Answering Your Questions About Leadlight and Stained Glass Window Repair

Posted on: 6 September 2017


Stained glass or leadlight windows can add lots of style to any home or commercial building, and these windows are also often found in older churches and even older homes. Stained and leadlight windows usually last for many decades before they need repairs, but once they do suffer a chip, crack, or obvious leak of the lead or stain, it's good to have that window fixed right away. This will ensure the work can be done easily, before the damage gets so severe that the entire window then needs replacing. Note a few questions you might have about leadlight repairs and stained glass window repairs, so you know what to expect if such a window of yours gets broken or is showing signs of damage.

Why does the window need to be removed for repairs to be done?

Unlike a standard window, a stained glass window cannot simply be filled in with epoxy or resin when there is a chip or crack in the glass. Very often, that one piece of stained glass must be removed from its section in the window, and then patched and repainted, and then placed back into the window. This cannot be done with the window still installed in the home or other building.

In the same way, when leaded grilles leak or begin to soften, they cannot simply be cleaned so that the streaks of lead are removed, but that lead often needs to be removed from the glass sections and then replaced. This, too, cannot be done with the window still in place.

Why is glass re-leaded and not just repaired?

When leadlight glass shows damage, the lead is often replaced, as mentioned. This is done to clean and remove any leaked lead that is showing on the glass, but also because old and damaged lead may be soft and unstable. If it's not replaced, it can allow for water leaks, drafts, and even for panes of glass to come loose in the window frame. Re-leading the glass will then keep it looking good, and also ensure the overall structure of the window.

Can new stained glass or re-leading keep these problems from recurring?

Unfortunately there is no way to keep stained glass from fading or other such damage. The lead used for leadlight windows can also leak over the years, even after it's been re-leaded. Your window repairperson can tell you the best way to protect your stained or leaded windows, but don't assume that even new lead or new stained glass panes are going to last indefinitely.