Why Repairs Need To Be Made Right Away To Broken Stained Glass On Your Chicago Church


Minor Repairs To  Broken Chicago Church Stained Glass

Cracks in stained glass are fairly common and something you will start to see as glass ages.  The good news is–your glass has withstood the test of time thus far. Crack and broken glass can be a big deal if you look at your Chicago church’s stained glass and see chips, cracks, and even broken glass– you are not alone and it could be a simple fix.  Minor repairs, like replacing a few pieces of broken glass here are fairly easy to repair in the frame but major repairs are not. How do you tell which is which? By having a professional, like Scottish, inspect your church’s stained glass. We can tell you if we need to do small repairs called drop-in work which entails cutting the came flange around the broken piece of glass at the solder joints then folding it back to repair or replace the old glass or if a  larger restoration is needed. Regardless we try to keep the original glass in the window whenever possible–but if necessary we are quite skilled at creating matching pieces in our studios.

Repairing Cracks In Chicago Church Stained Glass

For very badly cracked stained glass–replacement is really your only choice.  In these cases, your Chicago church’s stained glass windows are best restored by removing them and replacing the glass piece by piece. However, at other times,  small cracks can be fixed without replacing the glass as it stands. It all depends on where the affected glass is located and the breadth of the cracks. It is important to note: cracks in stained glass will enlarge over time (as the edges grind against one another)  which is why it is important to have cracks looked at and repaired as soon as you see them.

Stained glass crack repair options include:

Copper Foiling: One of the oldest and most common ways to repair stained glass cracks on church glass.  It is usually the best option when a piece of glass has only one or two cracks. In this method a thin copper foil is laid along each side of the break, trimmed and soldered. Since the foil is so incredibly thin, it has very little aesthetic impact on your Chicago church’s stained glass

* Please note: copper foil repairs should not be used on unstable glass

Epoxy Edge-Gluing: This technique has an end result of almost invisible line and is, for this reason, often used on painted glass.  The reason why is because epoxy can be tinted to match the glass. This is also a great method for shattered glass or microscopic cracks.  Epoxy produces a very strong repair but deteriorates in sunlight–so it usually requires secondary glazing to protect it from UV degradation.

Silicone Edge-Gluing: This repair method has the lowest strength and is a quick fix used when a flexible joint is needed. However, it will do nothing for the long-term strength of your glass.  Luckily it is easily removed because it is unattractive and essentially useless long for the preservation of valuable church stained glass.

Although Scottish Stained Glass is a company out of Colorado, we have affiliate companies in the Chicago area to do church stained glass repairs and restorations here in Chicago and all over the Mid-West.  Contact us today for more information and pricing on repairing and restoring the stained glass in your Chicago church!

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