Stained glass windows are well known for their colourful beauty and individuality. For centuries they have decorated and told stories in the windows of buildings across the world. One of the most incredible aspects of leaded light windows and stained glass doors is the aesthetic appeal they bring to both the interior and exterior of the building.
However, after long periods of time and continued exposure to weather conditions, stained glass windows can be damaged. If this does happen, repairing and restoration processes are important when it comes to protecting the heritage of stained glass windows. But how do we go about protecting stained glass windows and what is the historical significance of these glass works of art?
History of stained glass windows
The history of stained glass windows goes back centuries. The earliest use of stained glass goes back as far as the Romans and Egyptians who used it primarily in jewellery. The introduction of this technique into stained glass doors and windows began in the Romanesque and early Gothic era. During this time there were many cathedrals and churches built around England and architects would use stained glass windows to portray scenes from the bible. While this was for aesthetic reasons, it was also because most of the population were illiterate.
In the last 100 years, stained glass windows repair and restorations are more available due to the advancements in technology. There has also been an increase in the number of people commissioning stained glass replacement windows and stained glass doors. Incorporating stained glass windows into your own home is now hugely popular.
Why protecting stained glass windows is important
Not only are stained glass doors and windows beautiful, but they are also steeped in history. Historians can learn a lot about a building or area from studying them. Stained glass windows can sometimes be the oldest remaining decorations in a listed or medieval building so represent an important part of the character of a building.
Protecting stained glass windows is important in keeping the aesthetic of a religious or medieval building intact. Taking the right steps to protect stained glass windows will prevent them from deteriorating and keep them looking beautiful for years to come. Stained glass replacement windows are more expensive than certain methods to protect stained glass windows, so it is wise to take as many precautions as possible.
Protecting and repairing stained glass windows
Before understanding how to protect stained glass windows, it is first important to learn how to spot signs of damage and deterioration. Check to see if there are any cracks or chips in the glass. You can replace smaller panes if they have some sort of damage. Make sure there is no water leaking through the windows as this will accelerate the weakening of the pane. With leaded light windows, the structural integrity is often warped over time by a combination of environmental factors including wind and temperature.
Protecting stained glass windows usually means installing some form of window guard. Window guards are available in a variety of styles and their suitability will all depend on the type and positioning of the stained glass panel. Installing window guards can add structural integrity where there is warping. For more serious cases where the window is very fragile, installing windows guards on the outside of the window will protect them from the elements.
Are you looking to protect your stained glass windows? At Steve Sherriff Stained Glass Specialists we have over 25 years of experience protecting stained glass windows. For more information on stained glass window repair or to speak to one of our specialists, get in touch by calling 01202 882208 or emailing us at email@example.com.