If you live in an older home with an original leadlight panel in your front door, then the chances are the glass is getting on in years. It may even be starting to show its age a little. If you're worried about how long your leadlight panel will last, then a rebuild is a good idea. Why?
1. Make the Panel Stable Again
Your leadlight panel may be in place at the moment, but it isn't necessarily structurally sound. The parts and materials that hold the glass together degrade over the years. So, for example, the original putty or cement that holds the glass in its design could have problems. Some materials may have fallen out or lost their holding strength. The lead itself can get broken, worn, cracked or bowed.
If your panel isn't in good shape, then damage is a worry. If the glass isn't firmly in place, then an over-enthusiastic door slam could cause parts of the panel to fall out. If lead structures bow or warp, then you could lose individual pieces of glass.
A leadlight restorer takes the panel apart. They check the glass and lead before replacing unsound areas. They then stick the panel together firmly so that it becomes structurally sound once again.
2. Weatherproof the Panel
As leadlight panels age, they lose some integrity. Cement and putty can turn from a solid into dust. Parts of the panel may fall out, leaving gaps in it. If your front door isn't under a porch or cover, then your leadlight could become a weather liability. Rain could come in your home through gaps in the panel.
After a rebuild, a leadlight door becomes waterproof again. You won't have to worry about inclement weather hitting the door.
3. Restore the Panel to Its True Glory
Even if your panel is holding its own, it isn't likely to look as good as it did originally. You clean it, but it never quite buffs up completely. Gaps, worn areas and old fixings detract from the panel's good looks.
During the rebuilding process, your restoration specialist cleans the glass thoroughly before it is set back in place. They fix any ugly areas. You'll be surprised at how good the panel looks when it goes back in the door.
If you aren't sure if your panel needs work, contact a leadlight door restoration specialist. They can take a look at your door and advise whether you need a rebuild.