Learning About Glass Repair And Replacement

How To Repair A Leaded Or Stained Glass Window

by Christopher Snyder

When a single pane window cracks, it's obvious enough that you need to apply glass glue or take it to a repair shop to get the glass panel repaired. But if you have a more complicated glass piece that breaks, such as a leaded window or a stained glass window, the repair method can be more complicated. Here are some steps that you can take.

Step 1: Measure the Piece that's Missing

The first step is to get a measure of your missing window piece. Hold the window up to a light source and use a pencil to trace the outlines of the missing glass so that you know how much you need to order.

Step 2: Match the Glass to a Vendor

Finding the correct replacement glass can be a challenge. Try to contact the original maker of the window to find out who their suppliers were. If you can't locate the information this way, you might want to approach a local glass cutting company to see if they have any inventory that matches the piece or can recommend a vendor with relevant glass products. You may need to look through several glass catalogs to find something that matches closely. If the window was made long ago, it's possible that you won't find an exact match; your glass repair studio can help you locate glass that is an approximate match that won't affect the look of your window. There may be additional techniques that they can apply to weather, texture, or tint the glass so that it looks more authentic.

Step 3: Order the Glass You Need

You might need to round up when buying glass. For instance, you'll need at least a square that covers the area of your missing piece, but it's wise to order more than you need. If there is a flaw in the original square, your piece may crack as it's being cut. Having more glass on hand will keep you from having to wait again for glass to be shipped.

Step 4: Cut and Fit the Piece

You can do these steps on your own if you have the right equipment, but it's often better to hand this job over to a glass installation and repair shop so that you don't risk breaking more panels as you attempt to repair the piece. They will cut the piece and then fit it in place using putty, solder, or another technique to match the character of the original window.