you look at a window and say, “I’ve got to get that replaced,” then it’s time to do just that!
Stained Glass Repair Professionals
If you were to fix your window yourself, you’d discover that repairing leaded glass is possible but it’s also hard work. Stained glass window repair (and replacement) requires a high level of skill. Do you have soldering experience? Are you prepared to work with some toxic materials? Do you have the necessary tools and knowledge for this kind of work? If you’re like most people, the answer is a resounding, “No!”
Cumberland Stained Glass is a company with experts who know how to fix and/or replace stained glass windows. Colors and shapes can be matched. The lead came can be re-soldered. Frames can be reattached. Imperfections can be filled. Restoration is possible for most windows. If you have a stained glass window in/at your home and it has cracks, chips or missing pieces, why not have Cumberland Stained Glass investigate and see what could be done to fix these problems? And if you have a window that’s “too far gone to be saved,” did you know Cumberland Stained Glass makes custom windows and accents to add to any area of your home? Today, stained glass windows can be made in nearly any color, shape or design. From classic to contemporary, Cumberland makes beautiful, new stained glass windows for homes.
If you take a look at stained glass windows next time you visit a church, synagogue or public building, notice if there appears to be some sort of protective glazing over their windows. Most stained glass windows do have protective glazing, which helps protect stained glass from the effects of air pollution as well as vandalism. The glazing also aids in the conservation of energy. Just like people wear clothing to protect their skin, stained glass windows often have protective glazing for good reasons.
Increased Longevity for Stained Glass Windows
If and when protective glazing is installed, expect your windows to last longer than without it. Now, how do you determine whether or not you really need it, to begin with? Chances are you’ll want to consult with an expert, like someone from Cumberland Stained Glass. He or she will consider the structure, age and condition of the windows in question. Furthermore, he or she will take into account materials used to make the windows, as well as the methods used in their fabrication. Some questions an expert would ask you, if they weren’t able to see the windows in person, would include, “Are they painted? Is the came made from lead, zinc or copper? What’s the existing frame made of?” If the windows are located in a neighborhood prone to vandalism, stained glass windows should be protected in all ways possible, in order to deter damage or theft.
Protection For Stained Glass Windows
Oftentimes, protective glazing is installed in order to protect stained glass from the effects of air pollution. Did you know that sulfur dioxide can dissolve in water/water vapor, becoming sulfuric acid? While most stained glass windows can handle all sorts of air pollution, the one thing that’ll mess them up is sulfur dioxide in the air. Sulfur dioxide can also corrode a window’s came.
Energy Saver Stained Glass Windows
Over time, stained windows might need protective glazing to boost their ability to conserve energy. You see, the putty with which a window is sealed is usually made with linseed or soya oil. That oil dries and shrinks after a number of years, with the putty hardening and cracking– not good. When putty crumbles and falls out, the window will leak both water and air, causing heat loss. It’s no wonder, then, that a lot of older churches with stained glass windows have such high heating bills if they don’t take care of such problems quickly… One solution is to add protective glazing; it won’t solve the problem of a deteriorating window, but it can lessen the problem for a while.
A Protector of the Beauty of Stained Glass Windows
Have you ever seen a broken stained glass window? It’ll break your heart; how could someone purposely throw a rock through one to try and ruin such beauty? Stuff like that happens, though. If someone is “mad at God,” one of the first things they’ll do is try and break a church’s stained glass windows. Protective glazing, though, is one line of defense against breakage. The glazing helps protect windows from rocks, baseballs, hailstones and more.
Vented protective glazing offers numerous advantages. For instance, water is the enemy of stained glass windows. It can etch and pit glass, corrode metals, rot wooden frames and remove fired paint. If and when you’ve got inadequately vented protective glazing, water is going to cause havoc. Moisture will get trapped against the window causing all sorts of trouble. That’s why you want to make sure an expert installs/maintains adequately vented protective glazing. Venting needs to be at both the top and bottom of each independent panel, which allows for air to be fully exchanged several times daily.
