4 Essential Tricks to Restoring Leaded-Glass Windows and Thermal Panes

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4 Essential Tricks to Restoring Leaded-Glass Windows and Thermal Panes

16 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog


A glass repair and restoration project in your home can save you the huge expense of replacing the entire window. As a result, monies saved can be diverted to other home improvement or restoration projects. Depending on the kind of repair, you will have to decide whether you will conduct the restoration project yourself or you will seek the assistance of an expert, albeit at a sizeable fee. Here are some few key tips when restoring your window glass.

The Type of Glass Determines the Restoration Procedure -- Most window glasses in residential properties are either thermal panes or lead-glass windows. The former refers to windows that have a sealed air gap between two panes. For this type of window, staining often occurs on the exterior surface than on the interior. It is doubtful that you will find a stained interior surface, but in the event of clouding, you will probably have to replace the entire window in the long-run. As for the lead-glass windows, also referred to as stained glasses, ensure that you handle with care due to their delicate nature. Normally, stained glasses are pieced together using strips of zinc or lead known as cames to offer reinforcement. When restoring such windows, ensure that the cames hold tight to the glasses' supporting bar.

Cleaning the Windows Prior to Restoration -- When cleaning both leaded-glass window and thermal panels, it is suggested that you use a soft rag dipped in a solution of water and mild soap. Commercial window cleaners are not advisable in this regard because of their ability to react with zinc or lead that makes up the cames in the lead-glass windows. Tap water can also degrade window panes through corrosion.

Stain Removal -- Stains should be removed from windowpanes using special oxidation agents following the recommended manufacturer's procedure. No cleaning agent or stain-removal technique is ideal for all types of glasses, and hence, you should refer to the manufacturer's guidelines or consult a professional.

Refill Filler Cement in Lead-Glass Windows -- Filler cement glues the glass and the came flanges together. Over time, the cement dries and brakes apart, leaving a cavity that can threaten the stability of the glass. Use a tinted glazing compound to refill this gap for extra reinforcement. You do not need any tools for this job because you can use your hands to apply the compound, only after kneading it to the required consistency.  Clean the excess compound with a dry cloth to prevent it from drying on the glass surface.