Exterior Protective Glass

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Exterior Protective Glass for Your Church’s Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass can last for centuries with the proper care, maintenance, and protection. In order to maintain your church’s one-of-a-kind stained glass windows, investing in the right protective coverings can offer peace of mind as well as optimal protection. For churches considering exterior protective covers, you’ll need to determine your project goals and priorities first:

1. What are you protecting your stained glass from?

Are natural disasters, severe weather, and freak accidents your main concern? Do you live in a vandalism-prone area?

2. Are aesthetics or protection the main priority?

Does the exterior appearance of your stained glass matter more? Or is finding the optimal protection to deter damage the main priority of your project?

Once you’ve determined what your church protective cover needs are, the next step is scheduling an appointment with an experienced church stained glass restoration studio. It’s crucial to find the right studio for your exterior protective glass needs so that custom solutions with proper ventilation can be created for your windows.

Exclusive Exterior Protective Systems for Your Stained Glass

We proudly offer exclusive aluminum framing systems for defending your existing stained glass. These are available for both religious and commercial properties, and are very similar to commercial storefront systems. Our modern aluminum extrusion systems can house a number of different protective glazing options including plexiglass, tempered, plate, and laminated glass. These can be installed on any type of architecture or building.

Our aluminum systems are available in many different colors like white, dark bronze, metal finish, and custom colors. With built-in ventilation, we no longer have to create custom vents through your existing window frames or glass. This offers a less labor-intensive installation while ensuring your stained glass doesn’t experience any accelerated deterioration from heat build-up.

These systems offer other additional benefits including lowered maintenance needs. Since the system protects both your stained glass and existing window frames, you’ll no longer need to periodically paint these from weather damage. Another benefit is that if your protective glazing is ever damaged from vandalism, natural disasters, or other threats, you can easily remove and replace it in minutes without having the change the entire system.

Church Protective Glass Case Studies

We specialize in custom exterior protective glass solutions for protecting stained glass windows from a wide scope of different threats. Our team of experts has helped various houses of worship throughout the nation to address their protective cover needs. Read more about our custom-built solutions in the following case studies:

Vernon Chapel AME Church – Tulsa, OK

The original, historic windows did not have any existing protective glazing which resulted in over 500 pieces of stained glass being broken. We installed three-sixteenth-inch plates that were glazed into the same glazing pocket as the existing stained glass. Venting was built in from the interior of the church through the framing. We also updated the window frames as the existing wooden frames had considerable peeling paint. Security was the main priority for this project in order to conserve these historically relevant, one-of-a-kind stained glass windows.

Before - no protective glass covers and outdated, damaged frames
After – 3/16″ exterior glazing plates with new window frames and interior venting

Central Christian Church – Jacksonville, FL

The church had previously installed a thin layer of Plexiglas as their stained glass’ protective covers. However, the Plexiglas was not strong enough to withstand vandalism efforts. Unfortuantely, a large rock was thrown through the Plexiglas, damaging the stained glass window. The goal of this project was to optimize security over exterior aesthetics in order to prevent future vandalism. We installed a quarter-inch thick polycarbonate protective cover which is 240 times stronger than tempered glass.

Before - outdated Plexiglas with no ventilation
After - 1/4" polycarbonate installed exterior protective cover

First United Methodist Church – Del Rio, TX

The existing polycarbonate that had been previously installed didn’t have the proper ventilation built-in and had yellowed over time. The yellowing significantly impacted both the exterior aesthetic as well as the luminosity of the stained glass from the interior. The existing steel frame had been painted an outdated cream color and required updating in order to modernize the exterior of the church. We replaced both the polycarbonate with quarter-inch glass in sections on the exterior and painted the existing frame black. The church protective glass was built two inches away from the stained glass with vents from the interior of the glass. Both aesthetics and security were the primary focus of this project.

Before - yellowing polycarbonate and outdated framing
church stained glass exterior protective glass
During/After - new 1/4" glass with ventilation and black-painted framing

First United Methodist Church – Leavenworth, KS

The existing church protective covers consisted of Plexiglas and aluminum frames that significantly detracted from the exterior appearance of the church. We created new exterior glazing with three-sixteenth and quarter-inch plate glass custom cut into the shape of the stained glass and glazed it into the frame about an inch from the glass. Venting was built in from both the interior as well as the frame, providing optimal protection as well as better aesthetics.

Before - outdated Plexiglas and aluminum framing
After - significantly brighter and more luminous from new exterior glazing

MacDonald Church of Christ – Oakland, CA

The existing protective glass previously installed was a three-sixteenth-inch annealed glass cover. The church was located in one of the worst areas in Oakland, making it vulnerable to vandalism and crime. The protective glass was broken with rocks. We installed a quarter-inch thick polycarbonate exterior cover set one to two inches away from the stained glass with custom internal vents for optimal security and protection.

Before - 3/16" annealed glass protective cover broken with rocks
After - 1/4" polycarbonate installed with internal venting

Wheat Ridge Congregational Church – Wheat Ridge, CO

The previous protective cover was Plexiglas that was installed in the 1990s. This was a common mistake made by many churches that didn’t understand the significance and requirement for proper ventilation in exterior protective glazing. Hot air is trapped during the day by the Plexiglass, causing it to push against the stained glass during the day. As the temperature rapidly cools, it causes a sucking motion that pulls the window outwards. The constant pulling and pushing accelerate the rate of deterioration, creating a concave or convex shape in the windows. We installed new three-sixteenth-inch plate glass and custom venting through the frame from the interior of the church.

Before - outdated Plexiglas with no ventilation
After - 3/16" plate glass with interior venting

When it comes to restoration, it’s best not to wait. If you think that the stained glass windows in your building may require attention, we urge you to contact our office to schedule a consultation. Our team can restore your stained glass to its original beauty and preserve your treasured artwork for the enjoyment of many more generations.