With regards to the design of protective glazing, you’ll want to make sure it serves its function of protection but doesn’t harm the stained glass. It should be removable when needed– to do cleanings/restoration in the future. And it should look nice– “aesthetically sensitive” to the building where it will be seen. Oh, and proper ventilation is important, too.
How Cumberland Stained Glass Can Help You Through the Options
Someone from Cumberland Stained Glass can talk with you about what would work best for your stained glass situation. For instance, would glass or plastic protective glazing be best for you? Would you need tempered or laminated glass? If plastic is the choice, would it make sense to use acrylic or Polycarbonate? Would it be best to use full, plain sheets or to choose a leaded pattern, which often involves geometric shapes such as diamonds or rectangles? Finally, with protective glazing, the question comes up: “Should it be vented to the exterior or interior?” That’s up to you and your consultant to decide. Ultimately, you want your windows to be protected, vented, and last a long time in good condition.
Cumberland Stained Glass would be glad to talk with you about vented protective glazing for stained glass windows; please call us today at 717-691-8290.
Named for the town it was built in, York Minister has been a major Christian center in northern England for centuries. Although the earliest version dates back to 627 C.E., the current Gothic version that stands today was constructed between the years 1220 and 1472.
The great east window was the cathedral’s pride and joy. It depicts several scenes from the Bible, including stories from the Book of Revelation. John Thornton, one of Britain’s greatest glaziers, was hired for the job which took him three years—between 1405 and 1408. He was paid a grand total of £56 for the job.
The Restoration Project
By 2005, when conservationists assessed it, the great east window was in serious disrepair. Six hundred years of dirt and grime had left its mark on the stained-glass, and the stone around it had weathered, causing the window to bow. A little over ten years later, a restoration project began, and, because the window was so large, it had to be done in two stages. The first stage, in 2015, replaced and restored 157 of the panels. Two years later, in 2017, the remaining 154 were restored. The final panel, called “The Fifth Day of Creation” which depicts angels watching God create birds and fish, was the last piece to be re-installed. Overall, the entire project cost $14.9 million. Quite a bit more than the £56 John Thornton was paid.
While Cumberland Stained Glass Inc. didn’t work on York Minister’s great east window, we still recover and restore all sorts of stained-glass windows to their former glory. Contact us to find out more about our services.
One of the reasons people end up having stained glass windows installed in their homes or at their businesses is for privacy concerns. Unlike typical windows, stained glass is much more effective at giving people privacy while still letting light in!
Ideal for Rooms that Need Privacy
Do you have a window in your bathroom? A lot of people do, and they feel awkward when their neighbor might see them on the toilet or coming out of the shower naked. However, a stained glass window can eliminate the neighbor’s ability to easily see into your bathroom or other room in the house where you’d like some privacy.
Front Door Windows
What about the windows on both sides of the front door? They help let light inside the house, but if they’re not always covered with window treatments (thus blocking light) passersby are going to see directly into the house. Where’s the privacy? These “sidelight” windows, as they’re called, should be stained glass, which not only gives the occupants privacy, but also adds some charm to an otherwise boring-looking window. Indeed, stained glass can help the front of a house make a good impression on all who pass by it or walk up to the front door. Artistically, stained glass is interesting, colorful and “fancy looking,” in a good way.
Easier to Maintain Than Blinds
Do you currently have your windows covered using blinds? Do you know how hard those are to clean? Sure, blinds keep people from seeing into your rooms, so they’re good for privacy. But they sure do get dusty easily, and most people have no clue how to clean them, so they just let dust build up on them over time. Frankly, it’s easier to wipe down a flat stained glass window instead of having to deal with dirty blinds.
Finally, stained glass is customizable and can be whatever you need it to be, looks-wise. For instance, use color or don’t, use textured glass with shapes and patterns or don’t, and/or use beveled glass to increase the amount of light in a room (since beveled glass refracts light) or don’t. It’s up to you!
