Older stained glass windows might need restoration. Glass is, after all, a fragile substance. If properly supported, it can last a long time. However, if the grooved lead strips (also known as “cames”) holding the stained glass together deteriorates, that’s when you’d need window restoration.
Cames, which can be made from lead, zinc or copper, can become susceptible to the effects of gravity over time. Weather elements and thermal expansion/contraction can cause them to deteriorate. Meanwhile, heat, oxidation and humidity all play a role in a window’s structural integrity.
As you’d imagine, large stained glass windows are extremely heavy. If and when the cames start to sag, all sorts of problems can occur. For example, steel brace bars supporting the windows can break loose, pulling free from the cames. The loss of support can cause windows to crack or fall out!
The window frame, over time, can also decay, especially if it’s made from wood. When this happens, warping and rotting lead to sagging, cracking windows. If the frame is “bad,” then you’ll need stained glass window restoration services from a company like Cumberland.
Some stained glass windows have Plexiglas installed to their exterior in order to discourage vandalism. Over time, if not properly vented, heat builds up between the Plexiglas layer and the stained glass. This helps quicken the deterioration of the lead cames. Plexiglas should be replaced with tempered safety glass as an alternative, and it should definitely be properly framed or vented.
Thanks to today’s modern technology and all the accumulated knowledge about stained glass windows, restoration methods in 2019 are better than they were decades or centuries ago. Today windows can be restored to be stronger and more stable, able to last longer than when they were originally built.
Cumberland Stained Glass can restore older stained glass windows. Our company believes in maintaining the beauty and authenticity of the glass. With meticulous attention to detail, Cumberland’s window experts can get rid of decay, fix damage(s), and replace windows in line with their original look. If you have stained glass windows at home, at your business, in your church or elsewhere, please call us to discuss restoration services at 717-691-8290.