Stained Glass Restoration for Scottsdale Churches, Temples, and Cathedrals
Stained glass windows are an important part of the identity of a church and also serve the purpose of providing privacy and protecting the interior from the elements. Unfortunately, many churches fail to recognize warning signs of deterioration, such as bowed glass, chalky leading, loose bars, or cracks in the glass or leading, which ultimately leads to the destruction of rare and beautiful works of art. By addressing damage and signs of deterioration immediately and contacting a stained glass restoration expert, you can preserve the lovely stained glass and historical appearance of your church.
Restoration Process for Scottsdale Church Stained Glass
The first step in the stained glass restoration process is an onsite inspection. Typically, a member of the church who is acting as an advocate will contact us after noticing signs of wear in the stained glass. If photographs are sent to us, we can provide a quick phone consultation, but will eventually need to visit the church in person to perform a proper evaluation. During the onsite visit, we will carefully scan for signs of damage and evaluate the condition of the stained glass. Once we’ve gained an understanding of the work that needs to be done, we will compose a proposal that outlines possible avenues for repair which will be sent to your church board for review.
After we’ve received an approval from your church in writing, we will commence the actual process of church stained glass restoration. In an effort to conserve time and resources, we will complete as many of the repairs onsite as possible. First, the putty holding the glass in place is chipped off and the stained glass is removed. If possible, we will complete all the cleaning and repairs right then and there. However, many times we find that the best route is to conduct the repairs and restoration off site in our workshop where we can be safe and thorough.
Once at our studio, the stained glass is soaked in a bath of gentle cleansing solution for up to 14 days. This helps to remove some of the dirt and makes it easier to take the windows apart. Then, the pieces are separated and taken apart. All severely damaged lead and glass is discarded and replaced. If necessary, we can contact the proper manufacturers to have matching lead or glass created. If the glass is painted, we will repaint all the details on the replacement pieces. Often this requires us to paint and fire numerous pieces until we can produce a perfect match. Then, the stained glass is put back together, cemented, and reinforced with steel brace bars.
Finally, we complete the last step in the process. The stained glass windows are brought back to the church for installation. The temporary glass we’ve put in place is removed and the stained glass windows are carefully installed. Tempered safety glass may be added to the exterior for protective purposes. Once the installation is complete, we can step back and say “wow” as the details and color of the stained glass is illuminated in the sunlight. Your church can now enjoy the beauty of your stained glass for several decades longer.