Why not call Cumberland Stained Glass today at 717-691-8290 and discuss your ideas for stained glass at your house or office?
Just like with most things, there are good versions of stained glass and… bad versions. How can you tell the difference between quality and lackluster stained glass windows?
Lackluster windows usually involve plastic laminate overlay or they have paint applied to the surface of the glass. These windows aren’t durable.
Quality windows, like the ones found in European cathedrals, are durable and they can last for centuries because they’re composed of real glass– no plastic. Furthermore, the color is literally “in” the glass rather than painted on top of it. If the color was applied to the surface but kiln fired into it, at least, then the pigments and chemicals are an integral part of the glass itself. Real colors are created using real elements. For instance, blue comes from cobalt and pink/red comes from gold.
There’s an art and a craft to making quality stained glass windows. If you’re thinking of buying stained glass windows today, you need to be on the lookout for poor design and poor craftsmanship. In other words, was the artist amateur, untrained, boring or sloppy? What’s more, in the actual physical creation of the window, was the artist-creator committed to doing his or her best, or not, with the best materials available? If you’re looking for “the best,” then you’ll want to find windows that you’d consider to have innovative or original designs crafted both cleanly and precisely.
For copper foiled stained glass, look for lead lines displaying a uniformity of width, very thin lead lines, smooth solder bead, and a uniform appearance of the patina, if one is applied. These are all indicators of high quality stained glass windows. For leaded stained glass windows, high quality indicators include straight lead lines which look perfectly straight, curved lead lines which look smooth and precise, lead lines that match up both ways when crossing each other, visually smooth junctures where two lead lines merge into one, smooth and small solder joints, a uniform patina, and no excess putty where putty has been applied.
Cumberland Stained Glass is involved in the restoration and repair of many windows. We also handle research, design, fabrication and installation of new windows. We care about bringing customers windows of high quality. You’re welcome to ask questions and find out the details of exactly what we can and will do for you with regards to high quality stained glass windows. Please call 717-691-8290.
Certain colors are associated with certain things. When you think of green, what comes to mind? Nature? Money? How about blue? Water/the ocean? Red? Warnings? Stop Signs? Indeed, different colors help communicate different ideas, emotions and things. This is true for colors in stained glass windows, too.
Take, for instance, the many beautiful stained glass windows used in “houses of worship” in places like the U.S., Europe and Israel. From churches to mosques to synagogues, there are stained glass windows that are used to communicate ideas to all those who see and experience them. These aren’t plain, monochromatic windows, either. These are diverse and oftentimes brilliant windows with elaborate scenery and characters imbued with meaning.
With regards to religious stained glass, what’s the significance and/or symbolism behind the usage of certain colors? For the purpose of this article, we’ll consider stained glass color symbolism from a Christian perspective, since it’s predominant over much of the world.
The color red, for example, is typically representative of the blood of Jesus Christ. The color red may be associated with strong emotions such as hate, or, better yet, love. It can serve as a reminder of Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice on the cross.
The color purple (or violet) is often the color of royalty. It can symbolize not only suffering (as an offshoot of red), but also truth, love, passion and leadership.
Blue is typically associated with the Virgin Mary. It can symbolize sincerity, piety and hope. It can also help show scenes where the sky and/or heaven is prominent.
From looking above to looking below, we go on to the color green– the color of grass and nature. Green is used as a symbol of spring, rebirth, and growth; it’s associated with life over death.
What about white? In stained glass, white helps show innocence, purity and chastity. Gray, an offshoot of white, can represent the immortality of the spirit, as well as mourning and/or humility.
Black, which might be the color of the lead around stained glass, isn’t typically seen in stained glass windows themselves, unless the creator wants to symbolize death or regeneration. Brown, which is close to black, can symbolize spiritual death and the giving up of worldly things (think of monks and their brown cloaks).
Yellow is typically used in religious stained glass for halos around saints, or to show the Gates of Heaven. Yellow can symbolize divinity, power, glory, and even treachery (in the case of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus).
Finally, there’s the rainbow. If you see a rainbow in stained glass, it symbolizes the union and God’s covenant with humanity. In more recent times, it might also indicate that the congregation is gay-affirming.
The next time you visit a house of worship, take some time to examine the colors used in the scenes you see in their stained glass windows. Colors help tell the stories those windows are trying to communicate.
People often wonder how much it would cost to have their stained glass window repaired. According to homeadvisor.com, the national average for a stained glass window repair is about $284. The typical range is between $173 and $416. The low end for repairs is $60 and the high end is $738. These are just estimates to give you an idea.
Stained/leaded glass adds elegance to homes, churches and businesses. If and when it breaks, it’s a smart idea to hire a professional who knows all about stained glass rather than trying to “fix it” yourself. The folks at Cumberland Stained Glass of Mechanicsburg, PA, regularly repair stained glass– you can find out more here.
What are some of the types of repairs done?
Glass Panel Issue
First, there’s the broken or cracked glass panel problem that needs fixing… If a piece within a panel is broken or cracked, typically it can be removed and replaced without having to remove the entire stained/leaded panel.
Panel Grouting Issue
Next, there’s the need for panel re-grouting. If you notice the grouting/weatherproofing around the edges (holding the panel in place) has cracked or has fallen out, then a professional can remove the panel, fix the problem, clean it all, and reset the panel good as new.
Cracks in the Glass
Finally, sometimes multiple cracks in many of the glass pieces– or the entire panel– make the window warped. When it’s no longer flat, the glass needs to be cleaned and the entire panel should be rebuilt, aka “re-leaded.” Typically a professional will want to look at accurate documentation showing how the panel looked when it was originally made so they can match that to the best of their ability. For instance, a drawing or picture from years ago will help make that happen. Re-leading takes a little more time and finesse than other projects, so it’s likely to cost more than simple, quicker repairs.
Do you have a stained glass window that needs to be repaired for whatever reason? Call Cumberland Stained Glass at 717-691-8290 to discuss the problem. We’re happy to chat with you about it and offer solutions. You can also email us at email@example.com.
Stained glass windows add both tangible and intangible value to your home. Something tangible can be touched– it’s a physical thing that people see, feel/touch, and, in some cases hear and taste, too. People have acute senses which need to be served and stimulated. We like to be around beautiful objects– tangible ones. But we also appreciate intangible value– which could be described as a generally positive feeling or impression something gives us. Think of your favorite brand of clothing and what they do to impact the world in a positive way. When a company donates some of their profits to charity, that’s a feel-good example of intangible value. Or how about when you visit a restaurant that offers something unusual inside, like a water feature or costumed characters? These “extras” stand the place out from other places and make them more memorable.
The Tangible Value of Stained Glass Windows
Stained glass windows can be tangibly seen and they generally make people feel good. They help create a positive impression of a place. Think of the times you’ve walked inside of a church or historic building where the sun shone through colorful stained glass– wasn’t it a majestic scene? Stained glass is definitely more impactful than plain glass. It’s meant to be– the intangible value of it means it’s going to elevate the mood and emotional feelings of the people who see and experience it in all of its glory.
The Intangible Value of Stained Glass Windows
Stained glass is often artistic, in the sense that it depicts religious scenes, nature scenes and/or custom ideas put forth by those who had it commissioned to reflect their beliefs, hopes, desires, personalities and preferences. Stained glass can tell people a story in ways other glass can’t. Furthermore, it can appear in windows, but also door panels, lampshades and more. People view it as luxurious and visually interesting, even in its simplest form of basic colored shapes.
Installing stained glass windows ultimately adds value to your home. If there are two houses exactly the same, and one has stained glass, guess which one will be deemed “worth more?” Stained glass is a sign of luxury because it’s usually custom-made and handcrafted in an era when most homes are “cookie cutter” and, honestly, kind of boring in the way they look…
How can you keep your stained glass windows in good shape over the years?
Make Simple Repairs
If you need to make simple repairs, you can use some putty, darkened with lamp back. Push the putty into loose areas using your fingers or a blunt piece of wood. After a few days, get rid of excess putty using a putty knife. If you prefer, mix your putty with linseed oil which makes it easier to brush onto a window. The excess can be wiped off using newspaper. Ideally, you want to stiffen up your stained glass window and make it more airtight. If there’s a crack in your window you can leave it alone. Or you can glue it using clear epoxy cement. It’s your call.
Brace Sagging Windows
For those who have a sagging window, see if you can remove it from its sash. If so, brace it up against a stiff piece of cardboard or plywood. Lay it on a flat surface and leave it for several days. Eventually, the sagging will go away! Handle it carefully, of course.
Protection from the Elements
When possible, don’t expose stained glass window lead to the elements– use exterior storm sashes to help protect them. You can also utilize interior storms, too. They’ll help insulate and stabilize your window(s).
Do you want to clean your windows? If so, combine kitchen soap with glass cleaner. Then use a lint-free towel or newspaper to clean them.
For stained glass on a door that gets opened and shut often, consider adding stops which can help prevent them from breaking if they swing open or shut too quickly. For stained glass in skylights, it’s a good idea to buffer them using a thick Plexiglass, which will help give the window better support.
Professional Stained Glass Repairs and Restorations
If you have stained glass windows that could use repairs or restoration, consider giving Cumberland a call. Cumberland Stained Glass can also add protective coverings where needed and do ventilator replacements. Basically, if you’re like most people, you don’t want to deal with your windows for fear of breaking them or harming them, right? That’s why it’s a good idea to call a trusted company like Cumberland who deals with stained glass all day, every day. Cumberland Stained Glass is located in Mechanicsburg, PA, and can be reached by calling 717-691-8290 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can stained glass windows crack due to cold winter weather? Yes. When this happens, it’s called a “thermal stress crack.”
An Overview of Thermal Stress Cracks
When there’s a significant temperature change in the outdoor air temperature, cracks can occur in glass. Specifically, particles of the glass expand when heated and contract when cooled. In extreme cases, when the degree and stress of this expansion/contraction process occurs, cracks happen.
Most windows have their glass edges covered by a frame, right? Frames help shield some of the glass from heating sources, such as sunlight. Because of this, the glass that’s “framed” can be cooler (or warmer) than the rest of the pane. If the center of the window is doing one thing and the edges are doing another, in competition, thanks to extreme temperature changes, there’s a push and pull tension… which leads to cracking.
Consider frames for a minute: timber/vinyl frames keep edges cooler. Aluminum/metal frames conduct heat. Meanwhile, the darker the frame, the more heat it will absorb. So, the type of frame for a window matters when it comes to thermal stress crack potential. Also, if the window is located close to a heating vent, it has a higher chance of cracking. Imagine– the window is freezing cold thanks to outdoor winter weather, but the indoor heating vent is warming it up on one side to the point where the particles in the glass have tension… and cracking occurs. Even where windows are located on a building play a role– are they under an overhang? Does a tree cast a shadow on them? Oh, and the size of the pane matters, too. The larger the pane, the harder it is to keep all the glass the same temperature.
Are the Cracks Preventable?
Can thermal stress cracks be prevented? Not really; they are a naturally-occurring phenomenon.
If you have stained glass windows that have cracked, don’t fret. Cumberland Stained Glass of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, does stained glass window repair. With proper color matching and careful attention to detail, Cumberland’s experienced stained glass artists can fix chips, cracks and more. Please call Cumberland Stained Glass at 717-691-8290 for more information.